Revive Our Hearts Podcast

A Matter of Life and Death, Day 2

Leslie Basham: When you are weighed down by guilt and regret, here's what freedom looks like.

Laura Gonzalez: When I came to Christ, immediately, the first sin that came to mind was my abortion. That's when I realized I had committed a sin. I thought I was a nice person.

It was when I started reading the Bible that I realized I was a baby killer. I killed a baby. But immediately, I felt the grace of God. Christ is too great a Savior, and His grace is so unmerited, and His blood is so sufficient. So I've never felt guilt after knowing Christ.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of Lies Women Believe, for Friday, January 13, 2017.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court handed down a decision in the Roe v. Wade case, effectively making abortion legal in the United States. Since then, it’s estimated at least fifty million children have been aborted in the U.S. Those aren’t just figures. Each one represents a complicated story.

To mark this anniversary and remember those who have been affected by abortion, churches observe Sanctity of Human Life Sunday on the third Sunday in January. We’ll mark it again this coming weekend.  

On Revive Our Hearts over the years, we’ve brought you many stories of women who know the pain of abortion, and we’ve heard from some dads, too. These stories not only tell you about the pain but also the forgiveness, the redemption, Jesus offers. Today we’re going to hear a montage of several of those stories put together. Hearing these guest’s experiences back to back will help you feel the heavy weight of guilt that comes from abortion. And you’ll also hear them share the hope they’ve found in Christ.

We’ll hear from Martha Schaale, Angie Shoemaker, Nancy Lincoln, Lisa Dudley, Jennifer Smith, and Laura and Fausto Gonzalez. Let’s listen.

Lisa Dudley: When I took the pregnancy test, I remember I just couldn’t believe it.

Martha Schaale: As I heard the news, I could not believe that I was pregnant. I was shocked!

Angie Shoemaker: I didn’t believe it, because I thought I was invincible because I had birth control.

Jennifer Smith: I almost knew before I took the test—maybe mother's intuition. But there's something that happens when you get pregnant that you just know. It's life residing in you. You can't escape that.

Martha Schaale: All of a sudden I started listening to these lies from the enemy, “No one can find out.”

Lisa: I told my boyfriend, and the first words out of his mouth were, "You're not having it, are you?" It. I looked at him and said, "Well . . . I guess not."

Nancy Lincoln: The day of truth, the moment of truth, came when he said, “Well, that’s not good.”

I said, “Well, what do you mean?”

He said, “Well, I don’t want it.” And then he said, “You’re going to have to make a choice, and it’s either going to be me or that.” He couldn’t even say baby. I was devastated.

Martha: Sin causes you to want to hid. There is shame. "What will people think of me?" My focus was on myself and myself alone. I didn't think of that precious life that God had blessed me with. 

I kept thinking, If Rich's parents find out I'm pregnant, they will reject me. They will not want anything to do with me. They will want Rich to break it off with me.

His parents were very godly parents, and I loved them so much. And Rich has a lot of respect for his parents. So I just knew if they found out that I was pregnant, they would advise their son to break it off with me. I was so afraid that I was going to lose him.

Angie: At that moment, I just felt tears stream down my face. I didn’t want to have a baby. I didn’t want to hear anything anybody had to say. I was looking at my friend, like, “Let’s go.” Of course, she was disappointed, because she wanted the paper that I had. I was the one that was pregnant, and she wasn’t. We walked down to her car, and the whole way from that room all the way to her car, and she was filled with, I think, a lot of anger and jealousy because she wanted the child that I was pregnant with, essentially. She said things like, “You know, you shouldn’t do this. You’re not ready for a baby. Do you know what pregnancy does to a body? You can’t even take care of yourself. You can’t possibly take care of a baby. There’s no one helping you.” And I agreed with everything she said.

She was right. Because a lot of times when Satan speaks to us, he’s not telling lies. It’s the truth. I was alone. I was hopeless. I had no job, no income, no survival method. And so what she was saying was true. I felt hopeless, and I gave up. I said, “Fine. What’s your suggestion?”

She was my best friend. She said, “I have a place.”

Nancy: So off to a Planned Parenthood clinic I went to get some information. The woman there told me all that there was a blob of tissue, nothing that couldn't be done quick and easy. The solution was to have an abortion.

