Today I went to the movies. My dear friend had gotten us tickets. I was excited to see this new movie “Unplanned” but was a bit afraid that it would stir up emotions that I didn’t want to stir up. I started asking God a few days ago about it. He seemed to gently whisper to my soul….
”You will be quite alright; I have restored your soul. The shame and guilt have all been washed away. I am faithful. I got ya!”
I watched this movie that was wonderfully made. I thought it was a very true depiction of my own unplanned story that put me in an abortion clinic in 1992. I was 22 years old. My twin sister was with me and I was numb and scared and a bit loopy from the valium they gave me. I looked around at the 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18…..year old’s. Scanning the room for anyone that appeared to be my age. The shame was overwhelming. I felt like I was old enough to know better and the majority of the girls there were with parents that were forcing them into this decision. Loud sobs were in unison throughout the room but just sounded like white noise.
My turn came and I remember the sweetest nurse that I asked if she would hold my hand. She obliged and I probably squeezed it for dear life. I remember the pain, the fear, the excruciating sadness and devastation feeling in my chest. I remember the doctor patting me on the head when he was done. I found out later that this doctor was a prominent OBGYN in the town. He did this secretly on the side and his colleagues didn’t know it.
They all rushed out the room and left me there alone.
That was the first tear I shed that day, wondering what in the world had I just done, but it would not be my last.
In recovery as the room filled with more and more zombie like girls waiting for their juice and crackers, I sat next to a girl that looked to be my age. She was 22 too. I wanted to know her story. She said her boyfriend was out in the car waiting. I felt sad because my boyfriend of over a year had turned out to be hiding a huge secret and had not broken up with his girlfriend that had moved away two years prior. He turned out to be a liar and a cheater and definitely not so ideal of baby daddy material and along with a series of some unexpected life events and a sudden job loss forced me to not see past all my fears of how I would care for myself, let alone a child all by myself. Even at the pleading of some family to not make this decision.
I remember every detail. Even down to the antiseptic smell of bleach and how those dry crackers slid down my dry parched throat.
I remember the protestors screaming and calling us names. They held Bibles and quoted verses to condemn me. I remember lighting a cigarette as my sister allowed me to smoke in the car. I remember the food we picked up and I remember how I let that food numb me even more as I listened on the phone as my friend shared that the “boyfriend” with the secret girlfriend was visiting them and showed up there partying it up with a whole other girl while I was recovering from the abortion. I was so relieved that I had made that decision. I used that as justification for my choice for many years.
The physical aspects take about a month to fully feel back to yourself. I remember drowning my pain in way too much alcohol. I remember looking for love in all the wrong places to numb the deep hurt of being betrayed by a lying cheater that conned me for longer than I should have allowed. Now I would be tied to him forever through this painful memory. I walked a many a days and nights getting to be able to fully forgive this person.
I sucked it up and got good at hiding my emotions. I threw myself into work and partying and making life changes. I had had one failed relationship after another. I moved back to the Big City and started over. I never spoke of my abortion again, until in 1995 I mentioned it to my soon to be husband because I felt he needed to know before we married. We decided best to keep that buried.
In 2006 I shared my abortion with someone that I thought was a close friend. I quickly found out that was the deal breaker. This person couldn’t see past what I had done, and the friendship fizzled. I cried out to God. I was in a dark place after my brother died. I would just bottle it all up and go into a deep depression each year around early summer into the fall.
I begged God to take the pain and my addictions and to show me if He really was all people claimed He was. That started my journey from religion to relationship. I began to read the Bible. Instead of it being used to beat me up like those religious fanatics outside the clinic, I saw it as God’s love letter to me. I allowed Him to work His transformational truths in my life so that I could get better.
I still remember the day I dropped to my knees and asked the Lord to forgive me for what I had done. I apologized for justifying my decision for so many years instead of actually repenting and asking for God to forgive me and help me to forgive myself. The enormous weight shifted, and I felt different. I began to read my bible and learn all I could of God. I felt so free from religion. The Purpose Driven Life book changed my life.
