Please note that this is a series. If you haven’t read the previous posts, you might want to do so! Please click on the “My Life” page at the top and dig in!
Note: You may want to have a coffee ready. Or chardonnay. Depending on the time of day of course…
Upon hearing his voice, my heart stopped. He was a junior and in a popular fraternity – did I want to come over for dinner sometime?
Well, yes. Yes, I did.
The rest, of course, is history – the beginning of the period in my life that I would be taught the very most.
Cam and I dated all through college. Some would say we were the “All-American” couple, the Barbie and Ken. I was president of my sorority, he held several leadership positions in his fraternity. We were blessed with many friendships. We knew a lot of other students on campus.
Upon my college graduation, we both moved to Indianapolis. It was pretty obvious that we were going to be getting married – it was just a question of when.
I moved into an apartment with a girlfriend and Cam lived with one of his college friends. We were adjusting to this new phase of our lives and loving it. We worked during the week and partied intensely on the weekends.
Then one day, the fast lifestyle we were living caught up with us.
I was 23 and Cam was 25. I got pregnant.
We were not married.
Both of us were “Chreasters” (Christmas and Easter churchgoers). We had no faith of our own – I didn’t believe anything at this point.
A baby was not in our plan at that moment – we wanted to get married but we wanted the big and fancy celebration that all of our friends were having. I had envisioned my wedding day and having a pregnant stomach was not part of that vision.
We did not choose to have that child. I did not miscarry. I will let you deduct what we chose to do.
The nasty thing about abortion is that when you make that decision, you are forced to view it as a scientific one – I believed the baby in my body was a cluster of cells, not a human being. I continued to believe this until I was 28.
Skipping over several details that will be filled-in within the next post, I found myself at rock bottom at 27. I looked up and I found. His amazing grace washed me anew.
However, I was absolutely left with the residue of some of my decisions, some of the things I had done that I felt certain would be unforgivable in the eyes of God.
It’s only now that I am eight years into my walk with God that I know this is an untruth so many people believe. There is absolutely nothing He would not ever forgive.
Suffice it to say, I married JJ (I first did marry Cam – those details will be shared in the next post) in 2004. We welcomed Susannah in 2005. I was overjoyed and thrilled to be a mommy.
I found myself mourning the loss of my other baby, the one I knowingly chose to not allow the opportunity to live. I wondered what he/she would look like, wondered what he/she would like to do.
Every October I think “I could have had a ___year old at this point.”
I mourn the loss almost always of that little cluster of cells. I wish I had made a different decision.
You wouldn’t believe how many times I have sought forgiveness from God from this huge sin, this unspeakable act that so few will ever admit. You have no idea how many times I have pleaded with Him to release me from it’s grip, to wash me with His water.
Of course, I know this is completely unnecessary. One time is sufficient. I know I’ve been released by Him. But it has taken quite some time for me to release it from myself.
One of my life verses is Romans 8:28 – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Thirteen years later, I am continually amazed by His incredible grace. I have a husband that loves me, cherishes me, makes me feel so very loved. I have three beautiful and healthy children. I have opportunities to minister to others often. That, my friends, is pure and simple a portrait of the grace of God.
I recently worked through a Bible study on King David, a man of greatness and yet a man of also great sin and destruction. He betrayed his best soldier, Uriah of the Hittites, and slept with his wife, Bathsheba. When she became pregnant with David’s child, David chose to arrange to have Uriah killed in battle rather than to face him with the truth. He then married Bathsheba.
God told David that the child Bathsheba was carrying would die soon after birth and he did.
However, soon after this tragedy, Bathsheba became pregnant and eventually gave birth to Solomon – the Lord loved him and knew that one day, Solomon would build the much-anticipated temple the people of Israel had been trying to build and would also be a wise and loved King.
David had been trying to build this temple for quite some time and was continually disappointed when it did not happen. His son was given the job and David had a hand in the construction – even after his horrid sin, God provided something for David he had longed for, had desired, for so long. Yet another portrait of God’s grace.
I plan to eventually volunteer at Life Care Services, a local crisis pregnancy center, and counsel those who are undecided on their decision of what to do with an unwanted pregnancy. I will not ever be legalistic on this issue because I have walked this path but rather will simply be honest and share the reality that comes soon after one decides to terminate a pregnancy. I hope to be a living example of God’s goodness and grace.
I have been washed by the water. I am as white as snow. I am so very blessed beyond measure. I am so very much in love with Jesus.
I want you to know that I struggled on whether or not I should share this with the world. I didn’t really want to and yet, I kept feeling the tap on my shoulder to be real, to reveal the truth, so that others could understand the grace of God. I would like to thank Amber at The RunaMuck for being a feather in the cap of this decision. I would also like to thank a dear, sweet friend of mine who recently confided in me that she too had made the same decision and felt that God could never forgive her for it. Ask Him and He will. You too will be washed by the water and will be as white as snow.
