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Saturday, October 24, 2015

I'm still here

It's been over a year since I stood before a group of women and told my story of abortion, and the story continues.

I remember being nervous, but not overwhelmed. As I stood there at the podium, I would peak up from my notes to see tissues in hands, wiping wet eyes. God gave me strength I didn't know I could have. I still mixed up my words, I stumbled over my notes, I shed a few tears of my own, but I got through it. In the end I was overwhelmed by the women who came forward to the cross. I finished up with the offer to come to the cross with their own burdens that held them from a true relationship with God. I was greeted with tears and hugs, words of appreciation and encouragement.

As we cleared away the table decorations and stacked up the tables and chairs, I had the opportunity to collect a stack of notecards that had been tacked to the cross by the ladies who had come forward. I found an array of pain and struggle that came as a bit of a surprise to me considering I knew a large number of the attendees. Many of the cards where the struggles we all struggle with, jealousy, bitterness, anger, resentfulness toward a spouse, but there were a few that really touched my heart. One said she took the life of her child (abortion) and one said she had an affair with a married man. Even as Christians, we deal with the big things in life, we struggle with the same things non-christians do. It's been over a year and I still have those cards.

Life happens around us and sometimes to us. We are faced with choices of how to deal with the issues and with whom we can rely on for support during those times. As a Christian, a believer, I found I have a rock solid support, that will see me though the worst of times. Being I grew up with the knowledge of God and his son Jesus, it was easier to accept that I could have a relationship that would support me no matter what. It's been as an adult that I chose to truly believe and rely on that belief. But I've come across so many who were either raised in the church and said that's not for me, people who were hurt by people in the church, or look at it as a random story that has no relevance in their lives. When I think about what this must look like from the outside, looking in, and yes it comes off as a bit strange. I have a great pain in my heart for them, and struggle with how to make it real to them. All I can say it that I've seen God's grace, forgiveness and love in my life over and over again. You ask how, well it's hard to explain some times, but a load of groceries that show up when you have a real need, unexpected money that covers a bill that has come due. A job at just the right time, or funny enough, to be laid off just when a friend or family member needed special care during a health crisis, and I was free to be there and fill that need. You begin to realize that things happen in your life that are way beyond your control, and its okay. God's got my back. He is there, encouraging me, prodding me along to do things that stretch me beyond what I might be willing to do myself. When in comes to my abortion, it was me who held on to the shame and guilt far too long, God was there, willing to forgive me all along, but I had to make the choice to accept his forgiveness.

Since I've made the choice to accept that forgiveness, and accepted his challenges to do something  with this experience, I have found several interesting things have occurred. I have realized that I have a voice, both written and verbal. This blog has become proof of that alone. Last year when I spoke to that group of ladies, I had around 7500 views to this blog, but now a year later, I'm getting close to rolling over 10,000 views. I haven't spent much time here, I had felt like I have run out of things to say. But God has used this little blog about my story to share with you and others all over the world. I thank God for bringing good out of something that was horrible.

I've also begun to find my verbal voice, after speaking last year, I found myself with the opportunity to speak again this year at the same conference. I shared the microphone with a small group of friends, as we each talked about our struggles as Christian women. How we fight with all the distractions life has to offer, exhaustion, family demands, TV, computers, cell phones, etc; with finding time to spend studying and praying to God.

Life is what we make of it, and how we get through the tough spots will reflect on the rest of our lives. Will we be bitter or resentful, or will we find grace and forgiveness.  I pray that you will find peace in the difficult things in your life, and if you don't know God, that you at least give it the time too check it out for yourself.

God has given me a new task, he gave me a voice. I may not be here often, but I'm still here, and I'm still praying for you.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

It's almost here

It's been almost a year since it was laid on my heart, but thirty days from now I will stand in front of an audience of 80 women and tell my story. This has been a long journey in finding peace within myself. To openly admit a choice I made, and to accept the responsibility for that choice, and in doing so accept the forgiveness from a loving Heavenly Father who cares about me. Who only wants to be able to have a open relationship with me, I just have to be the one to allow it. When we allow guilt and shame be our "go to", we short change ourselves by blocking the love God has to offer us. If you are struggling with the guilt and remorse from having an abortion, know that God is there to forgive you. It seems so simple, but it really boils down to just that, ask for forgiveness and accept the fact that God will give it to you.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Writing in the dirt

I've been sitting here watching a movie tonight about a man who through all sorts of difficulties and trials he finds God. How listening to God changed his life, and how he lived out his faith. During the story he has a visit from his pastor and the tells the man that he has felt the call to preach. The pastor take butt of an ear of corn and writes the date in the dirt and tells his him to remember a that date, to remember that this was a very important day.

