Telling my middle child about my abortion brought some emotions I wasn’t expecting. I wasn’t planning on this coming up so soon, but when I was asked to share my story before our church congregation on Sanctity of Human Life Sunday a few years ago I knew that I couldn’t agree until my daughter knew my story. I certainly didn’t want her to learn of it from anyone but me.
With only a week to prepare and my family’s busy schedule, I wasn’t able to bring her out to the retreat site like I had done with her sister. So I called her into my bedroom. Her face paled, and I could tell that she thought she was in trouble. “Don’t worry honey,” I comforted her, “You’re not in trouble. This is about me.” With great relief, she plopped onto my bed, propped herself on her elbows and stared at me with huge, innocently expectant eyes.
Oh dear, this is not going to be as easy as I thought. Even though she didn’t have any false beliefs that I was about to crush like her sister had, she was still a gloriously innocent young girl. “What am I about to do to her by opening this ugly chapter of my life up to her?” I questioned myself. Knowing the potential benefit my story could impart to our church family and the future lives that might even be saved, I pressed forward.
As with her older sister, my younger daughter’s response was one of grace, forgiveness and love. She also asked a very insightful and important question for an eleven-year-old, “Would I be here if you had had your baby?” “Oh honey,” I quickly reassured her, “I don’t know how the rest of my life would have turned out if I’d kept my baby. But I do know that God purposely created you and your brothers and sisters. So please don’t ever doubt that you are meant to be here, that I love you and God loves you very much!”
With that, she was comforted and we chatted about her brother and sister (who I had miscarried just a few months before she was conceived) in heaven. Her bright innocent eyes looked just as vibrant after our talk as they had before, and our relationship was deepened. I found that receiving forgiveness from your children is incredibly humbling but amazingly rewarding.