Friday, October 28, 2016

Breaking through the Chains

Come, Holy Spirit, I need you
Come, sweet Spirit, I pray
Come in your strength and your power
Come in your own gentle way 
           ~ Heritage Singers, Come Holy Spirit Lyrics 1st verse

What a beautiful song this is. What a beautiful prayer. And as the time approached for me to share my testimony for the first time publicly speaking to the crowd all I could do was focus on God. Ask for His help and strength. Ask for Him to use me to do His work. And ask the Holy Spirit to come to me.

The O'ahu 40 Days for Life rally was amazing in so many ways but even with the wonderful support on that sidewalk, I was still more nervous than anything to speak. I had my speech ready. I practiced it and cried every time. I didn't want to fall apart. I wanted to share my story with the hope that maybe one day, one person will be saved in one way or another. I may never see the fruits of my labor and that is okay. I will still persevere and push forward for God.

I was one of the final speakers at the rally and headed up to tell my story. I had to take a deep breath and center myself. I introduced myself and began reading my speech and then it moved to the hard part. My story. I quickly lost my place on the paper as my hand shook and reading in the dim evening light is tough but the thing is, I knew my story. It is my story.

I crumbled the paper in my hand and continued forth telling my story. It wasn't exactly as I wrote it or prepared but it was my story. It was probably one of the hardest things I had to do in my life but it was also one of the most amazing. To be able to tell my story and make it to the end without crumbling down. To do the scariest thing ever. To be so vulnerable full of fear and to look out and see a sea of eyes of compassion and love with a swirl of some understanding.

I messed up my final line but my 8 year old daughter assured me, everyone knew exactly what I meant. I REFUSE to be silent. I will be silent no more.

God blessed me that night. He blessed me with my family being with me along with friends. He blessed me with beautiful hugs of support and encouragement to keep on talking. He reinforced that I am to tell my story and he helped me break through the next layer of chains that have been holding me back. I felt another load of bricks come off my shoulders and trust me, that is wonderful. Finding your voice is wonderful. Public testimony is wonderful. Healing and forgivenes is real and is there for all those who need it. And if you need help or someone to talk to you, I am here for you.

And here's my speech and please be kind and understanding, my 8 year old taped it and her arms were getting tired.


Friday, August 5, 2016

An open letter to those who say abortion is a woman's choice

After listening to Immaculate Heart Radio and a caller on Right Here, Right Now I was compelled to draft this response to those who argue that abortion is a woman's choice even when they state they are personally against abortion. I shared my response with the show's host, Chris Aubert, who unfortunately is moving on to a new ministry in life. I wish him the best of luck and God bless!


To those who say abortion is a woman's choice,

To say it is a woman's choice and they will have to face God for their choice seems to be a cop out for taking a stand and doing what is right. Many of those women, like myself were/are stuck in a crisis moment feeling helpless, hopeless, afraid, terrified, and perhaps, like me, being told by the baby's father that this is what I MUST do.

In that terror I felt compelled to confide in two others what I was being told to do, forced to do. Maybe I was hoping someone would stop me. Who knows but I can tell you this -- all I heard was the propaganda that it is my choice, best for me, best for the baby. It is just a clump of cells, a tumor.

It was all lies. Definitely not best for the baby. Not best for me. I can't even begin to express the hate I have felt for myself, the disgust, the disappointment that I was too weak. Too stupid.

If only someone would have said NO and took the time to listen to me, my irrational fears, and give options that were really better for all. If only someone LOVED me enough to say STOP, choose life.

You see, when a woman is in that moment of crisis and fear there is no way she can make a rational decision. She needs help. So I will continue to tell my story hoping that it saves at least one life, stops one woman in her moment of fear, or encourages one person to stop saying it is a choice but to say it is wrong. Let me help you.

