Monthly Archives: October 2015

SaveOne- The Ripple Effect

It’s always exciting and a little scary when I have a new book published. There’s a part of me that still cannot believe God is allowing me to work for Him, using such an ugly part of my past to help others. Then, if I’m completely honest, there is a part of me that beats myself up, believing I will receive criticism, and no one will like it. I don’t say those words to make you think I’m fishing for a compliment…I’m just being transparent about the voices in my head.

But then you run across a blog like the one I have copied below. I first saw it on my friend Susi’s blog, who is a fantastic writer. Check her out at www.survivingsibling.wordpress.com. I knew this was the perfect way to kickoff and announce my latest book.

What you read below may be the first time you have ever thought about the abortion issue from this point of view; but I can promise you, the SaveOne staff and myself have been dealing with this for many years. We continually have grandmothers of aborted children, siblings of aborted children, aunts, uncles, friends of aborted children come through our SaveOne classes. We have even had people come through our class to deal with the fact they drove a person to the abortion clinic and for two decades regretted that decision, feeling as though they were an accessory.

Abortion has a ripple effect.

We can no longer focus primarily on the woman and think we are getting the situation worked out. We MUST deal with the entire scope of the family to make sure they are whole, healthy, and intact as they move forward as a unified whole. Please read what I have posted below from an anonymous writer and let your mind open to a different realm of the abortion debate.

From Susi’s blog…

When I was a kid, my mom was very involved with the Right To Life movement. She volunteered with fundraisers, helped lead educational groups in our area, attended rallies, manned an educational booth at the county fair, and did other things I am unaware of because she didn’t really talk much about that work. What she did talk about was the value of human life, and the importance of protecting unborn babies, and I took her very seriously because she seemed to have a lot of knowledge through her work with Right To Life.

At the age of 12, my vision of my mom shattered. As she was driving me to a Bible club at our church, she brought up in conversation that she’d had an abortion at the age of 18 (before she was with my dad.) She gave me a brief bit of info on the abortion, including the fact that she had been told the gender (a boy) by a nurse, after he was born. I sat silent in the car, and had no idea how to respond to her.

I spent the rest of my teen years feeling incredibly angry at my mom. I felt like she had betrayed me. It seemed like she was trying to white-wash her abortion history by getting involved with the Pro-life movement, only to later reveal that she had done the very thing she was speaking out against. I hated my mom for taking my brother away from me. I blamed her for the fact that I’d always longed for an older brother and felt a close bond with my cousins who would have been similar in age to my brother. I became obsessed with thinking about my brother. I wrote him letters, wrote poems about him, tried to draw out what I imagined he would look like, kept careful track (as best I could) of how old he would be, named him, and deeply grieved over all the things in my family that my brother hadn’t gotten to witness or be a part of. It was an intense grief process that took me years to walk through, and a very silent pain that no one, not even my own family knew about.

This writer goes on to say later in the blog…

Last year, I went through training to become a volunteer with a pregnancy center. The information they went over in training was just incredible! I suddenly felt like, for the first time, my mom made sense. All the quirky things she did, like suddenly shutting down, not responding to things in emotionally appropriate ways, rejecting affection from myself and my dad and siblings, and many other things sounded like symptoms of PTSD from her abortion. I realized that she was like many other post-abortive women (and men) who tried to push the abortion aside and move on with life, and bore some incredible wounds as a result. That training prompted me to talk with my mom, for the first time since middle school, about her abortion. I learned some shocking details about what she experienced, and understood a little better why she was so quiet about it (to this day, even her siblings don’t all know that she aborted.)

A wound carried through decades of this writer’s life, finally made sense and began to heal when she learned more about the symptoms of Post Abortion Syndrome. She was able to finally understand her mother and begin to forgive her. Education into this subject opened the doors for them to talk and come to grips with the mother’s choice. This is what we see happen every day in our SaveOne classes. We shine the light on grief, symptoms, reasons, and God’s forgiveness, bringing families back together with great restoration! Read on…

I wish that people realized how much my mother’s decision to abort at age 18 affected my whole family, how every Mother’s Day was a day when my mom cried and cried and felt completely unworthy of affection, how the gentle touch of myself or any other family member would make her jump or even feel excruciating pain, and how my mom’s secret about her abortion became the secret my whole family was forced to carry. The abortion industry tells women that abortion will remove the embarrassment, shame, and worry of telling people that they are pregnant, and then having to go through the birth process and the process of raising a child. The reality is, abortion creates a world of hurt and pain, anxiety, shame, guilt, intimacy issues, and host of other difficulties. Those emotions don’t just belong to the woman who goes through the abortion, but her family as well.