As I watched this act of recognition, I knew, recently I've had those days. The first day was October 2nd, 2010, the day I began this blog with tears in my eyes and an intense need to finally let go of the pain and share my story. That day was the beginning of a new path for my life. I had been listening for God's guidance for years, but since that day my hearing has become sensitive, sensitive to hear and feel God's presence in my life. That day I realized that as long as I held onto the pain and shame of abortion, I could not hold on to God. By giving up the hold pain and shame, I allowed God to fill me with grace and forgiveness. This past three years I have grown in my faith in God, and have accepted that He will take this part of my life and use it to bring healing to others. The second day I want to write in the dirt is October 5th, 2013. This is the day that God decided to challenge me to do more, to actually get up and speak the words in front of my peers, to again share my story. 


I've began the process of compiling what I want to say. But today I felt the need to recognize God working in my life. To recognize that he is real and I can stand firm in that belief. To feel peace about my past and assurance that He is there with me as I go forward.


Today I pray for you, for those who read these words, who have not been able to let go of pain, guilt and shame in your life. Know that is possible to be free from it, and know that God can change your life.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The next step

When you make the choice to be open to God's leading you have to be prepared to taken down roads that leave you panic stricken, uncomfortable, left at a loss for words, the whole nine yards. I've spent the last 24 hours attending a Women of Faith conference which has left me feeling deeply convicted that I needed to take my story to the next level. Not just write somewhat anonymously, but to be willing to stand before a group of my peers and tell my story. I must say I'm petrified at the thought, but I know that just like facing putting the words to the page here in my blog, I will now trust that God will have my back, and will stand beside me as I share my words.  I'm scheduled to speak in September of 2014, so I have the next eleven months to prepare, pray and decide which details of my story is most important to tell. 

Accept forgiveness and trust God to lead you into the unknown, to places you would never dream of venturing. You will grow beyond what you could ever imagine.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Time passes

Time passes. It`s 10pm on Sunday night on April14th, 2013, yesterday we attended  memorial service for a beloved Uncle, and now we are sitting and waiting for my husband's sister to take her last breath. This last few weeks have been filed with loss and pain.
In spite of the heartache of loss I thank God for he peace that he provides when life throws difficult time at us.
Today I pray for the people around me, for God to take his child home and end her suffering and for her family that will be left behind to grieve.
We will all face death one day, and what we do with those days before our time comes will determine our outcome on the other side.
Loss of life, death of loved ones, force us to examine ourselves, and look at what is important. Ask yourself, are there fences that need mending, relationships that need reconciled? Don't wait for it to be to late to try.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Coming full circle

Well, she has arrived.

As I headed for my truck to drive to the hospital yesterday, I found myself overwhelmed with emotions (not that this is anything new). But as I thought back on what I went through as a young mother after my abortion, and the emotions that left me ragged and spent, struggling with how I felt about my abortion, how I hurt for my son when his was child being aborted. Yesterday there was no pain, no struggle, but overwhelming joy as this new life has been brought in this world. To see my son hold his daughter and look contently at her leaves me with tears streaming down my face knowing that God has blessed us with life, in spite of screw-ups we make if we just trust him.

So with all toes and fingers accounted for, a clean bill of health, here is our beautiful new girl with her parents. Weighing in at 7lbs 6oz and 20.5 inches long, Olivia James is our blessing.

Daddy with his little girl. He's a goner!

Yes I am this cute!
The best place on earth, mommy's chest.



Ten perfect little toes
And yes, my Daddy is that silly!
He's pretending to eat my brain....
.really, I have 18 more years of this.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Who I am becoming

Yesterday our pastor preached on how to communicate with our spouse, and upon reflection I learned something about myself. I realized that I'm a Fight or Flight person, I don't know if that is an actual thing, but for me from an early age my life was filled with being in a reactive state, my father retreated quietly to situations, and my mother might chase me through the house with a wooden spoon. So I struggled with finding balance in behaviors, knowing how to work through difficult situations, and looking back now I see that as a teen my behavior escalated as things began leading up to my parents divorce, I retreated to fight or flight, and in those years it was flight the majority of the time. Avoid the arguments, avoid the tension around the house, avoid dealing with what I was feeling. But all that avoidance festered into an ulcer I fought with for many years until a time after being married and moved past those difficult times. but by that time I established a fight/fight pattern that I have been using my entire life.