Lisa: I was called in with five other women into a room, which they called counseling. A woman there is talking to us about reproductive health, about birth control, about STDs, and the only thing she told us about abortion was that it’s just a blob of tissue. It’s a quick, simple,  easy procedure—twenty minutes—and you never have to think about it again. Then she goes through and polls each one of us and asks us, “Is this what you really want to do?” And we’re all kind of nodding.

They did do a sonogram, but she didn't want to let me see the screen. I told her I did want to see. I said, "Please, I've already had one child. I've had a sonogram before. I want to see it."

She kind of sighed and said, "Okay."

She rubbed my stomach again with the probe and clicked some buttons and turns the screen to me and points to a white dot on the screen. She says, "That's all it is. It's just a dot."

I thought, Okay, I can do this, because I didn't see a baby. What I know now is she wasn't showing me my baby. I don't know what she had on the screen, but she wasn't showing me a baby

Martha: You know what, ladies, the world lied to me, and the world will lie to you. They don’t care about you. The world does not care about me, and the world did not care about me or my baby.

Nancy: She said, "It's not a baby." And she's the medical person at the Planned Parenthood clinic, and I have no reason not to believe her.

Martha: I didn’t have anyone in my life to encourage me to do what was right.

Nancy: Nobody came and said, "It's not a baby. You'll regret that, and that will hurt you." They didn't tell me of the consequences that might come from that I was going to have a blind, surgical procedure, with instruments put inside of me and a machine turned on. They didn't tell me anything. They didn't tell me about fetal development. They just said that it was an easy solution, and you can get back to the party. You are so young.

Jennifer: I remember crying in my car, thinking, If somebody would just take me out of this set of circumstances, sit with me in a house and just kind of care for me, that would be the only way I could do this. If one person would just grab me, take me away, and live this out with me step by step, then I could do it. But I would have to have a really long-term commitment from that person. So that thought did enter my mind, but I didn’t find that person. I think my mom most certainly would have done it, but I never gave her the chance.

Martha: Even up to the time I walked through the doors of that clinic, deep within my heart and my soul I was wanting Rich to stand up and say, "Martha, no. We are not going to do this. I don't care what anyone thinks. I love you. I care for our baby. That baby is a part of me, too. And we're going to do what is right." But that never happened.

Jennifer: It was about the day before the abortion, and I walked into the bathroom, put my hands on my abdomen, and I just said, “I’m sorry.” Those were the only words I ever spoke to that child.

Angie: She pulled up in front of this kind of antique house, and we were sitting there. She said, “This is an abortion clinic, and I’ve been here,” because she’d had an abortion. Everything in me wanted to give this child up, to kill the baby inside of me. It wasn’t even a baby. My friend reassured me that it wasn’t even formed yet. That was the good choice—logically, it made sense. I’d keep my boyfriend. I couldn’t afford it anyways. It would be bad for the child. What would it grow up to be like? But this teeny, tiny, smallest part of my soul wouldn’t let me open that door. I even had my hand on the handle, and I couldn’t get out of the car. And this whole time my friend is crowding me with all of these negative things, just saying it in my ear so I would believe all these things. Two hours, right in front of that door, just waiting.

Fausto Gonzalez: I remember the day of the abortion.

Laura Gonzalez: It was in 1991, and that was the most horrible date of my life. It was horrible. I remember arriving to this place.

Fausto: There were Christian with signs out on the sidewalk.

Laura: They would say, “Are you sure you want to do this?”

Fausto: I just passed them by.

Laura: I ignored them.

Fausto: I walked through them.

Laura: I was just sitting in this waiting room with all of these teenagers. I was thirty-one.      

Martha: Dear Doctor, even as I was entering your clinic, I was trying to make myself believe that I was doing the right thing. There was no one to tell me otherwise. No one at your clinic took the time or even cared enough to inform me as to what I was about to do. They gladly took the $200, and then I was off to the room. 

Lisa: She put me up on this metal table, and they’re all preparing in the room. There are several people in there, and she puts a mask over my face to administer medication that was supposed to relax me, and it wasn’t relaxing me. I was terrified. Then the door flew open and in blew the abortionist, and I gasped, because I realized I knew him. He was a client in the law firm where I was working at the time. I’d just seen him at my office the week before.

