30: Abortions, Stillborns, and New Life
About the Guest
- BOOK: "Deceived: God Brought Purpose from My Pain" by Molly S. White. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZMLM32Z/
- Check out all that's available on the FamilyLife Podcast Network.
- Your generous support of FamilyLife helps create podcasts like Unfavorable Odds™. https://donate.familylife.com/unfavorable-odds/
After she was date-raped and had an abortion, Molly S. White was pregnant with triplets. But wanting to give birth, the result was death. It was in the midst of sin and struggle that Molly found new life and new hope.
30: Abortions, Stillborns, and New Life
She goes, “Yes.”
I said, “Well, can you stop and let me see him?” He was the cutest little thing I ever saw, and I was just hit with the reality that I’m not going to have one of those because I just aborted my baby. Boy, I just broke down and lost it.
Kim: From the FamilyLife® Podcast Network, this is Unfavorable Odds. I’m Kim Anthony.
Unfavorable Odds is about finding hope and help in those seasons of life when things are pretty tough. Jesus has promised us that whenever we walk through those dark valleys, He’s always with us. We will never have to go it alone, so on each episode of this podcast, we’ll be talking with people who have learned how, during those dark times, to draw their strength from Jesus.
I always find it interesting to interview people whose lives seem so far gone that it is next to impossible to imagine that things would ever turn around for them. These are people who seem stuck in this cycle of poor decisions. We may pray for them for a while, but sometimes, if we’re honest, we get fed up with their messes and we give up on them.
Thankfully, that’s not how God works. Some may have considered Molly White’s situation to be irredeemable. I talked with Molly about what happened after an incident stole her innocence, sent her down a path of poor choices and led to a series of heartbreaks and trauma.
Molly is an author, speaker and former Texas State Representative. She’s written a book called Deceived: God Brought Purpose from My Pain. What you’ll hear in this interview is a woman of resilience, a fighter, who eventually meets her Savior, and He gives her the ultimate victory.
Molly, take me back to those formative years of your life. What did your world look like from your perspective?
Molly: I grew up in a military family. We travelled a lot, which as a young child it wasn’t so bad. It was exciting. But when you came into your teenage years and got uprooted from one school in one state to going across the country to another school and state, that was very difficult, having to leave friends that you bonded with. Then try to fit into a new group and make new friends.
I guess my last move was from Springfield, Virginia—my father was at the Pentagon—so we moved from Springfield, Virginia to a little town outside of Ft. Hood, Texas called Belton. That’s where I’ve lived for 47 years now. I was going into my sophomore year in high school, so that was a very traumatic move for me. Things were fine until I started dating. I dated a cowboy. He was already out of high school and ended up having a date rape with him.
Kim: Oh, I’m so sorry.
Molly: That kind of changed my self-esteem, my self-worth. I felt dirty. I felt like no good man would want me. That just changed the course of my life really and my self-respect. That kind of led me down a spiral of self-destruction.
Kim: Molly, how old were you when that happened?
Molly: I was probably 16. It was traumatizing. But you know, Kim, I didn’t really look at it and see that that was really the door that opened up to my sexual promiscuity and then getting pregnant.
I went off to college and I dropped out after my second year. My parents had moved overseas. My dad was stationed in Liberia, Africa, so I didn’t have a whole lot of support system. I wasn’t real happy with what I was studying in college. I didn’t know what to do, so I just dropped out and started working and having a life of sexual promiscuity. I got pregnant.
But the thing was when I was growing up, I dreamt of having 10 kids. I wanted a large family. I wanted to live on a farm and have all these children. I always visualized us sitting around at the dinner table and having all the kids there. I always babysat growing up. I loved to be around kids. Even in college I babysat.
But then I get pregnant, and I go to a local medical clinic. I had a pregnancy test ran. The doctor came back in with my test results. I really hadn’t thought about what I would do. I just wanted to see if I was pregnant. He came back in with the test and he says, “You’re pregnant.” Before I could say anything, he walked over to me. I was sitting on the end of the table. He patted me on the knee and he said, “But you don’t have to worry about a thing. You can have an abortion.”
Molly: He goes, “It’s simple. It’s safe and you’ll get your life all back together again.” Then he wrote on a prescription pad the name and number of an abortion clinic in Austin, Texas, which I was maybe an hour, hour and a half away from.
Kim: Did you give him any idea that you would not consider keeping the child or did he just come out with that information on his own?
Molly: He came out with that on his own. I didn’t say a word. You know, Kim, abortion was not a part of my world growing up. I didn’t know anything about it. I didn’t talk about it. I didn’t know anybody who had—I mean, it just wasn’t a part of my world.
But I was of the raising that you trusted and believe people who were in higher authority like doctors and legislators. You just trusted those people, so I thought, “Oh, well—” and this is my mindset as a 21-year-old—I was still very naïve—my mindset was “—well, a doctor said it was something that was okay. It had to be okay. A doctor wouldn’t tell you to do anything that would hurt you.”
Kim: Of course.
Molly: This is when I left the clinic and I thought, “If it’s legal. It can’t be legal to kill a baby. They wouldn’t make laws that make it legal to kill babies, so this has to be prior to baby stage.” You know what I’m saying?
Kim: Right. Okay, that was going to be my next question. You didn’t believe that it was a baby yet. That it hadn’t gotten to that stage, so it was okay. I get it.
Molly: Yes, I must have been so early in my pregnancy it hasn’t formed into a baby yet.
Kim: Right, right.
Molly: I didn’t remember or even remember studying about fetal development growing up.
Kim: I thought the same thing.
Molly: Yes, I think most women do. But nowadays they have technology and they can google all of that.
“Okay, can’t be a baby yet. Certainly can’t be legal to kill a baby, and a doctor wouldn’t tell you to do anything that is wrong.” I started toying with it. I could avoid shaming my parents, embarrassing them, so I called the number. It was an abortion clinic. Of course, they encourage you to come in as quickly as possible.
I scheduled the appointment, but on the way there—a friend drove me—I was having a huge battle going on between my heart and my mind. I thought, “In order to make my conscious feel better and my heart feel better, when I get there, I’ll ask several important questions.”
I did. I went in and there’s a lady in a lab coat sitting behind a front desk. You sign in. I said, “I want to know about fetal development.” I said, “I’m probably six to eight weeks pregnant. I want to know what the fetal development stage is.”
“Oh,” she took a writing pen and put a little dot on a piece of paper with the tip of her pen and said, “It’s no bigger than that dot.”
“Okay, well, it’s not a baby yet.” I asked her about if there was any risks involved.
“Oh no, you’ll be in and out in 20 minutes. It’ll feel like—it will be a little discomfort, a feeling 9like you’re starting your cycle.”
I said, “Are there any consequences?”
“No, no. I’m telling you it’s better than having a baby. Your life will get all back to normal as soon as you leave here.”
I still wasn’t certain. I still did not have my mind made up. I wasn’t certain but they get you in that back room, especially if you’re hesitant, they get you to the back as quickly as possible, put you around other girls. I’m sorry.
Kim: No, no. You’re good. Where was the baby’s father in all this? Did you consult with him?
