In today’s first reading from the prophet Jeremiah, a certain verse stood out to me in prayer that I kept coming back to.
“Yet I, like a trusting lamb led to slaughter,
had not realized that they were hatching plots against me” (Jer 11:18-20)
Although these threats were against Jeremiah’s preaching, I could not help but go back to how I felt when I left the abortion clinic 50 years ago. I was told that I would undergo a simple procedure to remove some tissue and cells. There was no mention of a baby. Nothing was further from the truth of what I experienced that day. I was only 17 and it was the summer of 1972 before abortion became legal in all states.
There were many lies that surrounded my abortion. It wasn’t until years later through my researching, that I learned that many young women like myself were part of an agenda to promote the legalization of abortion and begin the process of no or misinformation about the procedure. In the years prior to 1973, clinics like Planned Parenthood were working hand in hand with abortion mills in the states where it was legal. Young women like myself were not given the truth on what was really going to happen to them and their baby. We crossed state lines. We often had to lie about our age. We had no counseling or follow up care. No one would ever know our secret and keep it we did. Of course, their plan was successful and the following January 22, 1973, the doors of this tragedy blew wide open. I often think of all the women that had similar experiences pre-Roe vs Wade and wonder if they were ever able to receive healing.
Today’s Psalm gives me consolation even when I feel I am struggling.
O LORD, my God, in you I take refuge;
save me from all my pursuers and rescue me,
Lest I become like the lion’s prey,
to be torn to pieces, with no one to rescue me.
It took me 25 years to begin the healing journey that I am still on. I am grateful to all those who have helped me along the way in my healing process and have shared with me the importance of walking with Jesus in relationship. It was His merciful love that saved me. He has turned my fear into trust in Him alone. He has calmed my anger and given me joy. And He has helped me forgive all those who have lied to me and hurt me. One by one, step by step as painful as it was, I continue to do it. This has given me the peace I have longed for. Perhaps this Lent, Jesus is inviting you to do the same. He will be with you every step of the way and will never leave you.
Do me justice, O LORD, because I am just,
and because of the innocence that is mine.
Let the malice of the wicked come to an end,
but sustain the just,
O searcher of heart and soul, O just God.
O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.