So when I discovered I was pregnant the first time, again it was flight that surged through my decision to abort, run from the shame, run from the acknowledgement of my behavior. Many things drive us abort, and sadly enough we don't get the chance to see what is driving us until long after that time has passed. I think as women, an unwanted pregnancy brings out the fight or flight in all of us. Do we fight for that life, or do we run from it? For many years the sight of abortion protesters brought out my automatic flight response. It was my need to fight against that flight urge that brought me to the day I began to blog.


As I emerged as an adult, I moved away from the flight mode in many circumstances and I found my fight response in many situations or with certain people. I find myself now automatically going into fight mode even when there is no form of threat to me, and I've created an environment of tension that was my own doing. I realized that I've lived in a constant level of anxiety with everything around me. How we handle the situations is a reflection of who we are, but we have the opportunity to change that about ourselves.


It amazes me to look at myself now, and know that I use fight or flight in every decision I make, in the words that come out of my mouth, in how I've treated people around me, even over the smallest of things, and without thinking about what caused my reaction. Today my goal is to change that pattern, everything in life is not fight or flight, some things just are, and I don't need to feel panic or stress over every thought. God gives us peace if we will only accept it. Today I realized that I have not accessed that peace enough. 


The Bible is very clear regarding this in Matthew 6:25-34

 "If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God's giving . People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. (The Message version)

Today I will focus on letting things just "be", I know that God will handle the details, and I just need to be obedient, and relax. Driving past the abortion clinics don't cause tears to rise up in my eyes anymore, the urge to flee have passed, and I now need to let go of the  many other areas and people in my life that trigger the automatic fight/flight response and give them to God. I know that recognizing this is not an instant fix, I know that this will take time for me to work through a deep seeded response, but today I accept that I continue to need change in me, and giving it over to God is the first place to start.


No matter where you are in your journey, God can bring about change and healing if you are open to it.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Another Friday passes

Another Friday passed again, and I found myself wondering if there is a way for me to get out of the office and at least drive by the clinic.  To see their faces, to smile and wave, to stay connected.


With the new year stretched out before me I think about the things that happened last year, and what I may face in the future.  Today at church we will have our annual recognition of the Sanctity of Life. We have a lady who will have her anti abortion brochures on a table and passing out little footprint pins. There will be a rally and walk in downtown Portland. This will be a quite recognition around the church, I feel most people still don't know how to handle this subject. I will pray for all of us today, for those facing a unplanned pregnancy, and for those of us who have been there, for those who don't know how to react. 


I guess seeing the announcement of this observance brings me here to all of you, to stand with you and gather strength to know I'm forgiven and I have to continue to be there for others.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Anniversary

It's been one year today since my heart was pierced and I was convicted in my soul to start this blog.  I feel blessed for having gone through this journey, and thanks to all of you who have traveled with me. 


Now if abortion comes up as a topic of conversation I'm not stricken with guilt or fear, I'm not afraid to speak up and say yes, I've had an abortion. I still choke up a bit, but now its because I have overwhelming compassion for others who also have experienced abortion and those who are thinking about abortion as an option to their own situations.


I will still take the time to come back here write as things continue to touch my life and I am always overwhelmed to see how far my story continues to travel around the world. But more that just taking the time to reflect on this last year, today something else has touch my life. 


As this anniversary has approached, I've wondered how I would feel, and what I would share with you. Funny enough today my news is the Joy of New Life,  today I learned my youngest son and his new wife are expecting their first child (my first living grandchild, not just a step-grandchild). Today we look to the future of a life that will be showered with love and raised with the knowledge that they are wanted and loved by our family, but more importantly, regardless of where life takes them that they are loved by God.


In nine months we will celebrate with them when this child arrives and I'm sure I will take some time to come here and share it with you.


Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, thank you for following and leaving comments. I had no idea as to where this would go when I started this last year, and continue to pray that my story would encourage others who struggle.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday - One year later...