A great analogy is would you let your friend jump off a building in a moment of fear when she feeks helpless? Is it her choice? Wouldn't you do something to stop her? I hope the answer is yes.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Thoughts on a sleepless night

I lie awake and all I hear is crickets
This is not new to me
These long nights have been with me forever

Some filled with excitement of what tomorrow brings
A first day at school, a new job, a race
But may are filled with worry
What will happen, how will ends meet, where did I go wrong

The crickets are so loud
I want to quiet them and sleep
But ultimately the crickets are quieter than the thoughts racing in my mind

I turn on soothing music
I toss and turn
I lay upside down
Anything to help me sleep
But there is no rest

How do you quiet the turmoil of an anxious mind
How do you soothe an aching heart
How do you heal a broken girl
Will the scars of my past ever fade away

I am forgiven yet still broken
I want to quit but forge ahead
I dream of better days
If only I could sleep

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Mother's Day

For some Mother's Day may not be a day full of joy and celebration. For some it may bring up repressed emotions related to the past decision to abort. Some post abortive moms are blessed with children later in life. They may be surrounded by those happy smiles but still missing that additional smile at the table celebrating this day in honor of motherhood. They may or may not recognize that empty feeling inside is them mourning for their lost child. For some, their abortion may have left them unable to have another child. My heart goes out to them. May the Lord comfort them in their time of sorrow.

There are some beautiful prayers out there for mothers during this time of year through the Silent No More Healing the Shock Waves of Abortion initiative. I wanted to share them with you today and ask that you join me in prayer for all mothers this week and throughout the month of May.

Prayer for Mothers who have Lost a Child to Abortion
by Fr. Frank Pavone

Lord of all Life,
You have entrusted us to the care of one another,
And called us to be one Body in Christ.

You call us to rejoice with those who rejoice,
And to weep with those who weep.

Lord, you have compared the love you have for us
To the love a mother has for her own child.

Hear our prayer today
For all mothers who have lost children to abortion.
Help us to understand
The pain that is in their hearts,
And to be a living sign to them
Of your welcome, your mercy, and your healing.

Help them to undergo with courage
The process of grief and the journey of healing.
Never allow them to feel alone;
Always refresh them with the presence of Your Spirit
And of their brothers and sisters in Christ.

Console them with the sure hope
That you love and care for their children.
Give them new strength,
That even while they grieve what they have lost,
They may look forward to all the good
That you still have in store for them.

Lord of healing and hope,
Give us all the forgiveness of our sins,
And the joy of your salvation.

We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.

Prayer of a Mom who Lost a Child to Abortion
by Fr. Frank Pavone

Lord God of Peace,
I thank you for your love for me,
Which is more tender than the love
Of a mother for her child.

I thank you for your forgiveness,
Which is more generous
Than the forgiveness human beings can offer.

Thank you for helping me to know
That I am not my abortion.
Rather, I am your daughter, Beloved and Redeemed,
For whom your Son would have died
If I were the only one who needed salvation.

Save me always
From the menacing voice of useless guilt and the oppressive force of shame.

Rather, lift me up in the light, peace, and grace
Of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ,
Who lives and reigns forever and ever. 


Amen
A Prayer for Those Afraid of their Motherhood
Lord God, we thank you, the Source of Life, for all those who have welcomed and nurtured our lives.

In particular, we thank you for our mothers, who with trust in you and self-sacrifice beyond description, have made it possible for us to live and praise you today.

Give them the reward of their labors.

Today, Lord, we also pray for mothers who are afraid of being mothers.
We pray especially for those carrying a child within them, but afraid to bring that child to birth.

Look with favor on these, your daughters, and give them trust and strength.
Enable them to give themselves to their children, as you give yourself to us, and to experience the joys of motherhood.

Enable us to do our part to encourage them and provide for their needs.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.


Amen

Thursday, March 31, 2016

I held a baby!

4 simple words....I held a baby!

For many those 4 words may mean nothing as they sound so simple. Many people hold babies every single day. See a mom and baby and women tend to swarm to her, to congratulate her, to have a chance to hear the baby coo, and to hold or touch the baby.

Not me.

I walked by trying not to seem rude.

I wasn't always like this. I grew up around kids, I babysat, I held babies. No big deal. Until it became one. And the thing is, I didn't realize it had become a big deal until another post abortive mom mentioned how she "feared" pregnant woman.

I can't say I feared them after my abortion but I wasn't running up to them to talk baby stuff, to hear all the details, to ask about due dates, planning, and baby showers. Please oh please let those just pass me by!

