Erika, 32, Connecticut, USA
I have five children here on earth and two in Heaven who were lost to abortion in 2015. At that time, I was in the worst season of my life. I was depressed, lonely, anxious, and consumed with lies about my identity. I already had four kids, but my marriage was falling apart. To cope, I wrapped myself up in emotional and physical extramarital affairs. I didn’t want to be that person but I bought into the enemy’s lie that this mess was just who I was.
When I found out I was pregnant, I fell into a pit of shame. The baby’s father immediately began pressuring me to have an abortion and at first, I refused. But between his pressure and my own secrecy and shame, I made an appointment. I was 7 weeks along. Planned Parenthood told me that it was just a pill, I would be fine, and that I would simply walk out and move on with my life. I believed them.
In actuality, the abortion was beyond traumatic and in the aftermath, my depression and shame only grew. I didn’t think that I deserved to live, let alone be a mom to my kids. At my breaking point, I packed my bags and moved in with another guy. I tried my best to distract myself, but my pain remained.
A few months later, I was pregnant again. Still grieving my last abortion, I decided to carry this baby to term. I thought that maybe this pregnancy could be a new start and source of happiness. But as the weeks went on, my heartache and depression continued to grow. At 14 weeks pregnant, I found myself back at Planned Parenthood. I thought that I would walk out with a bag of pills like before, but I was dead wrong. Instead, I took labor-inducing drugs, was wheeled into an operating room, and had the baby suctioned out. I laid on that table weeping. I wished for a way out, all the while knowing that it was too late. As soon as it was over, I went into denial. I eventually got remarried and tried to move on. I told myself that I would never ever speak about it. No one would know, so I thought. Clearly, God had other plans.
After years of shame and secrecy, I began to speak about it. And then in early 2019, I joined a post-abortion healing program that completely changed my life! I finally acknowledged how the trauma of my abortions had affected other areas of my life…and as I acknowledged this, God began to heal each area and set me free! I believed in God before, but during this season, I saw the truth of His grace and love in a whole new way.
Then, last summer, God spoke to me in a dream. He told me that I would soon share my story all over the world and start my own post-abortive ministry. He sent me ideas and visions and a couple months later, I shared my story publicly. Immediately, God began using my story to bring healing to others! The more I shared, the more messages I received, and the clearer my mission became. A month later, the Lord told me to name the ministry “Set Free.” Since April, He is using Set Free, Inc. to bring hope and healing to women all over the world! I can now see that God had a plan all along. He didn’t redeem my life just for my own good — He did it for His glory and the good of others.
Jesus Christ came into the world to bring us new life…that is His offer. No matter what you have done, no matter what the lies of shame and depression have told you, there is a God above who adores you — and He wants to set you free.
“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” -Romans 6:4