Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Is there hope after abortion?

Through the grace of God I have found healing and the ability to love myself, and most importantly forgive myself, after making the worst decision of my life -- to not fight back, and refuse but to be strong and say no when I was being coerced to have an abortion by the baby's father.

For so long I hid my anger at him and the situation by just being mad at myself. Beating myself up seemed to be the logical, and right, thing to do. Even after bringing my sin into the confessional and feeling a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, it wasn't all gone. I still felt determined to punish myself and to see all the bad around me as just punishment for my sin. I brought the abortion back to the confessional a few times pretty much saying, I have confessed this but I am still hung up. Praise be to God I had wonderful priests that helped me move through this guilt and grief and move onward and upward.

Why am I sharing this?

Because I am not alone. Stats vary but hover around the range that 1 in 3 or 1 in 4 women have had an abortion. That is a lot of women. Look around you. In your office, in your family, in your church. If you are suffering the pain of a past abortion, you are not alone.

For so long I believed I was. I was the only one who allowed this shameful, terrible act to happen. What was I thinking? What was wrong with me?

But the thing is, I wasn't the only woman who had an abortion so that means, I am not the only woman who has felt pain after abortion. And I don't want you or any other woman to hurt especially for as long as I tortured myself. I want you to find the peace of God's love and forgiveness, the ability to forgive yourself, and the ability to love yourself maybe for the first time in your life. It is possible. I experienced it and I won't be the only woman who experiences it. You can too.

When researching stats for this post I stumbled across the 12 Signs of Spiritual Awakening ironically on the Silent No More Awareness website. I am only saying ironically because I am the Hawaii Regional Coordinator for Silent No More and you would think I would know all the links on their website. I need to do more research and self-training but I loved this list and will share it here (but please remember, I was not the original writer of these signs - and neither was Silent No More as it came from an unknown source).
  1. An increased tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.
  2. Frequent attacks of smiling.
  3.  Feelings of being connected with others and nature.
  4.  Frequent overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
  5.  A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than from fears based on past experience.
  6.  An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.
  7.  A loss of ability to worry.
  8.  A loss of interest in conflict.
  9.  A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.
  10.  A loss of interest in judging others.
  11.  A loss of interest in judging self.
  12.  Gaining the ability to love without expecting anything in return.
I can't say I have all these 12 steps under wraps but I am much better off with them now than I would have been just a year ago and backtrack a few years and I was a mess.

There is hope for you too. 

If you have any questions or just need to chat you can connect with me HERE or email me

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Some thoughts on marriage

I am going to be completely transparent and honest. As much as I love my husband and think he is an amazing man, our marriage is a struggle. This struggle may have intensified after the birth of our child and the dark feelings of abortion forcing themselves to the surface making it impossible for me not to finally deal with them. I have, thanks be to God, and am in much better shape emotionally and spiritually but this just means one thing....I am not the woman he married.

I have toyed with the ideas that this in itself is setting us up for failure or that maybe the difficulties in my marriage are my just punishment for choosing abortion many moons ago. Honestly, it may be neither of these but I have tried so many things to get things back, to fix things, to get to happily ever after but every attempt seems to not get the results I am after. And maybe that dream is all just an illusion.

In all reality, all marriages have struggles. This I know. Even those couples that seem to have it all together, the ones living the life greener on the other side of the fence, have struggles. They do. So am I wrong to long for that greener grass?

Maybe. Maybe not. And maybe this is the side effect that impacts many women post abortion - the struggle to form trusting, meaningful relationships. Maybe it is all me and my mindset. And I work on that in daily prayer, devotions, and turn to God for guidance.

And then it hit me today.

Marriage is a sacrament. That isn't the part that hit me today. That I know and believe it. That marriage models the love between Jesus and the Church.

But what hit me today was maybe what all those happy looking couples have is a mindset all married couples need. A mindset of forgiveness and putting the other first. Imagine how you would feel if you were immediately forgiven when you goofed up (and we all goof up) and if your spouse put your needs and wants first. They listened, cared, and took care of you and never threw past mistakes in your face just to hurt you. And imagine if you did the same for them.

I think this is what Jesus wants us to do and I believe it is the core message the Bible has in it - men leave their parents and cleave to their wives and treat them as treasures. Men leave their personal wants and desires and replace it with the desire to take care of their wives. On the flip side, I know the idea of women being submission to husbands turns up strife and rebellion in this society of women's rights and women working alongside their husbands providing for the family but what if we remove the word submissive? What if we think of it this way - that women look beyond their personal needs and put the needs and wants of their husbands first?