I had left the corporate world in 2005, lost my brother Toby suddenly in 2006, left the Catholic Church in 2006, My dad was critically hospitalized in the end of 2006, I came back to the Lord in 2006, started attending a bible based church in 2006, Got in recovery in 2006, suffered a stroke in 2008, my dad died the end of 2008, I returned to work in 2009, I became baptized in the spirit in 2012 after more tragic losses in my family and didn’t know how to pray adequately myself so I was thankful for my Heavenly Prayer Language that I spent years making fun of and not believing it to be true. We had left our Bible based church for a Spirit Filled Church in 2011, and now I was leaving work there in 2012 because God told me to begin learning about Inner Healing and Sozo full time.
In 2012 I joined an Inner Healing group and around that time I was asking God what He wanted me to do. I was obedient to leave my job. I was learning what I felt He wanted me to learn and then in a prayer line my friend, a stranger to me then, Anna, prophesied that God was wanting me to be a voice for the Unborn. I knew it was confirmation, but it scared me. So many people didn’t know my story. I had lost friendships over sharing this bit of information and didn’t want to do that again. But for some reason, I knew God was leading me, I just had to take the steps of faith. I shared with my husband that it was time to share this with our twins since I felt God wanted me to start sharing this part of my testimony publicly.
I started volunteering at the local pregnancy centers, I led community Abortion Recovery support groups. I didn’t know what God had in store, but I would serve Him until He said other wise.
A startling tid bit that pains me greatly and I am passionate about is that Abortion is as much a problem in the church as the unchurched. I sat in rooms of girls and women that more than half had an abortion story that their dad’s or grandfathers were deacons, elders, pastors, preachers, bishops…. all forced them to have an abortion due to the shame it would bring upon them. I heard a girl that said she must have an abortion because she knew her Heavenly Father would forgive her but her dad, a well-known pastor in the area said he would not forgive her if she didn’t have an abortion.
I felt the call to become Ordained by Joan Hunter Ministries in 2013. I fulfilled that in 2014. I started Restored Ministries. A non-profit organization that our mission is to encourage and equip people to live in wholeness and freedom, Mind, Body, Soul. God still surprises me as this ministry keeps unfolding now 5 years later and I am finally writing the book to help countless women and men walk out of shame and secrecy of abortion and help them live restored in overcoming abortion trauma. I also love to help pray for others to get healing of not just physical but also those soul wounds.
So, why do I share all of this with you? I am a story-teller and a writer and God always has me write to process my pain and in turn it helps others process their pain too.
I felt the need to relay #MyUnplannedStory for you in hopes that it will help someone else.
I started thinking… what are the biggest things I can share with someone thinking of abortion or needing healing of abortion….
A line from the movie struck me hard…
“They can get rid of your baby, but they will never get rid of the memory of your baby”
This sadly is true. You will live years with the effects of abortion trauma and not even realize it.
I tucked away that memory for over 20 long painful years before I fully dealt with it. I suffered through Mothers days, and sanctity of life services and pro-lifers and judgmental people all within the walls of church, and yes, I sadly and horrifically sacrificed my own child on the altar of convenience. But, no, I never ever forgot about them.
God showed me that they have not been forgotten and will one day be waiting on me as I hit those pearly gates. We had memorial services at the end of our Abortion Recovery Groups that would bring so much healing to allow women to grieve their loss. They had felt unable to grieve a child that they had too sacrificed on the altar of convenience.
God blessed me 7 years after my abortion with the most double wonderful blessing that I could have hoped or thought or dreamed of…. A perfect boy and a perfect girl, all in one shot!
My twins are my double portion blessing.
My kiddos know what I have done. They know what I do to help others and are my biggest supporters along with my amazing Jackpot of a Hubby for almost 24 years.
Your child/s have not been forgotten.
There is restoration and healing and wholeness after abortion.
My God is a merciful God.
He heard my cries. He hears your cries.
Abortion is not the unforgivable sin.
God forgave David and Moses both for murder.
He forgave me. He can forgive you too.
If you need someone to talk to or pray with you-please contact me.
I am here to help you on your journey to wholeness too!
~ XXOO Michelle Bollom