Lynn was exposed to sexual behaviors at age seven she was told that if her mom found out she would die. This threat made her worry and confused and she soon suffered from separation anxiety disorder. By the time Lynn was ten years old she herself wanted to die. Lynne’s family decided to move and with the move her situation changed bringing with it a period of stability. That was, until she turned fifteen and discovered drugs and alcohol. She quickly learned how to self-medicate to avoid her confused feelings of sexual misconduct; under the influence she became sexually promiscuous and pregnant at fifteen.
Not knowing what to do next she told her mother. Her mother as she tells me was a luke warm catholic who thought the best remedy was to keep it a secret from her father and the rest of her family and go to a clinic and have an abortion. When they arrived at the clinic they suggested that she wait to have an abortion until she was 10 weeks pregnant. Not knowing any better at the time they took their suggestion to wait and then have the abortion. This abortion seemed like the remedy when in fact it perpetuated Lynn’s downward spiral. On the way home from the abortion Lynn felt sick to her stomach of shame, guilt, remorse and she herself wanted to die as her innocent baby just did. These emotions led to increased self-medicating and promiscuity. Feeling devastated, heartbroken, lack of love, purity and alone at sixteen she met a man twenty and found herself pregnant again. This time she vowed never to have another abortion and protected her pregnancy.
What transpired next was the working of the Holy Spirit into Lynn’s life. The realization that God trusted her to conceive another child after she had killed his creation before showed his immense mercy and his forgiveness. If he could forgive her why couldn’t she forgive herself? In the next eight month she watched and nurtured the life inside of her grow. This miracle and Grace melted the ties that bound her to grief, guilt and shame. She began the healing process and once that beautiful baby was born and she looked into that innocent, vulnerable face that she previously destroyed she knew she needed to continue on the road of recovery by going to confession.
She went on to have three more children; she took all the required steps of support groups, counseling, bereavement, etc. to bring about a fuller healing. She then spilled God’s Mercy from herself to others by giving her witness to youth groups, parishes, respect for life groups and anyone who invites her to speak. She became campaign director and promoter of her local chapter of forty days for life and watched firsthand the miracle of prayer and witness work through women changing their minds out of an abortion, all of this aided in her healing process.
When I asked her what advice she would offer to other women tempting to have their own abortions her comments are, “become aware and educate yourself about the multi-dimensional negative effects that are irreversible and that the healing process is a process your entire life. Make an educated choice, if you know the true facts you’ll choose life. Not everyone is called to share their story, but we are all called to healing and that healing happens when you share, whether it be with a friend, priest, family member, counselor, support group etc. just get it all out for the truth will set you free.”
The advice she would also give a survivor of abuse, incest, abortion is that pinching yourself and realizing you are here now and you’re ok is important. Our memories only take us back in thought, not deed or action. We have the power to get out of that “place”. She reminds herself that she is no longer a victim, but a survivor. She says, God has sustained me and it’s not that I will be ok, I AM ok.
She prays a Resurrection decade of the Rosary any and every time she feels fear, doubt, remorse or guilt creep in and every time before a talk on her life story. It reminds her that the Sorrowful mysteries have their place, but she is a part of the Resurrection and Ascension and that she can and will rise above it with and through and because of Jesus and so can YOU.
“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.