It’s a hard one to even breathe out. I had an abortion. When I was 19 years old I got pregnant, which created a pebble in the pool ripple effect, into a massive tidal wave in my mind. I was in college; how could I take care of a baby? The father was my best friend’s guy. Shameful me. She knew. My mom knew. He probably knew. They wanted me to have an abortion. I remember going to the clinic. Asking the size of the baby in me. I was told it was a small microscopic blob. I used my friends MediCal to pay for it, in her name. So, there is no record that Kathy Deutsch had an abortion. Except the one etched in my mind. And in my heart.
We are to have no regrets in life, goes the saying. They are only experiences we learn from, right? If I cussed, I’d do it about now, to say, “I HAVE ONE REGRET!” I let someone I don’t even know, and never will, rip my very own flesh and blood from my womb. I want to know who came up with the word abortion? It doesn’t come close to describing what really happens to a child. To a woman.
I had just moved to Vacaville when Darwin and Yolanda Benjamin, came to preach. The night before, I stayed up reading the book “Tilly” by Frank Peretti, as my husband slept peacefully beside me. I had no clue what it was about when I got it from the library. Reading took the place of loneliness due to not having any friends in the area yet. I couldn’t know that would be the night that God chose to begin a new work in Kathy. The work of the Spirit of Life, helping me peel off the most unbearable grave clothes of shame and degradation. Such a painful memory, that I could barely speak of it for 15 years as a Christian. The tears flowed heavily as I read about the woman’s child visiting her from beyond the grave. The child was so happy to be with Jesus. I longed to hold my baby. Could I even dare long for that? Could I dare hope that my child would be waiting for mommy after I murdered her/him? I don’t even know what sex my baby is because of my own selfish, fearful mind back then. How could that child love me??? Thoughts swirled through my head rampantly, along with my first glimmer of hope.
There is no such thing as coincidence. The very next night, as I sat in church, The Benjamins spoke about having had an abortion when they were a young couple, and all the damage it did to their hearts. I had never heard anyone before, or after that night, speak so openly about the huge “sin” that my mind, somewhere way back there, in those deep, dark, I can’t even mention it places, said, “How can I even make heaven after that. I should be on death row with the worst of the worst for that.” See, it doesn’t matter what society allows, a woman knows, a mother knows, that bond between her and her child. She knows she is called to be the nurturer of life, loving and caring. Not the one who ends that very life. No. It flows too deep in our veins. Who can save me from this? A small light was beginning to shine into the pitch, black gloom called abortion. “A bruised reed He won’t break, and He will never stomp out a weak flame.” Isaiah 42:3. God was calling to me to come be healed, and I was trying hard, through the shame, to listen.
Yolanda, faithfully stood in the hall after church to invite ladies who have had an abortion, to come to a meeting called Truth Ministries. An eight hour session at their church in Modesto. I typically get bound up when I have to sit at a conference of any kind. Dystonia, as a movement disorder, does not play well when you sit still. That night I knew. I had to go. It was my time to heal. God had paved a path straight to the finish line, first with the book, and then the message.
There are moments in life when God tells us to stop, pause, and look within. Most of our life, He works on us ever so slowly and lovingly. He knows that our minds could never handle the barrage of everything at once. So, in God’s perfect timing, He plans those once in a blue moon, surgical moments. The ones that cut deep into what looks like it must be a death blow, while our Father, in His wisdom and love, miraculously and precisely, digs to the very core, and roots out all the garbage of the past. He then gives us soothing balm to heal. This was that deep moment for me, and He lovingly prepared me to go under the knife of the Great Physician.
I took the hour long tearful, agonizing drive that morning to Truth Ministries. It was a in a classroom setting at the church. I can’t remember most of what was said. It was the feeling of it all. The love. The digging deep. We listened to “Tilly” on tape. They discussed how we were like a dear in the headlights when we took that horrible step. How it’s so acceptable in society, but how deeply it wounds us women, and men also, who are left with bitter pain, and no outlet to share it, because how do you share something you caused. And not just “something”, it’s your child that you caused to be killed. By your own will. If I hadn’t gone through it, I’m not sure how much sympathy I could even muster for another who had.
We had been given simple, pure white cloth napkin “babies” to hold during lunch. I held mine so gently, so tenderly, and spent quality time with the only symbol of my baby I had ever held. Holding it and loving on it, I just knew I would take this symbolic baby home and cherish it daily, until I got to heaven to hold my own baby and tell her/him how changed I am now. How sorry I am. How I truly adore her/him!
When I entered the class after lunch, I was confused and a bit shocked, to see a small child’s coffin, as a centerpiece in the front of the room. I sat in back with my baby as they prayed with us all, and asked us, after a beautiful, heart tugging memorial to our children, to lay our babies to rest in that very coffin. I couldn’t do it! I had just been given my baby back! I wouldn’t just lay it in that dark place!! “NOOOOOOO!!!,” I screamed in my mind!!
I sat there, shaking all over, rocking my baby in my arms, bawling. One by one, ladies walked up and laid their symbolic baby to rest, while I thought of ways to escape with mine. I wondered if anyone else felt as I did. Didn’t they want to run like I did? We could run together, and take our babies to safety! I knew though. I knew I had to let go. This beautiful, precious, symbolic napkin was not my child. My child is safely in heaven, in the Lord’s arms, waiting for mommy to come and hold her/him. It was THE hardest walk I’ve ever taken in my life. I laid my child down and said goodbye. I was given the dignity of a funeral. Something I will forever cherish. When we should feel we deserve nothing but death, God gives us hope. With arms wide open.
I was given a white ceramic baby in a cradle for a keepsake. It sits atop my dresser to this day, so I can see it every morning and remember the goodness of God in my life. He took my broken soul, the soul that felt that was the one sin that would keep me from Jesus, and He transformed it that very day. I went home with a new elation, a new exuberance about my Lord.
Of course, I was shaken and sad, but in a, “Wow, I got all that out of me!!” kind of way. A, “ God has my baby safe and sound, and He adores me so much that He cut all the condemnation from my heart”, kind of way. That is the second time the Lord set me free!! July 2nd, 1987, when I was born again of the Spirit, and once again on this day, in 2002, imbedded chains, I was too ashamed to let surface before, broke completely off!!
A couple years later, as the Ladies Minister at Harvest Church in Vacaville (Only God can take a broken mess and make a Minister out of her!!), I sent out a memo that I would be leading a group of ladies to Truth Ministry. An overwhelming, ten ladies, just from my church, rsvp’d privately, making plans to go. Our finite minds can never understand the Great God of the Universe’s plans and ways. How He maneuvers us into perfect positions to bless and comfort each other through the very same type of trials that we ourselves have faced, and conquered! Only six women made it out that day. It was their time for freedom, and every single one of them did come home FREE from that ugly monster of condemnation. There is therefore now, NO CONDEMNATION in Christ Jesus my LORD!