Series Code: LAC
Program Code: LAC180008A
00:01 I'm 17 years old.
00:03 And not only that,
00:05 I flunked out of my first year of college,
00:08 and I'm pregnant.
00:11 You wanna hear how I've been restored
00:14 on Life After Choice.
00:32 Welcome to Life After Choice.
00:34 I'm Danny and I'm with my wife, Emily.
00:36 And she's here to share
00:38 something that I just found out recently,
00:39 and I'm so proud of you for sharing your story today.
00:42 Can we just kind of get us started
00:43 on your journey in this process?
00:48 Well, I was 17 years old,
00:51 just newly accepted
00:53 into a predominantly white university
00:55 in the state of Georgia in the early '70s.
01:01 And I started to date this guy,
01:08 really nice guy.
01:10 And we've been dating the whole time
01:13 that I was in school.
01:15 And at the end of the semester,
01:17 I knew I hadn't been doing well in class.
01:21 And I discovered that I was pregnant.
01:26 So I just acted as if everything was okay,
01:31 and I left school, went home.
01:34 And I immediately told my two siblings
01:39 that I was pregnant
01:41 and they made arrangements for me to have an abortion.
01:45 So your siblings did this?
01:47 My siblings had the answer, so I thought.
01:52 And I went along with it
01:53 because I didn't have the heart to tell my parents
01:55 that I was pregnant.
01:57 That would be hard. Yeah.
01:59 So we made these arrangements
02:03 and I went to have the abortion.
02:05 I don't even remember having a counseling session.
02:08 I don't even remember whether there was anesthesia.
02:14 But I do remember
02:17 the aftermath.
02:19 I was in bed in my room at home.
02:23 And just as I was when I was a teenager,
02:26 fighting back menstrual cramps.
02:29 My parents knew,
02:31 no different,
02:33 you know,
02:34 they knew that was a habit that I had,
02:37 so they didn't suspect anything.
02:39 So it's like you had a trauma. It's like you had a daze.
02:42 I was in a daze
02:44 and I was embarrassed,
02:48 but I was determined
02:49 that I was going to resolve this issue,
02:51 so I told my parents that I would get a job.
02:56 And I enrolled in this modeling school
02:59 because the job that I had
03:00 was with this fashion boutique.
03:02 So it was a perfect complement to what I was doing.
03:07 And I told them that I would work
03:09 to pay my student loans.
03:11 So they agreed
03:13 that it was a good plan for me to move out.
03:17 And I recall just thinking,
03:22 well, you know,
03:23 I just suppressed all the motions,
03:25 and all the emotions, and thoughts,
03:27 and feelings about the abortion as if it had never happened.
03:31 So did your parents ever learn anything about it?
03:35 Never? Never.
03:36 So you carry all that with you as well?
03:37 I did.
03:39 To make matters worse,
03:41 I was involved in another relationship
03:45 and pregnant again.
03:50 And I'm thinking,
03:51 okay, I already know what to do,
03:53 so I made the arrangements myself
03:55 and had a second abortion.
03:58 And I was suppressing all these feelings
04:02 that I had about it,
04:03 so busy trying to make my life perfect
04:05 after I'd destroyed it with these bad choices.
04:09 So let me ask you, why did you choose the second abortion?
04:13 Why this time?
04:15 Because I already knew what to do,
04:17 and I didn't see the point in trying to have a child
04:21 and I wasn't in a position.
04:23 I wasn't married.
04:24 I wasn't in a position to take care of a child.
04:27 I was barely surviving myself.
04:29 Did the father know?
04:31 He knew. Okay.
04:32 And he paid for the abortion.
04:34 He was adamant about not having a child.
04:38 So they really made it
04:39 a little easier for me to choose to do it.
04:42 But years later,
04:45 I started to believe that
04:49 you know,
04:51 I had to really resolve within myself
04:54 that I had destroyed the lives of two innocent children.
