I've Come Full Circle...

Yesterday marked exactly 20 years since I aborted my child. 
For almost twenty years I had no idea what the date of the abortion was. I only knew that it was the summer of 1999. Through a series of events and God's amazing ways, I found out 2 months ago that it happened on June 19, 1999.

I asked God to allow something special to happen on the anniversary, to honor this child. I prayed and prayed but wasn't sure what to do. God lined up several meetings yesterday. Each of those in regards to the non-profit ministry I have started in Winston-Salem, NC. We're a pro-life ministry devoted to ending abortion, mentoring mothers who choose life, helping post-abortive women find healing, and providing a place for preborn babies to be honored. Amazing things are happening with Not Forgotten Ministries and I am so grateful God has allowed my story to be used in such a way!
Yesterday's meetings went incredibly well. Big things are coming and I cannot wait to see what God does next!

I could have never guessed yesterday would hold even more to be grateful for, but God had a plan to honor my sweet baby. My friend Robin, who understands my story well because she is also post-abortive, met me for lunch and then helped me have the courage to walk back into the building that I first stepped into exactly 20 years ago. 

This is the entry way into the former Arcadia Women's Medical Clinic.

This is the door I entered at 16 years old.
When I exited this same door, I would never be the same.

Robin and I entered the building entirely unsure of who we might meet inside. I prayed that whoever I spoke with wouldn't be cruel to me. God answered that prayer and far exceeded any expectations I could have had. The people inside were some of the sweetest, most loving people I have ever encountered. They welcomed me and shared their hearts with me. They told me things they knew about the building and how it has changed in the past 20 years. These ladies are strong believers in Jesus Christ. When they first moved into the building, they spent hours praying over it, even praying for healing for the women who had been inside of it. They repeatedly told me how proud of me they are and how grateful they are to be a part of my healing. I was given a tour of the building and given as much information as they had. 

This sign says, "Authorized Personnel Only"
It has been there since the clinic was open. This doorway
leads into the room where the remains were sorted and placed
onto plastic trays.

This is known as the Dispensary.
The trays containing the aborted babies bodies were passed
through the small doorway in the wall and then reassembled
 within this room to ensure nothing was left inside the uterus.

This is the view from the back door.
The babies were placed into plastic bags and tossed into
bio-hazard waste bins behind the building.
I'm pretty sure I stood in the doorway of the room where the actual procedure took place on June 19, 1999. I had been fine emotionally, for the most part, until I stood in that door. As I looked into the room, the wind was knocked out of me, followed by a beautiful peace that swept over me.  

The reason I came back to the place can be traced back to the story of the Isrealites in the book of Josuha in the Bible. After wandering for 40 years in the desert, they are finally about to enter the Promised Land. God parts the Jordan River for them to pass through (just as He had parted the Red Sea for their ancestors) and tells them to gather 12 stones from the river to be placed in a circle as a memorial, a reminder for future generations of God's great faithfulness. This was done at Gilgal which means, "circle of stones" and represents coming FULL CIRCLE.

I was able to mark my Gilgal right outside the back door of the clinic, where my baby would have been tossed into the bin. It took me 20 years, but God has brought me full circle. Using stones with scriptures, my baby's name and the date written on them, I created a memorial of God's faithfulness for myself and for anyone else that might need the reminder.

What a sweet gift! To be allowed to honor my child and
my journey right here, at the former abortion clinic.

A memorial to honor my child and mark how far I've come
in 20 years...FULL CIRCLE.
God is so faithful and His restoration is complete!

Gifted Hands Salon & School has been used by God to bring this property full circle also. It is no longer a place of death but one of life and love.  Being able to walk into this place and find so much warmth and peace was such a blessing to my soul. They also invited me back to place a memorial inside the room I felt such a strong reaction to, as a way to honor all the babies whose lives were lost within those walls. This memorial will also share the forgiveness and freedom I've found for anyone else with an abortion in their past.

Today I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Not only has my God allowed me to come full circle, now walking in freedom and helping others find freedom as well. But He also worked it out for me to spend time with godly women where I was once surrounded by evil. He allowed me to honor my baby, mark my Gilgal, and boldly proclaim His faithfulness right there, in that same spot where my life changed forever. 

I could have never, ever imagined all of this would happen! June 19, 1999 will always hold a special place in my heart. I still hate what this day first represented but now, to see all that God has done and is continuing to do, makes June 19 feel different. I've come full circle and my heart has never been more grateful!


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