Well it's Friday again, and Sunday will be one year since I began this journey.


Funny how things happen, but today I had the need to go to "that" post office again, and there they stood again. Today I looked for them,  I tried to recognize faces, I wanted to see them there.


After completing my task at the post office I drove right past them, today I smiled and waved.


As I pulled around the corner, my throat choked up, and tears welled up in my eyes. Today I'm thankful for the blessing that those people brought to my life.


Today I can drive by them, no more shame or guilt clouding over me. Today I can truly say I know healing has taken place in my life. I will always regret that choice all those years ago, but I know that I have become the woman I am because of that choice too.


I've realized the importance of letting it out until it stops hurting, giving this pain and grief to God, and asking for that forgiveness, over and over again, until I finally let go and believe that I'm truly forgiven.


If you are out there, still in the grip of that pain and hurt, find help. Know that you can find peace after abortion.


I've sat and watched the television program Grey's Anatomy last two episodes, and they featured one of the doctors making the choice to have an abortion because her need to be a surgeon was more important. They showed her husband with her in the office for the procedure, and then last night they showed them after the fact, hardly speaking to each other until the end of the show, where they both got sick together, which seemed to smooth things over between them, but never address how they felt about the abortion now that it was done. Their choice was not to talk about it. So I get the writers need to show the struggle in the decision to have the abortion, but they did little to address what it does to you later. I can only pray that maybe down the road they will take the next step and show the pain that can fester under the surface and that abortion changes the course of your life, even when you don't realize it.


I've meet some amazing women through this process and have been amazed at the number of women that were already in my life that are affected by our right to "choice”.


In my mind we as survivors are a family, we all know what this is, and how it has touched our lives. Standing together is the only way that we will survive. Know you are loved by all of us and there are more caring people out there then you will ever realize, willing to stand beside you as you step out of the shadows.
I pray that this world will see what this procedure is doing to the women around us, and it brings about change, but for now I pray for the women who are still hiding in the shadows, not ready to face the secret.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Embracing change

It's been some time since I sat down and posted anything and today I find myself full of reflection and feeling the need to log my thoughts.

A year and a half ago my youngest son who was still living at home decided to get married and moved his new wife in with us, and then this last spring my older son and his wife split up, so he moved back home...well this last weekend the older son moved back out, and now the younger son and his wife are preparing to move out in the next few weeks.

It's weird to think about the fact thirty two years ago, a choice made from fear would would set me on a course that would bring me here. Sending off my sons out into a world, grown men, out to make choices on their own, hopefully prepared to make their own mistakes and hopefully learn from them. But knowing that they have God on their side, and mom standing in the wings waiting to help pick up the pieces when thing go wrong.

I've been impressed as a mom, there have been many times they have come to me with the dilemma's of their lives and asked me what my thoughts are, and sometimes they even follow my suggestions.

Now my job will be to pray for them daily as they take steps on their own, know that they are in God's hands and trust that they will do just fine. After starting this process last year, documenting how my abortion affected me, I have moments when I think about how different life would be with one more child to worry over, but I know that he/she is in the comfort of the Lord's care, not to be worried about in this world.

My nest will finally be empty.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

am i worthy of god if i had an abortion

"am i worthy of god if i had an abortion"


This statement is a direct "copy and paste" of what someone typed into a search engine and used to find my blog.


I have gone back and looked at the statement over and over again knowing I asked this question of myself many times over the years since my abortion.


"am i worthy of god if i had an abortion"


This question now causes me to choke up, when I told my son what I found, tears welled up in his eyes, and I want to scream "YES!" and hope that you hear me. I want to wrap my arms around you and cry with you, and say it does get better, and have you know that you are not alone.


Know that God never stops loving us, and we are free to go to Him through Jesus, ask His forgiveness with a sincere heart and He will openly accept us back into His Grace. God's love is beyond what we will ever understand.


"am i worthy of god if i had an abortion"


At my church our pastor has been preaching on sin and salvations the last couple of weeks, and it is just more proof to me that I have been forgiven and I am saved inspite of my past sins. These are a few of the scripture he used as he preached. The words are not just mine, but proclaimed over and over in the Bible.


Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin… Acts 13:38-39


For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Romans 3:23


For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:17


…so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. Hebrews 9:28


For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: Romans 1:16


Yes, you can be worthy of God. I pray you see this and believe it.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Walk

I'm surprised that now several weeks have passed since the walk, and I'm still stuggling with how that day affected me. I sat down after the walk, edited my pictures and then started to work on my post here...well the words would not come, and even now I struggle with the words.


That Saturday I gathered with a small group of friends among a rather large crowd for a cause. Before our walkathon began we gathered with everyone in a area that is an outdoor amphitheater for music, prayer and to hear a couple of stories about why people who where there chose to walk. To hear how abortion touched the lives of those who were asked to speak.


Needless to say this is where the tears came, during the prayer time they said that 95% of the women who see an ultrasound of their baby, keep the baby. That 95% know that the baby exists and stops being a lump of tissue, and becomes a real tangible human.


Of those who spoke was a prominent radio broadcaster who has a nation wide radio show, Lars Larson, for him his wife had an unplanned pregnancy before they were married, and she had to opportunity to abort, but chose life for that child. The child is 21 now and is an active caring adult.






The second speaker was a woman who had actually been to a Pregnancy Resource Center 15 years earlier and her 14 year old son was there with her to walk thanks to the support from the center. Through the resources of PRC she was able to become a college graduate, and is a successful mother of six healthy children.


The more I walk this journey, the more I see how abortion has affected peoples lives. It may all be about us in that moment, but it goes on to affect people way beyond our circle of influence. Hearing others stories makes me seem so small in my struggle, so many others have faced harder choices, struggle more and felt more pain. We are all in this together, and need to continue to support each other. We need to support those who are in those moments, and those who have come though with their scars and still need healing. I pray for those who still suffer in shadows.


Here are a few images from my walk. I will walk again.










Our team of walkers

Friday, May 13, 2011

It's coming

In just a few hours I will be taking another step in my journey. Saturday morning I will gather with a few friends, and head into downtown Portland to raise money for Pregnancy Resource Centers. As I've prepared for this event, I've found a few moments that have choked me up, talking with people and thinking about the young women that this organization will help.

I had a friend who has been following my journey say that she felt I would touch lives on Saturday. I wonder how much it will be my life touched compared to me touching other lives. I've decided to take copies of my first blog post with me (like I did that day on the corner), with the web address to the blog if they want to know more. I want to be prepared for anything that day, so I will have a wad of tissues in my bag as well. This will be the first time I include a few friends in my journey, and that seems to bring about some emotion all its own. It's much easier to go out alone among strangers then it is to face people who know you. The idea of it even now brings out that raw emotion that has plagued me throughout this entire journey.

I'm taking my camera again too, to document this day. I will share it with you when I return.

I want say Thank You to all my readers and everyone who continues to share my story with others, for the heart felt comments have truely touched me. This is the greatest gift of all, to know that maybe others are finding some peace, some common ground, in my story.

I ask for your prayers as I take these steps and if you find it in your heart to help me raise funds for this organization please check out the link listed below. Every $5 donation makes a difference, it doesn’t have to be a monumental amount to help, it all adds up.

Coral's Fundraising Page

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mothers Day

Today I remember my Mother, my Grandmothers who have passed on, and I remember the child I do not know. Praying that someday I will know that child, and have it know that it was loved.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Taking Steps

It's Sunday morning, and I'm up extra early this morning dealing with a nasty sinus infection that is trying to get the better of me. As I sit here bundled up in a blanket I've puttered around on Facebook (which not many of my friends are up at 3:30am), gone over some emails, to do lists and checked my stats here on my blog. All is quiet in the house except for my coughing and nose blowing....so it's not so quiet, but this time of day always allows me time for retrospect; time to be in my own thoughts without the television running or someone asking what's for dinner, or where something is at. This is a much cherished time for me. So as strange as it seems, I don't mind being awake long before the sun comes up, or my family.

A while ago I was told about a fund raising walk that supported Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRC) here in the Portland area, and at that time part of me said this is something I need to do. But as life goes on, I got busy with other stuff.  As the event has been drawing closer, we have had flyers up at church, bulletin inserts and I've even prepared the Powerpoint slide for it, which is shown as part of our announcement time. But the last few days I've felt that tug again that this is something I need to fully support. So I've taken the next step, I've signed up, and I will be preparing to make the two mile walk in less than a couple of weeks.

