Ashley Flores

Healing My Heart After An Abortion

Ashley Flores
Healing My Heart After An Abortion

 

I was twenty-one-years-old when I killed my son. 

If you're a mother, then your heart probably just cringed when you read previous statement. But I don't want to sugarcoat anything in this post. Kaitlyn  has done a wonderful job in this series of making sure the women are open, honest, and straight-forward with these tough topics and I don't want to change any of that. It took me forever to even contact her about wanting to write this because I sort of felt like I didn't have a right to be in the same line up with so many women who have been giving us intimate entry into portions of their lives where their children's lives here on earth had been cut so short (by our ideas of time anyway). But I think shame, confusion and fear try to hinder us from lifting our heads after life-altering experiences like an abortion, but this is one of my final stops in my personal journey to refuse to be silent on the issue any longer. 


You may be wondering, how do you truly find healing after an abortion?

I still remember the first time I found myself staring at a positive pregnancy test. I was in complete shock and irrational disbelief. I'm not exactly sure why being that I'd understood where babies come from since I was about nine years old. Nonetheless, my heart was broken and I was intensely disappointed in myself and instantly afraid for my future. I was never supposed to be that girl. In the fall of 2008, my life could have easily been categorized within the picture of college perfection. I was serving as the Attorney General for the Student Government Association, I'd recently joined a sorority and become very involved, I'd fallen into some great new friendships, was one of the feature editors for the school paper, etc. etc. etc. Basically life was good. I couldn't be pregnant. 

I didn't have time to be pregnant. 
I had a degree to focus on.
I had countries I wanted to travel too.
I had an image to uphold. 
I was living off of student loans.
I'd seen how much my parents had struggled trying to raise us, and I didn't want to have to go through that.


Yea, I had a lot of "I's" going on in my head those days. 

I called my two closest friends at the time and asked them to come over. After explaining the situation, they both made it to my apartment in less than ten minutes and tried to lighten my mood a little while showing obvious concern (both already having a child of their own) on their faces.

I was afraid.


The time finally came for me to call the father. It's so strange to call him that. It's not like he was some random guy; we'd been friends for almost ten years and even dated for a while, but we certainly weren't married or in any kind of committed relationship at the time. 

Now, I take full responsibility in my part in the decision that was ultimately made, but I will also never forget his words. After calming me down and reassuring me that we would be okay, he said, "I've always hoped that when I did have children one day they'd be with you, but I'll tell you the truth; I'm not ready to be a father."

And that was that. 

As I look back, I needed him to tell me that we should bring our child into this world. I needed him (...anyone) to tell me it was doable. I guess you could say I was looking for a savior; I didn't know The Savior. 

I didn't want to be responsible for possibly ruining his life, and mine, so we decided to terminate the pregnancy. 

"Terminate the pregnancy."


I now hate that term. 

It's the abortion industry's way of dehumanizing an act that is all about human life. 

What was never addressed as he and I spoke on the phone that evening and the next few days, or as we rode to the next state over out of fear of being seen in my hometown, or as we walked around the flea market two days later in an attempt to get back to life as normal, was that this decision affected three people, not two. 

Like I mentioned earlier, I didn't have a strong relationship with God so, I didn't know just how much He cares for all life. Growing up in the South can have a way of making an individual (not everyone, but a nice amount) "a Christian by default" as I like to refer to it. Which basically means everyone in your city is at a church somewhere on Sunday because that's just what you do, and if you aren't there you must be a weirdo and be damned to hell. Never mind if we are ever taught what it really means to live for Christ, to make every move as if we are temples for God's Spirit. Therefore, I abused His forgiveness by behaving selfishly and not putting my trust in His ability to guide me through any situation. I don't want to sound like I'm being insensitive to anyone reading this who may have gone through this exact situation, but I don't want to camouflage the truth either. The truth was hidden from me when I needed to hear it most. When it was truly a matter of life and death. 

I didn't hear that truth until I participated in an post-abortion healing class after giving my life to Christ years later. For those of you who have never heard of these classes, it's for women who have either had an abortion, taken someone to get or encouraged someone to have an abortion, and some are even for people who have previously worked in a clinic. I'm sure most people reading this didn't even know anything like this existed, but I assure they exist and this one class changed my life. 

I realized that I'd falsely convinced myself I was over the entire experience. I thought, "Yes, it happened, but it was a long time ago.I now know it was wrong in every send of the word 'wrong', and understand that the saving grace of Jesus' crucifixion has covered me in God's forgiveness."

So, I was good, right?

I didn't think I needed to sit in some room with other women, crying and eating Pinterest-inspired snacks while Hillsong played in the background. (Okay, maybe Hillsong wasn't playing, but y'all get the idea.)

I was wrong.

That class made me realize some very important emotions I'd been suppressing (which I will be expounding on in an upcoming series on my blog), and even led to me now co-facilitating the classes in conjunction with a local ministry here. It forced me to acknowledge my anger, and my shame, and my guilt and my hurt without making me feel worse. Ironically, I began to feel free. Free from weights that I hadn't even noticed were still shackled around my ankles. 

Sisters, I want to tell you today that you can feel that same freedom. 

Understand that the enemy gains control in your life with the secrets he convinces you to keepThere is power in speaking your testimony. It unbinds the chains. 

I know this is a very sensitive topic, and it has divided rooms full of women for centuries (and can still cause flames to fly at the occasional women's Bible study group today). I don't want this to divide us. However, God's truth is God's truth. And if Gods wants someone to draw the line in the sand, I'll be her.

I have been blessed with a beautiful daughter and son. I don't deserve them; it's by God's grace and His grace alone that even with the sins of my past still lurking around the corner that I'm still being blessed with the gift of life.

It is the cry of my heart that each of you who may still be feeling the pain of this open wound would experience this type of freedom. 

God loves you. 

I love you. 

And even with the scar this leaves behind, you are still worth everything Jesus did on the cross

Until we are united with our children again in heaven, grace and peace. 
 

xoxo,

Ashley Danielle

 

 

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***If you are in the Mobile, AL area please contact these resources for more info on post-abortive classes:

Women's Resource Center - (251) 344-4357; info@wrcmobile.org