Reflections of IT

By Amber-Rae Burgess

Reflecting back on my childhood, I am grateful for God’s grace. I grew up in a Christian family with Christian friends. To everyone’s surprise, my parents divorced when I was nine-years-old and my father was granted custody of me.

The divorce was a painful experience, but I was excited about the new adventure my father and I were heading out on. A year or so passed, and he met a woman – Anne. She is 11 years younger than dad is, has two children, and loves the Lord.

In 1971, Anne and dad were married. I was excited about gaining a younger sister and brother. Seeing the happiness in my father’s eyes lifted my heart, and I thank God for Anne becoming my stepmother. For the first year, things were wonderful. Then IT happened!

I cannot really blame my parents for it all. I now realize that I was old enough to be held accountable. However, my parents never discussed IT with me then and haven’t discussed IT with me since – not even now.

With God in My Heart

Into your hands Father, I place my soul.
Take from me the fear I feel of the unknown.
Quietly I sit waiting while my spirit sinks deeper into and endless dark hole.
A tear falls from my cheek, as I reflect on how it came that I am here.
The love I yearn for is not of a man for I am still a child, but of a Father with a forgiving heart.
I made some poor choices because I knew no better.
I fell for the charm of an older man and allowed him to violate my body.
It took only one time, Father God, for the “seed of life” to be planted in my womb.
Naive and innocent, I committed a sin against the Holy Spirit.
I laid my body beside a man allowing him to annihilate my trust.
At the time, I thought, ” This is love!”
Now God…
What have I done so wrong that an unborn child is ripped from my womb?
My parents are ashamed of me, and I have no understanding of why.
I am a child God, a child who desires to be the “apple of her Father’s eye” and bring laughter, joy, and happiness to my family.
Yet, all I have brought is pain, resentment, and shame.
I surely wish I would die.
Three people walk into the room, my throat thickens and tears flow heavily now.
“Lie down, and put your feet in the stirrups,” the nurse says. “I will give you a pill to help you relax, but when the doctor starts you will still be uncomfortable.”
FATHER GOD please…
What have my parents forced me to do?

Whether or not abortion is right for your situation is a decision that you should be an active part of, no matter what age you are. I was only 12 years-old when my parents marched me off to a clinic. I hadn’t a clue of what was going on with my body, nor why my parents were so angry with me.

No one would talk about it. It was as if I suddenly became invisible. Crazy thoughts filled my mind. First, I wanted to die because of the shame I had brought my family. If I was not so naive maybe this would not have happened to me, maybe I would have been smarter or wiser. Maybe I could have done something to prevent it.

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
James 5:16

At the age of 23, I became a born-again Christian. I had grown up carrying a heavy burden of the guilt, and on that day God’s love healed me. Praise God!

God forgave me, but I had a difficult time forgiving myself. It would have been easier had my parents helped me through this time. What made it worse were the constant reminders in conversation, of how I disappointed them during my adolescent years.

I came to have a family of my own – Travis and Tanya. On the day my son was born, I remember looking into his eyes and crying. The impact of my past abortion tore me in two. I kissed his forehead, coddled him in my arms close to my breast, and whispered, “God, take away my pain.”

At the time Tanya was born, I was able to hold her without feeling ashamed for my past. I looked at her and knew that I would raise my daughter in an open relationship. During the years that followed, God gave me the ability to do just that. Tanya knows there is nothing that she cannot come to me with and know that I will listen and offer her advice in resolving the issue.

Today, at the age of 45, reflecting back on the journey I’ve traveled in life, I realize how precious life is and how valuable are the gifts God gives us. It would have been a blessing to have known there were options. If my parents had recognized back in 1972 that what really took place was “rape” and not me being a rebellious child, things may have been handled differently. Why didn’t they do anything? Why did they just ignore it?

Unfortunately, the decision that was made for me cost the life of an innocent child and snatched a piece of my soul from me. Yet, I can stand strong and still praise God for I know He has forgiven me.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:32

In God’s time, the truth will be known and I will have the answers God feels I need. For now, I wait on the Lord and accept His forgiveness. I even forgive my parents for the poor judgment call they made. Perhaps, God will have me open that door to the conversation in telling them, “I have forgiven you. Please won’t you forgive me?”

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew 11:29