Molly: No, no. He had already left. Yes, yes. He was already gone, moved out, gone. Yes, if I had him—I don’t even know if he’d been supportive or not. But if I even had someone outside that clinic door or on the sidewalk—you know they have sidewalk counselors now—if I’d have had someone out there saying, “Hey, you’d be a great mother. You don’t want to do this. Abortion will hurt you. It’s your baby.”—if I’d had anything like that at all, I would have changed my mind. But I just felt like a sheep being led off to slaughter.
When it started, it was traumatizing. It was like going through a medical rape. It was horrible. No pain medications and I was traumatized on the table. You see the tissue and the blood going through the tubes in the jar and it’s painful and you realize “What am I doing?” Then they escort you out in the back alley to deal with it on your own.
Kim: Molly, do you mind taking me into that room with you and the doctor and describing for me what you saw, what you felt, what you said?
Molly: Yes. They take you into a room and they get you prepared like you’re having an OB-GYN exam. You got your feet in the stirrups and the doctor comes in. He’s already got his mask on. He’s got all this. He doesn’t talk to you. He goes right down there between your legs and tells you what to do.
It’s a vacuum aspiration. He inserts it and he’s just tugging and pulling. Ugh, I get body memories when I even think about it. The suction is so powerful and so strong it feels like he’s sucking your whole insides out. I cried out, “Stop, stop!”
His attendant—I don’t even know if she was a real nurse—the nurse attendant, “Be quiet. Be quiet. You’ll scare the girls in the other room.” Instead of caring about me they were worried about others leaving because they hear women screaming in the back.
“It’s too late. I can’t stop. Just be still. I’m almost done.”
Kim: Oh, my goodness.
Molly: Then he leaves. Never says anything to you. They say, “Okay, get your clothes on and go across the hall to this waiting room.” You sit in a little chair and they bring you orange juice and cookies or something to eat. I couldn’t eat or drink any of it.
Girls are crying. I’m bleeding profusely. I’m cramping horribly. I’m traumatized. I didn’t realize why we had to stay there. It wasn’t to check to see if our blood pressure was okay or if our bloodwork was good. It was to see if they got all the baby out. They had to go back and put all the remains together. They just had to make sure they got everything out before they let you go.
Kim: What was post-abortion recovery like for you? First I’ll go back to what you said a little earlier. You said you had to leave through the back door in an alley versus out of the front door that you came into?
Molly: They don’t want you going through the front door because women are bent over. They’re bleeding. They’re crying. They’re traumatized. If you are sitting in the waiting room and you saw someone like that leaving after they had—you’d get up and run. Yes, and I walked by smelly trashcans. The only difference between legal abortion and illegal abortion is the word. The experience is all the same.
When I left there, I bled profusely. My boyfriend at the time or the guy that I was with—he was more of a friend—tried to get me to go out to eat. “No, I don’t want to eat.” I just went home and got in bed. I stayed with an aunt. They didn’t want me to stay in my own apartment. I just stayed in bed. I didn’t want anybody to bother me. That was what it was like for a couple of days.
Then my nephew was born a couple of days later. I got a phone call about my nephew being born, the first baby, grandbaby, in the family. I drove for four hours bleeding profusely to go see him. That was very, very hard.
Kim: Tell me what happened when you got to the hospital to see your nephew.
Molly: I was working my way down to my sister’s room and a nurse passed by me pushing the baby in the little bassinet. I glanced down and I said, “Is that the—” I named her last name “—baby?”
She goes, “Yes.”
I said, “Well, can you stop and let me see him?” I lost it. He was the cutest little thing I ever saw. I was just hit with the reality that I’m not going to have one of those because I just aborted the baby. Boy, I just broke down and ran into the nearest bathroom and just completely lost it.
Of course, here I am supposed to be happy to go see my sister be happy—celebrate, congratulate but I was—I was undone. It took me a while to regain my composure and try to wipe the tears away. But I know she saw my face red, but maybe she thought I was crying with joy. I don’t know.
Kim: Now, while you were in the bathroom you had an encounter with your mother. Is that right?
Molly: Yes. She had heard that I was there somehow and came looking for me. She could hear me crying in the bathroom. Now this is supposed to be a very joyous time for my mother. She knew that I was going to have the abortion.
Kim: Oh, she did know.
Molly: She did. She knew. She had come to see me, and I told her. She didn’t try to talk me out of it. She suggested going to a home for unwed mothers, but I wasn’t a teenager. I’m 21 years old.
She heard me just coming to pieces and wasn’t excited about it. She didn’t want me to rain on everybody’s parade—said,4 “Okay, you’d better get a hold of yourself and clean up and wash your face and come out with a happy face,” basically and—
Kim: There was no empathy whatsoever.
Molly: No. It was a—I just stuffed it and went on with life.
Kim: You eventually dropped out of school.
Molly: Yes, I dropped out of A&M. Then I got a job in the oil field. It was booming back in those days around the College Station area. I had stayed there, got an apartment, worked for an oil field company. Of course, you’re surrounded by men and money, so it was quite an experience.
But I drank a lot. I did drugs that I never would have considered doing before. I didn’t realize why I was doing it until, of course, going through abortion recovery. But it was to numb the pain. It was because I didn’t care about myself anymore. I didn’t care if I lived or died. I think it was also to numb the pain and keep me from thinking and feeling.
Kim: It really saddens me that you had no one to talk to, not even your own mother, to be able to process what you had gone through, what you were feeling. Had your life, growing up with your parents, was it defined by covering up your emotions, just kind of brushing things to the side and moving forward?
Molly: Yes. We didn’t deal with anything. We didn’t deal with issues or trauma or pain or disappointments. It’s still kind of like that today, but yes, it was just like, “Forget about it.” Normally, it was “Let me go buy you something.” It was “Let’s deal with this problem and we’ll go shopping.” It was never “Sit down.”
I’m a very real person. I’m real. I’m deep. I go there. I want that kind of relationship with people, so that was very hard for me. It still is, but we didn’t know how to deal with things or weren’t taught that growing up.
Kim: The lifestyle you were living was one that you had hoped would help you to overcome that pain and perhaps forget about it. You mention in your book how you had this passion to play pool.
Molly: Yes. [Laughter] I still do.
Kim: Do you, still? And then you describe how you were playing pool one day at a bar, I suppose, and you met somebody.
Molly: I had transferred. I was working for an oil field company and I transferred from the Bryan-College Station area of Texas down to way south Texas, south of San Antonio, a little bitty town. I was staying there calling on oil field rigs to get business and found a little pool hall, beer joint, whatever you want to call it, and went there to play some pool and just hang out because I was by myself.
I was playing pool, and this other guy was watching. After I’d won my first game, he put his money on the table. I was looking up, “He is so cute.” [Laughter] He kind of smiled at me, and I thought, “Okay, you’re really cute but I’m about to beat you. [Laughter] I’m going to show you that I’m here to play pool.”
I did and he thought it was funny. We ended up talking and having a couple of beers. One thing led to another. We started seeing each other. Of course, that became intimate real quick because I didn’t have any boundaries. I was still very wounded and just self-destructing, I guess is the best word I know how to do it, by making poor choices. Anyway, I get pregnant by him. I actually wanted to get pregnant to tell you the truth.
