Series Code: LAC
Program Code: LAC180002A
00:01 The power of choice is a precious gift
00:03 But with each choice, there are consequences.
00:06 Abortion nearly destroyed me and my marriage.
00:11 and it took God more than 35 years to prepare my heart
00:15 for healing.
00:16 I want to welcome you to Life After Choice.
00:35 Hi, I'm David Wagner.
00:37 There's some of my story I am more than reluctant to share,
00:42 in fact I loathe sharing it.
00:43 In fact, some of it I haven't even shared with my wife.
00:46 But if it could have any meaning for but one person
00:51 so that they wouldn't have to go through what I did
00:54 or perhaps have some of the stamina that I did,
00:57 then it would be worth it to me.
00:59 Many years ago in southern California,
01:02 I met a beautiful young lady, she was 18 years old,
01:06 southern, very charming and we just hit it off.
01:10 It was 1975 and I only knew her for about 6 months
01:14 before her family got divorced, they split up
01:18 and Diane, she went back to the southeast.
01:23 Little did I know but she was going to be the mother
01:27 of my children.
01:29 We soon became good friends and made many wonderful
01:32 memories. But we wouldn't meet again for 5 years.
01:38 Time flew by, we both finished our education
01:43 and began our careers. She met many fine gentleman
01:48 and had many meaningful relationships,
01:50 in fact she had 3 suitors that she was interested in
01:53 and 3 of them proposed to her.
01:56 She actually accepted one of the engagements.
01:59 But the night before she was to meet this gentleman,
02:04 she was so distraught, in fact she was crying tears,
02:08 remember it had been 5 years since she had seen me.
02:11 She just told her mom, she says, I know that if I follow
02:14 through this, if I marry this guy,
02:16 I'll never see Dave Wagner again.
02:19 She was so convinced that I was the man.
02:22 Anyway the next day came, she went out to dinner,
02:24 she accepted the ring but she was still very sick
02:27 and that engagement was only going to last a couple of days.
02:30 She eventually called him back and said she just couldn't do it
02:33 and she gave him his ring back.
02:35 Well she missed work for 3 days and finally when she had
02:38 enough energy to go back to work,
02:39 that's when I entered the picture.
02:41 Meanwhile at this very time back in Southern California,
02:45 I was sitting in my living room and I was reminiscing
02:49 and I decided to rummage through a file cabinet and pull out a
02:52 letter that Diane had written me years before.
02:55 I found the letter and thought I would give her a call.
02:59 So, I wasn't sure where she was at but I took a guess
03:04 that Orlando would be a good shot and within minutes I was
03:06 speaking with her mother.
03:08 You can imagine what her mother was going through
03:11 when she heard me answer the phone.
03:14 Um, she had just seen her daughter fall apart and
03:19 have this terrible break up and then Dave Wagner calls.
03:22 I mean that is so weird to me.
03:24 But I introduced myself and asked the question,
03:28 is Diane married?
03:30 Speak about cutting to the chase. I am amazed that I had
03:34 that kind of guts. But anyway she said, she was able to say,
03:38 no, she's not married but she is at work,
03:41 and she would like...if you want to call back in a
03:43 couple of hours, she will be home.
03:45 So when Diane returned from work, her mother met her
03:48 at the door and she said, Diane, sit down.
03:51 David Wagner called.
03:54 It's hard for me to imagine the energy in the room
03:58 at that time.
04:00 But within a few minutes I called back and we had a
04:03 very casual exchange and we decided that we were going to
04:07 correspond long distance.
04:09 So we did, we corresponded for about a year.
04:15 At this time she was a traveling nurse and she made a contract
04:20 with a hospital in Hawaii. It was for 3 months
04:24 and she was finished with that 3 month stent.
04:27 She was going to travel through LAX on the way home.
04:33 So she called the airline and she extended it for a few hours
04:37 so that I could meet with her.
04:38 Because she always knew that if she met me one more time,
04:42 she would tell her mother this, if she would meet me one more
04:44 time, then she would know if I was the man God had in mind
04:47 for her to marry.
04:49 Well, so we met at LAX, I picked her up,
04:53 I remember that moment like it was yesterday.
04:56 Pretty intense and one of those beautiful memories
05:00 but anyway, I picked her up and it was a very casual,
05:02 very generic experience.
05:03 Went out to dinner, talked, drove around and I remember,
05:06 I was tired and I let her drive. To this very day I have
05:11 this image in my mind of her profile.
05:13 She was wearing glasses and anyways, very endearing.
05:16 But like I said, it was casual and generic and I took her
05:20 to the airport and she flew back home.
05:21 But, with the kind of spiritual discernment that this woman had,
05:26 it wasn't long before she had made a trip down to
05:29 David's Bridal and you can guess what she was doing there.
05:33 That's right. She bought a wedding dress.
05:35 I didn't find out about that wedding dress until
05:38 several months later when I finally proposed.
05:40 So now that we had a commitment, she made a contract at the
05:46 hospital in Seal Beach, CA.
05:48 That's about a little over an hour from where I lived.
05:51 So it was good that we could see each other more often
05:56 especially at this stage.
05:57 Yet on the other hand, it wasn't so good
06:01 because our relationships, perhaps with God was just
06:05 a little upside down.
06:07 I say that because one day I got a call and it was Diane,
06:13 my fiancé, and she said she was pregnant.