This could work if both the husband and the wife are truly focused on each other and the needs of their spouses versus their own personal pride, ego, and physical fulfillment and earthly desires. If either spouse is more focused on their own personal wants and needs, I don't think the happily ever after that I envision could happen in any marriage.

You can't serve two masters. You will hate one. So if you operate with your own personal needs and wants as central to your life, you will hate your spouse. You are pitting yourself against your spouse making the two of you opponents versus one body.

Ouch.

This can be very difficult to swallow especially if you are focused on your own wants and needs more than your spouse's. It can also be hard to swallow if you go out of your way to put your spouse first but still not 100% into it. You will know this if you are keeping score somewhere deep in your mind. I did x, y, and z and he or she didn't do x, y, or z. Or think thoughts like he or she does x so I don't need to do x. Why should I? Or I can do y because he or see does y. Do you see what is happening here? You are casting judgment and playing judge and jury so quick to blame the other without focusing on yourself and improving yourself.

At the end of the day, or even at the end of your life, do you want to say you failed at being a good and loving spouse because your spouse wasn't? Or do you want to say, you were a good spouse even though you did not receive appreciation, love, and praise in return? That you worked hard at doing right even when criticized or ignored?

I think I would rather say I did my best and tried my best not to judge. That I prayed for my spouse and more importantly, that I prayed to see my spouse through God's eyes. It may not lead to happily ever after but one day, if both spouses get on board, it may.

In a nutshell, not one of us can change what another person does. We can only change ourselves. And if you said "I do" you committed to for better for for worse, for richer or poorer, in good times and in bed, until death do us part. That means something to me. Does it to you?

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Journaling my way to peace

Today I wanted to share a coping strategy with you that may benefit you or others suffering from depression, anxiety, and the trauma caused by abortion. Some days are really tough. Today was one of those days and as I wanted to scream out for help I turned to something else. Journaling.

Actually writing "poems" that allow me to identify my feelings, and work through them, in a systematic way. The structure brings me comfort too as I work to put my feelings into a string of three lines with the formula of 3 words, 5 words, 3 words.....over and over again until I get to the end.

Today I did two poems. One on my pain and one as a prayer to God as I struggle to accept that people will never meet my needs but God can....and will.

THE PAIN

My heart aches
The pain consumes my body
I am crushed

I am searching
For a release from pain
I am crying

Did you see
Me barely able to move
before your eyes

Do you care
I am struggling deep inside
You walk away

Not one word
Comes from you to me
I can't speak

My heart breaks
I am struggling to breath
To just exist

Every step hurts
My heart and my bones
Scream in pain


THE PRAYER

Hear my prayer
God the giver of life
Come to me

I need you
I am alone in pain
Hear me Lord

Do you see
My efforts to keep going
I need help

I am sorry
For sins that offended you
Help me Lord

I am trying
To be faithful to you
To have hope

I am crying
Out to you my God
Hear my prayer

Thank you God
For always caring for me
Thank you God

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Oh Ireland

The vote to repeal the 8th ammendment in Ireland is gut wrenching and as much as I want to say, "Ireland! What were you thinking?!" this really isn't just an Ireland thing.

Yes, it was an Irish vote to legalize abortion but if you look at the big picture it is just a sign of the times. Life is not respected. I hate to say it but it isn't and it is breaking my heart. I feel I am stuck in another zone looking down on what is happening and just want to scream, "STOP!"

I am that person who sees all the signs as I have been there. I have made the mistakes. I believed the lies. It is a woman's choice. You can't tell a woman what to do with her body. You have no right to tell a woman that choosing to stay pregnant and have the baby is the right thing to do.

That is the lie.

You do have the right to tell the woman choosing life is best.

You do have the right to tell her choosing abortion is wrong. Wrong for the child. Wrong for her.

You do have the right to ask her what she is thinking, why she is doing this, what is going on.

I wish someone loved me enough to ask me those questions. I wish someone loved women enough to go against the mainstream flow and not just say, "Hey, I think abortion is wrong but it is her choice. Let it be. I will stay quiet and respect her choice."

Maybe if they stood up and spoke their mind they will hear my story.

I was terrified and believed I would lose my job if they found out I was pregnant. I was told this many times prior to becoming pregnant....by people who were at the company longer than me and in higher positions than me. It was said in "loving terms" - "Be careful girls. Don't get pregnant. You will be fired. This company doesn't keep pregnant girls."

On top of that, the father immediately said no to the child and immediately said get rid of it. NOW! He said he would have nothing to do with it and the couple of people I confided in told me the same. Get rid of it. It is just a blob like a tumor. Take care of your life and do what is best for you and baby.

