“We Will See Joshua in Heaven:” How My Kids Reacted When I Told Them Mommy Had an Abortion

Opinion   |   Ashley Sigrest   |   Sep 11, 2014   |   11:51AM   |   Washington, DC

Once the Lord began pressing on my heart to have our kids involved with our pro-life ministry, I knew it was only a matter of time before I had to confess my deepest, darkest secret to them.

AshleySigrestIt was hard telling family and friends, because deep inside you still fear their judgment and disappointment. I know Christ has forgiven me, healed me and made me new. I don’t worry any longer about what others think of my past, but I have feared looking into my children’s eyes and seeing the hurt and confusion of why their mommy killed her baby.

For the last few years, we’ve taken them to the abortion clinic to pray and told them what abortion was. Very simply we stated that it’s when a mommy chooses to have her baby taken from her tummy before it’s time, and the baby dies.

This has always hurt their sweet, sensitive hearts, but it’s driven them to pray for an end to abortion even at such a tender age. Any time they’ve had questions we’ve answered them in the simplest, most appropriate way for their maturity.

God has told me I need to stand outside our local abortion clinic with a sign that says, “I regret my abortion.” I haven’t been able to do that with them around because Brady can read. So yesterday I sat them down and confessed to them.

I told them something very bad happened to mommy and I got pregnant at 18. I was scared, confused and—even though I knew it was wrong—I had an abortion.

Brady told me he was surprised, but he wasn’t mad at me. Rylan was excited to learn that he was named after his big brother Joshua. They asked a few questions like, “Where would Joshua sleep if he were alive?” “Would you homeschool him or would he go to high school?”

It made me giggle and brought me comfort, but I told them we can’t focus on the “what ifs” because they can end up making us depressed or angry and they don’t change the past.

Instead we will focus on Christ. He’s redeemed mommy and He’s called us to speak the truth about abortion and to help others come to know the saving grace of Jesus.

Then Rylan looked right at me and exclaimed, “We will see Joshua in Heaven!” To which Brady responded, “Yes! Because he’s safe with God!”

I asked them if they forgave me and Brady so gently answered, “I’ll always forgive you for anything.” And my heart beamed as my tears flowed.

It wasn’t nearly as hard as I imagined it would be. I’m glad I told them now rather than waiting until they were teenagers. They know they can always ask me questions and we don’t have to keep Joshua a secret. He is real. He exists. He is loved!

Sunday is the 16-year anniversary of my abortion and it’s sad and weird to think I would be getting ready to take him to get his driver’s license! I will always miss and grieve him. Joshua is as much a part of my life as his four siblings.

I don’t have to let depression and self-hate eat me up. I can cry out to Jesus when missing Joshua hurts too bad; I can hold my head up high, talk about my son and give his life honor. I can do this only because of Jesus and the redeeming Blood He shed for my sins.

Memorial for Unborn Children
LifeNews Note: Ashley Sigrest is the author of My Jesus Journey, an inspirational blog about living a Christian life, and a friend of Bound4LIFE, where this article originally appeared.