One story in particular caught my attention. She had beautifully captured in written word both the 'facts' and the emotion and heartbreak of her moment of decision and then the actual abortion. I prayed with her at the event and then told her that her story needs to be told. Someone is in the same situation she is in and God can use her story to speak into hearts to make a different decision than she made.
Recently she emailed me her story and I wanted to share it with you now. It is longer than my blogs usually run, but it is worth it. As discussed in my last blog,God calls us to be opened up so He can reach in with a healing balm. My prayer is that this will be part of the healing process for Amanda (the author) as well as leading others with similar stories to let Jesus in so their hearts can also be mended.
As you read this, God may put someone on your heart that needs to hear this story. Please respond to the leading of God quickly and share it anyway you desire (link to blog, cut and paste into an email...). This is not just a story to tell, it is a testimony for God to work through.
Here is Amanda's story:
Cars and more cars. They were going by so fast; I don’t even think anyone noticed me. In their defense, it was about ten at night and it was a very narrow street. What if anyone had noticed, though? Would they know what I was thinking? What I was doing out there? Would they know the chaos that had just erupted inside the house a few yards behind me? I doubt it; I couldn’t believe it even now.
“It would only take one” I kept hearing in my mind. One try? One car? One second thought? I know what my mind and my body was telling me…it was my heart I was afraid of. My heart kept telling me I was wrong. What I just heard inside the house was wrong. What my head was telling me was WRONG! I could both ignore my heart, and go against this God I didn’t truly know or decide for myself since I only knew of Him. I could take that one step and it would be done.
I sat huddled in a ball, rocking myself back and forth, crying harder than ever in my life. I kept feeling the nauseas wave over me, reminding me that I had a choice to make. For the first time in my life, I actually thought of killing myself and the child I was carrying. Even now, it seems like an “out of body experience”, watching what I had become. Underestimated, dishonest, selfish, but most hurtful, I saw a woman who had nothing but pain.
I had a beautiful 2 year old that I couldn’t take care of, an estranged husband that loved me more than life (even if I didn’t feel remotely the same way), a mother who didn’t know the first thing about what I wanted or needed (and truly didn’t take the time to care), and an unborn baby whose father didn’t care one bit. I could step in front of one car and it would all be over. Before they even saw me, it would be done. No one would really miss me, right?
My mother was inside telling me to abort my child. Kill a part of me! So what would it matter if she lost me? The father of my unborn baby was very uninterested and from what I knew about him, I didn’t figure he would be the one to step up and take the responsibility. So he wouldn’t care if I took this last step. One more problem he didn’t have to face. So the only one truly miss me would be Miranda. She was my answer. She was the reason, in my heart, for not walking into the headlights of some unsuspecting car. She was my reason for breathing.
Again, if this was the case, then the threat from my mother that I would lose her if I had this child was all too intimidating. The idea of not being able to see my beautiful daughter again was enough to get my mind in gear. Choices. To. Make. Would she really take my husband’s side, in a divorce that was all too obvious, to help him take my only reason for life away? I believed she would. I had no reason not to. She had never stood by me. I just kept thinking what kind of a woman would force her child to make this decision?
Forced into telling my husband, I was short and sweet and to the point with him. I was not honest though.
“I am pregnant. It is not yours, obviously. I am having an abortion, I think. I am so confused and I don’t want to hurt you, but I am not sure what to do.” “Yes, it is someone I have been seeing for a few months…No he is not involved anymore…,” then the most hard and dishonest part..”I want to work this out with you.” I remember sitting in his car later that week, telling him how much I missed him and Miranda (which was partly true). I told him I was sorry and I needed to give our marriage a chance. I would not go out without his permission. I would not have the friends I had if it made him uncomfortable. I would focus all of my energy and time on him and Miranda. And, most important, Cody was out of my life. I wanted nothing to do with him. He said he would take me and we would get through this. After that it is a blur for a few weeks.