Kim: Did you?
Molly: After that abortion, my first abortion, I felt like I need to get pregnant and have a baby. I’ve always wanted children. I wanted 10 kids. How did I mess up with that? For me getting pregnant was very exciting. He wasn’t excited and that wasn’t good. It was disappointing for me. He even wanted me to have an abortion.
I let him talk me into taking me to an abortion clinic, but I wasn’t going to do it. This time the doctor came in and spoke to you like a regular doctor before anything. He was talking and he goes, “Hi. Why are you here today?”
I said, “Because of that SOB sitting out in the waiting room.” [Laughter] I was angry. I was angry. I said, “I don’t want to have an abortion.”
He goes, “Well, you kind of look like you’re too far along. We’ll do an ultrasound.” They did an ultrasound. It came back. “We’re too far along anyway.” I didn’t know what “too far along” meant. I didn’t know what the gestational age he was talking about. I left out the same door that I went in. When I went out to the lobby where my boyfriend was sitting, he was kind of surprised to see me and see me so quickly. We left.
Shortly afterwards, I got an OB-GYN appointment where we were living and was talking to the doctor. He was examining me, and I said, “I think I’m going to have twins.”
He said, “Why do you think that?”
I said “Well, one day I can wear my pants. The next day I can’t. I just poofed out. I just poofed like a can of biscuits.” [Laughter]
He goes, “We’ll have an ultrasound because you look bigger than how far along you’re supposed to be.” I can’t remember if I was 12 weeks. I can’t remember how far along I was. We went to the ultrasound some week or so later.
They said, “Here’s a baby”
I said, “Okay.” Then you know what was kind of shocking, Kim?
Molly: Because I actually got to see my baby as far as, “Wait a minute. They said it was just a blob of tissue. This baby’s got arms and legs and it’s moving around so quickly.” You know how they do.
Then she goes, “Oh, there’s another one.”
I said, “Ah, I knew it. I knew it. I knew it.” I was real excited like, “I knew I was going to have twins. I just knew it.”
Molly: Then she goes, “Uh-oh.”
And I went, “Uh-oh.”
Then she goes, “There’s another one.”
Kim: Oh, my goodness.
Molly: I went “What!!!”
Molly: She said, “Yes, you’re carrying triplets.” I was so excited. It was a very difficult ultrasound. I had to lay there. It was uncomfortable. You’re supposed to drink all this liquid stuff and I couldn’t drink it because—but anyway, I was just thrilled.
By the time I had left there the word had spread throughout the clinic, I guess, because I walked by the receptionist desk and they’re all smiling and waving. I’m excited and I’m looking around for my boyfriend. He’s not in the waiting room.
While I’m checking out, they say, “We’ll go get him.” Somebody said, “You need to come in here.”
He walks in the door. He sees me standing there checking out and he goes, “What? Are we going to have two?”
I said “No, three.” I think he wanted to—he went into shock because the relationship went downhill from there.
Molly: Yes. It went downhill from there.
Kim: Did you stay together to have your babies?
Molly: We stayed, but I moved home. I mean he started to where he wouldn’t come home at night. He’d leave me without food or money or a vehicle or you know. He was checking out on me, so I called my parents and said—told them what was going on.
They came and got me. I lived with my parents for the rest of my pregnancy. He would come down from time to time. He came down for the birth. They induced me into labor actually on my due date, Kim. The doctors let me go full term.
Kim: Oh, my goodness. Those had to be some big babies. Okay, I have to ask you this. I’ve carried two children to full term. I cannot imagine carrying triplets. What in the world is that like?
Molly: It was an experience for sure. [Laughter] I think when I—after I moved home—I might have been around 16 weeks pregnant when I moved home. I could drive but shortly after that I couldn’t push the seat far enough back. [Laughter] I was smashed between the steering wheel and the seat, so the driving was out.
Then I started outgrowing every size of clothes that you could possibly imagine. I found one robe that I could fit into that would cover my—I couldn’t touch my hands around my stomach. I couldn’t touch my hands together.
It was a difficult pregnancy in the fact it was hard to breathe, hard to eat. I think my stomach was shoved up here so when I swallowed it hit the bottom of my stomach. I could set a full plate on my stomach. Hard to walk, hard to sleep. That part was difficult, but what kept me going was I was thrilled and so excited.
I had thought—I did not have a relationship with the Lord at that time. I knew of Him because my grandmother would tell me of Him when I was growing up. But I thought maybe God had blessed me for the one by giving me two extras.
Then I dreamt about what I would do with them. I was going to take them to the nursing home down the street and let the little ladies help me rock them, parade them around in their little wagon or whatever.
Molly: I had a lot dreams. The excitement got me through. The pregnancy went very well. I didn’t have any complications except I wouldn’t go into labor. I think that was the problem. I went in the day before my due date. I’d had Braxton contractions off and on for a couple of weeks. Looking back I think that was my body trying to say, “Hey, we need to have these babies,” or “Something’s going on.”
I would call my doctor. “No big deal.” When I went in, he goes “You can have the babies tomorrow or the next day, next week.”
I said “No. I’m having the babies now. I’ve gone as far as I can go.
Molly: I can’t walk. I can’t sleep. I can’t.”
So he induced me into labor and the outcome wasn’t very good.
Kim: Describe the day when you delivered the triplets.
Molly: We were thrilled. We called everybody, had a hospital waiting room full of family and friends and they induced me into labor. The father of the baby was there. They let the family come in and out. I always had a room full of people until the nurse would come in and do a vaginal check and all.
I remember she said—she did an exam—she goes, “You know what? I can only hear one heartbeat. I’m going to go get the doctor.”
The doctor came in. He would mash and press around my abdomen and mash and press with the stethoscope. He goes, “No, no, I hear one. I hear one here. I hear one there.”
Then shortly afterwards they sent in an anesthesiologist and he said, “Listen, we could either put you to sleep or give you a spinal tap. We’re about ready to bring the babies in.”
At that time, “I don’t care what you do. I just need to get them here.” I’m in labor. I’m uncomfortable. I don’t know why I said that, but they put me to sleep and delivered the babies.
When I was coming out of anesthesia in the recovery room—you know how it is when you’re still in both worlds—but I could hear voices in the background. I started trying to say, “How are my babies? How are my babies?”
I heard, “Shh, shh, shh, shh.”
That sent off all these alarms. You know ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. “Okay you’ve got to come to. Snap out of it. Come to. Come to.” I was fighting to come to and kept saying, “How are my babies?”
One of the nurses in the room said, “I’m going to go get the doctor.” Full alert system going now.
Molly: The doctor and the pediatrician came in and told me the bad news that two of them were stillborn. When they told me that, Kim, I just could feel the life draining out of my body. I just wanted to die.
Then they said, “But you’ve got a beautiful baby boy crying for his mother in the nursery.”
I thought, “Oh, well, I need to check him out.” That really gave me the will to live long enough. I said, “I want to live long enough to see him.”