04:58 I had made that choice and it began to haunt me.
05:01 So what made you think about the innocence
05:04 after so long a time?
05:06 What brought that up?
05:08 Well, I was really on a path
05:12 searching for truth in my life for...
05:17 I guess, I was looking for Christ.
05:19 I was looking for
05:21 that acceptance from my Creator
05:26 and I was out on my own trying to put my life together
05:29 and trying to figure out,
05:31 you know, why I was making all these bad choices.
05:33 And so I had in my mind
05:35 that God could not forgive me for what I had done,
05:39 because I wouldn't let Him.
05:40 So let me ask you this.
05:42 You're searching for God,
05:43 but you don't feel like He can forgive you.
05:46 So what made the difference?
05:47 What made the change that gave you some hope
05:51 that He would accept you?
05:53 Well, I was on this path for finding out
05:57 who God really was.
05:59 I had grown up in the Baptist Church,
06:02 and I went through the motions.
06:03 I even recited Scripture as a child,
06:08 but I didn't really know who God was
06:11 until I got involved in some serious Bible studies.
06:14 So you're saying,
06:16 at first you saw God as a poster,
06:17 somebody that you can just look at on the wall,
06:20 but then you started looking for Him
06:21 as a relationship?
06:23 That pretty much wraps it up.
06:24 I would see all these pictures of Christ on the cross,
06:29 but I didn't see Christ as the Savior.
06:31 I didn't understand
06:32 why He was on the cross until I really began to study.
06:37 So I was on this path looking for
06:42 who God really was.
06:43 And it's interesting.
06:45 When I found him,
06:47 I had already been married three times,
06:50 had two children,
06:52 and I was pregnant with my third child,
06:57 and I realized
06:59 that God had a solution for every problem for my life.
07:05 I learned to trust God when I realized
07:08 that He wanted to be
07:09 a part of every facet of my life and my being.
07:13 And I accepted that,
07:16 and I accepted His forgiveness.
07:19 But I hadn't really forgiven myself.
07:22 But it sounds like you're beginning to accept
07:24 that Christ could be your friend,
07:26 not just some God way out in space,
07:28 but somebody that's right here with you right now?
07:33 I had to come to that resolution
07:36 before I realized that,
07:39 I was still trying to control my life,
07:42 and I was not doing a very good job of it.
07:46 So I learned to search the scriptures
07:53 when I joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church,
07:56 and I received
07:58 that God wanted to be totally involved
08:02 in all of my life,
08:03 in my children's lives, in our health,
08:07 in our mental, physical and spiritual health.
08:11 So when I accepted that,
08:14 I realized that He could restore me,
08:18 and I found in the scriptures,
08:22 when I read the text that says
08:23 that He could restore the years
08:27 that the cankerworm destroyed.
08:30 So what did He really do to restore you?
08:31 I mean,
08:33 what's practically different about you
08:35 then when you had all these experiences before?
08:38 Well, it's interesting that you ask that question.
08:42 He showed me that when we met, when you and I met,
08:47 He let me know
08:49 that no matter what you've done, I love you.
08:54 So I'm learning something new again today.
08:56 Yes, He let me know that
08:59 "I can restore all those years of guilt that you've had."
09:04 He knew that I wanted to be married,
09:06 and some of my friends would ask me,
09:08 "Why did you remarry?"
09:10 I said, "Because I love being married."
09:13 I watched my parents and their relationship.
09:15 They had a beautiful relationship.
09:17 I know they were disappointed in each other sometimes.
09:20 I even knew when they were upset
09:21 with each other, but they loved each other.
09:24 And I learned to value the institution of marriage
09:27 through my parents.
09:29 And when God sent you to me on my 50th birthday,
09:35 I said, "This is wonderful."
09:38 And that's when I realized, I can be in love,
09:42 and I can be in a wonderful marriage
09:45 without premarital sex...
09:48 That's something that I'm really proud of
09:50 that we did together before we married.