And for the most part they did until things changed. Babies were everywhere! They were at my church cooing all around me and right in front of me. Co-workers were having babies left and right. It was a baby epidemic and I was shuddering inside. New babies were in the office and I tried not to see, to hear, or to appear rude. It wasn't their fault that their moment of joy was my moment of despair and mourning. And having a child after my abortion didn't make things better. You can never replace a life lost. Never.

Then one day I made a conscience decision. There was a co-worker in the office next to mine growing bigger and bigger with her pregnancy. I love this lady and her husband. They are both the dearest angels on Earth and I wanted to be happy for them. Really happy. So one day I decided to bite the bullet and do the hard thing. She would want through my office almost every day so I started not only saying good morning but asking every now and then how she was feeling. She would give me very brief pregnancy updates and I thank God for that. He knew what He was doing as I worked through my uncomfortable mind and asked about a pregnancy and a baby. Once again, something so simple for so many.

It got easier and months passed, she went on maternity leave, and one day I let myself smile at the baby in front of me at church. More months passed and just the other day, I held a baby!

The very same co-worker I was telling you about. She walked in the office with her gem and I smiled at the baby, talked baby talked, and the new mom asked if someone could hold her baby for a few minutes. I agreed and held the baby. The first time I have held a baby since mine 8 years ago. I came home from work that night and announced, "I held a baby!" I doubt my family understood the significance of that statement but to me it is a sign of continued healing. I held a baby.

I want to scream from the mountaintops, I held a baby!

This is big y'all, real big. There is a part of me that yearns to have another child but I am chalking it up to that biological clock. I am "old" and my husband is "older" so I think that ship has sunk but for now I am just beyond grateful that I held a baby! And she was precious. Just like all life. Life is precious.

Dear God,

Thank you for walking me through the steps to overcome my avoidance of pregnancy and new life. Thank you for helping to heal the wounds just enough so I can see and appreciate life. Thank you for your mercy, for forgiving me, and for turning my wrong into some sort of good in doing your work. I am thankful to be the Silent No More Regional Coordinator on Maui. Please grow my ministry and let me do your work on Earth to bring an end to abortion and healing to post abortive moms. I am here for them, O Lord. Guide them to me but not my will be done but yours.

In Jesus' name I pray,
Amen

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Goodbye Regret

I read a wonderful thing the other day about regret. In a nutshell, it said regret is the devil's work to keep you from finding the peace and joy that you deserve. Regret is a stumbling block to forgiving yourself and leaves you thinking more negative thoughts about yourself than you deserve.

Does this sound about right to you? Do you struggle with regret? Is it holding you back from living a life of joy?

It totally hit me very close to home as I had been reviewing my prayer journal that I started at the end of December. There are so many prayers saying how very sorry I am that I had an abortion. That I regret that choice. That I wish I was stronger and chose better. That I will carry the cross of my regret and do good. All good intentions but in all reality, as much as I was saying in one way that I have finally forgiven myself I was still holding onto regret and thinking about how weak I was. How wrong I was. How badly I messed up. Do you think our loving God wants us carrying that negativity each and every day?

I don't but I also know I need help in this battle in life. I need to ask Jesus to help me, to help me carry my cross in life, but to do it without tearing myself down with negative self talk. How can I love others and be merciful when I am so hard on myself? In a nutshell, I can't and neither can you if you are tearing yourself down with negative self talk and regret.

God loves all of us and like the prodigal son, He is waiting to welcome us home and celebrate. I am not saying life will be problem free. He never promised us that. I am not saying I won't be held accountable for my sins. I expect to be and in all reality, I think I may be harder on myself that God would be. He is much better at extending mercy than I am! I am working on that.

I want to be more like Jesus. I want to be loving, merciful, and reaching out to those in need. I want to see the "unseen" and bring joy into their day.

Dear God,

Thank you for today and your mercy and healing. Thank you for blessing me and I pray that you bring healing to all post-abortive mom and for an end to abortion. Help me to see those in need so I can help them. Help me to be more merciful to others and to myself. 

In Jesus' name I pray,
Amen

Thursday, February 11, 2016

How the Planned Parenthood Videos Affected Me

This article was originally published on August 14, 2015 in the Hawaii Catholic Herald. The original source is HERE.