Once I saw my surviving son it was love and “I’ve got to focus on him.” But I was still grieving deeply. You’re in this roller coaster of trauma, grief, mourning, joy, excitement. That’s kind of my world. That was my world for a long time.
Kim: Was there ever a time when you wondered if it was your fault that you lost those two babies?
Molly: Oh, yes. I felt like a failure. I felt like a failure. I said, “I can’t even bring wanted children, babies that I really want into the world alive.” Yes, I felt it was punishment. I still felt that way. I was very traumatized, traumatized on top of trauma.
Kim: So you are left with your son.
Molly: Yes. He was the cutest little thing. He had dark hair, dark eyes. He had a darker complected skin tone and chubby. He was so—as a little toddler, like several months old, he was just a happy baby. He was a happy baby, such a joy and so easy to take care of. But I—sometimes I would look at him and wonder, “What did the other babies look like? What would they have been like?” One minute I wanted to just eat him up. I didn’t even want to put him in bed at night. I just wanted to hold him.
Molly: The next minute I was running from him, going back to the bars and partying. I think I was just running from my pain and not really processing and grieving like I should. Not having anyone to talk to about what I was feeling, I just went back to the party scene to try to numb it out.
Kim: What was life like for you as a single mom?
Molly: It was pretty tough, but I did have my parents. They helped a lot, and they were crazy about him too. I lived at home probably, maybe close to a year before I felt like I could cope. I’m still grieving, still trying to get my life back. I was working.
After about a year or so, I felt like, “Okay, I’m going to go get my own apartment.” Nathan and I moved about—oh, about a year or so—he was about a year old and got our own apartment.
Of course, I was still working, and my parents were a big help. My dad would pick up Nathan from daycare if he got home from work before I did, or if I went out partying with friends on the weekends, they would watch Nathan.
No matter how much I had drank, I would always go by their house and pick him up before I went home. That wasn’t always the best thing to do. I remember carrying him down their flight of stairs. They would be in bed asleep but I know they knew I was there. I would even have trouble making it down the stairs with him in my arms.
Kim: Oh, my goodness, Molly.
Molly: Yes. Praise God that nothing terrible happened during that time. But then we’d enjoy each other and made a home for him and had several relationships in between that, nothing really serious, until he was about five years old and met somebody.
Kim: Now I don’t know if this is the relationship you’re referring to, but you met someone named Red.
Molly: Oh, yes.
Kim: Yes. Tell me about Red and that relationship.
Molly: I was working for a radio station selling advertising. He was also a producer, I think, on one of the shows. We had met. I really liked him. We had gone out a few times. But the first time we had sex, I got pregnant. That was kind of shocking to both of us. I told my parents, and they were not happy.
Kim: What did they say to you?
Molly: “You can’t have this baby. What are people going to—” It’s really—it was—they were very well known in the community. They were very well respected and liked, and they just—it was an embarrassment that their daughter was now pregnant by another man outside of marriage.
There was a lot of pressure to have an abortion. I remember them really hounding me—coming over to my house and hounding me. They were furious. I was crying. I was broken. I was still psychologically and emotionally messed up. I felt the pressure was so intense, and you know, “We won’t help you with Nathan anymore. We’ll cut you off.”
They were just—they were adamant, and I was just crying and grieving. I said, “I can’t do this.”
“Well, you have to.”
So I just kind of went numb and said, “Fine, I’ll do this. But if I do this, the blood’s going to be on your hands not mine.”
Kim: What about the father? What about Red?
Molly: I told him about it after my parents had really pressured me, and he was like washed his hands of it; goes, “Well, I’m not going to support you having an abortion, but I’m not going to support you either way.”
It’s ultimate rejection, ultimate rejection: “You don’t love me enough to love my baby too.”
My mother made all the abortion arrangements, even when I was there, at the same clinic that delivered my triplets.
Kim: Oh, my goodness.
Molly: A different doctor—I was just so numbed out. I mean I was just numbed out. She did all the talking. He never—it was a different doctor. I didn’t know they did abortions at that clinic. If I had known that, I probably wouldn’t have gone. But she made all the arrangements.
He said, “Okay.” He had the nurse come get me, take me to examining room, get me dressed, and what he did was prepare me for a second trimester abortion, which I was only in my first trimester. Now this is all looking back. At the time, I was clueless.
Molly: It was different than my first abortion experience which is they stretched out your cervix and they were doing it. In a second trimester abortion, they insert laminaria to dilate your cervix. Then you go back the next day and they finish the procedure. Which they can use suction aspiration.
I can’t even remember, Kim. That was so traumatizing, I don’t remember what it was if it was curettage, where they went in and cut pieces and brought it out, or if it was vacuum. I don’t remember. I do remember when he inserted the laminaria and he left the room and I was told to get dressed.
I lost it. I was livid. I was so angry. I was yelling and screaming.
The nurse came in, “What’s the matter? What’s the matter?”
I said, “Get him back in here! I don’t want to have this abortion! I never wanted to have this abortion! I just buried two babies! I’ve got a baby at home! I can’t do this!” I’m clearly traumatized—
Molly: —and upset. What does he do? He comes in and he says, “What’s the matter?”
I tell him the same thing: “I don’t want to have this abortion, never did. I just buried two babies. I have a baby at home.”
He goes, “Well, you have to now. I can’t take this out. It could damage your cervix,” and I believed what he said.
Kim: Was it true?
Molly: It was not true.
Kim: But you didn’t know that.
Molly: I did not know that. After—years and years later—after going through healing and recovery and speaking, I spoke to some doctors, some pro-life doctors. They said, “That’s not true. You could have had that removed.”
The second, I had a miserable night, horrible pain, horrible emotional trauma going on. Father took me back the next day. It was on Valentine’s Day. I didn’t even—I had completely forgotten about that—and told the doctor again when I went back there, “I can’t do this. I don’t want to have an abortion. I never wanted to have this abortion. I just buried two babies. I’ve got a baby at home.”
“Well, you have to now. If you don’t go through with it, then you’re going to have a miscarriage because your cervix is dilated.”
What he could have told me is “Well, let’s take care of you. We’ll take you—go home, put your feet up, prop, stay in bed. We’ll do whatever we can to save the baby.” But that’s not what he told me. I felt like I couldn’t do—I didn’t know I could even run anywhere else.
Kim: Right, and that goes back to what you said a little earlier in the interview was that you were taught to obey in essence—
Molly: —and trust—
Kim: —those in leadership, doctors, those who have authority, and you were doing what he told you to do.
Molly: Yes, it was what I was led to believe all my life. “Don’t question. Just do.”
Kim: Is that why it took you so long to stand up for yourself in that situation? Because at first you were silent. You didn’t say anything. Then it wasn’t until after he inserted the laminaria that you came to your senses in a way, and you decide “No, this is not what I want, and I am going to speak up about it.”
Molly: Yes. Growing up it was never about what we wanted. [Laughter] If we rebelled or had an issue with what was going on with our real parents or whatever, we were always made to feel guilty. It was all our fault and then submit.
So I submitted, I guess. I’m glad you asked that question because I really never gave it a lot of thought. I just felt like, “That’s it.” I didn’t even know that he was lying to me. I didn’t even question it.