Nancy: And would he have recognized you?

Nancy: Absolutely. He knew me very well, but he didn’t look at me. He didn’t review a medical chart. He didn’t examine me. He sat down and began the procedure.

Martha: You made me feel so uneasy as I laid on the table. I don't remember which started first, your humming and singing or the sound of the killing machine. Both were sounds I wanted to stop, but it was too late.

Laura: And I can remember the sound of the vacuum.

Lisa: The procedure I had was a vacuum aspirator and it's loud.

Laura: I can remember that right now.

Lisa: It just seemed like it was taking forever. I felt like my body was being violently shaken off the table.

Jennifer: It was just the most grueling thing I've ever experienced.

Nancy: I know I'm empowered to have the abortion. She's just empowered me. I know it's the right thing. But in my soul, as they are performing the abortion, I know that I'm killing a child.

Martha: As you were joyful humming, my precious child was being violently ripped apart and sucked out of my womb where she was supposed to be safe.

Lisa: I remember laying on that table, and that's when I had that moment where I cried out to God and said, "Please forgive me for what I am doing. I'm so sorry. I can't believe that I'm here and that I've come to this."

Nancy: I believe that God has written on our hearts as women that we are called to protect and preserve and nurture and love and not to destroy and to kill our children. And yet, that machine went on, and that's exactly what I did. That's exactly what I did.

Lisa: When the procedure finally ended, I heard the clanking of the metal instruments and the snap of his gloves as he took them off. He slapped me on the side of the leg and said, "Good luck to you." And then he walked out. He never even looked at me. He had no idea who he had performed an abortion on that day.

The lady who was holding the mask on my face was rubbing my forehead, and she said, "Go ahead and cry. It's good to cry."

I remember thinking, Why is it good to cry? Why is this okay if this is just a simple, medical procedure?

Nancy: Then it was over and we left the clinic and went to the bar and got drunk.

Angie: Right at that moment that I felt like I couldn't open the door, it was like, This is so stupid. Why am I even doing this. Negative, negative. So we pulled from the parking lot, and I was excited. I didn't think about it then, but now that I look back on it, I see that I changed. I made this choice. Even though I didn't know it, my heart made a choice. I'm willing to do this if there is hope. That's all God's needs is a willing heart.

Nancy: That’s Angie Shoemaker, a young woman who chose life over abortion thanks to a volunteer who was serving at a pregnancy care center here in Niles, Michigan—just down the road from the headquarters here at Revive Our Hearts. I'm so thankful for the work done by that amazing PCC and all its volunteers or the course of many years. 

Have you ever considered getting involved in your local pregnancy care center? Perhaps God could use you to change the life of a mom and a child forever.

Here on Revive Our Hearts, we’re preparing for Sanctity of Human Life Sunday—which falls the third Sunday of every January. We’re hearing several stories from women—and one from a dad—about the heavy weight of guilt that comes after an abortion. But that’s not the end of the story for any of these guests. Let’s continue listening as they tell you about the hope they’ve found in Jesus.

Laura: When I came to Christ, immediately, the first sin that came to mind was my abortion.

Martha: My sin is what crucified Jesus. He died in my place.

Fausto: I told my soul, “You killed your child.” And that was hard—that was hard.

Laura: That’s when I realized I had committed a sin, because I thought I was a nice person.

Martha: He suffered as no man will ever have to suffer. And what I have been through does not compare to what the Lord Jesus went through for me.

Laura: I was a baby killer. I killed a baby. But immediately I felt the grace of God.

Jennifer: At the end of the service, he said, “Jesus died for even murderers.” I knew he was talking to me. And he said, “There are probably holes in your heart that no one knows about. Just ask Jesus to come in and let His blood flow through those holes and heal them and make them whole again.” And for whatever reason, at that moment, it was real. It was real to me. I just asked Him to please forgive me for anything I had ever done. I begged Him for mercy. I said just, “I love You, and I am so sorry—just so sorry.”

Martha: I can remember one night in my bedroom, I got down on my knees, and I told the Lord, “Lord, I want You to be Lord and Savior of my life.”