06:16 Part of me wanted to get excited because there was nothing more
06:20 that I wanted to do than have a child with her and start
06:22 a family. I adored her, I didn't just love her,
06:26 I adored her in a way that is not right.
06:30 I put her before God.
06:32 I know that Adam had the same problem and
06:35 we know where that ended up.
06:37 But either way, she was in a quandary on how to deal with
06:41 this issue because in applying for that job,
06:45 they needed to do some medical examinations that required
06:48 x- rays of her back. So she was exposed to a lot of x-rays
06:52 and she was afraid that her baby would be damaged.
06:55 Plus, something I never under- stood, she said she was afraid
07:00 of motherhood, she didn't know if she would be a good mother.
07:03 The crazy thing is she is an awesome mother and her children
07:08 love her, but that's the way she felt at the time.
07:10 So any way through fear and misguided counsel,
07:14 all the physicians she talked to said, you better abort.
07:17 That baby could be damaged.
07:19 She decided to terminate the pregnancy.
07:21 I wish that I was able to help her but, I had no idea
07:26 other than just to do, to be a support to her in
07:32 whatever way that she chose.
07:34 So this is why I call it my wife's lonely...
07:54 It was her lonely decision to decide to go through
08:07 with an abortion.
08:13 Anyway, whatever the case, it did a lot of damage
08:18 to both of us. Well all of a sudden, she hated me.
08:26 Well we had many wonderful times together,
08:33 but at the flip of a switch, she would turn on me
08:37 with a hatred that I've never seen in person.
08:46 She would say thing to me that seemed to be calculated
08:52 or designed to destroy a man's self-esteem, his self-worth,
09:00 his courage. You know it's interesting...
09:07 My emotion here is... My family knows that I am not
09:15 a crier, but my emotion is not because of what she said or did
09:20 to me, it's because she was alone.
09:33 Anyway, I had plenty of problems of my own,
09:35 I was never malicious, I had plenty of problems
09:39 and even though I wasn't malicious, they added fuel
09:44 to the fires of estrangement.
09:45 You know, I wasn't sure what all my wife was going through,
09:49 I just knew that everything was broken
09:51 but my focus was really on myself.
09:56 I knew I had to have healing, I was not satisfied just
09:59 partially loving her or struggling to have some
10:03 semblance of a healthy marriage.
10:05 Everything Jesus did was real and deep, He never did anything
10:09 half baked. He never did anything out of mere duty
10:12 of principle. I mean, who wants to be loved out of
10:14 the mere duty of it?
10:16 You know, that's not even love.
10:17 So I struggled in my own mind and heart for years
10:21 to figure out to love her the way Jesus did
10:24 and pray for it and then one day it was 2011 I believe
10:29 we went to GYC and they had these exhibits with a lot of the
10:35 booths with people advertising different ministries
10:39 and Antoinette Duck had a a ministry called MAFGIA
10:44 and it had the little baby feet you know.
10:47 Ten weeks in utero and other things that help to present
10:54 the issue of the sanctity of human life.
10:58 My wife saw that and it moved her.
11:03 We'd go to other booths, she'd come back,
11:11 she kept coming back. Something was going on.
11:18 Then she started communication with Antoinette
11:25 and then she went to a women's retreat about post-abortion
11:29 recovery. I mean this is years after this and she's still,
11:33 it's like she's living it...
11:35 So our healing began at that time because in my own struggles
11:45 I was trying to figure out how, in different ways
11:49 to love her. One of my favorite activities was to look at
11:52 my children, I'd stare at them and they are so precious to me..
11:57 In my mind, I would give her credit for that,
12:00 I would give her credit for her part in giving me
12:03 such beautiful gifts.
12:04 Then one of my favorite things is to look at a wedding picture
12:07 of her, she looking in the eyes of her mother
12:10 and I see this young beautiful girl that's so filled with
12:14 hope for a bright fulfilling future and I started having
12:18 feelings of protectiveness, feelings that made
12:21 me want to give her those things.
12:25 So that became a part of my devotional life
12:27 and part of my prayer life.
12:29 So through these struggles, I found myself actually
12:38 falling in love with her in a way that I hadn't even
12:41 experienced before.
12:42 It was richer, it was more mature, it was more
12:46 unconditional and now when she gets a little out of hand,
12:51 it's like, it's not that big a deal.
12:53 I see her getting more involved in sharing her testimony
12:59 and being part of MAFGIA and traveling literally
13:05 across international borders.
13:07 I've seen some changes in her that is astounding,
13:11 but I can't help go back to appreciating the kind of God
13:17 that we have that can take utter brokenness and turn it
13:25 around, I mean, speaking about all things working together
13:26 for good for them that love God, and are called
13:28 according to His purpose and it's like He...
13:31 His hand is not so short that He cannot reach deep
13:35 to save us, even to the uttermost.
13:37 So let me ask you a question.
13:41 Are you willing to trust God with your failures?
13:46 Are you willing to let Him walk with you in your suffering?
13:51 He will mend every wound, it will be painful,
13:56 it will be difficult, you will have scars
13:59 but those scars will no longer be a symbol of your broken past.
14:06 They'll be trophies of your victorious life,
14:13 your victorious new life in Christ.
14:16 Trust Him! His promises never fail.
14:22 Everything He says, He will do.