Years ago, I had an abortion.
I got pregnant by a guy who “looked good on paper.” Honestly, I slept with him once, for literally about one and a half minutes. I am not even kidding. It was one very quick time. I think back on it now and I am disgusted with myself.
I was getting older.
I was nervous I’d never meet “the one.” My family was pretty sure I was a lesbian because I wasn’t going on many dates with men and I was spending a lot of time with my girlfriends. My best friend got married and I began to feel rushed to get this thing done: meet the guy, settle down and start our family. Come on already!
So I meet a guy who matched all the criteria on my list. He was a man of faith (or so I thought), sober, originally from the East coast (there’s an edge we have others don’t always get), and a professional who had left a business career to follow his dreams in naturopathic medicine (so Portlandia). I should have fallen head over heels for him. But I didn’t. There was no knot in my gut telling me to pay attention to this one, no flutter of my heart. But I told myself he was good enough. I wanted the relationship that led to marriage so badly. I reasoned with myself, “If I sleep with him, maybe we’ll connect. Maybe I’ll feel closer to him.” I thought I could force the knot, and the flutter.
The only thing that connected in that very short spurt (sorry for the pun) was his sperm and my egg.
I was actually happy when I found out I was pregnant.
It’s not how I had planned, but I thought, “We can do this!” I told the guy and within days, his true colors shone through. He refused to have anything to do with me. He said he could not handle it. He said he would leave me some money on my doorstep and told me never to contact him again. Having a baby was not what he was bargaining for.
I endured an excruciating couple of weeks after giving him the news and being rejected. I prayed, I meditated and I cried a lot. I was angry. How could I raise a baby by myself? My family was on the East coast, I was in Oregon and I didn’t have a strong circle of support. I was terrified.
I opted for the non-choice: a choice I never, in my wildest dreams, wanted to make; a choice others would deem selfish. I chose the path that allowed me to never have to deal with that guy again and seemingly erase our short discretion from the books. I couldn’t imagine a life ahead with lawyers and judges and arguments in court. I didn’t want my child to live a life feeling the same rejection from this guy – rejection from a father.
Now, as I look back with more maturity in faith and a strong community of believers around me, I can see the other options I had. But at the time, in my circumstance, I could not see them. I could not see the other choices because I was too angry and terrified. I could only see the non-choice.
The pain from that moment in time still runs deep. After the procedure, I went home and began my grief cycle alone. Sleep-Cry-Sleep-Cry-Pray-Repeat. And that night, I literally felt the Holy Spirit – GOD – wrap me in the warmth and comfort of His love. I had peace.
I am forever grateful because as hard as it is to carry this every day of my journey, I found true love on the other side of it and have continued to find it through every other trial I face. Despite my childish self-centeredness, and my fear and my lack of faith and my foolishness, He loves me still.
And He forgave me.
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