Shelly V.

“…but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,” Romans 5:20

When I was just 14 years old and in the 9th grade, my parents moved me 800 miles away from my home and family. I did not handle the move well and rebelled by getting involved in drugs, alcohol, and promiscuity. All I remember is the anger and self-loathing. I thought the rebellious lifestyle would make me acceptable to my peers. 39 years ago, it just wasn’t cool to be from the North and living in Georgia.

At the age of 17, I found myself pregnant. The father was in jail and much older than me. I didn’t know what to do and panicked. I started off in denial, but as the weeks progressed and the pregnancy didn’t disappear, I devised a plan to get rid of the baby when we did our yearly, summer trek back to see my family in Michigan. I had an uncle whom I adored. I just knew he would help me. The problem was, I had to wait until August and was already 20 weeks pregnant.

I told my uncle, who lovingly told me that he had to tell my mom and dad. My parents had already had a difficult time controlling me and just wanted to calm me down. So much anger and resentment had built up. I’m sure they thought they were doing what was best for me. I had a late-term abortion. It took two days. I had to have my cervix dilated the first day. Then I had to go back the second day for the abortion. I don’t remember much about that day, but I do remember waking up and hearing my mom tell me that we would never speak of it again, so I didn’t.

Three years later, I became pregnant again. I had my son but never married his father. It took this little boy to help me realize the life of drugs, alcohol, and sex were not what I was supposed to be doing. A friend took us to church, and Jesus found me. The love that was poured out on us was what I had been looking for to help ease the pain of all the wrong choice I had been making.

Since then, God sent me the husband that I had been praying for. God blessed me with three more children and a marriage that is still so precious after 30 years.

After raising our kids, working, going to college, and trying to make a good home, I realized that there is more to being a Christian than church attendance. I began to study and cry out to God for Him to use me. I was then asked to teach the ladies class and be in charge of the women’s ministry at the church I have attended for over 28 years.

I knew God wanted me to share my whole testimony. I was always glad to share the testimony that included Jesus and how He rescued me from my drug and alcohol abuse. But, I always left out the abortion that I hadn’t even thought about much until the Holy Spirit started urging me to share.

I joined the local Pregnancy Resource Center in exchange for sharing my testimony in hopes that God would think that was enough. But, because God is bigger than that, He used my ministering to young ladies about alternatives to abortion to heal my heart. I attended a post-abortion Bible study and learned about God’s immeasurable fountain of Grace upon Grace. God’s grace through the blood of Jesus Christ redeemed me and set me free from my brokenness.

A baby that I chose to destroy and who never took a breath here on Earth is now saving other babies from the same fate. God is just that big. My baby would have been 36 years-old this past December, and I thank God without condemnation, for taking my child into His arms when I chose not to.

Abortion has long been covered by the lies of Satan, but it is not unforgivable. God wants to heal broken hearts. His Grace is sufficient. The blood of Jesus Christ can reach down and cover sin, sin that you might think is too big for healing. If you need more information or just need to talk, call the International Helpline for Abortion Recovery at 866-482-LIFE 24 hours a day. We understand what you’re going through.

Michelle (Shelly) and her husband, Jeff, have been married since 1988. She is a teacher and Jeff works at Honda. They are both involved in their local church.They have four children, three are married and one is in middle school. They have 3 grandchildren.Shelly is a part-time staff for the International Helpline for Abortion Recovery and Prevention.