Tough Decisions

As I mentioned in my last post, 1993 was a life-changing year, and it mostly changed for the worse. I had begun having panic attacks and severe anxiety. I felt disconnected and depressed. And I was pregnant with my second child. My world was shrinking with what I later learned was agoraphobia. I was physically ill with the pregnancy and I was miserable. I desperately wanted things to be better and in my mind there was only one way for that to happen.

As far back as I can remember I have always gone to church. I’ve always believed in God and when I was around 12 years old I invited Jesus to live in my heart. Although I have failed often, I have mostly tried to live a life that is pleasing to him. Some have even called me a “goody two shoes”. The decision I was about to make was completely out of character for me and went against everything I believed. I decided that the only way that I would feel better and get past this overwhelming anxiety was to terminate my pregnancy. Although I didn’t take my decision lightly, I was resolved that this was the thing to do. 

Once I made the decision, I shared my intention with a few people who are closest to me – Les, of course, my mom and my sister, and my best friend. They were all taken aback and seemingly as confused as I felt. They knew this decision was not one I would even think of typically, but they were also aware of what I had been going through. No one ever expressed support for my decision, but a resignation settled over us.

I wasn’t sure where to turn or how to start the process of getting an appointment. I contacted the health service at the university where I was a part-time student and they referred me to a clinic in Granite City, Illinois. I tearfully made an appointment and continued to convince myself that this was the best thing to do. I tried in every way possible to justify what I was planning, but nothing changed the fact that I was about to have an abortion, which went against everythig I believed.

The day of the appointment arrived and Les and I took our time getting out of bed. We were both grieving what was about to happen and I felt like we were moving in slow motion. It didn’t take long that day before I realized that I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t make the trip to Granite City. I would love to say that It was an overwhelming change of heart and a sudden desire to have a baby that changed my mind, but truthfully it was agoraphobia. I was too afraid to make the trip to Granite City and to have the procedure done. Thank God!

The decision to not have an abortion was a decision to bring this baby into the world. The rest of the pregnancy was rough. I was sick a lot, I was anxious and phobic about a lot of things, and I still didn’t want to be pregnant. I wanted the baby, I just didn’t want to feel the way I felt most of the time.

On October 8, 1993 I noticed that the baby wasn’t moving as much as normal – barely at all, actually. I was due in late October, so they instructed me to go to the hospital for a non-stress test. Later in the afternoon they told me that they were concerned enough to induce labor that evening, which was a Friday. We scrambled to get care in place for Grant and then began the process of meeting this baby. It turned out to be a very long process. Over 50 hours long. At 2:53 a.m. on October 11, we met our beautiful daughter Sarah. No longer was she a pregnancy I didn’t want or a mysterious problem that had to be “solved”. She was our tiny peanut (Les’ nickname for her almost immediately) and our daughter. Our daughter. A miracle from God!

Abortion is a hard topic no matter what you believe. I wanted to share my experience because it shows how God has been in my story, even when I turned away from the beliefs that I held. Did God cause me to have the problems I had? Did he punish me with agoraphobia? No! He used the circumstances of my life for good and for his Glory. If I had gone through with my decision to end my pregnancy, he still would have loved me. But because I didn’t go through with it, he blessed me with a daughter who is also my music advisor, stylist (because he knew I needed that), home decorator, best friend and so much more.

If you are struggling with an unwanted pregnancy and considering abortion, please reach out for help – you just might end up with a miracle in your life. If you have a history with abortion, please know that God is in your story and he loves you. He can work all things together for good.

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