During a mission trip to Honduras in 2012, I met a girl who must remain nameless. We prayed together, worshiped together, and shared stories together. She shared her drug addiction with our group, including noticeable scarring on her arms. She was now drug free, working to free others from the same addiction.
I never lost touch with her. Her deep faith and abiding love for her Creator taught me much, and we’ve continued our friendship across the miles.
When I began 31 days of letters, some of you decided to join me. You recognized your need to heal by writing to the “thing” that hurts or hinders – or even helps. This friend joined me, and she’s been writing almost daily – and only I have had the honor and privilege of reading her letters.
After much prayer, she wants you to read too. Why? Because she has this hope: What man meant for evil, God will use for good. You are only as sick as your secrets. So. Trying to be as healthy as I can as I teach and lead the next generation of church leaders. Maybe they won’t wound from the pulpit. [or the pew]
We share because we love Him and you. And we want you to see Him at work, giving all glory to Him for our stories and for his redemption.
I want to warn you…this letter – tomorrow’s letter – both are hard. I pray you open your hearts before you read. Here’s the back story to today’s letter…
I was raped when I was 16 and got pregnant. I had an abortion without telling anyone. About four years ago God revealed to me that it was a girl, and He had named her Hope. I didn’t handle that revelation very well. BUT. Through much counseling, prayer, and much prompting to write a letter, I finally did. God promised me my daughter would bring Hope to the nations, and that can not be fulfilled if I keep her a secret. So, this letter begins the process, and I am telling my loved ones as God prompts.
This is my letter to my aborted daughter.
God introduced you to me a couple of years ago, and I am sorry it has taken me this long to acknowledge you. I was scared. It was hard, and I was hurting. When I was young I learned some poor coping skills that led to addictions, and I tend to fall back on those when I feel scared and hurt. So, I ignored you – pushed the pain of your existence deeper and deeper. It was self-protection. I did not want to relapse into addiction. But here I am, and I am trying, fighting.
I want to say to you…
I am sorry.
I was confused, hurting, and angry. I did not know what else to do. Those helping me make this decision did not help me make a good one. They told me it would not hurt, and it would all be over after the procedure. I would be free of it. Of you.
They lied. I will always carry you with me.
I don’t have all of the answers. I don’t know why you have the earthly father that you do. But God told me He is taking care of you, and I trust Him to do that. Know that even though I failed you, you can always count on Him to love and protect you.
I am sorry.
Sometimes I think about you, especially around the time I think would have been your birthday. I think about how much you have probably grown. I wonder if you would have had freckles like me or red hair. I have always wanted a red-haired little girl, so I am thankful that God introduced me to you. But, it makes me miss you a lot, which I know is strange to say when I never actually met you. Still, I know even for that short time you were a part of me.
It makes me sad that I won’t get to see you grow up or watch you play with my sisters; you would love them. They are so goofy. But, I am glad you have had a chance to meet my grandma in heaven. Have her sing the apple tree song to you – that one was my favorite growing up.
I wonder sometimes about the things you would like or how you would laugh or cry. I am thankful sometimes you do not have to live in this scary, painful world. People can be very mean.
Sometimes I miss you so much I think my heart is going to explode. I wonder if you watch me, if you see what I am doing now, and if you are proud of me. I hope so. I am trying really hard to be faithful, do good, and stay sober. I hope you can see that.
I am excited to meet you one day, and hopefully, you will have siblings to meet too. But until then, can I ask you something?
Will you forgive me for not protecting you? For not asking the nurses and doctors the right questions. For not being brave enough to tell someone about you before it was too late. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you; it means I was too scared to know different. Will you forgive me? I hope. I promise you I will do my best to keep trying to forgive myself.
Do you have something living deep inside for which you feel shame? You don’t expect others to forgive you because you can’t even forgive yourself. I pray you take a step toward healing by writing a letter to it. You can rip it up immediately, or share it on Facebook – that part isn’t important. Healing, forgiving, and grace – those are important.
Please pray for my friend as she shares her story with her family and friends. It is the beginning of a hard journey she’s willing to take for His glory.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9