The Clinic Steps
The first abortion loss I experienced was over 30 years ago. The pathway from then to now, as far as recovery goes, has been well documented in this space…so I won’t go into that again.
But we talk about recovery as being a journey and not a destination. For that reason, I share the following.
A few weeks ago I found out the location of the abortion clinic I was at with my girlfriend all those years ago. The story of how I found out isn’t all that important, just suffice to say God is a whacky dude and makes connections when least expected.
Last week I drove to the building where it happened. It’s no longer an abortion clinic but does contain an active business. I pulled into the parking lot behind the building and sat in my truck for several minutes, listening to music and staring at the back steps.
I don’t remember the building in great detail but something was familiar. Sitting in the truck, I thought about the confusion and anxiety I felt that day. Again, I don’t remember a great many details, but the overall sense of the thing and bits and pieces remain.
Nervously, I got out of the truck and walked towards the building. I stood and looked at the steps for a moment and then sat down. I leaned up against the metal railing and sighed. Here is where it happened. Here is where I lost much. Here is where my life turned.
Now, I’ve mentioned many times that I wasn’t “okay” and then somehow ruined by the aboriton. Not even close. Looking back I was in a “managing the pain” kind of mode. The abortion was the proverbial straw and my life was the camel’s back.
Still, the abortion brought it’s own pain and problems.
After sitting for a few minutes I decided that there were countless men and women who had lost children in the building a few feet from me. I stood up and walked to the corner of the building and placed a hand on the brick. I lowered my head and prayed for those moms and dads. I prayed for the workers of that clinic. I prayed for peace for all the above. I prayed for healing. I prayed they would find and accept forgiveness. And I prayed in silence.
Afterwards, I lifted my head, wiped my eye and walked back to the truck. I felt peace. I felt lighter that when I walked up. I had a deep calm that comes from the moments when we recognize what God wants us to do and we are obedient. I smiled just a little because my recovery journey has been a long one and we need to take the victories when we can.
A dozen years ago I wouldn’t have been able to go to that building. And that is the beauty of recovery. That’s the magic of healing. Sure, it’s ongoing, but it can bring moments of clarity and beauty…and those moments become more and more frequent as we get further down the journey.
Twelve years ago (or so) I shared for the first time about my abortion story. It was in front of a group of men in a small group at my church. I was scared to death. I didn’t want to share. I was sure I’d be judged. But with sweaty hands, a pit in my stomach and a shaky voice I did share.
Ten years ago I sat at The River and wrote letters to my lost children and to their mothers. With trembling hands and through many tears I read them out loud, prayed over them and sent them into the water to find their own way.
Last week, my time at the clinic was nothing like the above.
I was sharing this story about the clinic with a friend. He asked me why I went. I told him that I went for closure. I went to touch the spot and place where so much was lost. I went to emotionally connect with that scared kid I was back then. And I went to pray.
I will never forget my lost children. That’s not what abortion healing is about. It is about forgiveness for who we were back then and what we did or didn’t do. It’s about allowing ourselves to live inside the grace of just one day. And it’s about allowing ourselves to bring good and healing to others.
Published on: October 10, 2022