PRC provide an amazing service for woman who are unsure as to how to deal with an unwanted pregnancy. They offer free pregnancy tests and RN performed ultra sounds, maternity and baby clothes, adoption resources, counseling and many other community resources for woman who are struggling with their choices. They are a non-profit organization that is truly a blessing to each community they are located in, and each life they touch.


As I spent time on the corner with the people around the abortion clinic, they shared with me stories of taking women from that clinic (Planned Parenthood - which I question where the parenthood part comes in) over to the PRC clinic that is only a few blocks away, and through that process saw healthy babies born months later, and lives changed because of it. 


Sometimes all we need in life is a bit of support that everything will be okay.  That doesn't say that bringing a child into the world will be an easy task; no where near in many cases, as easy as it is to get pregnant in the first place. Even in planned pregnancies, difficult times come, sometimes babies are unhealthy and require extra care, we face financial challenges, hits to our pride admitting our actions that brought to that point, but to love a child is a privilege, and regardless of the circumstances behind the pregnancy, a pregnant woman gets the chance to bring a child into the world and have to opportunity to show love. Sometimes she will be the one to provide that love and care for the child and sometimes the biggest act of love will be putting that child up for adoption for someone else to take over, she just has to be given the chance to make that choice. 


Last weekend I had the privilege of meeting a little downs syndrome boy and his grandma at an Easter Egg Hunt. He had to have been around two years old and so full if love and life that he was just a joy to be with.  After a few minutes of taking his picture and talking with his grandmother, he held out his arms to me for me to hold him. He smiled and laughed, and offered the candies he had picked up to me. He accepted me, a total stranger, with love and open arms. Its moment like that that reminds me how precious life is.


So for me, having a resource like PRC in our community is very important and vital service. We will never change every woman's mind to not go through with an abortion, but we have to at least an opportunity to offer them all the choices. To me, that is pro-choice, to have all the options available to you, to not be rushed and to be supported. Even if you have had an abortion, you need support; PRC trained the teacher of the post-abortion class I took. So where ever you are in your life journey, we need places like PRC to help us along the way.


If any of these babbling strikes a cord with you and you have a few dollars to spare, I ask that you sponsor me as I walk on the 14th (use my link below). If nothing else, pray that the dollars raised will be enough to keep the clinics open, and that they continue to be in our communities, and continue to provide vital services to those in need.  

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Amazed and in Awe

Today I'm feeling a little guilty, time has passed and I've given little notice to my blog. After going through the process of sharing my story I did find myself exhausted and spent. I've come here and checked my stats from time to time, but the idea of sitting and sharing my thoughts seemed overwhelming and something to be set aside.  But coming back today has stirred my thoughts and emotions. 


As I look across the stats I see over 300 visits to my blog just this month, and from countries far from my little town in Oregon. Just this week I've had visitors from Australia, United Kingdom, Peru, South Africa, India, Netherlands, the Philippines as well as the United States. I can't help be totally amazed at how far this has spread, and the activity it has aroused. I've also been very humbled by the comments and notes that many have left for me.


I know that God has had His hand in all of this, and I can only pray that my story will help others who struggle too. His hand pushed me to write, in spite of the pain and difficulty that came from dragging this all back up. The fact that I have not written in over a month and yet my story is still traveling on (regardless of my neglect) leaves me in awe.


If anyone reading this is struggling with how to cope with the feelings that overwhelm, I'm a true believer in writing things down.  It doesn't matter if you are any good at it or not, it doesn't matter if you make it public or keep it to yourself, but writing down those feeling, acknowledging that pain seems to help bring peace.  Give this struggle to God and know that there are many ways to find healing.  If you have found my blog, than you can find other sites with help; as I've researched Abortion Healing I found more sites than I could look at with resources. So if you are hurting, don't stop looking for help, for strength to keep moving forward, and to find healing.
As I took the time to stop and visit with the people on the corner, I found more resources.  I don't know how easy it is in other countries, but you are always welcome to write to me here.
You can always send a note to coral.facingthesecret@gmail.com if nothing else. I'm no great counselor or doctor, but I can be a friend.  I will always listen, even if I'm half a world away.



Saturday, March 12, 2011

The wrong approach to Abortion

This morning I stumbled across a U.S.News article that spoke out against anti-abortionist who has taken to radicalism to make there point. The radicals yell obscenities at the people entering the clinics, make bomb threats, hack websites, on and on. So I have to ask myself are they helping anyone, are they making a difference, or are they making it harder for those who are?