Molly: That experience was so traumatizing because I did cry the whole entire time. When I left that clinic, the best way I can describe it to you, Kim, is I was a walking dead woman. I had to completely sever my heart from my mind, my feelings, my emotions, or I wouldn’t have made it. I don’t think people knew how bad I was hurting and how traumatized—I didn’t even know how bad I was hurting and how traumatized I was.
Kim: That would come later, wouldn’t it?
Kim: Did you ever talk with your parents about what happened on those two days?
Molly: We had a little blow out the night before. I mean I was pacing around like a caged tiger, so we said a lot of harsh things to each other.
Kim: That was before the abortion?
Molly: That was before the abortion. Then we never talked about it again, but it did put a big wedge in our relationship. My drinking and my drugs only increased. I was almost like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Out partying, I’m one person. At home with Nathan, I’m his mom and we’re doing fun things and I’m taking care of him. I was showing him life and teaching him about life. We’d be around the family too and everything was normal. You put on your face and—
Kim: Right—pretend that everything is just fine.
Molly: Yes. Then when Nathan was about four and a half, I guess, I met a guy at a bar. A cute cowboy, cute cowboy!” I saw him across the room. I thought Oh, wow, wow, wow, wow! [Laughter] Before then it was just use them and leave them. It was just—
Kim: That’s what you had come to. You thought I have been disrespected by enough men. Now I’m going to pay back.
Molly: Yes, that’s exactly right. Love them and leave them or treat them horrible or—I think the only anger or the only feeling I did feel was anger. I could get pretty angry pretty quick. If someone showed me any disrespect, I could chew them up and spit them out in a heartbeat and then feel terrible afterwards. But my temper, I guess, and my anger was my only emotional outlet for all the trauma that I was experiencing.
But I met Ronald and I kind of—I was young and looking good and lost a lot of weight after I had Nathan and exercising and doing all that. I saw him across the room. I thought I’m just going to prance by him and see if he notices me. [Laughter] So I pranced by him and he didn’t even bat an eye.
Kim: Oh, well.
Molly: Rats! [Laughter] What’s it going to take to get this guy’s attention? Lo and behold, later on in the evening I was sitting at table with friends and he came over with another man who knew people at my table. I thought, “Oh, there he is. Heart be still.”
Song came on and I was with a lot of couples. I was the only single person. Everybody gets up to go dance and I’m just—just me and him—me sitting there and him standing at the end of table. I’m like, “Come on. I’m not going to ask you to dance. You can ask me.” He did finally. That was love at first sight for me, especially on that dance floor. He was a very good dancer. We were just like hand and glove.
Kim: Was he different from the other guys you had met?
Molly: Very different. Ronald’s very composed, very quiet. To me, he was a tower of strength and very wise. He didn’t talk a lot. He’s kind of an introvert. I’m more of an extrovert. I liked that about him. But whatever—he reminded me a lot of my grandfather, my maternal grandfather. He was a very quiet man. But when he said something, it was either very funny or very wise, and I adored him. He was everything to me. Ronald reminded me of him.
We started talking. He was just recently divorced and had a son that’s a few months older than my son, so we had a lot in common. But then part of me was saying, “Oh, but don’t go after a cowboy because they have these reputations of loving them and leaving them.” That’s what I thought anyway. But we hit it off really well and started seeing each other all the time and just having the best time. We’ve been married now for 32 years. [Laughter]
Kim: Did you tell your husband about your abortions after you were married or before you were married?
Molly: No, I did not tell him for a long time while we were dating. I didn’t realize how wounded we both were when we were dating. He was recently divorced. That really was hard on him. It wasn’t his plan. It was out of nowhere. But when he asked me to marry him that was exciting.
It was the night before we were to get married. I thought, “I got to tell him to see if he really loves me,” so I told him. He didn’t say much. He has to process things. That’s the way I think introverts are. They have to process things in their mind before they speak it.
Molly: As to where I speak it and process it later. [Laughter] But he just held me close. I think he might have said, “I’m sorry.” But he just held me and that reassured me that I think he really does love me.
We got married and still wounded, but life was good. I thought, “Okay I’m married and have a home. I have my son. I have a stepson the same age. Life is supposed to be good and happy. I’m supposed to be happy, right?” Inside I was not. Inside I was still depressed and even had suicide ideation where you just kind of think about suicide. I was still emotionally messed up on the inside. I couldn’t make sense of it.
Kim: While you were at work one day you met someone who, in a sense, introduced you to Jesus. Will you tell me that story? This is while you’re in the midst of your depression trying to figure things out, newly married.
Molly: Yes. Newly married and I worked for a home health care agency. I called on senior citizens to assess their needs to provide home health care services for them.
My favorite people to visit were the African American seniors because they—I would just love to sit down and talk to them—I loved talking to everybody. But I loved the way they would—I don’t know—they opened up and shared and several clients that I loved dearly.
I visited one lady one day. This wasn’t my first visit, but this was the first time that—and she—her home was so nice. I just loved her. But her sister-in-law was there. I was so depressed that I couldn’t listen to sad music. I couldn’t listen to the news, especially if there was news about someone hurting a child because I was afraid it would throw me over the edge of suicide.
The news was on. I heard something sad, and I made a comment. I don’t even remember what it was, but her sister-in-law started telling me about this man named Jesus. How he was the Savior of the world. He knows all things. He’s in control. She was witnessing. She had lost her father and she was rejoicing because he was in the presence of his God. She just was telling me about Him and about how much she loved Him and who He was. I was mesmerized.
Molly: She was looking at me. I was looking at her. She had no idea who I was, nothing about my past. But as I’m engaging and listening to her eye to eye, I could see this love pouring out of her eyes towards me and it captured me.
I mean to tell you the truth, Kim. I can’t remember what this woman looks like, but I know what Jesus looks like because I saw that love coming out of her eyes. His face in her face. I was caught up in something that I had never experienced before in my life. It was so totally different than what I had been living for so long. It was like hope. It was like a love that I had never experienced.
I went home that evening. My husband and I were used to going to the bars every other weekend when he didn’t have his son. We had gone twice a month or so— go out partying or dancing or whatever. I went home. He got home. I said, “Hey, I just met this man named Jesus. I want you to take me to church.” [Laughter]
He’s going, “What?” The look on his face like, “What?”
Kim: “What have you been doing today?” Yes, “Where’d that come from?”
Molly: Yes. Now his parents were kind—they weren’t church goers, but I think they would go to church occasionally. But he said, “Okay, well a friend of mine is a pastor. He’s a cowboy pastor. He does church right downtown. We’ll go Sunday.” That’s kind of an awesome man that he is.
Molly: We went to this little outdoor cowboy church and heard a message. I think he offered people—he didn’t offer anybody to come forward or anything, but “If you don’t know Jesus you can say this prayer.” I believe I did and said even those sins—kind of pointed to the back of my head because I had buried those abortions. I wouldn’t even say the word abortion. It was fine. It was good.
But while we were there this pastor’s mother was there. She invited us to her church which was an Assembly of God church. They’re charismatic. I didn’t know anything about any of that stuff. But the next Sunday, the family went to church and the pastor gave an on-fire message and people were praising the Lord and “hallelujah” and speaking in tongues or whatever.
