Sheila Harper, Founder of SaveOne.
Everything in me said abortion was wrong, but I charged forward with really bad advice, from even worse friends, and I went through with it anyway. March 29, 1985 was the day of my most regrettable mistake. I was nineteen years old and making decisions of life and death that I had no business making. My boyfriend broke up with me shortly after and I really don’t blame him. He begged me not to have the abortion and I selfishly did anyway. Don’t ever let anyone tell you this is just a woman’s issue. Men suffer from the aftermath of this choice as well.
For seven years after this date my life quickly became a mess. I started drinking, then consuming vast amounts of drugs. I spent all my money going to concerts and getting backstage, and signing up for credit cards and maxing them out. I suffered through a rape, and I went through relationships like water, not committing to anything or anybody. I became obsessed with death, hoping that if I took enough drugs, or drank enough alcohol I wouldn’t wake up. After an attempted suicide and being consumed with hoping to die, I met a man in a bar and cleaned myself up enough to get married.
My husband Jack, is the real hero in all of this. He loved me even as messed up as I was and lived with the drama of my life for years. We had two sons right away. My first son I have always felt was a gift from God to wake me up. That pregnancy got my attention and made me realize my life was worth living, if not for myself, then for this precious creature entrusted to me. My second son was indeed born on March 29th, the very day I had taken a life, God gave me another gift straight from Him.
Not long in to our marriage I heard about a class being offered for women who had experienced abortion and were having trouble afterward. Being in a group with others who had suffered the same experience after abortion, validated those seven years of isolation and loneliness. This Bible study I attended gave me back my life. It showed me how I needed to accept Jesus forgiveness and forgive myself. It was an incredible discovery and a much needed transformation.
God has walked me through forgiving the abusers in my life, owning my bad choices, and wiping my slate clean. He has made me a victor of my past circumstances…no longer a victim. What happened to me is not what defines me, but rather strengthens who I am today. The enemy meant all that junk for nothing but destruction in my life, but God used it all for the betterment of myself, my awesome family, and to help others through the same situations.
So there’s the real story. Without Grace I’m a mess, true and simple. With Grace life is awesome.