50 Stories of Hope #41: Jana’s Story

STORY 41/50: When Jana was 16, she left her parents’ home and began living in hotels, cars, on the street, and with friends until she moved in with her boyfriend. They partied all the time and often didn’t know where they would find their next meal. Jana soon dropped out of high school, learned that she was pregnant, and decided to have an abortion. Not long after, she became pregnant again and had a second abortion.

She suppressed many of the emotions surrounding her abortions, but like many young women in her situation, she remembers feeling scared and alone when she found out she was pregnant. She rationalized her decision by thinking that abortion couldn’t be wrong because it was legal and that everyone she knew had had one.

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. That was the message I was told.

However, Jana’s abortions caused tremendous harm in her life for years afterward. She spiraled into a life of drugs, alcohol, and destructive behavior. She fell into depression and lost all direction in her life.

Then, she learned she was pregnant for a third time. This time, Jana chose life for her child. Through her pregnancy and journey to motherhood, God began drawing Jana to Himself, and she became a Christian.

Confessing my abortions was the first thing I did. I asked God’s forgiveness for taking the lives of my children.

She poured herself into her new life as a Christian—she served, studied, prayed, and went to church. But when she looked around at other Christians, it seemed like they had peace Jana did not have. She felt like she fell short in comparison to them because of her abortion.

The more I kept [my abortions] in the dark, the more I think Satan used it to shame me. His condemning voice would tell me, “You’re not worthy.”

Jana had attended multiple New Life galas, but one year she was sitting in the audience listening to a woman share her Conquerors story, and she felt God speak to her. She heard Him tell her that someday she would be up on that stage telling her story.

Jana listened to God’s calling and joined the Conquerors program. She began to realize that God was the only one who could heal the pain from her abortions. She spent time grieving the loss of her children, which she had never felt she had the right to do before. During this time, she meditated on Psalm 34:5, “Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.”

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 14 years, and we have four 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.