After spending time at the corner next to the clinic last week, I feel frustrated when I hear that people continue to use negative behavior trying to stop a negative behavior. They give everyone a bad name in the process. 


I am thankful for the group that stands on the corner in my community; they are peaceful loving people who want to make change and offer help, and do it with love. I can only pray for those who think being radical about things, to see that what they do is of little help, they need to vote their concerns, write letters to their congressmen, and realize that the people who are entering those clinics (patient or worker) are human too, when did we stop seeing the faces of those we harm. You will not change their minds if you never touch their hearts, and you will never get to their heart if they feel threatened.


It also saddens me when so many of these radical do these things under the blanket of religion. No where in the scriptures I read does it give me the authority to commit harm, mentally or physical, to another human. I am to show love, peace, patience, healing, forgiveness, and always striving for restoration in our relationship with God, regardless of the action (or in the Christian world - Sin); which is what I will continue to strive for.


This morning its gray and raining out side; and that matches my feelings when I read about people who are trying to do the right thing, but got that idea twisted in the execution of it. We speak out against bullies in the schools who bring harm to our children, but sometimes we miss the adult bullies that are out to shame and physically hurt others, using their cause as a immunity card for their behavior.


Time for me to get off my soapbox....like I said, it makes me gray.

Monday, March 7, 2011

New directions thanks to an abortion

After experiencing a day on the corner, I'm finding a renewed feeling about where I'm going with my story.  I learned that the local area is having a walk to raise money for the Pregnancy Resource Centers in our area and I'm prepared to start training to walk in that fund raiser. Also I feel like maybe I could find my voice yet, and that I could publicly speak about it, even if it is only to my own church. 


I've also been given the opportunity to lead a community outreach program and I've been realizing how entangled my need to share my story has taken me deeper into the need to be out in my community making a difference.  To use my story to help motivate others to step out and stand on that corner too; as well as work with organizations to provide counseling for post abortive people and many other areas such has parenting classes, feeding the hungry, assisting the shut-in's, and the list goes on and on. To recognize that becoming a Christian was not a one time event, but a life time of commitment to God and serving others. It's far from warming a seat on the pew each week, or serving only those within the walls of a church. It's banning together with other believers to show love to those outside those walls that will matter the most.


I've worked doing community events as well as events for the benefit of the members at different churches over the years, but now this kind of work seems to have new meaning to me. By standing on that corner, I know what it is to stand out there and show unconditional love, and I know what it means to receive it. It's not about doing something expecting some kind of reward, but it's putting yourself out there for others with no expectation of compensation, and sometimes even acknowledgement.


So sharing my story with all of you who have been reading along has only proven to me more that this journey is far from over.  I don't know if I will go deeper into the fight against abortion, or if I will be lead in a different direction all together, but I'm sure God will show me the way, I'll I have to do is have a willing heart. I also know that everything I do is somehow linked to that abortion if for nothing else; it has made me who I am. 


Some of the signs held on the corner say "I regret my abortion, or Men regret abortion too", but at this point in my life I can say I don't regret my abortion. I regret the loss and not knowing that child, I regret the sin that brought me to that choice, but going through that experience has brought me here. I have learned what it is to forgive and be forgiven. It has given me a soft heart for those who are struggling with choice, it has given me a story to use to encourage others, so when it comes to that, no I don't regret it. I am far from done writing, my journey continues and I hope you continue to be here with me. 


I know abortion will still continue to impact me, I'm sure I'm not done crying about it, but today is not that day; today the sun is out, the sky is amazingly blue and I am heading out to enjoy it knowing God loves me in spite of my screw ups and my faults. I will continue to have moments of failure in my life, and have others fail and disappointment me, but what's important is that we handle it all in love and grace.


Many blessings to each of you. Never be afraid to ask for help, and never be afraid of showing love and kindness to others.


As I stepped onto my front porch I had to run back in a grab my camera and take a shot of the sky to share with you.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A New Friday....

Yesterday morning at 5:30am, I found myself awake, laying in bed with tears streaming down my face. I had the intense realization it was Friday, and with the realization I knew that this would be the day.  The day all my appointments and projects were put on hold, any random acts of laziness would have to wait. 


