I am a proud father of three, high-energy children that I love hanging out with! The youngest is in first grade. He sneaks toys to school in his backpack and longs to see what would happen if he could bail off of our second story balcony onto the trampoline below. My eldest son is a genius that makes friends easily because of his mad gaming skills. He loves his alone time. And my first-born daughter is competitive beyond belief. It is her role to make sure her little brother knows he is the second smartest kid in the house.
As a pastor of a new church in our city, I can easily embrace the life of a workaholic. I love seeing people realize their potential and watching them thrive in whatever it is they set their mind to do. I am the father of another child, I am ashamed to say who is my aborted child, andnever got the chance to experience life the way my three children do now. I will never forget the moment when I first realized the brevity of that decision.
As an 18 year old, I was consumed by my selfish desires. For me, this included material possessions and attractive women—one woman in particular. I remember when she said we were pregnant. Somehow, it never occurred to me that we could get pregnant. I was naïve. Her immediate response was to have an abortion, because she didn’t want to ruin her body. She was a model. I didn’t think much about it. I just went along with it. Maybe I felt like I was too young to be a father? Maybe I didn’t want her body to change either? I never reflected on my reasons for agreeing with her. I just went along with it. I remember how disoriented she was after the operation and helping her get to her car. I remember part of the fetus passing in the toilet afterwards and how mortified she was, asking me to come and look at the remains. Then, I did my best to put it all behind me.
Eventually we got married. When we planned to have children, we had another miscarriage, and then lost our third child after she fell down a flight of stairs while I was at work. We didn’t talk about our feelings as we processed these losses. The day would come when she asked for a divorce. I was shocked. The pain of another loss was too much to bear. We both went our separate ways and I found myself struggling to pick up the pieces.
Through it all God began to speak to my heart, but it would take two solid years for me to begin to realize that He never stopped loving me. I was guilt ridden. I wanted to die. That’s when I began bull riding. Yeah, that sounds lame, but that’s what I did. I got into rodeo because I had a death wish. I did that for two years until an accident occurred in the arena. A bull I drew spun around on top of me, crushing six ribs and puncturing my lung. I nearly drowned in my own blood that night.There’s a lot of time to think when you’re sitting in a hospital bed fighting for your life.
God is patient. He met me in those moments. Someone asked me to write out my testimony during that time and those memories I worked so hard to suppress came flooding back all at once. God spoke to my heart again saying, “Remember that abortion? You were responsible!” I denied it. I said I wasn’t the one that got pregnant. I said I wasn’t the one that had the abortion. But the thought grew stronger, “You said nothing! You did nothing!”
I pushed myself back away from the computer where I was typing out my testimony. It was true. All I could do was weep. I knew I played a part and I needed to take responsibility for that. I felt an overwhelming sense of God’s presence there. I felt God’s forgiveness in that moment. He began surrounding me with a strong group of Christ-followers that showed me His grace. In His timing, He softened my hardened heart and restored my ability to love again—this time God would show me what a marriage could look like with Him at the center of our relationship. I am blessed to be able to celebrate eighteen years of marriage with my wife, Heather, this year.
God would later reveal that there are more people like me that still live in this guilt—other men and women who need to experience God’s grace and His forgiveness. As a man of God, and a pastor, I know there are others who need to speak up about the burdens they have carried. It is time for the silence to be broken.
The healing begins when we choose to reveal those secrets. And here is the crazy thing. The healing doesn’t just happen in our lives, it also happens in the lives of those whom God places around us when we are transparent about the mistakes we have made. You might be surprised at just how many people around you are suffering in silence waiting for someone to have the courage to go first. Will you go first? Will you let God use you to bring healing and restoration to your soul and the souls of those around you?
I used to hide it, too. I was strong enough. I can handle it, or so I thought. When I finally got the courage to speak up, I experienced a release that I never imagined. I was finally free. My reason for speaking openly about this now is three fold:
The women in our city need men who have experienced this restoration. If we remain broken, how else will our families be made whole? How else will our communities thrive? How else will the city be transformed? It begins with you. Will you go first? It is time for the silence to end. It is time for the community to come together with one voice, focused on God’s restoration for the broken. Your voice matters. Your time invested through serving with Hands of Hope in practical ways, also matters. And your financial contributions matter! Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. And thank you, in advance, for your thoughtful response in restoring lives, both pre and post abortion for the sake of the whole family!
In Christ’s redeeming love,
Call Us: (520) 321-9765
PO Box 17070
Tucson, AZ 85731
2290 E. Speedway Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85719
Monday – Thursday: 9:00am to 4:00pm
Friday: 9:00am to 12:00pm
Saturday & Sunday: Closed