I stupidly listened and have hated myself ever since. Well, almost. God not only forgave me but taught me how to forgive myself. He is showing me how to use that devastating day I want to erase from my life, and pretty much have blocked out of my memory as much as I have struggled to bring it all back into focus.

I lost a lot that day beside the innocent life of a precious child. I lost me - or who I was.

I am no longer happy go lucky and trusting of people. I struggle to trust anyone....including my husband. I suffer from PASS, which is a form of PTSD. I suffer from depression, anxiety, insomnia, and nightmares. And it never really goes away.

As much as I am healed in so many ways things can rip open those wounds anytime. Mother's Day should have been a day of joy with my daughter and husband but all I could think of was that I had two babies in Heaven - one from miscarriage, one from abortion. And I was mad at myself for not being happier for my child here on Earth trying to make my day so special.

And at the end of the day I broke down in tears shaking and she held me. She knows about my awful choice as I wanted her to hear it from me....not someone else....as I knew my story would be public when I signed up to be a RC for Silent No More. She went to speeches and Walks for Life with me and still will. I stepped back as RC as I felt I was failing and not reaching anyone in need. Perhaps I was letting my pride get in the way and I should re-address this choice because I am tired of being silent.

I am a woman and I have rights. You gave me the right to choose and I choose to say, "STOP! Stop all this craziness and start giving rights to the unborn."

Stop sugar coating things. Abortion hurts. Abortion destroys. Abortion is wrong. Deadly wrong and enough is enough!

It is time to take a stand and I stand for life. Life of the unborn and life of all women especially those who choose to abort because eventually they will wake up, like I did, and see the truth and have to come to terms that they killed a tiny, defenseless soul.

God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
God, have mercy on us.
Lord, forgive us, we do not know what we do.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

To the hurting moms

Mother's Day.

A day that is to be a day of joy for so many - but not everyone. There are people all around you today that may be hurting and grieving their lost babies whether they were lost through miscarriage or abortion. They are hurting and probably not saying anything about it.

Why?

Because it hurts too much.

If you are a grieving mom you understand. You understand how hard you are trying to keep it together especially if you have been blessed with other children. You may have a child or more trying to celebrate today with you but your heart is breaking, your lungs are aching, and your head is pounding. You are grieving loss and it hit me hard today. People don't want to hear about it.

People want to hear the happy stories. They ask you how you are but want the "okay", "wonderful", or "doing great"! They don't want to hear you are struggling to keep it together. Your heart is breaking. You miss your babies in heaven. You are overcome with grief, regret, sorrow, frustration, depression, and annoyance as you know there are a zillion things to be happy for but you are hurting. You feel all alone and if you suffer from depression too, that dark cloud may be over you again and that life sucking, draining, empty feeling over taking you making just moving an act of pure will power.

And it sucks.

So grieving mom, you are not alone. I am with you. I understand. I prayed for you today and if I could, I would sit down with you, buy you a cup of coffee, and ask you to share your story as I know you just want to talk....even if you don't know it yet. But talking gives that child you lost a life even if only in your heart.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

A letter to Grace

Written in May 2017 at a abortion healing retreat

My sweetest Grace,

Today you would be about 16 if I did not make that fatal choice. I cannot believe how quickly time goes by and I know you have been with me every step of the way, through thick and thin, through denial, self destruction, self hate, and torment that were reflections of my intense loss, grief, and guilt.

My dearest child, I believe we both know it is time for me to let go and I finally see letting go of pain is not loving you less.

When your grandfather died I cried myself to sleep for weeks but eventually the tears dried. I still miss him immensely and love him the same even though I cry less. For so long I hung onto my hurt as I felt that honored you but tonight, by the grace of God, which is how you received your name, I realized hurting myself does not honor you. Your grandfather would not want me to do that and I believe you wouldn't either.

Just the other day your sister told me, "Mom, I am happy you are happy." What amazing words from a 9 year old but those words are helping me to see you would feel the same.

I would be lost without my children and know you are equally precious and adored. You each are encouraging me along the way of my life journey and inspiring me to be a better mom. You are bringing me closer to our Lord and Savior and I can't imagine anything better than that. I yearn to hear the words, "Well done good and faithful servant" and to see you in the glory of Heaven and by God's grace, I will.

I love you, Grace, and am sorry for all I have done but now choose to honor your life by doing God's will and shining His light.

Rest in peace my precious child and please pray for me, your daddy, and your sister. I will continue to pray for you and now it is time to truly accept God's grace, to love myself, to forgive myself, and to be happy.