This was my day to stand on the corner with the others. Not just drive by, to shield my eyes from them, but to be one of them, to tell my story and to hear theirs. 


~~~~~~~

Upon arriving across the street from the clinic, I climb out of my truck, pull out print outs of my blog and my camera and with coffee in hand I head across the street toward the few that had already gathered. I could feel the lump in my throat growing and the emotion welling up inside me, asking my self all the way there how do I approach these people, how do I explain why I'm there? But as I walked up to the three ladies who were standing on the edge of the driveway I began to choke up and tears were welling in my eyes, and it was with God's grace that they asked me if they could help me. I said "yes, but not the way you think". I was able to share with them how their efforts of standing on that corner caused me to be standing there now. I was able to tell them that I struggled with them standing there; they were hard to look at some days, that some days they made me angry and some days sad. But it was seeing them every week that also caused me to write.


They shared stories of taking a woman to Pregnancy Resource Center four blocks from where we stood, and after having a positive pregnancy test, and with the help of the resource center had her child. Another case a woman was returning after an abortion and appeared to be very ill, and after one of the volunteer too the woman to the hospital they found to find that she had a serious infection as a result from her abortion. One of the men shared with me that one day he was actually on the corner of the post office across the street just praying and  there was a gentleman milling around who seemed to want to say something, so the man I was speaking with asked him if he could help him. In turn the man shared that he had a child of his aborted without having a say in the matter and that even now many years later, he still suffered the loss of it. The man I was speaking with was able to provided resources for counseling for the man. The stranger on the corner was moved by the fact that they were there, just like I have been, he needed someone to hear him, to know that abortion had caused him years of pain. 


They showed me that if I stand on the far side of the north driveway, those in the waiting room upstairs can see us, and if we happen to step onto their property just a little they are more than willing to call the police. There are cameras on all sides of the building and they are continually watching to see that we are not stepping out of line. As we stand there chatting over to coarse of the 2.5 hours I'm there, I watch a unmarked police car circle by several times just keeping an eye on things. Also while we are there by the driveway the mail carrier is entering the law office that in the location below the clinic and she turns and thanks us for being there. I learn that the law office is the building owners and they are as unhappy as the clinic that we are there, they feel threatened that if our being there ever caused the clinic to close or move he would loose his renter, so they make threats and call the police too, even when the group stuck free standing signs in the dirt around a tree in the sidewalk, so that is not allowed either.


These people who stand on that corner provide a resource sheet for anyone who will take it with free clinic resources, information about the link from the pill to breast cancer with alternatives to the pill, post abortion resources, and pregnancy and post natal services. They stand on the corners holding their signs and they pray....and some where in the mix they were praying for me. I talked with both men and woman with willing hearts to do a unselfish work for God, that have a love for others even when they see little results. Today I was one of there results, and it was humbling to me to be thanked so lovingly for coming to the corner and sharing my story.


In the time I am there I see many that won't acknowledge that we are there, some will just say "No, Thank You", and a few were willing to listen even if for just a minute or so. I listened as they share with two different couples, one was willing to take the information offered, and interestingly enough it was the guys that were more interested or at least more polite about listening. One woman came and spoke with us after her appointment with her young daughter and infant son, and one woman was willing to roll down her car window as she left and accept the information, while others were talking on cell phones (which funny enough is against the law here) and would not look up at us. The group told me of stories of getting the thumbs up from some who drive buy, some thumbs down and other finger gestures from the traffic that pass them, but during my visit to the corner there was little acknowledgement that we were there.


Toward the end of the morning I chatted with one of the younger women there, and we talked about what kind of signs would better reach those coming to the clinic, and different approaches that would provide someone visiting the clinic feel safe in approaching us not condemned. They were asking the same questions that I asked as I watched them each week; how do we show hope, love and caring to people who are hurting?


~~~~~~~

Now as I sit here looking back at my experience I'm really glad that I took the time to go and stand on the corner with them. To know what it is like, to see the faces of those going into the clinic, to get to know these dedicated people who use there time and endure the negative comments and gestures to save the lives of unborn babies and offer alternative services for those who come to the clinic. As I spent my time there I started with apprehension, but instead I was amazed to find peace standing there on the corner.


I now look at these dedicated people as friends and people I will pray for as they do their work, and people I will see again because I will be back from time to time to stand with them again.
My new corner friends