On December 25th, 2013, a beautiful little girl was born. My heart melted the moment I laid eyes on her; she was my proof that God had forgiven me; wiped the slate clean. Johanna Lynn Garrett, was my gift from God, my do over.
In 2004, my 4 year old son and I lived in an apartment, just him and I. I was 24 years old and not exactly the most responsible of ladies. In prodigal “son” fashion, I was irresponsible with money, with my parenting, with my body, with my life. I found myself at the end of summer that year pregnant…. Again…. What was I going to do. I could barely handle life as it was. There was no way I was going to be able to add another baby into the mix; not to mention another dead beat dad. I was so overwhelmed. I was terrified; and I was sure that if I brought this child into my already spiraling world, I would have resented him or her. So, I did the only thing I could wrap my head around to do. I went to a clinic in order to “take care or it”. I didn’t see it as a human life; I selfishly saw it as a problem…. MY problem. I couldn’t handle anymore problems. So, on October 23, 2004, I walked into the abortion clinic, 2 months along, with $350 in my pocket, because that’s what the cost was. I sat there in the waiting area as the waiting room was filling up with a variety of women and the people supporting them. I made light of the situation, chatting with some of the ladies. I never really got their backstories though. Finally, the moment had come, my burden was about to disappear. Little did I know, that what I saw as a burden or a MAJOR problem, God had a plan already mapped out for that little one. (I only really learned that a few years ago.)So, I’m back in the room, waiting for the doctor. They asked me if I wanted to hear the heartbeat. I immediately shook my head, no, knowing that if I heard that heart beat, I probably would have changed my mind. Let me just say again, logically, I knew exactly what I was doing, and I was so selfish and self centered; spiritually, I had NO idea what I was doing. The procedure, didn’t take long at all. They moved me to a separate room, for counseling, if I wanted to take it. I didn’t; I just wanted to go home. While I was sitting there in that room, I vowed that I would NEVER do this again. IF I ever found myself in this situation again, I was NEVER going to have another abortion again.
About 6 months later, I was completely lost. It was a weekend that my son was with his father, and I was alone. Completely and utterly alone. I picked up some books at the local store; one of them being The Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren. I started reading it, and found that by the end of the weekend I had given my life over to Christ, again; and meant it. But, I didn’t know what that meant, exactly. I started going to church. I even had a mentor, who helped me kind of deal with the abortion I had just had the previous fall. She let me know that, because that baby was an innocent life, he or she was up in heaven with Jesus; because he or she didn’t get the choice of life. She also let me know that God forgave me; when I confessed it and repented.
After many years had passed, in 2012, I got married. My husband and I had talked about growing our family, but, I wanted to wait at least a year before we really began trying. We were coming up on our 1 year anniversary, so, we started the discussion of when to start trying. During this discussion, I asked him with a hesitation in my voice, if he would be ok if God didn’t allow me to get pregnant again; since I had gotten rid of the last one. What if God wouldn’t bless me with another child since I was sooo irresponsible with the last one. Why would God trust me with another life? I mean, how could He, trust me again? My husband said, “I’m pretty sure that’s not how God works, babe.” I wasn’t so sure. I had believed he had forgiven me for taking the life of that child, but, to trust me with another one, that was a whole different ball game. My husband did, reassure me that if I couldn’t get pregnant again, that he would love me just the same. He reassured me that, while yes he would like a child of his own, he would be ok if our family stayed the same; Him, Me and my son.
So, we began to try to grow our family. 1 month after having this conversation with him, sharing my fears, and concerns; I noticed something was off with my body. I went to the store and picked up a pregnancy test or 2 that actually spells out the words: pregnant or not pregnant. Yup, sure enough, after all 4 tests (I had to be absolutely sure) showed up positive, I started to do some calculations of the conception date. My God is so good; He heard my fears. He answered them, with I don’t even remember what you’re talking about. I wiped that slate clean all those years ago.
My daughter, Johanna (means: gift from God) was conceived 2 days after I confessed my fears to my husband and apparently to God. My God redeemed me, through the cross, where His Son, bled and died for me (and for you). Because I nailed that sin to that cross, Jesus washed me clean. His Word says that he will not remember the sins that we have acknowledged and repented of – Isaiah 43:25.
So, if God will do it for me, (which He did) there is nothing, NOT ONE THING stopping Him from doing it for you! All you have to do is confess and repent, then He will wash your spirit clean.
If you’d like to take the first step in following Christ and being made clean, here is a prayer….
Heavenly Father, thank you for your mercy and grace. Thank you for loving me, even when I am far from you. Thank you for sending your Son, Jesus of Nazareth, to take my sins. I believe Jesus is the Messiah. I ask you, Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. I believe You were born of a virgin, died on the cross and rose again on the 3rd day. I, thank you, Jesus for your sacrifice, for me. I pray this in Your holy name. Amen