I had told no one that I had visited a clinic two times before and was so overwhelmed at what I was doing that I left. I took one of my girlfriends with me and she was all too happy to help me leave, but she would have supported any decision I made. Funny that I cannot remember the names or anything of the first two clinics.
The third clinic I went to was Routh Street Women’s Clinic in Dallas. It was Saturday, June 1, 2002.The first thing I remember is pulling into the gated opening. The fence was so high, no one could see in or out. The only people I did see were the protestors at the fence and the security guard who came out to get me. All the while the protestors telling me the obvious; I was killing my child. I had other options. I didn’t have to do this. What the hell did they know? They didn’t know what I would face back home if I changed my mind. So I kept walking with my head down, pretending not to hear them. Oh, but I did.
Once I was inside, I can remember the pale blue color of the walls. I can remember the young girls sitting on the floor because it was just too full in there for anymore seats. The lady behind the window who asked for my I.D. and made me sign papers that I really wasn’t paying attention to. I knew what they said already. I had to sign them twice before. Routine Procedures. Ha! What a joke. What was routine about this?
They called me in for my sonogram. They told me that the fee went up depending on how far into your pregnancy you were. After the sonogram, the tech left the room. While I was waiting, I saw a chart of women who had had their sonograms before me. I felt like screaming when I saw that one woman’s revealed she was 28 weeks along. Is it possible I could not be a monster? My baby wasn’t even kicking yet. According to my mom, if it could not live when it was born, then it wasn’t a baby yet. I held onto that for my sanity I guess. They wouldn’t let me see my sonogram or hear the heart. They would only tell me I was 10 ½ weeks along. One day further and I would have been charged a higher rate.
The next thing I remember is waiting for the counselor to talk to me. It was so cramped inside that I went out to the patio with TJ and smoked a cigarette. And another. And another. When the phone rang, I told him was a girlfriend of mine. Cody wanted to know what I was doing and could he come get his shoes. He had left them at my mom’s months ago when we were still seeing each other. Since I had recently moved back in with TJ, I told him it wasn’t a good idea. After a few minutes of arguing (and lying by telling him I was with a friend), I agreed to let him come over and get them in a week, when I knew TJ would be working. The counselor called my name and I let him go.
Speaking to the counselor was not difficult. I think Cody gave me the fuel to say what I needed to in a confident tone. I gave straight forward answers and they “approved” me for abortion. That was my turning point. I began to feel as if God was telling me that it was okay and he understood. I had sinned against his commandments and this was the way I could fix it. It took me several years before I knew it was Satan talking to me. Afterwards, they had me sit in a secluded room away from the main waiting room. Then, one by one, women started coming in and sitting in the other chairs around me. One was a heavy set black woman. She was on the phone with someone telling them about her other three kids. She looked to be late twenties. Another was a quiet frail looking blonde girl who could not have been a day over 18. She just kept her hands crossed around her chest and looked down. I didn’t really notice the others, but they talked so much, it kept me quite distracted. I looked around the room and on the walls were letters to the doctor and staff. They all thanked them for a “job well done”. One said that the “procedure” had changed her life so much she could never thank him enough. Would I feel that way? Would I be one of these girls who felt compelled to thank him? Maybe. I actually sat and imagined what I would say to him. Maybe thank him for saving my marriage? Maybe for keeping my baby girl in my life? Maybe.
They let me go out to the waiting room after an impossibly long time. I don’t remember what I was even waiting for. Everything else is a blank until they called my name and I walked back through the door through the narrow hallway to the last door on the right. A surgical room. A cold metal table with stirrups, a large bottle to the left of the stirrups, a metal tray with a covering; no doubt covering the utensils. I thanked God silently for that. I was introduced to the nurse, and she spoke really softly to me. I cannot recall what was said; just that she was very small in stature and had a ponytail. She had a very soft, nurturing voice. After I was on the table with a gown and a drape over my legs, my feet freezing, the doctor came in.
