“It’s not a life.” “It’s not a baby.” “It’s just an embryo.” “It’s not murder.” “Your life will never be the same.” “You are too young.” “You will ruin your bright future if you have this baby.” “It’s okay. It’s really not a big deal.” “I’ve had an abortion before and I am fine.” “It’s your body; it’s your choice.” “We can’t do this.” “I’m not ready.”
I could go on and on with what I have heard and what has even come from my own lips. Today I confess, I was deceived; I was wrong. Truth began to interrupt my life early in 2010. Everything I had thought and believed to be true regarding abortion and the value of a human life was shattered.
What brought me to my breaking point in 2010 ultimately began in the spring of 2008. My life was forever changed when I met a man named Jesus Christ. I surrendered my life into His hands, and left in my wake years of treacherous decisions and sins committed against God, myself and so many others. I was for many years an alcoholic, a drug user, a drug dealer, a lover of money, a lover of self, and a lover of the pleasures of the world.
At my salvation, the Lord opened my eyes to see the vanity of my pursuits, and the worthiness of pursuing Him. I fell in love with Him and His Word. My life got turned upside-down. Everything I ever believed was challenged as I read the Bible. My life was transformed day after day, as truth washed over my heart and mind.
In 2010, I began going to the Richmond International House of Prayer. The people I met there were deeply in love with Jesus, prayer and worship. I made some amazing friends and found myself spending all of my free time there. I agreed with everything they were about, except for one issue: abortion.
At RIHOP, they were passionate to pray for the unborn, the parents of the unborn, abortion centers and their staff. They prayed with such conviction and concern, it disturbed me. What I believed to be their deception was not enough to keep me from coming every week.
I could not bring myself to believe what they were saying because it was hitting something hidden deep within my heart; things that I had locked away many years before. I had two abortions at the ages of 18 and 21. I had also justified, convinced, and encouraged many others to have abortions, and even drove a friend out of state to receive an abortion because she was a minor.
Each time I had an abortion or helped another person to, I was firmly convinced I was right, and I was a good person. In the pit of my deception, I still felt the need to hide what I had done never to remember it again. These “wrong” intercessors, with their passionate prayers for the unborn, had no idea they were rattling chains hidden deep within my heart every time they prayed.
I asked the Lord to show me His heart for the unborn, if He had one. I wanted to know what He thought about the whole abortion issue. Soon my eyes and heart slowly began to open. I began seeing people wearing red wristbands with the words LIFE everywhere! Every time I saw the bumper sticker “Cure Abortion” on my best friend’s car, it became less offensive. As the weeks progressed, I could not stop wrestling over the issue. I started to think that I might be wrong.
The truth was there all along, written in His word. I was so hardened to believing it because of the stronghold of lies I had built over the years. One day while reading Psalm 139, I broke and the floodgate of tears began. Suddenly the Holy Spirit removed the veil, and I knew that every word written was true.
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance being yet unformed; and in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me when as yet there were none of them. PSALM 139:13-17
Coming to an understanding of the Lord’s heart for the unborn was the beginning of a journey marked with pain, shame, repentance, healing and freedom. I knew that I could not stand before our holy God and justify abortion on any level, nor did I want to. A baby was no less a son or a daughter to Him, whether one day conceived or one day born from their mother’s womb. I could no longer ignore my past, but had to face the horror of it. I was struck with the reality that I was a murderer. I had not simply fixed a little problem, I had ended numerous human lives from ever living this side of eternity.
I went through a time where the father of lies himself tried to crush me with the weight of my sin. I beat myself up and felt that I could tell no one of what I had done. I was burdened with heavy grief and shame, but instead of running away from and ignoring my pain as I had always done in the past, this time I ran to the Lord.
My heart was truly repentant of what I had done, yet for a time I could not fully accept the Lord’s forgiveness. In the midst of the enemy’s lies, our Father in heaven had much to say to me about who I was in His eyes. I was washed in the blood of His Son. My sins were forgiven. He did not condemn me and I must not condemn myself.
Jesus said to her, neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more. JOHN 8:11
Over time, I was able to fully open my heart to the Lord. These dark areas I had hidden away for so many years were in desperate need of His love and healing. I knew that however painful the process might be, it was necessary and He could be trusted. I will always remember this one Friday night service at the Fredericksburg Prayer Furnace. While worshiping the Lord, I heard Him speak to me, “You are not a murderer, you are My daughter in whom I am well pleased.” The truth went from my head to my heart, and finally I was able to believe it.
On the latter end of this painful journey, I have experienced the love of our Father and the magnitude of Christ’s sacrifice like never before. I share this testimony in all humility, knowing I once was wrong and influenced the decisions of many people to have abortions. I pray they are able to forgive me. The Lord has burdened me to share my testimony, His heart for the unborn, and His heart for those that have had abortions. I know the same healing and freedom the Lord has granted me, He wants to bring to every other heart that is placed in His hands. The same truth He has gripped my heart with, He wants to grip yours with too. The blood of Jesus was poured out to atone for the sins of the world; not a select few people, and not a select few sins. The degree of our sins is irrelevant when covered in the blood of Jesus.
In searching out God’s heart for why He cares so deeply for these babies, and standing in prayer for the unborn, God has allowed me to see some of what He sees and feel some of what He feels. During my internship at IHOPKC, there were moments when God would put His heart inside of mine. These nights of prayer when the Lord revealed to me the depths of His heart have marked my life forever. The Lord also has me on a journey of discovering more of His heart for the unborn through dreams.
Not one person ever shared with me God’s heart for me or my unborn babies. I never knew of Jesus, or heard the gospel until He revealed Himself to me when I was 23 years old. Growing up, I never heard about the injustice of abortion. It was marketed as something good, and still is. I never heard about purity. All of my friends and classmates were sexually active beginning in their early teens. There is a famine in our nation of what is on the Lord’s heart and what truth really is. What is evil is declared as something good, and what is good is made to look evil! In this scarcity of truth and abundance of deception, a generation is perishing.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge... HOSEA 4:6
I can no longer keep this testimony hidden in unwarranted shame. I have held my mouth closed for far too long. There is so much God wants to say about the issue of abortion, and so much He wants to say to those who have been affected by them. He is looking for messengers willing to trumpet unpopular and even offensive messages. He is looking for messengers willing to declare His heart and truth, regardless of what others might say or think. Lives depend upon the hearing of truth. Will you be that voice?
Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. PROVERBS 31:8
LifeNews Note: Leslie and her husband Adam are full time missionaries at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. They work with the Life Initiatives team there. Their son Isaiah will be 6 months old on December 21. He is a living and joyful reminder to his parents and everyone around him to the value of LIFE. You can read their blog and visit their web page here.