I have prayed long and hard about how to share my story.
Hesitancy and opposition has fought me the entire way here. I longed for a breakthrough to be able to write my truth to you. And just last week, I had a breakthrough. A woman prophesied to our church about the different stones in our lives.
"There are the ones that block you into a grave.
There are stones that are painted and there are stones that we step on to get us to our next place in our purpose.
And there are the stones that we hold in our hands of judgment against ourselves.
But right now, the stones that block us, that block our blessings and are too heavy to move because they are keeping us in a grave, are being rolled away. The stones of judgment against ourselves are being dropped. No charges will be held against us."
Tears filled my eyes and my lips quivered like a little child as I felt the stone blocking my heart roll away. I began to weep. This weight suddenly was lifted off of me like I have never experienced before. Freedom sang a new song in my heart and I could breathe again.
Following my abortion, I was completely traumatized. I was not given the option to take a plan B pill and was around 7-8 weeks pregnant when I received a vacuum aspiration abortion. I did not go home and return back to my normal life. Instead, I locked myself into a prison of shame.
My silent secret became a silent disease that deteriorated my mind, soul and body.
I began drinking heavily and medicating my anxiety with pills. And sometimes I would use them together to numb the deep pain I was feeling.
The numbing only helped for a season before I paid the consequences though. One night, I decided to drive home after celebrating a friend's birthday. I definitely had too much to drink. It was late and raining and I got lost. I had lost my sense of direction, picked up my phone to look at my GPS Map, swerved off of the lane and back onto the road. Immediately, flashing lights were behind me to pull over. I was handcuffed and taken into the county jail for failing the breathalyzer.
I sat in the corner of a jail holding tank drowning even deeper in my shame. Jail is a scary space. I had not prayed in a very long time and that night, I pleaded with God to get me out of there and that I would never drink and drive again. I wondered if this was my lowest point in my life next to having an abortion. It wasn’t. A few months later I ended up losing a job I truly loved because of my DUI.
I gave up the pills, but I couldn't seem to give up the drinking. I compromised my pleading with God as I never would drink and drive again, however, the drinking I could manage on my own. But, I would always have “too much.” I was still trying to numb the pain of my hidden secret. At one point, I was drinking every day. Sometimes the anger would stir and I would lash out on whomever I was with.
And every single time, I would wake up feeling awful not only physically because of a hangover, but guilt would hang over me like a dark and cloudy storm.
Stuck in my mud of shame, I wondered if I would ever get out of this storm? I stuffed the pain and shame of my abortion so deep that I couldn't even recognize who I was or why I was behaving in the ways I was.
Something needed to change.
And I knew it.
According to a Bible dictionary, shame is caused by one of two ways: either the awareness or exposure of guilt, or a hurt reputation or embarrassment, whether or not this feeling is due to sin. I was aware, afraid of being exposed, guilty, hurt, embarrassed and I knew having an abortion was a sin.
Fear was my leader when I chose to have an abortion.
And what I have come to learn is that fear is the breeding ground to shame. Because of my decision, and knowing it was wrong for me, I lost my dignity and who I was. I was destroyed. The pain I was experiencing called for alleviation in all of the wrong ways. But that alleviation made me feel guilty which led to even more shame. It was a never ending cycle.
One day, as I was waking up I heard this still, small voice that said, “Go back to your roots.” And so, that’s what I did. I decided to go back to church. Even though I was completely broken and offended at everything, I had this desire to keep showing up. The women I had met in my first small group had something that I wanted to have. I wanted their joy…their laughter… I wanted that love and light they exuded. I felt like a stranger on the inside and I know I was a stranger to these women. But just like Jesus, they welcomed me with open arms and loved me in all my seriousness and for who I was in that season. They were the painted stones that embraced me in prayer and hugs that would begin my journey back to who I was and Whose I was.
I always say deliverance is immediate. (Because it is.) But healing takes time. (Because it does.) It would be years before I could be around babies again without feeling guilty. It was years before I could even say the word “abortion”, hear it or even read it. It would be years before I started in an abortion healing class. And it would be another few years before the final stone of shame was rolled away.
Shame may have been the stone keeping me in a grave. But I can see clearly now that I was never there alone. Jesus was with me the entire time. He graciously met me where I was at and gave me the gift of time to heal the layers of hurt, embarrassment, guilt and pain.
Stone by stone, He removed each one only to expose that His loving heart for me is deep and true.
That His sufferings were not general. His sufferings were on my behalf. The stone of shame has been rolled away.
“Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy.” Isaiah 61:7
If a prison of shame confines you, today is your day to be set free.
Hesitation and opposition may fight you on your way out, but I can see the shackles falling off and the chains breaking. Jesus is right there with you, and He is lifting each stone of lies that have been weighing you down. You are worthy of L O V E. You are a child of God and I see freedom beginning to sing a new song in your heart today.
I truly believe that Jesus is alive today and able to meet your deepest needs. I believe that we will witness revolutionary healings in the deep cores of those hurting from having an abortion. No longer will the need to medicate pain exist because all feelings of shame and guilt will be healed and the compulsions to desire to numb will be forgotten in the light of His grace! Jesus is not only our Guilt Offering, but HE is our Shame Bearer.
There’s no need to hold onto your shame because Christ already bore it.
“As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12
~ Stefanie Rodriguez
Support After Abortion Hotline: 844-289-4673
International Helpline for Abortion Recovery: 866-482-5433
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255