When I first heard about the content of the videos about Planned Parenthood selling baby parts my heart sunk into the pit of my stomach. I was horrified at the thoughts and all the wounds of my past abortion surfaced at once. I wanted to run and hide. I couldn’t face the videos. But through God’s grace and inspiration from Immaculate Heart Radio I knew I had to face them, view them, and understand what was happening.

The interviews and images were gut-wrenching. I was immediately sick to my stomach on the verge of throwing up. The feeling hung with me and I couldn’t shake the horror. I prayed that nothing like that happened to my precious lost soul. I prayed to my child in heaven, pleading once again for forgiveness. I prayed that all those impacted by abortion would find the strength to endure this challenging horror.

In all reality, if I hadn’t attended Rachel’s Vineyard (a post-abortion reconciliation retreat) this past May, I don’t think I could have survived this news and go forward, even if going forward meant no longer putting on mascara as I found myself crying many times throughout the day. I found strength in realizing God’s timing is perfect and he extended his healing grace to me prior to this devastating news.

However, even with his grace I have felt an increase in irritability and annoyance that no one who knows my story has reached out to me to lend support, to ask how I am, to give me a hug. No one around me is talking about these disturbing videos and I wonder how that is possible. The silence is deafening and I can’t remove the horror of babies being ripped apart and sold piece by piece. It scares me that this is okay in this time and age. I am devastated but strong.

But I also know not everyone is as lucky as I am. There are women hurting and I am certain many do not know where to go for help, don’t forgive themselves, and need our help and prayers. I pray for them daily, have started prayer circles, and have broken my silence and am taking a more active pro-life role. I refuse to be silent anymore.

#IRegretMyAbortion and am #SilentNoMore

Today I am bringing things out of the archive with a testimony I wrote last year. It was originally published HERE.

Fifteen years ago I made the worst decision of my life.

I had an abortion because I was coming out of a failed marriage, I was having an affair with the baby's dad who said if I ever got pregnant I would have to abort, and I was new to my job. I was told by many as soon as I started that, if I ever became pregnant, I would lose my job. I felt lost and alone...afraid to have a child with no job, no insurance, and no family support. I was too embarrassed to tell my mom thousands of miles away the predicament I was in.

I had my abortion at the doctor's office. They gave me valium to take the night before, the morning of, and after the abortion and that is all the instruction I remember. I do remember the nurse not looking at me and the doctor telling me not to look at the screen. I did and instantly regretted my decision, but it was too late. The procedure was underway and I cried. The doctor rushed to turn the screen out of my view but no one said anything to me. I was told I could leave when it was done.

Once home I felt humiliated. The baby's dad gave me $100 and dropped me off at my driveway. I was hurt and didn't want his money.  I felt isolated and alone. Co-workers called to check on me after the procedure, but I had to lie about what it was for to protect my job. I was tired of lying and stopped taking their calls. I cried alone in my bed for days. Eventually, I had to go back to work and tried to pretend things were okay, but they weren't.

This just led to a string of bad relationships, if you can call them that, with other men. Things went sour with the baby's dad, which, in all reality, was probably for the best. But I had no value for my life. I didn't care if I got in a car accident or died. My life didn't matter. This is when I started drinking alcohol.  Up to this point, I hardly ever had a drink. Eventually, I met my current husband and my walls started going down and love entered my heart.  But once we had our first child things changed.

I was terrified every day of my pregnancy. I was so afraid I was going to lose her and, after an emergency c-section, I was so thankful she was fine.  But I still fell into a deep depression. I remember sitting at the changing table with her in front of me, probably close to a year old, thinking I should be happier than this. I should "feel" something. I slowly searched for help, but by this point my marriage was suffering.

I felt so bad about myself, so ashamed of myself, so worthless that I put unrealistic expectations on my husband to make me feel loved and appreciated.  But how can someone make you feel loved when you don't love yourself? Our marriage is still shaky to this day, but I just recently went to an abortion healing retreat. Rebirth and repairing the wounds takes time. Dealing with the anxiety and panic attacks that have been plaguing me the past couple of years takes time.

