Abortion Recovery From the Beginning
I was thinking over the weekend about something my dad used to say. He would tell me that it was important to pause once in a while and reflect on the journey, where you’ve come from and what happened along the way.
Well, I applied that sound advice to the journey I’m currently on with Almost Daddy and what I found was a loving and devoted God that had his hand in every single step…even when I had no clue why what was happening was happening.
About 13 years ago I was going through some stuff…as was my family. My pastor and mentor at the time, Van, gave me a book titled “When Life is Hard.” I read it and gleaned a great deal from it. Then, while having coffee in Van’s office one day, said the fateful words, “We should workshop this with a men’s group.”
Van responded, “That’s a great idea! You should do that!”
So I did.
Now, here’s the very beginning of things getting weird.
During one of our group meetings I was reading and a voice in my head said, “Tell your abortion story.”
I was pretty sure it was the Holy Spirit but I resisted and said, “No. Not going to do that.”
Again, the voice said, “Dude, tell your abortion story.” And this time the voice was more forceful.
So I did.
The amazing thing is by the end of the evening four other guys in the group shared their abortion stories too. No what I expected. But the rest of the night my mind was racing. I was on to something. All the years of recovery and I had neglected a big and traumatic event in my life.
The next morning I requested an “emergency coffee meeting” with Van. I was so excited to get rolling on this. Now I had direction and with that came hope.
Over the next year I read every book I could find on men and abortion. The problem is there weren’t very many and most of the ones that did exist were written by women. Not a bad thing but, just as men can’t speak in as impactful a way to women’s issues, the converse is true too.
Still, I read the books and shared the good ones with Van. We discussed the processes found in the books and I was on my way.
We discussed starting a group for post-abortive men at the church. But when Van got sick again all that fell away.
For the next few years I tried to find new books and reached out to several pregnancy centers to offer to volunteer to talk with men that came in with their partners. Each time I was told there really wasn’t anything there for men to do. They didn’t have a system set up for male volunteers.
The next thing that threw me a bit was getting connected with a leadership team that was starting a Celebrate Recovery meeting in the town I lived in. Seems they needed one more and my years of experience in ACoA and other groups looked like a good fit. This group of strangers asked me to join.
So I did.
So here I am. I’m a co-leader of a Celebrate Recovery group and I’m learning a lot too. Then the main leader of the group went away unexpectedly for 15 months due to some things from his past. Somehow I was thrust into emceeing the meetings every week and teaching a lot. I didn’t feel particularly ready or qualified but there I was. I had to find a way.
So I did.
And I also found that every time I shared my testimony many wanted to talk after.
I started sharing my testimony at any group that asked me to come. Each time a few women walked up crying. They thanked me because they had never considered the man’s perspective on abortion. And every time at least one man approached…he had connected the dots between his abortion story and other struggles in his life.
A couple of years into this I had a routine outpatient procedure. A week later I was in ICU and the hospital for almost a week. I truly thought I was at the end of the road. Thankfully, I wasn’t quite done with whatever God put me here for yet.
Well, my rights were back in my possession from my first novel so I got after rewriting it. I added a few chapters and renamed it and published. And that got me thinking about a story that centered around a guy’s abortion experience.
I thought about this story idea for a few years. I didn’t feel qualified to write it. I thought someone else would write it. But the Holy Spirit showed up again and nagged and nagged at me. No matter what I was doing the idea of a novel about men and abortion wouldn’t leave me alone. It became quite annoying, actually.
When I accepted that the idea wasn’t going to leave on it’s own, I realized the only way to get some peace from this thing was to sit down and write it.
So I did.
I published the book “Almost Daddy: The Forgotten Story” in November of 2020. When I hit the send button I looked up at the ceiling, threw my hands up and said, “OK God. Whatever you want to do with it. I tried to tell the story I think you wanted me to tell. It’s yours now.”
Since that time I have been all over the country speaking to groups about men and abortion. The response has been staggering. In the middle of 2021 a group encouraged me to write a 12-Step recovery guide for men and aboriton. I really didn’t want to. I wanted to start on the next novel. But several people seemed to think my experience with abortion recovery, combined with my experience with the 12-Steps made me the guy for the job. I was told by several people, including my wife, that I needed to write this.
So I did.
That turned into more talks and more groups and more opportunities.
Next month I start my first virtual healing group for men who have experienced abortion loss…and it’s a group that will use my book “Almost Daddy: A Men’s Guide to Healing After Abortion.”
As I walked through the woods yesterday I took Dad’s advice. I reflected on where this road started for me and where I am now. I looked at each confusing step and each moment I had no choice but to lean on God. Surveying the last twelve years I realized it was all preparing me for today and for what’s to come. There’s comfort in that.
Dad was right. Taking time to reflect intentionally on what God has done in your life and the path God has led you on is of incredible value.
Today I try to truly listen for and to the Holy Spirit. I don’t know what tomorrow brings and I don’t know what’s around the next bend. But I know God has scouted the terrain and will be with me every step of the way.
Published on: August 24, 2022