That last paragraph has incredible insight into what happens to the future family of each abortion survivor. Read on, this next paragraph is extremely important….

My mother is still a loving mom, despite the fact that she aborted. My heart hurts to see, however, that a piece of my mom died with my brother. She is not like other moms. She’s broken. And she will never get the piece back that left her on that fateful day. But my mom’s story can prevent others from enduring that heartache. Her story can echo through the ages as a reminder that abortion is a terribly tragic act, and something that can never be undone. And there are whole families like mine, quietly protecting these wounded women, while we grieve the loss of a family member as well. My prayer is that one day, I will be able to speak openly about my family’s abortion journey, and validate those who feel voiceless in this boat. Until then, I will speak privately or anonymously, with this important story. When we speak up, there is power there!

I feel this blog from an anonymous writer speaks volumes as to why, “SaveOne- The Ripple Effect” needed to be written. This book mirrors the SaveOne Men’s and Women’s Studies, so it will be very easy for a loved one to go through the class with others. Please contact our office for more information, or go on the site at www.saveone.org to order your copy today.

Big Shoes to Fill…Part 2

I felt it only appropriate to pull out this post from August 2014. Ms. Dot finished her race well, leaving a legacy behind her that we all can aspire to. So happy to have known her, so proud of the grace which flowed through her husband of 61 years yesterday at her funeral, and her daughter who has cared for her these last many months. I hope Ms. Dot knows what a profound effect her life has had on me and countless others. I hope you enjoy once again…

The text I received went something like this, “Hey I’m cleaning out my mom’s shoe closet and I was wondering if you knew of any ladies who might wear a 9 or 9 ½.” What I heard was, “Is there a lady you know who could possibly have a foot this large?” I contemplated for a moment wondering, “Do I tell her I wear that size? Will she think of me as freakishly huge? I’m 5’10” for heaven’s sake a size 6 would look strange on me. But still it’s never fun to whisper in the middle of Macy’s—could I just try a 10 in this boot? These must run small.” But my mind goes back to the text, there might possibly be really cute shoes at stake here. So I swallow my pride and reply, “YES! I wear that size.”

As I drove to her house later that day, I began to contemplate these shoes. You see, these were not just anybody’s shoes. They belonged to a woman who in 1958 boarded a cargo ship (A CARGO SHIP!!!) with her husband, said good-bye to her family, her home, and her life, and devoted the next forty years to loving, reaching, teaching, and mentoring the wonderful people of Africa. She sometimes lived in conditions too painful for us to imagine. She was pressured to put her children in boarding school hundreds of miles away. She lived a selfless life, totally and completely counter-cultural to what women are taught today. She did it all because God asked her to and she was obedient. She chose things like staying in her marriage and not ever considering divorce an option even when things got hard, and all marriages at one time or another get hard. She chose things like sacrificial service instead of promoting herself. Today she is reaping the benefits of her Godly choices.

At 87 years old, her body is reacting naturally to nearly nine decades on this earth, but her mind is intact, her marriage is happy and intact, she has a beautiful home, two children who adore her, love her, and both serve the Lord, and an army of people who seek her out for wisdom, great stories, and genuine love. Her obedience, although hard at times, has brought great blessing into her life. Her selfless love has transformed countless individuals and families not only here in America, but in Africa too through a ripple effect still going on as I write.

As I had these thoughts on the way to my friend’s house, I was getting the privilege of filling these very large shoes both figuratively and literally! To be honest I didn’t have my hopes up really high that I would walk away with any chic or trendy styles. But when I saw the Steve Madden and Sam & Libby labels I knew I had hit the jackpot, so I took four pair of the coolest shoes from this 87-year-old shoe connoisseur.

When I got home I pulled the shoes out and have them sitting in my closet. I have yet to put them on, as I feel a certain gravity about them. Call me dramatic or say I’m over-thinking but when I look at these shoes I can’t help but hope that I too can live selflessly. I pray that I may walk out my days in service to others, that I may see my boys love and serve the Lord deep into an old age. That my marriage will remain blessed and intact because of Godly choices I make, and that I may never hesitate to be obedient even when obedience is hard. This is a prayer I pray for all of us. May we strive to fill the shoes of the giants of faith who have walked before us and may we forever endeavor to fill the shoes of greatness like my 87-yr-old shoe fashionista friend, Dot Webb.

You can get the full story of Dot’s memoirs by going to Amazon.com and typing in, “A Harvest of Joy” authored by her daughter, Tammy Webb-Witholt. You will be glad you got this book and learned from this incredible woman!