I’m thinking, “Okay,” but when he gave the altar call—I think my husband and I were sitting in the back row—I just felt like the Holy Spirit—I didn’t even know anything about the Holy Spirit, but I had to go. I had to go forward.
And spiritually, looking in hindsight, looking back, I ran down that aisle into the arms of this pastor, and he led me through the sinner’s prayer. I confessed Jesus as Lord. I confessed that I was a sinner. “Forgive me even for those things that I did in the past,” and prayed, “Amen.”
Opened up my eyes and, Kim, I opened up my eyes into a new world. It was a world of color. It’s hard to explain but I have known other people have felt this way. But my world was so dark—depression—the dysfunction—that I didn’t even know I was color blind. I couldn’t even see color. When I opened up my eyes, I saw these beautiful stained-glass windows, this color, this light. It was different.
Kim: Right. I know that feeling, Molly.
Molly: Do you?
Kim: I do.
Molly: I’ve been reading your book and I haven’t finished it yet. But if it’s in there I can’t wait to get to it.
Kim: Yes, I’m not sure it is, but that is exactly how I described when I was in a situation where I suffered from depression and came to a place where that depression lifted. It was exactly what you described. It was as if I had lived my world in black and white and all of a sudden, someone clicked on the color. I thought, “Is this how everybody else is seeing the world?”
Molly: Wow, yes.
Kim: —because I had literally been missing out. When I read that in your story, I thought, “That validates—that’s exactly what I said.” So thank you for sharing that.
Molly: Wow! Praise the Lord. Thank you. When you were saying that it kind of reminded me of the Wizard of Oz. Remember part of it’s in black and white and then it goes into this real beautiful color scene. That’s kind of like it was for you and me.
But my life radically changed. I was transformed. I was hungry for the Word, hungry to know my Lord. I felt like God was blessing me in so many ways. It almost felt like Christmas every single day. He would answer prayers, or He’d reveal something.
But I was still very wounded, but I didn’t know that. I was too focused on this new love that I had found through Jesus and growing in His Word. But it took a couple of years into my Christianity to realize that salvation doesn’t mean healing. Salvation may heal your soul, restore your relationship back with the Lord, but it’s not equal to being healed from trauma.
Kim: It’s a process.
Molly: Yes, especially when you’re the queen of denial like I was for so long.
Kim: As you were saying that, the thought came to mind that God could very well heal us completely when we come to know Him, when we trust Him, surrender our lives to Him, but He doesn’t. He uses those tragedies, those difficulties in our lives to actually reveal more of Himself to us.
Molly: Yes. Wow!
Kim: Maybe it’s by allowing us to experience things that are not so perfect, things that are difficult, challenging—maybe that’s one of the ways He chooses to reveal Himself to us.
Molly: Wow! That’s good. That’s good. Yes, I think it’s also that we can learn more about our self as well.
Kim: Yes, yes.
Molly: And that in our trauma, even in our dysfunction, in our sin, Jesus still loved us.
Kim: While we were yet sinners, He died for us.
Molly: Yes. He was always there for us. All we had to do was reach out to Him.
I don’t think you can grow and know yourself until you allow God to take you through that healing stage and that transformation stage, that redemption—redeeming process. Because when I did go through the healing process and started—oh, let me tell you, I didn’t think God was big enough for my pain. I didn’t think He was big enough to handle it or help me get through it because—and I didn’t even know how much pain I was until God started removing the veil a little at a time. He didn’t rip it all off or I couldn’t have stood it.
But trusting Him to take me on that healing journey through abortion recovery was a big step in my faith walk. Then Him giving me the strength to go through the grieving process and even saying the words out loud, “I had two abortions. I killed two of my children,” was the hardest words I ever said in my life. It’s almost like I had to regurgitate them out.
But once I confessed it, it was like chains of bondage were broken off. The enemy wants to keep us in that secret place, keep us in bondage. As long as it’s in secret place, he can keep you in bondage to it. But when you confess with your mouth, it’s just totally redeeming and delivering, especially when you know Jesus that has forgiven you for that.
Kim: Now as your life began to transform after the abortion recovery, what did this do to your relationship with your parents? Because you mentioned earlier that it was strained after they forced you to have that last abortion.
Molly: Right. When I went through abortion recovery, they were not happy. “We’re supposed to forget about it. Why would you want to go back there and deal with that? You’re supposed to forget about it, put it behind you, and go on.” They couldn’t understand why I was doing it.
I said, “I’m doing it for me. I’m doing it for me.” What I learned, Kim, is that a broken mother has a broken family and a healed mother has a healed and strong family. I could see that. I could see that going through my recovery, how my children could even see that bondage of depression breaking off, the bondage of sadness breaking off, the guilt, the shame—all of that.
They could see me transforming before their eyes through the Holy Spirit’s work in me. And to this day, they are strong confident people. They can deal with their issues. They know that whatever they struggle with, God is going to help them get through it. But it radically changed my relationship with my husband and my kids. But it took a process. This has taken a long time.
But it was on my, I think my 45th birthday, all my friends were over. They were celebrating me. It was amazing. My husband had a party. My parents were there. During the party I was recognizing and speaking blessings to each person that had blessed my life. I was speaking to each one individually about what they meant to me and how they helped me become a better Christian and what they sowed into my life. I mentioned everybody, but I never mentioned my parents.
Kim: Oh, was that on purpose or did you just—
Molly: No! I didn’t even realize it until the party was over. Everybody left. I sat down on the couch next to my husband. I wanted to reflect on how beautiful the party was, and God went, “You have a root of anger and bitterness towards your parents.”
I went—I wanted to deny it like, “No I don’t,” because I didn’t know.
Then He kind of just rips your heart open and shows it to you and it’s like, “How can you deny it? It’s right there in front of your face.”
I thought “Oh, wow.”
Kim: But you had been taught to deny your feelings.
Kim: So it was normal for you.
Molly: Yes, and it’s not natural for kids to be angry at their parents or hate their parents or be offended or unforgiveness. It’s not a natural thing, so I guess you want to deny it and put it behind you and act like everything’s fine—
Molly: —and wonderful. Boy, but when He showed that to me, and then He called me to forgive them. I thought, “Oh, I forgive them in my heart.” I had thought I had forgiven them even through my abortion recovery. “I forgive them in my heart.” That wasn’t good enough for the Lord. He wanted me to forgive them in person. I said, “Lord, only if you make the way.”
I was afraid that they would throw it all back on me because that’s what I grew up with. The guilt’s all on you, not them. You’re the guilty one. You shouldn’t have done this or said that or felt this or—so I said, “You make the way, and I will.”
Lo and behold, the next day my mother called and needed help with a computer issue. We just lived right up the street from her at the time. I thought, “Okay, Lord, is this You?” I had called my husband and said, “Listen, I’m going to go to Mom’s and Dad’s. You need to come. When I give you the signal, you get over there because I’m going to have to—I’m going to talk to them. I’m going to forgive them. We had talked about it the night before or something that God was calling me to forgive them.
