Today’s post is from Niki Ezzell. She is leading the breakout session for women called “How Do I Know Where I Need Healing After Abortion? ” at WHOLE. This is yet another sensitive subject matter so please keep comments respectful and civil.
It’s important to know that at WHOLE, every woman who leads a breakout has personally experienced the topic she’s addressing. These are real women who have found wholeness in their specific area of brokenness. There’s hope for whatever you’ve faced or are currently facing and for that friend, sister, mother, etc. that you don’t feel equipped to help today.
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Breakout: How Do I Know Where I Need Healing After Abortion?
Leader: Niki Ezzell
Almost 25 years ago, I sat in a doctor’s office anticipating what was going to happen next. My mom had made the appointment for me in an effort to save me from my own choices. Bless her; she really did think she was doing what was best for me. I could have spoken up – but I didn’t. Something in me knew that my promiscuous behavior was wrong…and now I was facing the consequences of my bad behavior. It was all my fault – no one to blame but me. This subject wasn’t anything my family wanted to talk about. So we didn’t. In fact, it was swept under the rug – never to be brought up again. I went in pregnant, came home not pregnant. End of story? Not even close.
About a year after the abortion, my mom was divorcing for a third time and our home was full of chaos and fighting. I didn’t want to be home and spent the majority of my summer nights partying with friends and chasing boys. One night at a party, I had too much to drink and was taken advantage of and raped. About two weeks before my senior year, I found out I was pregnant again. I kept replaying that night over and over in my head. How could I have allowed myself to get to the exact place I said I would never go again? I was so devastated and so embarrassed. I knew I was going to disappoint my mom again, but after describing the details of that horrible night with her, I made the decision that I would have an abortion and walk away, once more, from motherhood. The abortions left emotional scars that for the next 15 years I would suffer from.
About 14 years later, my husband and our 3 children began attending a wonderful church in our home town. We both felt that raising our children up in the church was a very responsible thing to do and that every child needed to know who Jesus was. Little did I know that God was really orchestrating something “behind the scenes” and had something in mind for me that I could never have guessed would happen.
Our small group was just about to finish up “The Purpose Driven Life” (a life-changing book for me personally). Pastor Warren challenged us to look at our past to find purpose in some of our greatest pains. One night I sat down at my computer and began writing out my story about my abortions. I sat in that chair for several hours, crying, sometimes sobbing, and praying my heart out to God. That night was monumental for me. For 14 years, I had denied that the abortions even happened. I wouldn’t even write it on a medical form. I literally stuffed away the pain, the guilt and the shame of my past.
Until it all came crashing in that night at the computer, on my knees praying and crying out to God. He had waited so patiently for me to get to this point.
Finally, it all became so clear. I just figured that the stress of being married, running a business and having three children was reason enough for my angry, emotional outbreaks over the years. Often times I would find myself striving to be “Super Mom” and trying so hard to be the perfect mother of perfect children. I have also been known to be over-protective in an unhealthy way. As I came to realize through my time of healing, these are just a few of the many behavioral issues and emotional turmoil that stem from abortion. For so long, I wouldn’t forgive myself and would feel angry for no reason. I would feel depressed and have feelings of sorrow and unworthiness. I suffered for many, many years without knowing that these were symptoms of Post-Abortion Distress.
I realize that there are women who seemingly have no regrets about choosing abortion and who have no apparent signs of physical or psychological side effects. Truthfully, until I started seeking God, I didn’t have any remorse for my abortions. The scars of my abortions ran so deep that it was easy to overlook and everything on the surface looked fine. It was when I decided to quit hiding from God and gave him the secrets of my life that I started to see a real change. God took me from a very dark place and brought me into the light. He may be calling you to give the secret areas of your life today. Will you answer His call?
“Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness, prisoners suffering in iron chains, because they rebelled against God’s commands and despised the plans of the Most High. So he subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains.” Psalm 107:10-14