I know this is a controversial topic. I realize there are so many opinions on this matter. I would just simply ask that you respectfully refrain from any comments that would be full of condemnation for trust me, I have condemned myself enough for this already. Let’s concentrate on using this story for nothing but good.
I was unmarried and pregnant at 21. Things went from bad to worse to washed by the water. Nearly 13 years later I see His grace when I look into the eyes of my 12 year old baby..Grace.
I admire and respect your courage in being obedient. I can only imagine how difficult it was for you to not only write this but to re-visit this chapter of your life. But you are so right, Romans 8:28. That verse says it all.
You are a dear sweet girl who has been washed by the water. It IS finished. Forgiven. I can tell we’re going to have some great late night conversations come October.
You’ll never guess what my life verse is… :)
.-= Erin´s last blog ..Cute LittleMushrooms =-.
Natalie, how brave of you to share your story. God can only use these parts of our lives if we’re willing to open them to others.
My aunt had an abortion when she was young, and it has affected her all her life. She’s struggled with depression and guilt. To contrast thtat, a friend of mine has used her abortion as you intend to someday — at a crisis pregnancy center to help others.
God love, God forgives, God redeems. The last part perhaps may be the most wondrous of all . . . that He uses our pain and our mistakes to bring others to Him.
We all have regrets. We all sin before Him. None is bigger or more unforgiveable than another. Praise Him for being big enough to cover them all! And for allowing you to see that!
.-= GlowinGirl´s last blog ..Filled with Joy and Laughter =-.
Thank you for sharing. This makes me think. There are a lot of things that get on us that we feel long after they have been washed off,”Will I ever be clean again?” Yet very few, that others, who are covered with filth, will point to as an excuse to say they are clean.
Thank you for your simple and beautiful testimony. I pray that you will pass the soap to even just one precious pearl of great price.
.-= Maggie S.´s last blog ..The Real Cost of Adoption =-.
Thanks for sharing this very personal story with your readers. I hope you were able to heal just a little bit more by doing so. Clearly you have taken this lesson in your life and built on it tenfold. The blessing you wake up to everyday of that amazing family is obviously a sign that God has forgiven you and I hope that you can continue to grow in his love to forgive yourself.
The work you will be able to to at Life Services will just be another extension of you doing God’s work. I saw a bumper sticker yesterday that said “If you think, you are perfect, try walking on water”. Sums it up, we aren’t perfect, we are all doing the best we can on this Earth but he continues to forgive us, and “washes’ us of our sins.
I truly believe God only gives us as much as we can handle at any given time and thus everything happens for a reason. Im sure you’ve run all the scenarios through your mind of the “what ifs” since then, but you handled what you could at that time in your life and now your life has taken the current path due to your choices along the way. God has given you an amazing family, and now you are a “teacher” of his word through this blog, other facets of your life and also the effect you will have at Life Services.
Once again, thank you for sharing your story.
You are so brave and wonderful. Thank you for sharing with all of us! I love how you continue to move forward in all things, it is a testament to the awesome person that you are:)
Thank you for sharing! I can imagine how incredibly difficult that was for you and yet, I truly feel you will touch so many by your story. You are an AMAZING God-fearing woman and I am so thankful and grateful to be able to hear your wonderful words of encouragement and wisdom on a regular basis. I thank God to have such a beautiful (inside and out) woman to help me in my faithful walk with the Lord. I hope by sharing your story, you feel a little more at peace.
“the LORD Bless you and keep you, the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Num 6:24-26
We ALL have sins that need to be washed away by His love and grace, and not one of us should ever judge another, saying your sin is worse than mine…
God bless you for having the courage to share this on your blog. I just know that God will use your story to bless some one in some way, and even if only one life is changed, that is worth it, isn’t it?
I love that verse, though Jeremiah 29:11 is my all-time favorite…
.-= Heather´s last blog ..How are YOU feeling today =-.
Oh, my dear friend. You are such a beautiful, amazingly strong woman. I appreciate so much that you were willing to share this part of your story. I can imagine it was difficult to do. You know I struggle with my own forgiveness for my past. This was such a wonderful reminder that God has forgiven me. I have become much closer to believing that and in forgiving myself. Thank you. Again, you are beautiul and strong! I love ya girl!
