"The thistle is a prickly flower, aye, but how it is sweetly worn."

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My personal dirty secret- Remembering Roe v Wade

If I actually hit send on this one, just know I've completely put myself out there, and please have grace. I suppose everyone has their deep secrets.  This is mine.  In fact I'm so adverse to talk about it, I don't think I've ever shared my testimony (to a group) and included this part.  It's a huge part, but I can't go there.  And even now I am hiding behind my computer screen trying not to imagine the faces of people reading this.

Today is the 40th anniversary of Roe v Wade.  40 years and its still a pretty charged topic.  Christians rarely let up on the pursuit of right to life, and that's good.  But to be honest with you, I often cringe when Christians shout 'murderer murderer' in reference to any girl that's sat in a Planned Parenthood room.  6 years later and those words still sting- and it doesn't take much time in a church to hear them with regularity.

No one ever thinks of the face of the girls there.  Maybe because no one knows their faces.  You have to actually be getting one to even get in.  And so in that sense, I get it.  But the thing is, that waiting room is not full of haughty eyes and rebellious women.  It's full of lonely and scared women who don't realize that Jesus is the one in whom they find their self worth.  I'm sure some women are the 'cold blooded murderers' portrayed by pro life stances.  But it really isn't the majority.

There are a lot of reasons I say this.  For one thing, 80% of college women will experience date rape.  80%  Please wrap your head around that statistic.  Out of 10 girls, 8 of them will experience date rape.  And based on my own personal life experience and people I've talked to, that is an absolutely correct statistic.  Most of these women will never come forward.  In fact I've known between 10-20 personal friends experience this and I know of one who pressed charges.  (the legal system failed her, btw)  Rape is one of the singularly most traumatic things a girl can experience.  There is nothing that will more shatter her self worth than that.  And often, when you find out a girl was raped, the story follows the same pattern. The girl proceeds to allow herself to be used by anyone.  Now if 80% of women in college have experienced this, it stands to reason that a LARGE percentage of college age abortion getting women are there because they were raped.  Does that excuse their action, no.  But do you really have the heart to look at a heart that broken and call her murderer?

Or what about the high schoolers.  The high schoolers I saw were brought there by their parents.  Do they even have a choice?  I can't imagine the fear of going against my parents at 16 to raise a baby they don't want to raise.  And these girls are just kids.  They are just kids.

Or how about the fact that 1 in 4 American girls are victims of sexual abuse.  How do you know how many of those millions of girls getting an abortion aren't suffering the anguish of such a trauma.  If rape shatters a girl in one act, I cannot imagine what a girl who has been repeatedly raped by an adult thinks of herself.  Does that give her the right to have an abortion, again no.  But you have to understand that the women who have entered these clinics are hurting.  They are hurting, yall.

There is a saying which goes "guys use a relationship to get sex.  girls use sex to get a relationship."  And here is my guess where you find the majority of women.  I know that is where I found myself.  It was never like I set out to get there.  But I wasn't a very strong Christian, and certainly not a strong person, and I had on 2 occasions almost been part of the 80% and I just didn't think I was worth much.  I honestly would think things like there was some invisible brand that suggested to all men that I was worthless and he could push me as far as he wanted.  Literally thought that exact thing.  And I didn't want to break up with said guy, because I thought if I just stayed with him it would sort of make up for it.  And maybe one day we would get married (which we did-nightmare) and then it would alleviate my own sin and I would actually be ok.  But in between my giving in and marriage, I did end up in that clinic.  And I hated every second of it.  I never once thought it was ok.  But I had so much pressure from him to go through with it.  And I knew that if I didn't that would be the end.  And I couldn't wrap my mind around it ending, because then I would really just be a sinner.  I so desperately wanted to make our relationship work because I was so fixated with fixing my sexual worthlessness.  And I did it.

And for the next several years it tore me up.  There were very few years where anniversaries and due dates didn't flash across my mind.  To this day, I don't think a week that goes by I don't think of it.  I don't think a month goes by where I don't wonder what will it be like to see that child when I go to heaven?  Will they hate me?  I call Jude my atonement child because from the day I entered that clinic I never felt I deserved motherhood.  What kind of mom does that?  I actually struggled a lot when I first started teaching because what kind of teacher does that?

When I found out about Jude, I was both relieved and afraid.  I was terrified of a miscarriage as God's way of punishing me.  Throughout my pregnancy, God began the process of showing me he really did love me.  And he didn't save me and expect perfection.  And that there was grace grace grace.  I picked the name Jude because I love the Beatles song.  And the idea of taking a sad song and making it better is really the story of my life.  But I also loved that it means 'praised'.  My heart has praised God everyday for my atonement child.  The one who showed me that God's grace was inexhaustible.  Unfathomable.  Covered it all.  He has used Jude to save me from a sense of worthlessness, from a bad marriage, from giving in to the depression and anxiety from my marriage failing, and 1000 other ways.

I share this from the darkest corner of my soul.  And I don't want to even think about what this will mean in relationships with people.  I guess I can't imagine grace from others very well.  But it occurred to me that this isn't my story.  It's God's story.  He's sovereign over it all.  And far be it from me to hold back.