I went there, and we did work out the computer issue. I picked up the phone and said, “Get over here,” and my husband got over there real quick. Before he got there, I said “Mom and Dad, I need to talk to you about some things.”
They said, “Oh, okay. Come in here,” so we sat in the den.
I said, “Ronald’s going to be here in a minute.” He showed up.
Now I know they were very curious, like, “Uh-oh, we don’t talk about anything.” [Laughter]
Molly: “What can it be?”
He got there and we sat on the couch. I said, “Mom,” I said, “the other night at my birthday party the Lord showed me that I did not recognize you and speak blessings in how you blessed me,” I said, “but He showed me that I had a heart of anger and hatred and bitterness towards you because of my abortions.”
I said, “First of all, I want you—I ask you to forgive me for disappointing you growing up. Then I want to let you know that I forgive you for pressuring me into having my abortion.” I said, “You’re the grandparents of not just two children but four and then I have—of course I had the triplets—two of the triplets and the miscarriage after that.” I said, “But I’ve named these two babies and whenever we get together for family reunions everybody’s happy. Everybody has their family there, but I’m still missing children.” I told them their names and said, “I want to forgive you for that,” and we shed some few tears.
My mother said, “You know, Molly, when we became Catholic—” which they had just a couple of years prior to that—I don’t remember the time frame, "—the first thing we confessed to the priest—” I guess they do confession, "—was the abortions, our involvement in the abortions.”
Kim: Oh, my goodness.
Molly: Yes. That was a shocker to me. I didn’t know that my parents were hurting. You know you’re so wrapped up in yourself.
Kim: It sounded like they cared more about themselves than they did about you and, of course, your children, so to hear them say that’s the first thing that they confessed, that had to just do something to your heart.
Molly: Yes. It was like, “Wow. I never even thought you even thought about it.” I had no idea they were hurting from it or felt guilty by it.
She said, “The priest told us it wouldn’t ever be right unless we asked you to forgive us.”
I thought “Wow.” I don’t know if they ever really did ask me that question during that time, but we were reconciled.
I left their home that day and I tell you, Kim, it was like I had been dragging this—you know you see in those old movies the big ball of iron and it’s chained to the prisoner’s ankle and they have to drag it and they can’t go hardly anywhere at all if they can go at all—that’s what it felt like, like I had been dragging this huge iron ball of hatred and anger and bitterness and offense towards my parents. It had been cut off my ankle and I could walk on the sky.
Isn’t that kind of way our psychological minds work? We don’t really know how much bondage we’re in when we live in denial.
Kim: Yes, right.
Molly: We don’t know the captivity we’re in until God shows us and we deal with it and get set free from it. It is a liberating experience.
Kim: Now you have shared so honestly and openly about the various struggles you had as a result of making the choice to abort two of your children. I so appreciate that.
There are millions of women who have had abortions and not all of them understand the long-term effects. They may believe, like you believed, that you just push it to the side, you don’t think about it anymore and you can go on with life. What are some of the long-term effects of abortion that some of us may not realize we’re dealing with after having had one?
Molly: One of them would be justification. Like, “I had to do this. I had no other choice. This was the best decision for my life.” You try to wrap your head around all the reasons why you did it and it had to be good, so you live in this justification stage.
Or you might have an aversion to children. You don’t want to be around kids or pregnant women. You don’t want to go to those baby showers. You don’t want to work in the nursery if you’re at church or whatever. I mean I had that issue too.
Or you might even have—for me, one of the things that was really eye opening was that I even had a hard time being intimate with my husband. It affected my intimacy because that’s—intimacy is trusting your partner and being vulnerable with your partner and open with your partner giving yourself. I don’t think I always quite gave myself freely because of the woundedness.
Kim: Help me to understand why or how that’s related—how having an abortion would be related to the intimacy issues. Can you explain and help me to understand that better?
Molly: I’ll try. It may have been also a byproduct of rape because that kind of forms what sexual encounters are supposed to be like. If it’s not starting out right, but even if you give yourself freely to someone in a sexual encounter and then that relationship breaks up, it’s going to affect your ability to do that same thing with the next partner.
Then when you go through an abortion, it’s like a rape. It’s a medical rape. It’s violating. It’s degrading. It is humiliating. Then you get very protective over your intimacy, your body, and you’re afraid to—I don’t even know how to explain it. I just know that after I’d really gone through a lot of healing and dealing with those issues, that my relationship with my husband and our—the intimacy between us was changed and was improved.
I could trust and freely—there wasn’t anything holding me back from totally trusting that relationship or that act.
Kim: Are there any other effects that we may not know of? I know you can’t possibly list them all but if there’s anything that stands out to you that you really see as a common side effect that is ignored, let us know.
Molly: There’s over a hundred psychological issues. I put them in the resources in the back of my book. One of them that comes to mind is if you do—I mean a lot of women are afraid to get pregnant again. They’re afraid if they get pregnant, they may lose their baby. They fear that they may not be able to get pregnant again, or if they get pregnant again, they might end up in the abortion clinic again.
But if you do get pregnant and have your children, abortion can interrupt your bonding, your natural bonding relationship, with your child. You can either over bond and become very over protective, which I was like that on my second pregnancy. I think I went overboard. I don’t know because I don’t know what natural bonding is like because of abortion, but I do know that it was not right what I was experiencing.
My bonding was interrupted through my son, because, one, I was put to sleep; two, because of the first abortion; three, because I was also grieving, so there was bonding issues that God had to teach me and show me and then help me to build on that bond. Does that make sense?
Kim: It does.
Molly: It wasn’t—I think my son Nathan was in probably elementary school, maybe even junior high, when the Lord was teaching me that you’ve got to work on your bonding issues with him, so I’d have to listen to his play by play football experiences or his play by play baseball. [Laughter] I’m like, your eyes are crossing but you have to sit there and focus and stay tuned to do that bonding. Or run out to the bus stop when he got home because that was not there in the early days. I loved him but bonding was interrupted.
Then with my second child, my daughter—I had had a miscarriage in between then, and that was hard—I was like, “Boy, I don’t want anybody touching her. I’m not going to leave her with anybody.” It was like I became very overprotective of her. Then the Lord had to show me that too. “That’s not healthy. You’ve got to let that little chick fly even if she falls down.” You can have bonding issues with your children, with your spouse, with other people.
You could become drug addict, alcoholic. I have a good friend that does prison ministry, and she takes abortion recovery to the prisons and she does an outtake. Eighty percent of the women who are incarcerated can look back and see that their abortion was the door that led to their incarceration.
Molly: Yes, 80 percent.
Kim: I have never heard that.
Molly: Because after the abortion they either—they might become drug addicts. Then they become prostitutes in order to get the money to do their drugs. One lady, I remember I saw her in a film. We were presenting testimonies in Texas legislature. She said she was a happily married woman with two children. She never dreamt that she would become a crack head addict that ended up in prison losing her husband and her family because her husband forced her to abort their third child.
Kim: That’s heartbreaking.
