me just say that I wasn’t sure when the right time was to post this,
but in light of the abortion doctor slaying, AT HIS CHURCH no less, this morning, I
thought this was the time. My prayers are with his family. The loss
of life, at any stage, is tragic.
will never forget the first email that I received from Caroline’s
mother. After breaking up with her boyfriend, she found herself in a
“rebound sex” situation with him and now…a few weeks pregnant.
Abortion was definitely on her radar as far as options and although
we weren’t friends at the time, because she was on my devotional list
and because I had been no-less-than-candid about my own past, I think
she fed comfortable sharing her dilemma with me.
reading her email, there was a sense of urgency to call her. I am
good to call my own mother back, but with this young college
student—a teacher in her own Sunday school class who was petrified
of revealing her own “vice truths”, I knew exactly how she felt
and was led to let her know. And so, I asked for her number in my
reply and for the next 40 minutes, ironically, on the way to a party
at a friend’s house, I shared with her how abortion should not be
even be a consideration; how what she was carrying was a miracle from
God, God was not “asleep” when she got pregnant and even if her
unborn child’s father was a jerk, God was her Father, too and
everything would turn out for the best…even if none of us could see
hung up with her, not quite sure that I had her convinced at the
time, but I knew that we were onto to something.
that, a series of emails were exchanged. Here are a couple:
11/12/08: Hey, you wanted to know how the dr appointment went. I went this
morning, and all signs point toward a girl. That is, unless the
testicles drop later, but the sonographer didn’t see a penis. Due
4/4. Maya Angelou‘s
birthday and the day MLK, Jr was killed. Everything looks healthy and
the approximate weight is around 11 oz so far. So, as far as a name –
Caroline Irene. Caroline is my grandmother’s name. A person with far
more integrity and grace than any one person I’ve ever
met in my
life. Irene is just gorgeous in its own right, but also a name from a
song my dad used to sing to me “Good
night, Irene” and the name/title of a TobyMac song that
ironically fits the situation. Plus,
they mean Joy and Peace
respectively. And as you’ve said several times -God doesn’t promote
joy without peace.
01/04/09: I promised you I’d email you pics from the sonogram. Here they are.
Thanks again for everything.
now, in just a few short weeks, after much prayer and consistent
encouragement (and some sighs of relief due to the reactions of her
parents, pastor and friends), Ms. Caroline Irene will be making her
entrance into this world. Another child chosen by her mother to be
born rather than aborted.
me, the story of Caroline and her mother is what my ministry
(service) is all about. As someone who has aborted four of her own
children, I know firsthand what it’s like to experience an
unplanned/unwanted pregnancy…and how easy it is to judge the matter unless you are experiencing the
situation for yourself.
for me and my story, although my mother was/is extremely pro-life,
during my childhood, I also felt that she was pretty judgmental and
that we were emotional disconnected. As a survivor of sexual abuse
already, and seeing that she was having a hard time dealing with that
reality (in hindsight due to just how prevalent it was in my
bloodline and how surprised she was that it claimed one of her
children despite how hard she tried to avoid it happening), she was the last person I wanted to share my first pregnancy during my freshman year in
college, with. She had an image to withhold and I had a life I
couldn’t see fitting a baby into…and so, I heeded the advice of a
girl who had already aborted more than one child before even exiting
high school, and terminated my first pregnancy. That was 1993.
wasn’t until 1999, after having to go to another state,
seeing/hearing actual picketers telling me I was going to hell, and
fearing for the first time, “What if I can never get pregnant after
this?” that I really started thinking about the power of my
choices…and how power can be a really dangerous tool if not used
for the greater good.
been a real journey towards healing when it comes to dealing with the
reality of the choice that I made to abort my children. Just a
couple of months ago, I submitted a short story to Essence Magazine’s
annual fiction contest entitled, “1993, 1994, 1997 and 1999”. It
was about what my life would have been like had I kept all of my
babies; the ones now named Damien, Ava, Nasya and Solomon. They
didn’t award my story, but for me, I knew it was a sign of freedom
and confirmation that this is what God would have me to do; to use my
testimony as a witness to other women, just as the Bible says that we
well to yourself [to your own personality] and to [your] teaching;
persevere in these things [hold to them], for by so doing you will
save both yourself and those who hear you.” (I
I’m sure it’s really easy to judge me. How dare I have not one, but four abortions, right?