.-= Theresa´s last blog ..What A Bad Blogger Am I! =-.
we have anti-abortion laws in my country. being predominantly catholic/christian, we condemn this act. yet, it saddens me that babies are being thrown in ditches, left for dead. others have killed theirs in the womb, the remains shoved inside a plastic bag and left at a ditch somewhere. i shiver to the bone as i write this.
i try putting myself in their shoes, feeling their world crumble as two lines appear on the stick. i try not to judge, but the pain in my gut wont go away. i am sure they have their reasons, but to do that on an unborn child? the child wasnt even given a fighting chance! i write this not to offend anyone. i just feel so strongly about this topic. it’s unfair for the child.
i admire your courage, natalie. in a world where women try to hide their shame, you have stepped forward so you can be an example to others. i feel so blessed to have known you. God has heard my prayers…
.-= cheri´s last blog ..the things i do for a grade =-.
I am in awe of your bravery. I’m always fascinated when I read your story and look forward to the next chapter. Your faith amazes me and I’m so glad your being obediant in sharing.
I truly cannot thank each of you enough for your kind words and encouragement on this difficult subject. Thank you for sharing your stories and for being the supportive, loving community that God has so blessed me with in this blogging journey. Each of you is a pearl to me.
I will be stopping by each of your blogs to thank you personally over the next few days but wanted to just thank each of you here and now for your compassionate words.
May God bless you all.
Natalie, you are a living example of God’s grace and of the healing power of Jesus Christ. And through your own bravery and humility, you cast that line of grace and healing to others. Only when we are willing to be open and transparent can God fully work to help us live out the purpose for which He has created us – and I just know He is proud of you for taking a risk in being real! I really want to encourage you in the fact that your bravery will no doubt minister to others – and may just be THE thing that saves another woman who doesn’t understand that she is worthy.
How great is our God??
Love & hugs! Alyssa
I sit here just blown away by your great courage to share something so deep and secret to help others that may be struggling with the same issue. I am in awe of your courage and obedience to God.
My faith grows stronger by reading your blog and being inspired to be a better follower of Christ.
I have so much love and respect for you Miss Natalie!
Natalie, your story is powerful. I read this yesterday on my phone, but it has stuck with me, so I feel God nudging me to, “just leave a comment already!!”
I know how much courage it must have taken to write this.
I really enjoy your blog, Natalie. Your faith inspires my faith.
.-= jennifer, playgroups are no place for children´s last blog ..Short version- I suck at parenting =-.
You mean I don’t have to pay for expert avcdie like this anymore?!
God so loves an obedient heart and a humble one — how He completely treasures yours! If we were to not confess our sins (and sometimes this means publicly), how could we learn from each other? It is obvious by the comments that people have already left that you did what God had called you to do and you did it with such grace and honesty. Thank you for being an example of what it means to be a servant of God.
.-= Jen´s last blog ..The Leftovers =-.
Natalie, you are very brave and strong to share this in such a public forum. Your passion for God is very powerful and inspiring. Thank you.
Thank you for standing by me, friend. I will ask Him someday. LY
And the angels will sing and rejoice, dear one. I will be walking with you – I’m here if you need me. LY, too!
Your post brought tears to my eyes. The Lord is so gracious and so compassionate. What a difficult road you have travelled.
I once heard that three out of every ten women have had abortions – I have no idea if those statistics are correct, I guess it depends on where and when etc, but it got me thinking.
Over the years I have heard many preachers condemn abortion from the pulpit – and rightly so – it must be said, but if those stats are anywhere near true then in a church of just 100 people, half of them being women that would mean that 15 women sitting there would have experienced abortion. Can that be right?! Even if we say just one in 10 women have had abortions that would still leave you with 5 women hearing the sermon and being struck by remorse, guilt and the agonies of painful memories and regrets.
I love how you ended your post with a plea for gentle comments – there will be MANY women reading your blog who will have also experienced similar pain – you are wise to protect yourself and them too.
Here’s a verse from one of my favourite old hymns…it says it all…
When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end to all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free,
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me,
To look on Him and pardon me.
(Before the Throne of God above by Charitie Lees Bancroft)
.-= Amanda´s last blog ..He answers! =-.
Natalie, I came across your blog through the STIS giraffe group and read your life story. What a powerful testimony of God’s grace and lovingkindness! I appreciate your willingness to make yourself vulnerable and share so much of yourself. I’m sure God has and will use you in many lives because of that!
.-= Renee Ann´s last blog ..Darlene Deibler Rose- Part 3- Welcome to the Valley =-.
Thank you Natalie for being brave enough to share about your abortion. I certainly know it isn’t easy. And I am always glad to meet other women who are willing to share their stories with the world. You just never know who they could impact. And in fact, the poem that I wrote that Amy shared on her blog did help save a life. A girl after reading it chose not to have an abortion.
God has taught me so much through my journey of healing and I am so thankful for that. I do wish though that I had made a different choice. God’s forgiveness knows no bounds!