Nancy: And that is when I began seeking the Lord until finally one night, after the fear gripping my soul, I was just so hopeless that I began to weep uncontrollably. I mean, one of those sobbing, bending over, the sounds aren’t even coming out because I’m just so devastated by what’s happened in my life.

And I just cried out. I said, “Jesus, please save me.” I remember laying in my bed, lifting my hands and saying, “Oh, Jesus, please save me, because if you don’t, I’m going to die.” And I had peace. I had hope. I felt new.

Laura: My eyes were opened. I understood life in a minute. I understood that I was a sinner, that Christ had come to bear my sins and had washed me with His sacrifice. I understood the gospel in an instant. It was amazing.

Jennifer: I cried for probably two or three hours straight after that, but it was a joyful cry because it was like this freedom that I didn’t know. Even colors and things outside looked brighter. It was true living. So now . . . to begin new life. That’s exactly what it was. It was new life in Christ, and He made all things new. It was mixed with a little bit of fear, but as I poured into the Word of God and just drew close to Him, I began discovering how much love and mercy He has. So some of that fear banished.

Martha: God began slowly changing me from the inside out. It’s a continual process. I’m so thankful that He will continue working in and through my life until the day He takes me home.

Nancy: Second Corinthians 5:17 says, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. The old is gone, the new has come.” I believe that I was born again through the night, and then just passed out. I don’t even remember falling asleep—don’t remember anything after that—but then waking up the next morning, the first thought that I had was of Jesus.

Almost immediately, Nancy, the healing began. The chains of shame and guilt and fear and regret, and all of those things that kept me a prisoner of abortion, were broken.

Martha: Ladies, no matter how much hurt and pain that you’re carrying from the past, God’s grace is sufficient, and God can begin that healing process in your life today.

Laura: The only way to deal with your guilt is to run to Christ. Christ is your Savior. Christ is your Redeemer. Christ is the Person that can forgive you, that can forgive your sins. He died for you on the cross, and His blood is all sufficient, and you can be forgiven for eternity for that sin.

Martha: I had to come to the place where I could forgive that doctor for the part that he played. God was there in that room with me, and He was grieving, not only over what my sin was doing to Him, but He was grieving also over what my sin was doing to His precious child. My abortion did not change His love for me. He loved me just as much as the day that He created me. God died for me knowing that I would have an abortion. He died for me anyway.

Laura: Your sins will be nailed to the cross. If there’s a Scripture that is engraved in my heart it is to know that my abortion was nailed to the cross.

Martha: My sin, not in part, but the whole, is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more. My sin is covered under the blood. Your sin is covered under the blood.

Laura: I have been forgiven of that horrible crime. I will have to deal with the consequences of my sin. There’s a member of my family that is missing, but I have been forgiven. I have been forgiven because of Christ.

Nancy: Since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, an estimated fifty million lives have been ended due to abortion—in the U.S. alone! Now, that's fifty million lives! That number is astronomical. It's mind-boggling. We can't get our heads or our hearts around it, can we? Each of those fifty million is precious to God and is part of a much larger story. We’ve been hearing some of those stories here on Revive Our Hearts.  

We've heard from Martha Schaale, Angie Shoemaker, Nancy Lincoln, Lisa Dudley, Jennifer Smith, and Laura and Fausto Gonzalez.

Each of these individuals have shared their story in greater depth here on Revive Our Hearts in the past. You can hear those programs in the archives at ReviveOurHearts.com.  

If you’ve been moved by today’s stories, would you ask the Lord how He might want you to be involved in the stories of other women and their unborn children. There are a lot of ways you can get involved at your local pregnancy care center, and I hope you’ll ask the Lord how He’d want you be a part. You could commit to praying, you could give to help underwrite their expenses, and the Lord may even prompt you to volunteer personally.

On Monday, we’ll hear from worship leaders Keith and Kristyn Getty. Find out why they have such a passion to see the gospel spread around the world and what they are doing to help fulfill the great commission. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

David Baroni. "It Is Well With My Soul." A Quiet Place: Instrumental Hymns, © 2009 Kingdomsongs Inc.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.

Join the Discussion