If you remember anything from this story, remember that the girls who walk into those clinics are hurting.  At least most of them.  They were hurting before they ever got pregnant probably.  And before you cast the first stone, try to understand that there's a pain in their souls and an emptiness that only Love can fill.  Yes, support your politicians and make your voice heard.  But don't forget that there are faces behind policies.  Speak up for the babies, by all means.  But remember that there are plenty of girls reading your posts that have an ache in their heart that they will live with forever.  Speak love to those girls.  Take time to ask them what brought them to that place.  It will probably break your heart, but it's the broken hearts that are the easiest to lead back home, back to the God who loves them.

There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death ~ Romans 8:1

I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields!  They are ripe for harvest ~ John 4:35


35 comments:

allie-mac-fallie said...

You're so right, totally His story-- and isn't it beautiful-- look at how he has redeemed you! I love this- I know it hurt and isn't what some may think of as "picture perfect" but guess what-- we ALL have sinned and fallen short-- and we ALL have skeletons in our closet! I wish I could gather the strength to put some of mine out there in the light like you just did. Praying that you receive nothing but grace from all who read this. :) I'm sure your story is touching many women's heart strings- I know it did mine! Much love! God is good, he is the redeemer!!!! :)

Ryan said...

Wow. What a testimony. It's such brave thing for you to share it, and such a beautiful picture of redemption. We could all use this reminder to have more grace.

ThistleAshD said...

Thanks :) God is definitely good and definitely a redeemer in just so many ways!

Katherine said...

Thanks for sharing! It's such a great reminder that there are hurting people behind the politics as you say.

I am curious where you got the statistic of 80% of college girls are date raped. That's incredibly high and very surprising!

ThistleAshD said...

I got that statistic back in a human development class in college. But like I say the number of girls I personally know who've experienced that is high. Typically it isn't talked about buy the second one person admits it others start opening up.

Our of my group of 5 best friends from all but one had not been date raped or nearly date raped.

Since I've left college I've met many many many women who share that story. It's just not talked about because its a painful story no matter how long ago it was.

Leslie @ top of the page said...

hey girl. i read this post on my phone yesterday and couldn't comment at the time. but i HAD to come back and applaud you. this post was incredible and really rocked my perspective. it was very brave, and i'm so proud of you. i'm being honest when i say that i will never look at the issue of abortion in the same way again. because i have a heart for hurting women. and even though i can confidently say that it is God's job to decide when life begins and ends, wow, how my perspective on women who make the choice to abort thier babies has been altered. thank you for reminding me that sin is sin, broken is broken, and we ALL desperately need a Savior.

ThistleAshD said...

Thanks for saying that :) but I have to say that a huge influence on me writing this was your post the other day about sharing our stories. I was really convicted by that bc there has been so much I wouldn't share. And then Tuesday morning while I was driving to work I heard nothing but "remembering roe v wade" things. The two just kinda came together and I couldn't get away from feeling like I had to share. So thank you for your post too. Because God definitely used it to pave the way for me to see the importance of sharing :)

Jessah said...

It is so not for people to judge. Great post!

ThistleAshD said...

Definitely not. My hope is that stories like mine will start a trend to approach people where they are. Focus more on pulling them out and into Light :)

Rubi Ruiz said...

Beautiful post! Thank you so much for sharing! We are all broken sinners in need of a Savior. We each have a story to tell. Thank you for your bravery and for taking us into the world of a young hurting girl sitting in that clinic. I cringe every time I read a sign or hear someone call another a murderer because their in that clinic. I just want to SCREAM and ask them what they are accomplishing by breaking someone more than they already are. How about approaching them in love, full of grace, and kindness, meeting them where they're at and showing them JESUS--the only one who can bring healing to their life.

Beth Mayberry said...

you have a beautiful story and one that needs to be shared. so many girls feel alone and I know so many christians only focus on the babies not the mothers on sanctity of life day. BUT every life is valuable, every mother and father and baby. your story is one of absolute beauty. you can share hope and love in a way many people will never be able to. You shine.

thank you for sharing!

PS: I am a new follower! www.untilonlyloveremains.com

ThistleAshD said...

Sharing that was pretty scary and I was so close to not. But having so many people react with such grace was such a surprise and just really blessed my heart in so many ways. We as Christians definitely have some perspective changing we need to do with All sinners. So many hurting broken people and We are the called out ones supposed to love them. More and more I am realizing that. Thanks for your thoughts. So true :)

ThistleAshD said...

Wow I am so humbled that you would call my story beautiful. Beauty instead of ashes I guess :) I am starting to realize the importance of sharing the story we have no matter how painful. Thanks for following. I will definitely check yours out!!!

Leigh said...

What a brave, open and beautiful post. Your story hit home big time for me as my sweet Mum was raped as a teenager, became pregnant from it and was kicked out of home as a result. She went to a clinic and has never forgiven herself for it. So yes no one should ever judge because right or wrong we have no idea what pain is in the hearts of women and young girls who make the painful choice to walk into those clinics. Never any judgment from this person for sure. Never.

maria said...

