At one time I was a volunteer at Pregnancy Resources, but before that, I was a client.
I met C.J. (former executive director of Pregnancy Resources) at a women’s Christian conference in Davenport in March of 1996. She was giving a workshop on post-abortion syndrome. Every year I went to this conference learning about God, worshipping Him and enjoying the weekend with hundreds of other women. But this time God had something different planned for me.
You see I had an abortion 13 years before, almost to the day of the conference, two months before my senior graduation. I had gone to a different type of center-one filled with lies and one that cost me money and emotional pain. Anyway, when I saw this workshop in the brochure I thought, God this has to be from you because I had never heard of post abortion syndrome. So I went to C.J.’s workshop, and the center started a post-abortion counseling and education group just a few weeks after this conference. I went through the PACE group, which is a 13 week Bible study that helps you deal with anger, denial, forgiveness, everything you would go through with the death of a loved one. But you see, when you have an abortion there is no casket, no funeral, no friends or family to help you with this loss because for most of us, this is our secret.
Through the help of the center, I was able to deal with all these issues and at the very end, we had our own memorial service at the pond at Oakdale Cemetery in Davenport to set free the children we aborted. It was an experience I will never forget, and I go back to the pond often; sometimes to tell my story to others and sometimes I go there because I have a place to remember my child.
Because of going through PACE, my marriage has changed as well–you see I met my husband Tim at college six months after I had my abortion, and he was the first person that I would tell about my past. He is also the first one to tell me that Jesus had forgiven my sin, but I wasn’t ready to understand what that forgiveness fully meant until I went through the PACE group.
Tim accepted me for who I was—a broken young woman who years later would turn into a free woman. A year after going through the PACE study, my husband and I renewed our vows to celebrate our new love for one another.
I was able to do this because I don’t have the stain of abortion on me anymore. I am totally free of my sin, and I no longer blame others or myself for what I had done.
The reason I am sharing my story with you is because when you pray or give to the centers—you are not only helping those families that choose life, but you are also helping women and men like me who have an abortion in their past and now can receive help and learn about the love and forgiveness that Jesus has to offer.
Posted on Thu, May 2, 2013
by Sara Calcote