After hearing Nikki’s story, I knew I had to share it with you. Ending abortion is not only the most loving thing we can do for our pre-born neighbors, but it is also the most loving thing we can do for their mothers. Oh how I wish ending her child’s life was not a legal choice for Nikki! And Nikki does too. She wrote her story down, and with her permission, here it is.
Let’s keep fighting for all Hoosier babies, until all human life is protected at conception.
God is Closer Than You Think
Almost every Sunday, my mom and I would spend the evening sipping coffee and eating cookies while visiting my Gram. She would rock in her chair appearing to be without a care in the world. What I remember most of all our visits was how she made me feel. Safe. Loved. Welcomed. She loved the Lord. She was the only one I knew who did.
When I was 16, I was jumped by five girls high on acid in the middle of the night. Grams was the place I walked to for refuge. She never judged, she only loved. All the years I spent making bad choices, she prayed relentlessly for me, for my salvation.
There was a void in me, I desperately needed love. While Sundays made me more aware of the void, they weren’t enough to fill it. Monday through Saturday I searched for love in all the wrong places. At 17, I welcomed my own child into the world. This tiny baby numbed that void.
Although this beautiful little guy brought so much joy to my heart and moved me to make better decisions, he wouldn’t be enough to stop the pain that the void of love caused. I went on for three more years with a dynamic blend of good and bad choices.
At 20, I’d gotten pregnant again. This time I decided not to have the child. I didn’t think of other options. In the few days following this news, I managed to make an appointment to get an abortion.
I also called my mom. I remember the morning well. She brought me to 72 Ransom. The air seemed thick. A fog had engulfed the city like I had never seen before. I loaded one baby in the back of the jeep on my way to kill another. We didn’t talk on the way there. As soon as we stopped in front of the building I leapt out. I’m not sure what was more painful, the cloak of shame and guilt in the presence of my mother or the actual abortion.
Time seemed to stop before I pulled open the heavy wooden door. The door slammed behind me like with a loud thud that shook the core of me. I jumped. It was cold and the lighting was dim. I could hear distant whispers but I felt utterly and completely alone. The sound of aged wood floors creaking spread throughout the building. There was a tangible difference between the world I came from and the world I now stepped into. The air was thick and surrounded me forcing me to labor to breathe. Clarity was gone. My emotions shut down. I blocked any thoughts from my head. I went numb. I had to, I didn’t stand a chance in this building.
There was no one to greet me, but I remembered the woman on the phone said to go up the stairs to the left. The waiting room seemed relatively normal. Filled with women that made no eye contact, each of us trying to hide. The smell of death crept up the stairs and I tried to ignore it. My eyes wandered around checking to see if anyone was showing yet. What are their stories? Were they anything like mine?
I remember I saw a counselor, a nurse for a brief medical history and then they called my name. The nurse led me back down stairs to a hallway. First door on the right. She got me set me up on the table and gave me medications that made me loopy.
Then the doctor came in. The room was dark and the spotlight that shown between my legs left me temporarily blinded. I never saw his face. He had a heavy accent limiting any conversation.
It hurt. It hurt.
I felt as dead inside as the stench around me. I wept, briefly. I forced myself to stop.
Shortly after I was led to a room filled with heated leather recliners. All the chairs were filled with other women. They gave us crackers, heating pads for our bellies and ginger ale. While most of us sat quietly in a medicated fog, two of the women whispered to each other. One had felt her baby moving the whole time. She said “it felt like the baby was crawling away from the doctor.” She cried. She was the only one. I wished she would stop, afraid her tears would prick mine that hovered right below the surface. I slipped back into a medicated fog. I woke to a few others moans and cries.
After recovery was over I got dressed, gathered my discharge instructions and climbed into the jeep. We didn’t talk on the way home either from what I remember. I wanted to, but there wasn’t anything to say.
Life went on. I got married and had another beautiful son. We divorced one year later. He couldn’t fill that void of love I had, and I hated him for it. We were “ex’s with benefits” and I found myself at a clinic again. The address had changed and this time there were women outside with signs against abortion. I chickened out because of them, but I went back when they weren’t there and had another abortion.
