Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Both Sides of the Story

I see so many reasons why God took me to Ellerslie in the fall semester of 2011. As I mentioned in a previous post, one of the reasons was meeting Sierra. Another of the reasons was to meet my roommate, Bonnie. It has been so amazing to see God's fingerprints all over our friendship. It was God and no man that put us together as roommates. He knew both of our stories and wanted us to meet and have this special season together. It is breathtakingly beautiful to see Him in her.

This is Bonnie's story...

Her birthmother attempted to abort her, but God had His hand on her life and she survived. When she was born, she weighed less than three pounds and because of the attempted abortion, she now has cerebral palsy. One day, her mom was looking through the adoption magazine, WACAP, and saw a picture of a little girl with big brown eyes. After showing it to her dad, they both knew that little girl would one day become their daughter. That little girl was Bonnie. When she was two and a half years old, her dad flew to Bangkok, Thailand to bring Bonnie home to Alaska to live with her forever family. She is now twenty-two years old and living and thriving. The enemy meant to destroy her completely, but God had His hand of protection over her and now she is to be a voice for all unborn life! I count it a great honor and joy to be friends with her. There are not many abortion survivors in the world and it is amazing that Bonnie is the actual face of what we're fighting for! These are individual, beautiful, precious lives...not tissue. Not a choice.

As the semester at Ellerslie went by, the Lord began opening our eyes and showing us why He put us together as roommates. Together, Bonnie and I represent both sides of the story...both sides of abortion. She is the face of the unborn. I am the face of the women in unplanned pregnancies, the women who have had an abortion. Though our stories both have pain and sorrow in them, they both speak to the world the redemption and healing that Jesus Christ brings, to any and all situations! It shows His heart for both sides...He loves the mothers and babies and has a plan for both. He desires to heal, redeem, transform. No matter how one is affected, He is greater!

I am so humbled to have been witness to the work God has been doing in Bonnie. He's been taking her through the process of forgiving her birthmother, God's way rather than man's way. She prays that one day she might get the opportunity to share the love and forgiveness of Christ with her. What a testimony she has! Bonnie has in a way given a face to my unborn child that went to Heaven at 6 weeks. I feel I know the forgiveness of my unborn first child and one day we will reunite in Heaven and what a glorious day it will be! Bonnie says that she now understands more the perspective of a woman in a crisis pregnancy and it has opened her eyes to what her birthmother may have gone through.

Our other roommate, Faith, wondered for several weeks why God also put her in our room. The last week at Ellerslie, she said she was interested in getting involved at a pregnancy center. She said she now knows that God wanted her with us because now she can share with people in a crisis pregnancy, as well as other friends what God did in mine and Bonnie's life and how He desires to rescue, heal, redeem.

Bonnie and I so enjoyed our time getting to know each other, sharing tears and many precious words. It was a time of healing...a time of being built strong. God has given us both the heart of a warrior to fight for unborn life and show how each life is so precious to Him! It is not us who decides the value and purpose of a life, but God alone.

I was a photographer and writer for our student run Ellerslie Post. For each issue, I interviewed an Ellerslie guy and girl student, asking them different questions about their lives, their journey to Ellerslie, and what God had been doing in them during their time there. That part of The Post was called God Stories. Bonnie was one of the ladies I chose to interview and it was such a blessing to share her story with the entire campus and all the people at The Church at Ellerslie. It will also be posted online on the Ellerslie student website for anyone to read. :)

Bonnie and I have a couple of favorite songs that we liked to listen to together on repeat, whether Faith liked it or not ;) The songs were "Little One," by Rebecca St. James and "Beauty Will Rise," by Steven Curtis Chapman. Saying goodbye to Bonnie was so hard and I already miss her so much, yet I am so thankful I got to meet her and I'm thankful that I've made a forever friend in her. I so look forward to seeing what God does with her life! Bonnie gave me a card after graduation that brought me to tears. On the outside it said, "Only God can make beauty out of ashes." Then, I opened the card and "Beauty Will Rise" started playing! How special and thoughtful! She signed the card, The Opposite Side of the Story.

I'll end with a verse that Bonnie and I say is our shared verse... :)

"For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." -Psalms 139:13-14

What Bonnie had to say about it when I interviewed her for The Ellerslie Post:
"This verse has meant so much to me throughout my life because it shows me that though I may have been unwanted by my birthmother, I am valuable to God and He says I am wonderfully made! What the enemy meant for destruction, the Lord has turned into a beautiful story of forgiveness and LIFE!"

Once again...I am left speechless and totally in awe at what my great God has done...all glory, honor, and praise to Him alone.

Bonnie and I on Thanksgiving Day :)

Bonnie, Faith, Hannah Rose (the three roomies) on banquet night

I'm really excited about this movie coming out in March (maybe Lily's birthday, I'm hoping) about an abortion survivor. You should go see it!

Very powerful personal testimony from one of the actresses in "October Baby."

Bonnie's story reminds me so much of Gianna Jessen's, who is also an abortion survivor and has cerebral palsy. Watch this powerful, soul-stirring speech Gianna gave. 





  1. Hello Hannah Rose! How blessed I am that I got to share that season at Ellerslie with you and Bonnie both! This post is absolutely beautiful. Wow, our God's amazing! :)

  2. One of my very good friends is in this movie. (she is the blonde in the trailer) This is an awesome movie. What a beautifully written post. I love seeing the hand of God in moments like this. Many, many blessings to you.

  3. How amazing. Bonnie's testimony is wonderful! God def put you all together and I'm so glad you had the opportunity to get to know them.

    I def want to see that movie when it comes out. My pastor told me about it and we'll prolly go to the screening at a local church

  4. It's a beautiful story He writes when we give Him the the pen! She sounds simply wonderful. You are her other side of the story, and she, yours! Praise God, He is faithful to heal in the most marvelous ways. Faithful is not something He does, it is who He is! I miss you my precious forever friend.

  5. Hannah, I am a friend of Bonnie's and her mother. We met in October 2010 on the Girl's Getaway Cruise to the Mexican Caribbean. Bonnie is such a beautiful and special young woman and I know God has huge plans for her! I am also post-abortive. I have a son in heaven who would be 39 years old this year. God has given me a ministry to post-abortive women through a bible study called Surrendering the Secret. Provident Films has partnered with Surrendering the Secret as a healing resource for all those who are touched by abortion and specifically through the pre-release screening and official release in theaters of October Baby.

    I encourage you to go to our website and find a healing group in your area by contacting Anne Dyke-Reed, the National Trainer for your area (AnneReedSTS@gmail.com) or by contacting a Certified Leader in your area through the website. This bible study promises to bring you peace and healing in a way you might not have known.

    Your blog post is incredibly beautiful and I cried most of the way through it. I know God also has a very special plan for your life!

    Debbie Wilbourn
    National Trainer
    Surrendering the Secret
    Artesia, NM

  6. thank you for your sweet comment on my blog today. I too, love your blog, and your redemptive story. :) I love the quote at the top of your blog, I'm going to post it today. oh how true it is.

    be blessed, so very blessed.


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