Healing after an Abortion

I got pregnant just before I turned 17. I remember being filled with fear as those little pink lines appeared on the test.

When word got out, there were a lot of tears and a lot of talking. I felt shame from most people, including my family and my school. I turned to the wrong people for advice and got convinced that I was much too young to ever be a good mom and that I needed to think about my future first.

Before I knew it, I had an appointment booked to have an abortion. I remember sitting in that waiting room so well. There were so many other women there which actually convinced me even more that this wasn’t a big deal.

Right after, I knew I had made the wrong choice.

Darkness loomed over me.

I was filled with shame, fear, and heartache for my baby.

The decision to abort my baby hardened my heart and changed so much in my life. My relationship with my parents became bad because they thought that was the best choice. I lied to my grandma, whom I grew up living with, and this caused our relationship to have a downfall. Chris (my then boyfriend, now husband) and I ended up breaking up for a couple years because I put the blame on him.

I held so much hurt in my heart that I didn’t know about until two years later when I got pregnant again. All the emotions from the abortion came up again and it gave me so much strength to stand firm and say that I would keep my baby.

On October 10th, 2010 our son Kingston arrived, 4 weeks early. The moment he was placed in my arms I fell in love. He was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I remember feeling so joyful and fearful at the same time. As a non-Christian, I didn’t understand how I could feel so much love for this child. All-of-the-sudden this baby was my world, my everything.

Motherhood came so naturally to me. I loved being a mom, I never wanted to be away from Kingston. He was such an easy baby and slept through the night right away. It was amazing. However, Chris and I did not have a good relationship and I poured more love into Kingston because of that.

When Kingston was 14 months old, Chris admitted to me that for the past two years he had been having affairs. It had been eating him alive and he was terrified that I would leave him and take Kingston away from him.

I remember the moment so clearly; my first thought was that Kingston deserved to grow up with his mom and dad together, not how me or Chris had grown up. So I said we would get through it.

We got connected into a church and we both gave our lives to Jesus and worked through forgiveness and healing. It ended up being a difficult year. Fortunately I got connected to an experienced mom from our new church who walked along side me during this time. It was life saving for me. She became a rock in my life. She was always able to encourage me and turn me to Jesus. I also joined a mom’s group which helped build my confidence as a mom as I was able to start having friendships with other Christian moms.

After getting married, we joined a small group. This was so great because I had a safe place to share and ask questions as I was learning to have a relationship with Jesus. In these settings, I always received lots of compliments on how good a mother I was to Kingston but I was never able to accept them because right away my mind would go to the thought of aborting my first baby. I didn’t want to share about my past so I kept that to myself and just tried to shove it down and not think about it.

When our second son, River, was born in 2013, I had all the same emotions I did when Kingston was born and fell in love all over again with this beautiful boy. River was (unofficially) colic and cried non-stop for the first couple months. We stopped going to cell and I stopped doing my devotions regularly. The mom’s group was fantastic for me in this time. I was able to have a break with other moms and be encouraged that I wasn’t the only one that has had a baby that screamed all the time.

Even though I felt like I handled marriage, parenting and ministry really well, I often felt guilty because my devotions weren’t consistent and I wasn’t hearing from God like I wanted to. Plus I still had the guilt of the abortion that crept up every now and then.

I don’t remember exactly how I got the courage, but I finally signed up for a personal ministry appointment at my church and was able to actually confess, repent and accept God’s forgiveness for the abortion. God gave me a wonderful picture of our child with him. I remember really feeling God’s love for me after that. Since then, I have had no problems hearing from God! It was amazing.

Fast forward to today; I now have 3 beautiful boys, Oliver was born in 2015, I am filled with so much love for them and God constantly shows me how this is how He loves me. It is very important to me to lead by example and show my boys the importance of building a solid foundation in Christ.

I still have days where I sometimes feel upset or guilty about my past so I have found it really important to meditate on the truth that God has spoken into me. I have struggled with feeling like I don’t deserve to have three kids after what I’ve done because some women can’t even get pregnant.

Some verses that God has given me, which I have appointed to motherhood for me, are found in 1 Timothy 1:12-17 . They remind me that God is forgiving of my past sins and shows me mercy with my mistakes as a mother now. They say:

"I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him, even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted his people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief. Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus. This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all.  But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen" 1 Timothy 1:12-17

My motherhood journey may have not started off how I would have planned it, but looking back now at the growth God has given me, the love He has shown me and how I have been able to use my testimony to encourage others, I can see that it went according to His plan and I give him all the glory!

If you would like to send Elly a message, email connect@thereismore.ca and put "Elly” in the subject line.

If you are in a situation where you have an unexpected pregnancy or need healing after an abortion, contact love@pregnancy.ca or a local church for counselling and support.

More on unexpected pregnancy: You are Brave and Life Unexpected