Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My Testimony - Part One - Salvation

It is Easter week, and I find myself very thoughtful and very thankful. It wasn't so long ago that the only meaning Easter had for me was the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, whoever He was. I didn't know Him, and I didn't have any desire to. I was doing life just fine by myself. Or so I thought...

I had always gone to church as a child. My mom tells me that I used to get myself ready for the Sunday School bus in Kentucky. I walked to church each week with my friends when I was in Canisteo, NY and around 7 years old. I rode to church with my best friend, whose mother drove over 40 miles every weekend just to make certain I was able to attend in Margaretville, NY. I was about 10 years old then. And, in the midst of my pre-teen to mid-teen years, Mom and Dad faithfully dragged us from one church to another, trying desperately to find a perfect "fit" for us. I was certainly having a fit each time I was forced to go.

Once I left for college, I was on my own. I didn't have to attend church. I wasn't very interested in Jesus or God. I was on my own for the first time, and I was more interested in finding someone to love me while attending classes and working part time. I valued my freedom and walked in it well. I dreamed of meeting Mr. Right, and I dreamed of getting a degree in communications, so that I could become a magazine journalist.
Photo Courtesy of Bert Heuvel

My desire to find "true love" stemmed from a few things.

The first was the lack of attention at home when I was growing up. I had a lot of attention from my mother. She was great at taking us for walks, playing board games, and more. Dad, however, was always at work, and he worked hard to provide for us. Looking back, I know that some of the long hours were due to a good work ethic and responsibility as provider for the family. Some of it, however, was a lack of understanding how to love and nurture a family.

The second root of my desire was caused by the inconsideration of peers in my classrooms growing up. I was moved in the midst of third grade, from a comfortable place full of friends to a strange place full of strangers, who were not very welcoming. I would develop a few friends over the years, whose friendship I still value today. However, I would spend my primary and high school years being made fun of and tormented by fellow students who never would attempt to allow me to join their circle of friends. And, not having a relationship with God, I desperately desired to have a relationship with a boy who would consider me worthy of his attention. I did find a few throughout those years, and to say the least I was extremely naive and thought that I could find love wrapped in their arms.

I went off to college, and I learned this Scripture verse very well: "Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived..." - James 1:13-16 (NKJV)

Here is where my testimony begins.

I spent too many years trying to fill a void that my earthly father had left in my heart. It needed love and affection and attention, but it was left empty and longing. I desired to have a safe, comforting love. I had emptiness and loneliness and disappointment.

I didn't know God at this point in my life, so I knew that I was not tempted by Him. I knew what I was doing was evil and unhealthy for me, but it felt good in the physical aspect of my life, so I continued to pursue relationships with guys who would love me one day and disappoint me the next. I was drawn by my desires for attention and affection, and their words and promises were enticing, although consistently empty and full of their own desires. I put myself through heartache and disappointment, in hopes of one day finding someone who would treasure the beauty that I knew lay deep within me, somewhere. My desires had become definite sins, and my sin was growing up, for sure.

I had a relationship in high school that led to a pregnancy scare. I was extremely naive, and I did take the issue to my mother, because I was scared and knew not what to do. I have to tell you, my father about disowned me. I received a type-written note telling me that if I were indeed pregnant, he would recommend that I abort the child, so that his social and work image would not be marred. I was truly devastated at this point. The one man that I was looking for love and encouragement and admiration from was cold and harsh and worried more about his own image than the health and well-being of his daughter. I think this was the point in time when I gave up all hope of any true affection from him. It was at this point, as well, that I began to fall into depression.

I was very excited when I left for my secondary education. I could not wait to get away from the small town that I had grown up in. I could not wait to get away from people who thought they knew everything about me and who had treated me like dirt my entire life. I could not wait to get away from the home that I felt had become a bit unloving. I could not wait for my independence, new friends, and new possibilities! I was all grown up!

Unfortunately, so was my sin. I had three types of relationships in college.

The first was a guy that I fell madly, head over heals in love with. I really thought that he might be "the one". We spent a lot of time together, and it was always easy around him. I enjoyed his presence, and I desired it a lot. My grades were holding, and I was doing well. I had a new best friend, and she was the one who introduced us. I was happy and content.

Then, one day, he decided not to make contact any more. (I have seen him since, and it just wasn't meant to be. There are no hard feelings. We'd probably still be friends if life hadn't taken us down different and distant roads.)

The second relationships were ones where I was trying to love a young man enough that he would be able to get past his own issues. I call this the "Savior Mentality." If I just love them enough...they'll... These relationships never work out. I came to a realization later in life that you cannot change a person. Only God can. That's why Jesus is our Savior.

The last relationship I had in college was when I learned that "when sin is full-grown, it brings forth death." I met the guy while playing a game of "Dungeons and Dragons" with my roommate and a couple of friends. We appeared to hit it off pretty quickly, flirting throughout the game. We hooked up, and, well, desire birthed sin.