I found help and forgiveness through God, through going to confession, and through attending an abortion healing retreat over a year after my confession. It has been a long journey and forgiving myself was, and still is sometimes, the hardest part. I still feel shame when I tell my story, but I tell it as I feel that is what I am meant to do. Tell my story.

I am silent no more because God loves me so much and forgave me. He has blessed me so much throughout my life and I feel He has called me to take a stand and speak up about how abortion not only harms the child but the mother too. The years of guilt and grief are far worse than any bad I imagined could have come from having my child 15 years ago.

But the shame I feel today is bearable and a reminder that God is loving and forgiving. The shame is nothing in comparison to the good I can do by telling my story. The shame reminds me that I am human, I make mistakes, but through confession and listening to God, I will continue to grow closer to Jesus.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Roe v Wade: A sad day in history

Today, 43 years ago, a landmark decision was made. Seven Supreme Court justices (out of nine) declared that it was a privacy right under the Due Process Clause (14th amendment) for a women to decide to have an abortion. This right had to be balanced between the states regulating abortion and a women's health and the potential of protecting life.

I grew up with Roe v Wade and learned about it in school. It was a part of my life but it wasn't until recently that it really dawned on me how ridiculous it is and yes, it infuriates me beyond belief. You see, I am no longer swayed by public thought but am fueled by my faith and even in what I consider the dark years of my life, the idea that abortion was murder quietly percolated but unfortunately, too late for me to save a life over 15 years ago. In some ways, two lives would have been saved. That of my unborn child and my own that was dragged through dark and torturous years until I finally saw the light and made a change.

The light was God's healing and the courage to say, I had an abortion and I am so sorry. And I finally found the courage to say it out loud to the priest at reconciliation and that time I could barely get the words out as I sobbed so heavily. I still cry when I talk or write about it. It breaks my heart that I was so stupid and made such a tremendous mistake because I was swayed by others. I was in the darkest, scariest time of my life and was misled by those who felt it was my right and better for me and the child if I abort. After all, it wasn't a child yet anyhow. Just a blob of cells. How crazy is that? And yes, I call myself stupid but I am not. I am well educated and that just further supports my belief that what is politically correct and acceptable is NOT always acceptable and misinformation can sink into anyone's mind.

Yes, I believe Roe v Wade should be overturned. Abortion ruins relationships. Abortion devastates life. If you really care about women's rights, tell them the truth that making that decision will not bring happiness and joy but can lead to emotional and physical pain and suffering that can last a lifetime. Is that what you want for your daughter? Not me. I will no longer stand idly by supporting pro-choice because I feel I have to since I had an abortion. I will stand up and tell the world, one person at a time, I am pro-life. Do NOT abort. Choose life. Choose to save a child's life and to save your own life. Protect life at all stages.

Dear God,

I am so sorry for choosing to abort. I am heartbroken that I failed to do good and that I sinned against you. Use me and my story to do good. Please let me help bring an end to abortion and healing to other post-abortive moms. May be dark past do your good today. 

In Jesus' name I pray.
Amen

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Take a stand and say no to abortion

 

We need more people like Representative Steve King and I would have to imagine many people in Iowa are proud that they voted him into office.

It isn't always easy to do what is right but trust me, doing what is right is always best. Unfortunately, in this day and age what is right is often blurred and made fuzzy by the media, the stories they want to cover, and the twist that can be put onto those stories. Just looking up this story, which was only brought to my attention via Immaculate Heart radio, led me to NO major news channels that I would see for a million other stories that are deemed important to us by the powers that be.

In a nutshell, this is what happened. Steve King left the State of the Union address at the last minute he could before President Obama started his address. He left to leave his own vacant seat -- a seat to represent more than 55 million aborted babies.

Thank you Representative King for honoring my child. May God forever bless and watch over you and may you be instrumental in bringing an end to abortion and all the lies. The lies I fell victim to believing more than 15 years ago. The lies that had me believing that my child wasn't a child because I was less than 6 weeks pregnant. The lies that my child was just a glob of cells and nothing more. There are still days I wonder how I could be so stupid to believe those lies! I am an adopted child. My birth mother had the strength to have me and thank goodness I was born before Roe vs Wade or she too may have fallen victim to all of those lies! Together we mourn our choices as we both faced unexpected pregnancies and difficult times. Together we face our burdens and carry our crosses but when it all comes down to the end -- she knows I am alive and well and we can chat to one another, and we do. I can only pray to my poor lost soul.

