“I found myself pregnant, and without hesitation, I had an abortion. I thought I could tuck that decision away and never think about it again.” – Jenn
“I felt like I was spinning on a hamster wheel with no way to get off,” said Jenn. “I tried to please everyone and worked hard to earn the approval of others. It was totally unsustainable and indicative of my shallow view of the Lord.
“I grew up in a dead, West Texas church. I equated God with rules and thought following Christ was going to take all the fun out of life. Things worked out all right for a while. But after starting to break ‘the rules,’ it seemed pointless to even try and follow them.
“My high school years were marked by people-pleasing and my desire to fit in, be popular and be well-regarded by my teachers and parents. My self-worth came from what others thought of me. As a result I had a very warped sense of self. When it came to guys, I started a pattern of destructive relationships that would continue for many years.
“My college years were very similar, I just added alcohol and a lot more freedom. From the outside, my life looked great. I had good grades, lots of friends and was president of my sorority. But by mid-college I was living with an all-consuming body image struggle and an on-again/off-again eating disorder that owned me for years. The summer before my senior year, I found myself pregnant, and without hesitation, I had an abortion. I thought I could tuck that decision away and never think about it again.
“After college, I got a well-paying job and pursued worldly desires, money and material things. All my decisions were based on secular opinions rather than God’s Truth. I entered lightly into a marriage that quickly ended in divorce.
“After the divorce in 2005, I moved to Dallas and started attending Watermark and the Thursday night Women’s Bible study. I heard the gospel in a way I never had before. The Lord used my brokenness to reveal my self-sufficiency and prideful nature. Jesus radically captured my heart, and my relationship with Him flourished in the midst of that valley. I began to live in His grace, seeking God’s will in my second marriage, in the mothering of my two kids, in sharing my life with others in community and in serving the Lord.
“Still, I often felt conflicted when I read about Watermark’s abortion recovery ministry, Someone Cares. I repeatedly thought, ‘Why would I do that? I know I’m forgiven. I’m good, really.’ I shut the Lord out of this area, saying, ‘I don’t want or need Your healing.’ And so began this part of my journey with the Lord.
“In God’s sovereignty, I became friends with Tracy . When she told me she served in Someone Cares, I explained that abortion was part of my story too. I knew God forgave me, and I told her I didn’t need to go through the Someone Cares process. She sweetly encouraged me to consider it.
“Over the next several years, the Lord softened my heart. Another dear friend courageously shared her story of abortion and recovery in Christ. God put these women in my life to love and lead me to healing. I was finally open to the idea of facing unaddressed pain and allowing the Lord to heal anything He surfaced.
“In the fall of 2013, I walked into my first Someone Cares gathering, full of anxiety and feeling completely overwhelmed. But in an instant, I felt completely safe. In the class, my focus changed from the choice to the child. Though I’d never given her a chance to live, the Lord knew my baby before she was formed. Coming to terms with that truth filled me with grief, and I cried out to the Lord. He met me right where I was in His Word over and over again.
“I see now that I’d never opened my heart and experienced God’s healing. I am thankful for the buckets of tears I cried. I am grateful the Lord helped me give dignity to the child I chose to abort by naming and grieving her. I am thankful for our community of friends who encouraged my family and me during that season.
“Most of all, I am thankful for Jesus who washes me as pure as snow and gives me the courage to share my story with joy. For those who are reading this story and feeling full of guilt and shame, my prayer is that you know that there is healing and freedom in Christ.”
Someone Cares reaches out to women hurt by past abortions. Our goal is for you to know that through Christ you are forgiven and accepted by God. Group facilitators are women who have experienced the painful aftermath of abortion. For information about our next session starting in mid-March, contact Tracy Alexander at firstname.lastname@example.org.