Sin grew up, and I became pregnant. It was summer vacation, and I had chosen to stay at the college and work for a lady providing day care for her three month old daughter. She was the cutest little girl, and I absolutely loved my job and loved watching her. I had a lot of fun. I got to watch her grow. Her smile was beautiful, and her eyes lit up her face! I was well-paid for a college kid, and I was happy again.

I realized I had missed my monthly cycle about two weeks after it was due, when my brand new clothing started getting a bit tight around the waist. My boyfriend and I went to Wegmans, bought a home pregnancy test, and headed back for the dorms. Sure enough, it was a positive response.

I immediately became ill. I spent the next few weeks waking up, throwing up, showering, throwing up, going to work, trying not to throw up while at work, going back to my dorm room, throwing up, crawling into bed, sleeping all night, and repeating the routine moment for moment the following day. I wasn't keeping food down. I craved salads, but every time I ate one I was unable to keep it down. I eventually dehydrated.

I spent a night in the ER, hooked up to an I.V., receiving replenishing fluids. My mother happened to be visiting with my grandparents that weekend, so she was an hour and a half away, rather than the normal four hours it took to get to college from home. I desperately needed her and wanted her to come visit, which she was willing to do, but I could in no way let my old-fashioned grandparents know the truth about my visit to the hospital, and they were insistent that they would come with her. I told her not to come.

It was shortly after that when my boyfriend recommended that we take care of our situation. I had sworn all throughout my teens that if I ever ended up in this situation, I would not consider abortion as an option. I still didn't want to consider it. I would rather consider adoption, if I was in no position to keep a child. However, my boyfriend was now recommending it. He already had a child who was living with his mother several states south. He didn't want to add another. I began to remember the words my father had typed out several years earlier, so I couldn't call home to get an opinion or counsel. I wasn't attending church, so there was no counsel there. I didn't trust anyone else my senior. And, my friends were non-judgmental, so they would not counsel me in one direction or another. They respected my choice, either way.

We headed to Planned Parenthood for our first appointment, to verify that I was indeed with child. The lady that I met for counsel there seemed to be very sweet, and I really believe that if it weren't against their policy, she probably would have told me to keep my child. However, it is against their policy to tell a woman this, as they are pro-choice.

Being pro-choice does not mean that a woman has a right to choose to keep their baby. Beware, it simply means the woman has the choice to kill their child if they want to. And, they will not counsel you to respect life. By pregnancy help center, they mean help to terminate the pregnancy, not help through the pregnancy.

We set up the appointment for the procedure, and we headed back to the campus. I spent the next night tossing and turning, crying for someone to come along and tell me they would support my decision to give my child the right to their life. Deep inside, I knew what I was doing was completely wrong. My conscience knew it. All it would take was ONE person to tell me to have the baby, and I would be released from my appointment of death. No one came forth.

I went in the next morning, into a concrete room with a single metal hospital table in the midst of it, and something that looked like a ShopVac cleaner. The doctor and the nurse came in, and it began. I about died myself from the pain of the anaesthetic shots they inject inside. Once the numbness kicked into my physical being, it kicked into my spiritual one as well. I put up my wall, and no one was allowed in.

I listened to the nurse tell me how excellent I was doing at killing my child. "Most girls cry and scream," she said. "You aren't even flinching." Yeah, that was something to be proud of. I took the life of my own flesh and blood without flinching.

Upon completion of the abortion, I was sent to recovery. I was given orange juice and a cookie, like a child getting a treat for good behavior. My blood sugar levels would be watched and I would be released.

Simple outpatient procedure to take a life. Supposedly there would be no after-effects, either. There would be nothing to worry about. It was done. It was over. What they don't tell you is that you will live with the knowledge that you committed a murder legally, and you will live with it for the rest of your life.

God gave us this thing called a conscience. It's where you know that He is real and true, but you can still choose to deny it. It's also where you can deny that abortion is murder by justifying that it isn't a baby until it's outside of the womb, but you know deep down that the truth is, it is a baby. You can feel it growing and changing inside of you, and you know it is alive, no matter how small or underdeveloped it is.

The problem with that mentality is that when you choose to have a child later in life, or if you've ever had a child, you know from experience how life develops and grows and that you were lying to yourself the entire time you were going through the abortion process. I had to face reality. I was a mess. I had taken my child's life, and I didn't have much of one left of my own. I screwed it up. I obviously couldn't do it alone. No one else seemed to love me enough to care, so I had only one place to go. To God.


  1. Oh Alycia, I just want to hug you!!! I have walked the same road you have and it changed my life forever, as well. You are so brave to share your testimony. Your words may save a life one day, I pray they do.

  2. Alycia, what a road to walk. Thank you for sharing. I am so proud to call you my friend and my sister.

  3. You are beautiful--inside and out.


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