Late May 2016, the night of my high school graduation, I went to a small party at a classmate’s house and was drugged and raped. Feeling ashamed and dirty, I kept it to myself and decided to just “get over it.”
Fast forward a few weeks, and I was not well. Aside from emotionally being a mess, I was physically feeling sick and tired. I had taken a pregnancy test, and it came back positive. Being only 17 at the time, coming from a non-Christian home, not really having any support system…I had no idea what to do or what my options could even be. On my own and out of fear and brokenness, I decided to have an abortion. It was through a clinic and, because I was a minor, the whole procedure was confidential, and I guess technically off the records.
Because of the assault, along with the trauma of abortion, I began to spiral back into extreme depression. I had already dealt with suicidal thoughts, and a year prior to this I had made a suicide attempt (which is another testimony to God’s faithfulness). I found myself dwelling in shame and dirt, not believing anyone could love me and want me after what I had done. I was on my way back down to rock bottom and could feel my soul rotting at the idea of hating myself all over again. Amidst this deep pain, I encountered Jesus for the first time in a dream and went through a summer-long process of becoming aware of my sin yet even more so aware of my Savior.
Having that abortion opened a huge door for Jesus to come before me and love me, but it also opened this peep hole to the lies that the enemy so deeply wanted me to believe…and I actually believed them. I can’t tell you how many times I went back to look into that peep hole Satan placed. “You can never get married. What man will look at you and see you fit to be a wife, let alone a mother?” “Cross out that desire to be in youth and children’s ministry. When the parents find out what you did, do you think they’ll trust you with their kid?' “Everything about you is dirty…basically, you’re infected with sin. You’ll never get past this. It’ll follow you until the day you die.”
All of these were lies that I unfortunately walked in, lies that echoed and rang in my ears for years. These lies became my reality, and it wasn’t until just recently that I have found full freedom—so much freedom that I can share all this, knowing that judgement may come, but grace is already here and is mine.
This all happened nearly three years ago, and I’m finally speaking up. I’m taking back the identity that God has always had for me. I no longer depend on God’s people to show me the forgiveness and grace that He’s offered to me. I know that I’m loved and forgiven. I don’t try to hide what was, because it’s allowed me to be who I am. Though my heart breaks daily for what could have been, for doing the worst thing that I could ever do, because it was far from the plan God had for me, I am so thankful that His faithfulness has not given out. He has not stopped blessing me or showing me ways to be more like Him.
I was sinned against, and it brought about my heaviest sin; however, long before that happened, I was died for and saved from ever carrying that weight of shame and disgust. God has showed me the importance of bringing my burdens to light, so that they may become light. I encountered so much pain, but my encounter with Christ was stronger, and that is where He took my pain and made it purposeful. There may not be a reason for everything but seeking God has brought reason to everything. In May 2016 I found myself completely dead in sin. August 2016 is when the Lord called me to rise and live for Him and, for the past 2 and some years, that’s all I’ve been doing. I am loved and forgiven. I am extremely gifted with children and will step into my ministry calling involving them. I am worthy to be a wife and a mother someday, and I pray that God brings that favor upon me. I am redeemed. I am beautifully broken. I’m using my story to reach those who have sailed the same ship and prevent others from boarding it.
My whole point in sharing this is so we can see that God can use anyone! If God can use me, He can use you! If there is power in my story, there is power in your story! Not because it’s mine or yours but because it’s touched by God! There is absolutely no truth ugly enough to separate you from Christ, no amount of dirt that can’t be cleaned by Jesus. His love covers a multitude of sins. If you have ever been affected by abortion or if there is any sin that you are feeling the weight of, know that you’re not alone. Find someone you trust and speak with them about it. Confess that shame that you are holding onto and be confident that God’s love will pour through His people. Be confident that even if that person doesn’t show God’s love that it will never take away God’s love. God wants healing and holiness for all of His people, and I am praying that all who read this will receive just that.