Well, it’s another article within itself what a person will subject
themselves (and others) to when they don’t see themselves as
fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139:14) and when they don’t
accept that God has a plan of each life…from the womb. (Jer. 1:5)
The truth is, anytime you do something to put yourself in harm’s way,
you are underestimating your value. For me, my “drugs of choice”
were promiscuity and terminations.
course, the more I heal and accept God’s love for me, the more I
understand the magnitude of my decision(s). It’s just that now I
focus on giving what Christ, the man Christians claim to model their
own lives after, gave: mercy, compassion and grace, to those in need.
When it comes to women who are unexpectedly pregnant, that means not
spending so much time pushing legislature as opposed to love. I am
actually someone who believes that love is the fulfillment of the law
(Rom. 13:10); that if more love for God, self and others was modeled,
it could be the step toward a solution to not just avoiding abortion,
but men and women not putting themselves into the position of having
an unplanned/undesired/unwanted pregnancy in the first place.
months ago, I was standing in line at the post office talking to a
guy who was telling me that he was on his way to DC to assist in the
turning over of Roe vs. Wade. He asked me if I was Pro-life. I told
him that I was actually Pro-choice. He then asked if I was a
Christian. I replied, “yes”.
can you be a Christian and be Pro-choice?” He inquired with a
puzzled look on his face.
God is pro-choice,” I replied. “There are choices that people
make every day that he doesn’t agree with…that are even against his
laws. He still respects people’s right to make them. Besides, you
make abortion illegal and then what? Have the pro-lifers thought
about what they are going to do to assist all of these women who are
now going to have children that they don’t want for fear of
persecution? Personally, I just think the energy should be spent more
on helping people make better choices than taking away their rights
to make them.”
exchanged email addresses after that.
a controversial perspective, I’m sure, but I stand firmly (and
peacefully) on it. Regardless if you agree with me or not, one thing
that I think we all can agree on is the fact that 1 in 5 women will
have an abortion in her lifetime (totaling out to roughly 1 million
terminated pregnancies in the US per year alone), means that there is
a real problem in need of a real solution. Putting women in jail?
Giving them the death penalty for taking a life? I’m not so sure
that’s what’s going to change things, especially for the better.
wonder how many people have actually taken a moment to ask a woman
why she wants to end her pregnancy. I can promise you that fear will
rank really high in 90% if the women you poll: fear of the unknown,
fear of rejection, fear of being able to provide, fear of being loved
and accepted. And so, to end that? Institute even more fear? I
just don’t get it. Seems actually a little counterproductive.
maybe that’s just me. Either way, I know that God has forgiven me,
and while on some levels, there are moments when I grieve the
ignorance, fear and selfishness of my choice to take someone else’s
purpose away from them, I now put my energies not towards pounding
the pavement of courthouses, but reaching as many pregnant women,
pregnant women who are considering terminating their pregnancies, as
I can and, at least in my small neck of the woods, it seems to be
my first book, “Inside of Me: Lessons of Lust, Love and Redemption”
was published, countless women have written me to tell me that they
had an appointment set, read the book and changed their minds. Every
chance that I get, I go to colleges and high schools and speak out on
why, not just abortion, but premarital sex, is not God’s will for our
lives. I am currently a teen mom coordinator for a non-profit and
just today, I spoke with Caroline’s mom to let her know that her
story would, I’m sure, save the life of another child…perhaps even
the mother of someone reading this very article.
yes, even with all of my mistakes, ones that I am not justifying,
just merely explaining, I believe that God still loves me and that he
is proud with the “lemonade” I’ve made. I received confirmation
of this last October when, in a room of thousands, a woman stood up
wondering if God could forgive her for one of her poor choices. In
response I said, “All I know is that on June 17, 1974, God knew I
was going to abort four of his children. He decided that I should
not because of some law. That’s because of his love.