From Abortion Recipient to Christian Counselor.
Sherika: Debra, it’s such an honor to be able to interview you on such a sensitive, yet powerful topic. I truly believe your story will encourage several young men and women that could possibly be dealing with these particular issues of life. Let’s dive in! You’re currently a Youth Pastor, Christian Counselor and Praise Team member at your church. Many women, including myself look at you and would never believe what you’ve actually been through. How old are you now? What age were you when you received your abortion?
Debra: First let me say thank you for thinking of me…I am so honored that you thought of me to share my story. I am 33 years old and I received my abortion when I was in my mid-twenties.
Sherika: You’ve obviously changed as a person since your abortion. What were you like before your abortion? How was your relationship with God? (Your state of mind or thought process, your lifestyle).
Debra: So before my abortion I was a party girl…smoking, drinking, and clubbing you know basically doing whatever I wanted to and doing whatever made me happy at the moment and obviously having sexual intercourse. My relationship with Christ was non-existent …now I grew up in church and have always attended but you know as I got older and moved onto College I drifted away from church altogether…while I was in college God and church was not at the top of my list of things to do…I was not concerned about my relationship with Christ at all.
Sherika: So after engaging in pre-marital sex, you ended up pregnant. What was the deciding factor of you actually going through with getting an abortion?
Debra: I was in college finishing up my junior year and I actually moved back to Charlotte to finish school at UNC Charlotte. I was living with my mother, going to church but really wasn’t living that Christian Lifestyle and singing on the praise team so there was no way that I “Debra” was gonna come out and tell my mother and let other folk find out that I was out here being grown and getting pregnant. I felt so ashamed and embarrassed and just with in the last few years is when I started to talk about this portion of my life in front of other people. So I felt like life would be over as I knew it so I got the abortion…knowing that it was wrong and knowing that that was not the way out nor the way to go; I could have easily given the baby up for adoption or to a family that couldn’t conceive.
Sherika: Did you receive an abortion by pill or a surgical abortion?
Debra: I received the abortion through surgery…they gave me some pills to take beforehand though….I was far along enough for them to tell me the sex of the baby and it was a girl…
Sherika: Oh wow that had to be tough. To know the sex of the child and still decide to make the decision to abort because you KNEW better. How was the pain? Do you remember what was going through your mind while receiving the abortion?
Debra: The pain was not terribly bad during the abortion…I believe the pills they gave me beforehand were to numb me so I wouldn’t feel that much pain with them sucking the baby out of me. I remember that sound and it sounded like something was being crunched to pieces as I was hearing the suction noise. Almost like if a tree was being cut then put through the machine that cuts up the branches and stuff. Now during the abortion I remember crying so much and being scared too…and after the procedure is when the pain really increased…when I got home I was in pain for days and even after emotionally I was hurt for years…
Sherika: What were some of the issues you dealt with after your abortion? Do you still have any regrets or moments of emotional trauma? Did the abortion affect your relationship with men or people in general?
Debra: After my abortion I dealt with emotional pain and feeling unworthy as a woman. Two years after my abortion I totally surrendered to God but the devil tormented my mind and kept reminding me of what I did…so that’s when I began to feel unworthy. Yes it was months and years after that I still had regret of what I had done and I would cry and feel so down I just could not come to forgive myself for what I had done. The abortion did not affect my relationship with men or people it was more so an inner thing with me…I didn’t look at myself the same and for a long while I was not my happy funny self.
Sherika How long did you keep it a secret? Why did you feel like it needed to be a secret?
Debra: I kept this a secret for about 4 or 5 years. I felt like this still needed to be hidden because I was still ashamed and still thought that people would look at me differently.
Sherika Was the father supportive?
Debra: No the father was not supportive of me getting the abortion. He wanted us to keep the baby but I was so determined not to get “publicly embarrassed” like at that time I could not deal with that. He was very upset with me and the decision that I had made.
Sherika How did you get to the place you are now? How did the Grace of God change you? What is your relationship with God like now? ( Explain)
Debra: I am at the place that I am right now because God gave me the strength to forgive myself and to hold my head up high. Every time I step foot into church God reminded me that He had already forgiven me and that He wasn’t holding my past against me. Once I started to walk in that certainty is when things begin to change and shift in my life…I got my smile and joy back. My relationship with God now is DOPE…lol!!! Like I am not perfect by any means but I truly try to make him happy with my lifestyle on a daily…killing that flesh daily because this life I live is not about me it’s about HIM!!!
Sherika: How did you feel when you and your husband had your children? Did the thoughts of your abortion ever haunt you while being pregnant?
Debra: Yes! Not so much with my second child but definitely with my first… I had a scare with my daughter where I was bleeding a lot early on in my pregnancy and my mind went back to when I got my abortion. I had thoughts such as “if I lose this baby I’ll just have to be strong about it because I did abort before” so this was like a consequence. I mean I was even thinking something went wrong during the procedure and my insides were all jacked up.
Sherika: What would your words be to other young men or women who are contemplating abortion based on what you’ve experienced?
Debra: DON’T DO IT!!!! There is a family out there that would love to adopt!!! I would also say for them to find a support system that could help them through this process…it’s not the end of the world and it’s not the end of your life…we are not perfect people and God knows that what has happened is called LIFE…it happens to all of us. We make decisions throughout life that are not the wisest and that’s ok…we just have to ask God to make us stronger in those areas that we need help in so that we can live our best life for HIM!!!!
Debra is now married with two beautiful children and a husband. She spends her days as a full time Christian Counselor at The Praising Place Church. It is truly a blessing when God fixes our mistakes, forgives us and gives us the courage to share how we have been Gracefully Kept.