Life went on. Again.
I was still regularly visiting my Gram on Sunday nights, with two little boys in tow, until she passed away. I was with her the day before she passed. Hospice had been called and she was in and out of consciousness. I rubbed her hand in mine all day. I tried to store her up in my heart. I tried to store up the unconditional love she gave. She pointed to her heart and up to the sky and said “I want to go home”. My heart broke. Home? I didn’t know anything about this “home”. She never hid God but she never beat me with Him either.
At 30 I finally ‘made’ it. I had a house, a career and two amazing boys, and I wanted Gram to see that. She never made it to my house, and I felt robbed. I wanted her to know I’d be okay. I wanted her to see how far I’d come in life.
The night she passed I slept on my couch. I was up crying for a while and finally cried myself to sleep. I knew she was going to die. She did. 12/30/2009. Through her death I came to life.
At 3:33 am I woke up to her rubbing my back. She didn’t say anything, she didn’t need to, I knew she had died. I was connected to her, so there was no need for her to talk. I knew what she was saying. My connection with her enabled me to see her connection with Him.
On the other side of my front door was Jesus. He brought her. He stared off to the sky at a light and urged her to hurry. I cried for her and I reached for her. She moved faster than I could, just out of my grasp. She stopped in my doorway, turned to me and spoke. “You have a real nice place here, Nik.” Then Jesus took her. They were gone.
In that moment I knew Jesus. He flooded me with knowing it was him. I couldn’t deny it. Since then, I knew Jesus is alive and real. I can’t ever deny it. I’ve seen him.
Over the next few years, God gave me such favor. He knit together a life drawn to Him. He pulled me closer every day. He brought people to me who loved on me, taught me Christianisms (yes Christians have their very own language). He poured into me and taught me His ways. He revealed things to me. He transformed me.
On my 33rd birthday I connected with a woman who hosted a Monday night group, a ‘life group’ of sorts. These Christians were crazy ladies. I left that first meeting having heard about miracles, healings, prophecies, and things I thought only happened in sci-fi movies. On the drive home I questioned the Lord, “What are you doing? I don’t want to be led to crazy Christians. Should I stay in this group?” He reminded me of those crazy Christians that ran out of the upper room with fire on their heads and others thought they were drunk. Needless to say, I joined the group and went back every Monday for the next year and a half.
On a crisp September morning in 2012 the Lord woke me, as he often does, and encouraged me to accept the invitation from my group leader to join her in prayer in an old church that had been converted to Life International. I didn’t want to go. But the Holy Spirit’s pushing was so intense, I didn’t feel like it was an option. He wouldn’t let me go back to sleep. I threw my hair up and looked for the address I wrote down somewhere.
I put the address into my phone and followed directions to 72 Ransom. I stood once again at that heavy wooden door with cast iron handles. However, this time the door seemed different. The door wasn’t heavy and seemed to open all on its own this time. The air smelled so sweet and light. I couldn’t breathe it in fast enough. The light was welcoming, nowhere to hide in darkness. My friend greeted me and led me to where we were to gather. First door on the right.
In the very room I murdered His child, God wanted to talk with me. He invited me to kneel at His feet in awe.
I was unraveled. Undone. Slain.
He stands at the door and knocks. As Gram revealed God to me, He also reveals Himself. He doesn’t hide, He presents. He doesn’t force relationship, he invites. The shame, the guilt, the void within were all mine. He forgives me, He loves me, He transforms me, He alone fills the void. He is my redeeming Savior.
This isn’t simply about my sins or my forgiveness, it’s also about yours. Ours. How could I possibly speak against abortion when I have had two? Paul. Transformation by the hand of God. How does anyone in the church have the courage to share about her abortion? Jesus. Because of Him we are forgiven. Ransomed by God. If we don’t receive that forgiveness, step out and give Him a chance to make something beautiful, we are calling the work of the cross a lie and giving our enemy ground under false guilt and shame.