Guest Post: Lori’s Story, 1977

I met Lori when my family and I lived downriver. She shared her story with me and I am so thankful she said yes when I asked if I could share it here. Thank you Lori, for being brave in sharing your story.

Steve and I met each other in our Junior year of high school. I had just moved to Taylor. My mom had filed for bankruptcy and she and I moved in with my grandmother. I had lived in Ferndale all of my life and all of the sudden I wasn’t going to graduate with all of my childhood friends. I was moving to a city where I knew no one. I can’t find words to explain how hard all of the change was for me. I felt so alone and depressed. As time went on, I felt like I couldn’t pull myself out of this hole I was in. Eventually, my mom agreed to let me move back home and live with my friend.

That is when it happened. I met my knight in shining armor. Steve and I starting dating February 12, 1977. He seemed to be the answer to all of my problems. All of the sudden I was hanging around with him and all of his friends. He said he loved me and I loved him. We spent every spare moment together. We talked about getting married when we graduated.

In the fall of our senior year I was pregnant. It was not intentional because of course, it would never happen to me. I’ll never forget when we went to the “free health clinic” to get a pregnancy test. Steve took me and held my hand every step of the way. When the doctor came in and told us I was pregnant, we were excited! Never did we consider not having the baby. All of that changed when we told our parents. Their influence was very heavy not to have the baby. They mentioned how I wouldn’t be able to graduate. How could we pay for a baby? Steve would have to drop out of school and get a job. Well they succeeded in changing our minds about having the baby. But they could never change my heart! I always wanted that baby. I was young and impressionable. I had respect for our parents and felt they knew best. Steve’s parents paid for the abortion and my mom and Steve took me to get it.

That will always be the worst day of my life. I will never forget it although there are some details I am blessed not to remember. Like the date I had the abortion. Thank you Lord for not letting me remember that date because that would be an anniversary every year that would break my heart all over again.

Roe V. Wade was passed January 22,1973. This was only 4 and a half years later. It is astounding to think of how the abortion process even then was already an institutionalized production. I remember being in a group of 10 girls who would go from step to step and room to room so similar to a production line. Then getting to the end of the line and hearing the vacuums and those ahead of me crying out. That is what stays with me all of these years later.

I can not count how many times I was haunted by that day until Jesus healed me later in my life. It has been a process that took another 25 years for me to get past the shame to be able to share my story in hopes that someone who may be considering an abortion will read this and maybe consider another option. When you go to get an abortion, they don’t tell you how it will affect the rest of your life. As if there aren’t lasting emotional consequences. How every year you think of how old your baby would have been. I could go on and on about the numerous questions that fill your mind. It is only by the grace of God that I can live with that decision and not in regret every single day.

Fast forward 42 years, Steve and I will be celebrating 40 years of marriage. Our assurance is that we will one day be reunited with our baby in the Kingdom of God.

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more than broken

I remember 3.5 years ago when the pond was frozen and the sunset was beautifully beaming over it. I ran out on it to catch a better glimpse while my husband stood waiting on the trail. I was so broken, as I had been for years, it was just part of who I was. I had an abortion. I went through a horrible break up. I got married before I ever told my husband about my past. I wanted a baby but my womb remained empty. All of these things added onto my brokenness and I clung to it. But that year I wanted to do things differently. I wanted to do what He was asking me to do, and I wanted to let go of things I was wearing like a life jacket. And I felt His peace for a few minutes while I just stood there. I said a prayer, and I knew in my heart He heard it and it would come to be. 9 months later I found out I was pregnant with our first son, Gideon. I will always remember that moment on the pond, when I told God I trusted Him with my hearts desires and He told me He would come through. He did, and he still does, even now.

Fast forward 3.5 years later, and I had been holding onto the brokenness. Even in healing, it’s like I got dressed and the enemy is like, but don’t forget to put this on. And this. And this. All of the broken pieces. Like it’s my identity. When we lived in Detroit my husband and I were walking with our boys, I looked to him and told him I’m consumed with fear. I poured out all of my fears, while he smiled at the untruth of it all. He held my hand and declared all of the truths that he knew about me. And I believed him.

Later on I was washing the dishes when the Father gently let me know, it’s okay to be more than your broken. It’s okay to let those things go, like really let them go. It’s okay to see yourself the way I see you. Even when the enemy says something else, it’s okay to declare and remember and believe what is true.

And I sat on that for a few months, not sure where to begin. So I started in my worship. I stopped focusing on me, and literally lifted it up to Him. All of it. And the more I did it, the more things I left right at the altar. And I didn’t pick it up again. And I was unafraid to worship Him with all of my heart because I really had nothing to lose. And He began to do miracles that we were praying for. Big miracles that I’m still in awe of. So like a cycle, I worship Him deeper each time.

I looked in the mirror the other morning and I saw someone new. I told my heart, I like you. And it all just felt a lot less heavy. Because when He invites us into relationship, when He asks to take our brokenness, He is patient with it all. He is so kind and so gentle. And it’s taken me 7.5 years for it to finally click. That where He wants us to be in the end is just with Him. Not focused on a broken plan or a broken identity or a broken dream, just focused on the wholeness that is He. He makes us whole again but He won’t rush us in the process. And that just overwhelms me with His sweetness. How many times do I lose my patience waiting on someone, but He’s just been patiently waiting on me to see what He see’s.

tonight my husband and I went on a date, and we talked about all of the things we are learning from the Lord. I told him for the first time in what feels like my entire life, I’m shedding out of my broken skin. I’m seeing beyond myself and I’m focusing on His glory. The beautiful thing about living out a healed life, is that it doesn’t mean pieces won’t be broken again, but it does mean you can see beyond the pain. You don’t have to drowned in the sorrow. You can lift your hands in worship and focus on His glory. You see Jesus in it all and that is enough.

Oh, Abba, you are more than enough, more than the broken, you are more and always better. So much better than anything we leave at the altar.