Molly: That’s the affect it has. You’ve got to numb the pain somehow or deny it or justify it or become an advocate. “I have to justify abortion, so I’m going to be a pro-abortion spokesperson,” or “I’m going to be at those pro-abortion rallies because it had to be right. Because if it was—if it’s not right, then what I did was wrong, and what if what I did was wrong was killing my baby.”
You can’t do it without the Lord. You can’t face that kind of reality. I guess you can. I’ve seen them, but we always lead them to the Lord. You can become a workaholic, an alcoholic, driven or don’t care.
I used to host a show called Faces of Abortion and heard all kinds of testimonies. It doesn’t matter why you have the abortion, the outcome is pretty much the same. One woman said, “I was a straight-A student, and I became a dropout drug addict after my abortion.”
Your life will never be the same, and it’ll never be better. It will not solve a problem. It will not make a problem go away. The longer you stay in denial, the more difficult it is to heal from it. There’s some women who say, “My abortion does not bother me. I do not regret it. I know I aborted a baby. It was the best decision I ever made.” But in that state of denial, what you have done is you’ve become hard hearted.
The Lord showed me it this way, Kim. There are some prisoners who’ve committed horrible crimes against human beings. Some of them in prison come to repentance and become remorseful over what they did. It’s because they have allowed themselves to feel and to look at the truth and to feel that.
Then there’s the hardened criminals. The hardened criminals have hardened their hearts, and they refuse to go there. They refuse to look at what they did, confess that it was wrong. They’ve disconnected their conscience and their morality from their brains.
That’s kind of how I see women who say they don’t regret their abortions and those who’ve come to the knowledge that what they did was wrong. It was a sin. It was killing. It was murder, and that’s their coping skill. That’s the ones that I want to reach the most because I’ve been there. I understand where you’re coming from. I’ve been there. It’s the most delicate. You have to be very delicate with it.
Kim: Molly, what are the most important things you want people to take away from your story?
Molly: There’s three of them. It all has to do with forgiveness. We have to be forgiven by the Lord for whatever sin it may be—could be abortion related or not—could be sexual immorality. It could be many things—gossip, slander. I mean there’s a whole list of sins that we know are not right.
God gave us a conscience, so confessing that Jesus is Lord, repenting for our sins, because we’ve all sinned; fallen short of the glory of God. It’s disconnected us in our relationship with our Father. By confessing, repenting, inviting the Lord Jesus into our life that reconnects us to our heavenly Father and helps that relationship to grow.
Then to forgive others, because Christ on the cross forgave you and me even though He perished thousands of years ago for us. He died on the cross. He shed His blood. That blood had to be shed in order to atone for sin. He shed His blood so that we wouldn’t be punished for our sins, in other words. He paid the price for you and me, Kim, instead of us paying the price, which all sin leads to death and separation from God.
He forgave us freely while we were still sinners; that He requires us to forgive those who have hurt us. It’s a commandment because if we don’t forgive, He doesn’t’ forgive. Forgiving is, like we talked about earlier, sets us free from that offense.
Being forgiven by God, forgiving others and then forgive ourselves. We’re not forgiving ourselves for sin. Only God can do that. We’re forgiving us for sinning against our own self, for doing something that violated us as a human being and caused us to regret and to hurt other people.
I mean when I was a sinner, I hurt other people. When I was wounded, I wounded other people. How could you possibly truly love other people if you’re walking in self-hatred and self-condemnation? Hearing all those voices and listening to those voices: “You’ll never amount up to anything. You’re no good. You’re a murderer. You did this. You did that.” That’s self-hatred.
I went home and locked myself in my bathroom after the kids were in bed and husband watching TV, and looked at myself in the mirror and just said, “I forgive you for killing your children, for doing something you should never have done. I forgive you for hurting all these other people that you’ve hurt.” I just started pouring out. I mean it just poured out and forgave myself for doing all of that. I’m weeping and crying and heaving. You know how it is when you cry, it just all pours out.
Finally when I was finished, I came out of that bathroom and threw myself on the bed and this peace that passes all understanding fell upon me. It was like the Lord saying, “Get up off your bed. You’re delivered.” It was like the final stage of my healing and transformation process. We’re still being transformed because I still have a lot of things I’ve got to deal with, but it truly was the final step of setting me free from the bondage of bloodshed.
Being forgiven by God, forgiving others and forgiving yourself, and then surrendering your life to the Lord, “Okay, Lord, here I am. I’m a vessel that’s broken but here I am. I want to serve You.” Then allow God to take you on that journey and let Him use you just like my book’s subtitle is God Will Bring Purpose from Your Pain. Let Him use that to His glory.
Kim: What emotions did Molly’s story bring up for you? Was it sorrow, anger, empathy, resentment? Or maybe it stirred up some memories of your own poor choices. I know it did for me.
Abortion is a tough topic to talk about. As I listened to Molly share how they have to make sure they have all of the baby parts before they let the women go home after an abortion, I felt nauseated. Because there was a time that I, too, thought that what was conceived did not become a life until after several months of being in the womb. I don’t know what I thought it was before then, but in my mind, it was definitely not a baby yet.
But in Jeremiah 1, verse 5, God tells Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” And what that says to me is that God is intentional with His creation. He doesn’t just form this miracle called life and leave everything to chance. No.
Psalm 139, verse 16 says, “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” [New Living Translation] Whatever the circumstances are when we’re conceived, God is the one who gives life. He loves us and He already knows who He will create us to be and what He purposes for us to do.
From the moment of conception, we begin to develop into God’s unique masterpiece. It’s just that it takes a bit longer for some of us than others to learn about Him, His love, how valuable we are to Him, and to trust His plan, whatever that might be.
As you listen to Molly’s story, I hope one of the things you walk away with is that as long as you have breath in your lungs, it’s not too late to turn to God. For years Molly was imprisoned by pain, guilt, and shame of her two abortions which led to alcohol and drug abuse and depression among other things. But her life began to take a turn when she found forgiveness and healing through Christ.
Isaiah 1:18 says, “‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the Lord: ‘though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.’” God’s love for us is so great that He provided a way for us to experience forgiveness. And we experience forgiveness because of what Jesus did on the cross. “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” That’s 2 Corinthians 5:21 from the New Living Translation.
Maybe you’ve chosen to have an abortion and you hear me say these words but you still wrestle with whether God could really forgive you and heal you and give you the ability to see life in color again.
Maybe you’re thinking but, Kim, you can say these words and believe it to be true because you don’t understand just how difficult the trauma is that comes with making that choice. Well, maybe I know more about it than you think. But that’s—that’s for another time. We can be sure that if we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If this perfect God of the universe can forgive us, who are we not to forgive ourselves and others.
If you want to find out more about Molly S. White or her book, Deceived, check out our show notes on the Unfavorable Odds page at FamilyLife.com/podcasts. There you’ll also be able to listen to the other podcasts on the FamilyLife Podcast Network.
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Next time on Unfavorable Odds:
Germán: Early in the morning my wife receives a phone call. The cops tell her, “Tell your husband to open the door. If he has any guns, to toss it out the window. We have your house surrounded.”
Kim: That’s Germán Mendoza, next time.
I’m Kim Anthony. Thanks for listening to this episode of Unfavorable Odds.
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