The March for Life was so emotional for me this year, and I’ve struggled for two weeks to write this blog. I try to be as transparent as I can in my writings in hopes that it will help others heal. So, I pray that as you read, you will hear and feel the constant struggle in my heart between regret and freedom. I hope it will stir something inside of you to stand with me for LIFE.
As we began walking down Constitution Avenue toward the Supreme Court, I remember thinking, “Look around, Kelly. Take it all in.” The crowd is SO big that it’s easy to get carried away in the chaos. It was raining and my hands were numb from the cold. I was struggling to hold onto my “I Regret My Abortion” sign because it was so wet and covered in mud. I began to think, “WHY am I doing this? HOW am I doing this?”
As we walked, some would stop and clap for us. This, I have to admit, makes me quite uncomfortable. I realize we are being applauded for our courage, but the hard truth is that I’m holding this sign because I killed my own child. If the laws in America were different, that could be a walk toward death row.
Other precious ones would come close, take my hand, and whisper “me too”, and for a moment it’s easy to let a bit of pride rise up. We rounded a corner and I could see a HUGE electronic billboard in the distance. It was playing a video that began with the words of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. All around me, my Silent No More sisters and brothers were shouting, “We will be…Silent No More!”, but as we got closer to the video screen, a hush fell over the crowd and it felt as though time stood still.
A profile of a perfectly formed face.
The weight of it almost broke me. Everything began to move in slow motion, and I looked around to see the horror on the faces around me. I heard someone say, “How could anyone do that?”. “How could I do that?”, I thought. I began to weep, and then the voices came. You know, the ones full of accusations that we know we are guilty of. And once again I thought,“WHY am I doing this? HOW am I doing this?”
We got closer to the Supreme Court, and I contemplated if anyone would notice if I ran away, found a taxi, and went back to the hotel. It’s warm there and safe. But the truth is that if I didn’t want to give up on a regular basis then I’m probably doing something wrong. So, I followed everyone to the front of the Supreme Court where we would share our stories.
I looked over to the left and amongst all of us was a beautiful young lady holding a bright orange poster that said “Abortion on demand and without apology.” It honestly caught all of us off guard. Most of us have seen and experienced protestors, but this girl was all by herself. It turned out it was the one-year anniversary of her abortion, and she was standing for her ‘choice’. I watched some of the most precious, noble women I know approach her to love on her and pray for her, and she began to cry. I am believing that God is going to draw her close to Him, and that next year she will be holding one of our signs.
Julia read her testimony first. She was Steven Tyler’s fiancé many years ago and aborted the baby boy they conceived. Her story makes me cry every time I hear it. The pain is still very fresh in her eyes, even though so many decades have passed. I told my story next, and then Matt shared his. I am so proud of him.
Every time I share my story, two things happen: the reality of my sinful choices becomes very tangible AND a small part of my heart receives healing. It would seem that these would work in opposition, but together they are actually a beautiful picture of the Gospel. I remember that I am a sinner saved by grace, and that as I continue to pursue God in every area of my life, the door to the prison around my heart opens more and more.
I wonder at times if Paul ever allowed himself to think about the Christians he had killed and persecuted before his conversion…if maybe that was the ‘thorn in his side’ that kept him constantly reminded of his weaknesses. The pain of our past can be a hindrance to fighting the good fight, but it can also be a great catalyst to proclaim truth.
As I stood there in the rain thinking of my babies, I realized something:
The ones who grab my hand and say “me too”, the video of the babies, the girl holding the orange sign…THEY are the “why”.
The One who holds my fragile, weak heart and whose hope anchors me back in every time…HE is the “how”.