09:52 We agreed that
09:54 we weren't going to do things our way,
09:57 we were gonna do things God's way.
10:00 And He's blessed us for that,
10:02 and I'm so thrilled to have you in my life.
10:07 And I was...
10:08 It wasn't keeping the abortions away from you
10:11 was not something I really even entertained.
10:13 I just felt like
10:15 it wasn't a time to talk about it.
10:17 I never really felt like it was something
10:19 that I needed to share with you until now,
10:23 and I'm just so grateful
10:25 that you have proven to be the love of my life.
10:30 Praise the Lord.
10:32 And that we are both restored together.
10:35 And I just praise God for that,
10:38 and I look forward to our future together.
10:41 And I just want to say to any young person or old,
10:47 if you've done things in your life,
10:50 if you've had an abortion
10:52 that God can heal that pain
10:54 that you're carrying and you're suppressing,
10:57 and chasing after false hopes is not the answer.
11:03 God is the only answer.
11:05 If you just allow Him to love you,
11:09 and stop looking for love in all the wrong places.
11:13 That's something that I had to learn
11:15 that I've been looking for love in all these people
11:18 who didn't even know God.
11:21 And, of course, they weren't going to draw me
11:22 close to Him.
11:24 But I remembered the years
11:26 that I suffered
11:28 because I chose to go my own way.
11:32 Let God have your life. Let Him use you.
11:36 Let Him be a blessing in your life
11:39 so that you can be a blessing to those around you.
11:42 And I'm just so grateful
11:44 to have this opportunity to share.
11:47 I'm so grateful that my husband understands
11:50 and that he's willing to be right here with me
11:54 sharing this message of hope,
11:57 of restoration, of a brighter future.
12:02 I look forward to many years with this blessing
12:05 that God has given me in Danny Wells.
12:09 And I'm praying that whatever it is
12:11 that you're holding on to in your life
12:13 that's not a blessing to you,
12:15 that you will let it go and let God have it
12:18 and be a blessing to someone else, to yourself.
12:22 I've learned it,
12:24 I cannot help anyone if I'm not helping myself.
12:28 You know the story about the oxygen mask
12:32 on the plane.
12:33 If I don't inhale that oxygen, I will die.
12:38 And if we don't inhale the blessings
12:41 that God has for us,
12:43 we will die spiritually, physically, and emotionally,
12:47 and we can't give that to anyone else.
12:50 You can't be in a healthy relationship
12:53 if you're not healthy in a relationship
12:56 with yourself.
12:57 You have to take care of yourself.
13:00 And I just praise God
13:01 that He's given me this life partner to do that
13:05 and to share this story,
13:07 to give me the courage
13:08 to share this story with you today.
13:12 Sweetie, I just want you to know
13:13 how proud I am of you.
13:15 I know, I was upset a little bit
13:18 when you first told me
13:19 and I had to think about it and realize
13:22 how difficult it must have been to have those feelings
13:26 and have those experiences and try to understand
13:28 how to share that with somebody else.
13:30 I know my life hadn't always been perfect,
13:33 never has been really but Christ made me complete.
13:38 And He made me the person
13:40 that can love you unconditionally.
13:42 That could take time to understand
13:45 the importance of just sharing your life
13:50 with someone unconditionally.
13:52 And I want people out there listening to know
13:55 that there's always going to be times
13:57 when you will have things
13:58 that you want to share with someone else
14:01 and may not be able to say it
14:03 in a way that you want to say it
14:04 or have the words that will explain
14:07 how you want them to know how you feel.
14:11 But there is a person
14:13 that who made my life complete and my wife's life complete
14:17 that can give you that hope,
14:19 that will give you the peace
14:21 and the contentment to move forward,
14:25 to be restored.
14:27 And I thank God
14:28 that we had this opportunity to be on this program
14:32 to share Emily's story and my story,
14:36 so you can know that there is Life After Choice.