We need more people like Representative Steve King. We need more people standing up and taking action for what is right --- protecting life at ALL stages. We need to stop playing God and start praying to God and asking for Him to guide us, to take all this awfulness and our mistakes of the past and to turn them into good. God can do that and He will!

Representative Steve King story sources:
Huffington Post
The Blaze

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The depths of despair and beyond

I am going to be honest with you. I often blog when I am feeling strong but after Christmas I was feeling less than strong. I was tumbling down feeling less than wonderful. Why couldn't I have been strong like Mary and say yes to my unexpected pregnancy and have faith? The thing about abortion is the pain NEVER ends. You may get better at dealing with it, and sweeping it under the carpet or trying to ignore it does no one any good. You need to face it and accept it for what it is. Mourning the  loss of a loved one. Regretting a bad decision. Perhaps even hating yourself a bit too much some days and trying to find the way to extend mercy to yourself. After all, God loves you and will forgive you once you truly ask Him for forgiveness. But even though I have felt that wonderful, merciful forgiveness first hand, I still have tough days and on one of those tough days I started writing. I had no intention to blog it. I just had to write through my emotions and see where they brought me. After much reflection and prayer, I have decided to share my thought process with you today in hopes it can help someone else to realize, they are not alone. Bad days happen. Let's pull out of it together with God as our guide. But please note as you read this, my husband is also doing the best he can and I have to say, it must be really hard to be a "great" husband when a wife has so many deep wounds. And in those dark times, nothing is really as it seems. Abortion hurts relationships but that doesn't mean you should give up hope. With God, we are stronger and can win the battle.

I feel I am falling down a dark rabbit hole of despair. I had so many dreams for this year. I focused on having the courage -- the courage to face my sins and to set things right and the courage to speak my mind and make myself vulnerable with my beliefs. But in all of that I have only grown deeper and deeper in despair. My hearts aches so greatly for my marriage and my husband will never know my pain for when I talk he silences me and tells me I say it all wrong. And when he isn’t talking over me he is walking away or buried in the book. He says he doesn’t talk to me since I don’t talk but what am I to say? I have prayed and prayed for wisdom and have tried a million things. I have faith in God but also know we all have our own free will. It makes me feel as if my prayers are meaningless if my husband never chooses me.

I question how he can truly love me when he never wants to hear what I have to say. The hurt is piling up and I can barely breath. The tension is weighing on me and he wonders why I break apart. I am under constant pressure and trying with all my might to be loving, supportive and helpful. I have tried making coffee, breakfast in bed, and more intimacy --- all things he has asked for but what I have is never enough. I am never enough and feel in this world I will never be enough. I am just an awful critical wife who talks too much and expects too much even though so much of me is lost.

I miss being able to race and run and have a husband and child cheering me on. I miss my hand being held and hearing a reassuring voice. I miss having someone to go to when I feel all beat up and at the end of my rope. I miss having a shoulder to cry on and someone gently patting my head. I am tired of doing it all because it is not all mine to do. I need help and the only help I get is from far away words of support and the help of a 7 year old. She isn’t the one who should be taking on so much responsibility in life. What is this teaching her? That women are here only to serve men and that it is okay for men to say mean words?

Every time my husband says he can just pack his bags and leaves it tears me apart but he will never know the destruction I felt when he said those terrible words to a 7 year old girl. A 7 year old girl so much like myself many years ago. Brave and strong but slowly over time, my self esteem was edged away by hurtful words from those closest and dearest to me. I was never enough. I turned from God, I became promiscuous, and the road ended with abortion.

Dear God, I have totally messed up everything and have poisoned all I touch. I do not know how to repair this all and feel hopeless and in despair. I am lost, alone, and scared and feel this is my punishment for choosing to abort but dear God, please protect my family from the cross that I must bear.  Help me find my way on this dark and dreary past and help me to honor you in every future step.