Tuesday, February 9, 2016

February 7 Years Later

This past weekend, the heavy memories were swirling forcefully through my mind. They are hazy, bits and pieces coming back that I had forgotten about in these past 7 years. At this time in 2009, I had my abortion.

The memories are mostly on February 6th and 7th. With the RU486 (what is known as medical abortion), it is a multi-day process. On the 6th, I took that little pill that was intended to cut off the life-supply to my growing 6-week-gestation baby. That day holds the memories of being in the Planned Parenthood. Then on the 7th, I took the next set of pills, that causes a woman's body to essentially go into labor. That day holds the memories of the pain that racked my body, the nausea, the throwing up, the bleeding, knowing my baby was flushed down a toilet.

The memories are from that entire week leading up to the 6th and 7th too... the buckets and buckets of tears cried, the anguish at the core of my being. I can recall bits and pieces of my pain and experience, but honestly sometimes the intensity of pain humans experience can be so severe that the brain blocks those things out in order to protect us. I believe God has protected me from the ability to relive that excruciating pain, but I still remember having experienced it.

This year, I have remembered a couple other things that I had blocked out, things that are happening again this year that have triggered memories from 2009. Obama had just had his inauguration in D.C. I remember watching coverage on television, the details like a movie playing in my head. With the upcoming election this year and the debates that have been going on, that memory was triggered.

Another thing that triggered a memory is the Super Bowl being this weekend. I remembered how the Super Bowl that year was on February 1st, less than a week before my abortion. Not only that, but I actually went to a Broncos/Panthers game around that time and that is who is playing in the Super Bowl this year.

My mom had a dream around the time of my abortion (she didn't know I was having one) and in this dream, she was awakened to me crying out in anguish and desperation, "Mom! Mom!" She said she feels like that was my spirit crying out for help, even though she had no idea exactly what was going on. That does explain the state of my soul at that time, feeling so broken and far from Jesus, but no strength to turn from my sin and bondage in and of myself.

I hesitate to share all these details. Satan tries to convince me I am somehow a worse sinner than other people, that there is something especially "wrong" with me. He tries to make me feel isolated and alone. If you have had an abortion, you are not alone. There are millions of others who have been there too, millions of others with painful memories on the anniversary of their abortion each year. Don't let the devil make you feel you are the only one. By the age of 45, 1 in 3 women will have had an abortion.

In the last week, two women have said to me that it is only by God's grace that they did not have an abortion. They both said if at my same age, they had found themselves in similar circumstances and pregnant, they think they would have had an abortion too. How easy it is for us as humans to judge other people and the choices they make, when honestly, who is to say we wouldn't have made the same choices, if we had similar circumstances? There are multiple factors that cause people to make the choices they do. These things are not excuses for sin, but they can explain why people turn to the things they do outside of Jesus. The devil wants to shame us into believing our sin is the worst of all and there is no hope for us to be reconciled to God. Don't believe that rubbish!

On this weekend more than any other, I remember the weight of my sins and the glorious light of the cross and what Jesus' death and resurrection means. It means the weight is now light. It means Luke is safe and whole. It means I am forgiven and free. Thank You Jesus for the cross...

My sister-in-law Kala knows this is a tough weekend for me and asked if we could do something together in honor of Luke. She suggested we get balloons and go to Lake Johnson in Raleigh to release them. I hardly know what to do on this anniversary, but the fact that she not only remembered, but suggested we do something and even came up with the idea was extremely meaningful to me. She simply acknowledged his life with me, and me being his forever mother. She is a nonjudgmental and loving example of what a Christian should be.

we both released a balloon

Here is the video I took of us releasing the balloons. It was a chilly but beautiful day at the lake. We watched the balloons dance into the sky for a long time, until they were so high we couldn't see them anymore.

Tears were shed as we talked about the reality of abortion and the hope we have in Christ. We talked about Luke's life still having purpose. We talked about the many women who live with a past abortion. I played Flypside's song, "Happy Birthday," which I do every year. Kala had never heard it before. I don't believe in everything he says, but the song is still powerful.

I lit a candle on February 6th in honor and memory of Luke.

Tilly is a book (and movie) about a mother who regrets having an abortion and dreams of Heaven where she meets her daughter and finds healing in the love and forgiveness of both Jesus and her daughter.

The last paragraph on the last page brings my eyes to tears and causes my heart to nod along in understanding: "And she would weep quietly, with this and with every new April {February}, for all the children who had no names and no parents, who still lived though never born. Most of all, she would weep for the little daughter {son} she never knew, and give whispered words to what she had always known: "Tilly {Luke}, I love you." But now her heart was at peace and that peace was hers to keep. She only wanted to remember. Just remember."

Luke's ultrasound that I got 3 years later

Luke honored with his name in the sand in Australia
I also played this for Kala when we were talking and rocking in the chairs at Lake Johnson. It is a clip from Arise Sweet Sarah (which I will blog about soon... Luke and Lily's names are in the end credits!). The dancing and lyrics are just... wow. So healing, comforting, and freeing.


1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post, Hannah. Your sister in law sounds like a sweet person. You have very caring people in your life and you are very Blessed.
    I believe you are right about the pain. Sometimes I try to relive it. My mind keeps wanting to go back to that time and be with her again. But it can't remember all the pain and all the sadness in the same intensity I experienced it in the days before, during, and immediately after. But God knows I don't need that.
    I always pray for you, Hannah.
    Love, Brittany


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