He was very tall and stocky. I remember thinking he was not bad looking, but definitely not someone you would remember. The only thing I do remember was that he introduced himself to me as Dr. Haas. I asked him three times what his name was. Every time it was the same, as was the spelling of it. The significance was obviously only to me. It was the nickname I had in high school. I was the first one to get into a fight, no matter what it was about. It was my screen name on the computer, my email and the name on my powder puff jersey from senior year. I took this as a final sign that God was okay with what I was doing. It was my payment for my sins.
I am glad to be able to say, I don’t remember the noise. I don’t remember any smells at the clinic. I don’t know how long we were there. I vividly remember, however, the nurse holding my hand as I looked at the ceiling. She just kept stroking my left hand and saying “It will be okay. You are almost done.” The pain….Oh! The pain! It was never going to end. It was more horrible than any pain I had ever endured, including labor! It was not going to be okay. I was killing my child. I was killing a part of me! I was not breathing. They had to remind me. They had to tap my legs to get me to open them! I was fighting them and I wanted it to stop, but it was too late. The doctor stood up and told the nurse to give me a pill to help me sleep.
I woke up afterwards in a waiting room separate from all the others. This one had a black leather couch, and two black leather recliners. A nurse walked in, as if on cue, and handed me a glass of orange juice and a pack of saltine crackers. I was lying in the couch in a ball with my clothes on. I did not remember where I was until the same nurse from the surgical room came in. I was told to sleep as long as I felt necessary. So I did. I was there for hours until a security guard came in and told me I had to meet my “ride” outside the doors. He took me out a different door than the entrance and TJ was waiting on me. I was loaded into the car. They had to practically carry me out and haul me into the car. On the trip home, I was silent. I was angry immediately. I was guilty. I had sacrificed one life for another. One child for another. One price too high.
Before we made it all the way home, we had to pull over. I was surprised to find myself on the curb heaving my body in waves of nausea. I couldn’t stop crying and throwing up. In all the time I was there, I only cried during the procedure. And even that was only a silent cry. This was like no other sobbing I had ever seem or experienced! TJ finally got me back into the car, even though he had to stop a few more times for me to “recoup”.
When we got home, I could not make it more than three steps from the door. I did not want to lie in our bed. I wanted to lie on my couch. Even that was too much. I curled into the fetal position on the floor in the living room and fell asleep. I vaguely remembered him saying he was going to get me some food to help me feel better! HA! What a joke. My mother called me and woke me up. Against my better judgment, I answered. Not really wanting to know what she wanted, but hoping she was feeling the guilt too, I answered. All I remember of the conversation was her asking me how I was feeling. No reply. Was I okay? Again, no reply. She quickly told me she was proud of me and the decision I had made. I am sure the sound of dial tone surprised her as much as her comment hurt me. Again, that was a turning point. I had no one to support me. Sure TJ was there. I saw him as support at the time. I guess to his fullest extent he was. But it was wrong. I was wrong. My mother was wrong. Satan was wrong.
I live with the thought of my unborn child everyday. I hear people say that “not a day goes by”…..and now I know. Everyday, I wonder. I think about him or her. I am angry. I am guilty. I am forgiven by God. But not by myself.
I decided to name my son, whom I aborted, Tucker Ross Waton. He is named for the two most supportive people in my life, Martha Tucker Watson and Chester Ross Watson. I have since lost them and I believe they are holding him until Mommy can get there!
Amanda sent me this message as a follow up to her story, and it speaks volumes to the power of God's hand in our lives:
"I was ASKED to attend this bible study. I didn't think I needed it and was the MOST reisitant. But because of God's love and perfect plan, I think I got the most out of it! I have learned to not only forgive myself, but also those who played a part it that time in my life. Especially my mother, who I harbored the most resentment towards. I believe that God used the grief of this event to break me down so he could reconstruct me into His vessel. This is why I share my story. Not proudly but honestly."
If this story has touched your heart, leave a message for Amanda and then share the post with someone God has laid on your heart this very moment.