When Jana turned 16, she left her parents’ home. She began living in hotels, sleeping in cars and on the street, staying with friends until she finally moved in with her boyfriend. “We partied all the time. Often times I didn’t know where my next meal would come from.” Jana soon dropped out of high school and learned she was pregnant. She quickly decided to have an abortion. Not long after, Jana was pregnant a second time and had another abortion.
“I repressed many of the details surrounding my abortions. But there are a few details surrounding this time in my life that I will never forget.”
Like many young women, Jana remembers feeling scared and alone when she found out she was pregnant. She remembers thinking, “‘How could I possibly be a mother?‘ I was just a girl myself and I was a mess. I remember feeling desolate, not feeling like I had anyone to turn to who understood what I was going through.”
After Jana’s abortion experiences, she began to rationalize her decision. “It can’t be wrong, right? It’s legal after all. Everyone was having abortions and I was never told otherwise that it was wrong. I still knew in my heart something was not right because why else did I feel so bad.”
Jana’s abortion experiences caused tremendous harm in her life for years afterwards. She felt bound by the shame of what she had done.
“I never thought twice about the long-term effects the abortions would have on me. I always thought that when it was done, it would be over and my life would go back to normal because that was the message I was told.” Normal is far from what happened. “I spiraled downhill– going deeper in to a lifestyle of drugs and alcohol and destructive behavior. I was even more depressed with no purpose or direction in life.” That is until she learned she was pregnant for a third time.
This time Jana chose life for her child, even though her future was still uncertain becoming a parent. “It was through the birth and life of my oldest child that God wooed me to himself and I became a Christian. My life completely changed when I submitted it to the Lord.”
Confessing my abortions was the first thing I did. I asked God’s forgiveness for taking the lives of my children and I know I received it, but my head had a much easier time understanding grace than my heart had accepting it.”
Jana was excited to start a new life with Christ and even moved to Rochester to attend the Bible College after only being a Christian for 6 months.
“I did all the things a good Christian does– I served, studied, prayed, I went to church but when I would look around at other Christian women it seemed like they had a peace that I did not. I was always comparing myself to these women and I always fell short, because I had an abortion and they had not. I was pretty open about my past when sharing my testimony, but would often omit telling of my abortions. There was just too much pain, guilt, and shame associated with them.”
The more I kept that part of my past in the dark, the more I think Satan used it to shame me. His condemning voice would tell me ‘You’re not worthy.’”
For years, Jana felt God asking her to surrender this pain to him and come out of the darkness and use her story of healing for His glory. Jana felt she was far from ready to share her story, she still felt bound by shame.
“I have been attending New Life’s gala for many years and it was one of these times when I was sitting in the audience listening to a woman share her Conquerors story that I felt God speaking to me and telling me that someday I would be up on the stage sharing my story but I needed to experience more healing first.”
In the past year, Jana started to listen to God’s calling and openly face the pain of her abortions. Participating in the Conquerors program, was life-changing for her.
“Through the Conquerors program I began to recognize that I am powerless to heal the damage from my abortions and only God can make me whole.” Jana learned to address the anger she was harboring regarding the circumstances surrounding her abortion and take those messages of guilt and shame and hold them up to the light of God. Is it true? What does God’s Word say?
Most importantly she spent time grieving the loss of her children. “I never felt I had the right to grieve them before. God has heard my weeping and holds my grief in His hands and my children are in His care.”
A verse that Jana has kept in the forefront of her mind through this process is Psalm 34:5: “Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”
“Because of God’s work through the Conquerors program, I am now free from the guilt and shame of my past abortions. I have been blessed with a wonderful, supportive husband these past nine years and we have 4 lovely children, who bring me so much joy. God can take something as ugly and terrible as abortion and use it for His glory. He can take this pain and turn it into something beautiful. Only our Creator can do that.”
I pray, if there is anyone who has abortion as part of their story, you will seek to find hope and healing and freedom from the guilt and shame. You too can live in the victory that Christ has given us through his blood and death on the cross.
Many women and men believe that they are the only one they know who has had an abortion. Few people talk about it because of the shame and embarrassment they feel surrounding an unwanted pregnancy. As a result, many women and men are suffering in silence. In reality, 1 in 3 women will have an abortion by age 45.
While you are not alone, how you came to the decision to have an abortion is unique. The Conquerors program recognizes that your path for healing will be unique as well. The Conquerors program provides a safe, non-judgmental, confidential place to begin the healing process, and work through your abortion experiences. The program is led by those who have had abortions and can relate to your experience.
All inquiries are confidential. Contact us today: 612-746-5663 -or- visit our website