Wow, goosebumps over here!
This is so powerful and so true!
Thanks for putting yourself out there and sharing!

Found your blog via the Wiegands!

xoxo Maria
michaandme.blogspot.com

ThistleAshD said...

Oh that makes me so sad for your mum. It really is such a painful experience for people and just not nearly enough understanding about it until you've been there really. Or known someone who has. Thanks for your kind words. So encouraging to hear people's experiences and views.

ThistleAshD said...

So glad you found me :) I have actually found putting myself out there to be rather healing. Kinda surprised by that. By people have shown so much grace for this post and I am so humbled by that. Will check out your blog later today :)

Anonymous said...

You are not alone. I too share a mostly secret shame. I hope to one day share it as you have.

ThistleAshD said...

Oh I hate that you share that pain and shame. Praying that you find the way to grace friend.

Heidi said...

I am visiting from Kelly's Korner link up. Your post was so brave, and I know it will be a blessing to many women! I know from experience that when we are transparent and share hard/shameful things like this, we are then able to reach and bless other women who have experienced/done the same! Some of your post reminds me of the movie October Baby. I really believe that the church needs to have a post-abortion ministry and love on these women. Like you said, they are hurting. I'm not sure how to start something like that, but I'm willing to do something. I will start with praying for these girls/women when I drive by the clinics. We have adopted two kids so far, would absolutely love to adopt again. Thank you for sharing your story!! I am #60 on Kelly's link up.

ThistleAshD said...

Thanks for commenting :) I agree that sharing the hard stuff is such a blessing. I have received so much from people willing to share their stories with me. And I do hope that I can in turn help others. I haven't seen October Baby. I am the most non up on pop culture person haha. But will have to check it out!

Kelly JS said...

I am so very impressed by your honesty and openness. It's such an amazing testimony. You are 100% right that we shouldn't be judging but instead we should be helping, listening, and caring. I'll be highlighting your post this Wednesday for Into the Word Wednesday. Thank you for sharing and for putting yourself out there like this. Beautiful.

ThistleAshD said...

Thanks for your sweet words and I am completely humbled that you would want to highlight this post on Wednesday. Thanks so much :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that, Thistle. This is Maria's Dad, happening on your post through her blog. You've been blessed, and you are being a blessing.
http://pluginbenin.blogspot.nl/

ThistleAshD said...

Thanks so much

Joe Fontenot said...

Ash, I'm a little behind on my blog-reading, but I just saw this, but once I started reading...I couldn't stop. You are so absolutely right.

Thanks so much for writing this, I'm going to be passing it around.

ThistleAshD said...

Glad you liked it Joe :) I would love if you passed it around :)

black tag diaries said...

beautifully written... and beautiful story. i am reminded everyday how the Lord uses even our "darkest corners" to bring glory to him. while these moments and hardships don't define you, they are a part of God's story of redemption in your life. your courage and bravery in putting this post out there is admirable... and i can't help but to think of all the women that will one day stumble upon this post and be greatly encouraged to know they are not alone.

ThistleAshD said...

Thanks :) I am praying that God DOES use this post to help others for sure. That's a huge reason why I wrote it. I would have loved to have someone who'd been there at that time in my life, and hope I can use this to do that for someone else. We'll see what God does with it :)

Ashley - EmbracingBeauty.com said...

Thank you for sharing your story - how brave of you! What a great reminder to not only care about the lives of innocent babies but to also care about the moms who are hurting.

ThistleAshD said...

Oh your welcome. Sharing my story was as much for my own healing as anything, but I've been amazed at how many people have read it. Thanks for reading it :)

Uncle Larry said...

I'm not much of a computer blogger, but today my wife brought in the laptop and asked me to read this blog. It was your blog talking about date rape in general and what women go through when they are considering an abortion. About halfway through your blog tears began to run down my cheek.

I've been a police officer for approximately 43 years and on numerous occasions I've had to investigate both rape and date rape and sexual assaults. I've seen firsthand the effects that such crimes have on women and the emotional stress and trauma that they have to go through. These crimes can change their lives overnight. I remember the time that my daughter, Nicole was almost a victim of a date rape drug. Thanks to the friends that she was with they realized what was going on and put a stop to it. I often wondered what would've happened if they were not able to stop it and I ended up catching the individual that did it. I'm not quite sure I would act as a police officer or father that. I loved his daughter very much. I believe that life is sacred as a police officer and I've had to work the pro-life Demonstrations in January I listen to their arguments pro and con but I guess in the end this decision is going to come down between God and the United States Supreme Court to find common grounds which both sides can live with.

Ashley I will pray for you and ask God to bless you and keep you the next time I have to investigate one of these crimes I hope God will give me the right words to say to help them get through this trauma tell your mom and dad I love them and I will pray for them also.

Love you your uncle Larry

Fuzzy said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am humbled and convicted by it. I know it will have a lasting impact on many people. I praise God for your courage to share. Bless you and your child.

ThistleAshD said...

Thanks :)

Claudy Ashlee Francois said...

Thanks for sharing your story, God's story or redemptions, of love, grace and mercy. When I read other peoples stories and look at my own life, I'm amazed at God's goodness.

Thanks for sharing!!