Kaleena Barnett

A broken heart restored after abortion

Kaleena Barnett
By Kaleena Barnett

January 11, 2013 (LiveActionNews.org) - I had an abortion.

I was 20 years old and pregnant. Scared. Angry. Confused. I was completely alone.

This is my story.

I was working at a local bar. I was going to college. Living on my own. I met a guy and we were just friends. Having fun. One night we were careless and had sex. A few weeks later, sick as a dog and so not thinking I was pregnant, I went to the school clinic.

“You are pregnant.” I still hear those words over and over again. I passed out. So overwhelmed I went home scared and went to bed for days.

Finally I had to face the day and went to class, but I could not think. What in the world was I going to do? I’m 20. Pregnant. In school. In debt. A waitress. Alone.

A week passed, and I was a wreck and still sick. I went back to the doctor, and they asked me to go speak to someone. A counselor. Ugh. Now I am pregnant and apparently crazy!

I went. I told her my sad sob story, and how I had not slept or eaten in days because I was so sick. She was so sweet. She got me a sprite and crackers, and she held me while I cried. I still remember how gentle she was and how she didn’t judge me or shame me. It felt like motherly concern.

She gave me the names and numbers of several places to call and to explore all options. She never persuaded me one way or another. I knew she couldn’t. I wish she had.

One place – adoption

Another place – a midwife, doctor, gyno

The last – abortion clinic

I went home and cried, and at the time not a “believer,” I asked God to kill me. I believed only that He hated me and was continually cursing my life. I was a nobody to Him. Man, the lies I believed!

The next day, I visited one place that was very pro-life. This place showed me an abortion video the first five minutes I was there. I was still so sick I could not even watch it. I stood up, puked, and went running out.

I went to the school campus and did an amazing amount of research. I look back now, and I am sure it was all wrong info. I went back and forth for weeks on what to do.

I finally made the hardest choice and called my mom. Now, let me tell you, my home life while growing up was not happy. I couldn’t wait to leave, and by calling home, I was expecting the worst.

My mom was very supportive in any choice I wanted to make. I could come home. My dad just said, “Whatever you want to do…but don’t let one night ruin your life, and it’s not really a baby.” I know now he was wrong. But I hung up, still thinking, well, if I do this, I will just go back home. Their reaction was not what I had expected. I will keep the baby and move home.

“Don’t let one night ruin your life” – it rang so loud. I could not make my choice. Confusion came from his words, out of desperation or maybe from fear. Suicidal thoughts were consuming me.

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Somewhere in all this mess, the guy shows up. He is so mad at me and says he can’t be a dad and won’t help…etc., etc.

I am still seeing the counselor, and some days, she just holds me while I cry. I was running out of time. I changed my mind.

So I scheduled the appointment. By now, two friends know. One is super-against it but loves me…but she is mad. One is super-”whatever you want to do, I will love you and be there for you.” Their hearts were added to the long list of hearts I was breaking.

So my super-supportive friend, she took me. We went and had lunch before; she was still trying to stop me, but supportive. We finally went. I don’t remember much. I do remember the heartbeat. I remember the sono. Twins. Pregnant not with one, but with two. Was this the reason I was so sick? Maybe. I remember the pain during and the color pink. All I could see all around was pink. I cried. And cried. And as soon as it was done, I left. I did not wait. My friend carried me out. I went home and cried and was alone. She had to go to work. She left crying. She had tried to stop me after the sono. Why hadn’t I just left? Not just a murder of one, but two.

I threw up all night and drowned my sorrows with every alcohol that was in my tiny apartment. My super-supportive, totally against the abortion friend showed up and just held me. To this day I am grateful for her love in the moment when I needed it most. She knew God, and I believe He used her to come and save me.

Somewhere in all this mess I had to continue school. And work. And try to function. I continued to drink more and just shove all that pain, shame, guilt, grief, and failure deep down. Hating myself. Unforgiving of myself and of many others. I turned ice-cold. My smile gone. Negativity set in.

One day the guy showed up, and things went really bad. He said he would have paid for it. Or if I had just given him more time he would have come around and would have helped. We could have been parents. More time. Trust me, dude, I wish I had more time. I wish I had walked out the day of the sono. I wish I had taken more time to think. I wish I had found a support group, or called my grandmother or some more family. I wish I had had more time.

I went and saw the one safe person I had during that time, my counselor. I cried, and she listened. I felt such shame, and I didn’t know how to go back living life as a murderer. I asked for any type of drugs to make the pain stop! She looked at me, crying herself (first time I had ever even noticed her emotions), and she spoke life over me. I had made a choice. But I didn’t make it lightly like many others she had seen. I had been changed. I was older than my age, and she was so proud of me. I was still going to be a world-changer, and I was going to save lives. We cried and cried until there was a tap at the door. The janitor. I had been in her office for over four hours. I believe that God sent her to me. I never saw her again. I never understood her words in that moment. But now I believe she planted some seeds.

I never could see the guy again without major drama. I had to quit my job and start somewhere new. I had to change my degree. I still couldn’t get rid of the thoughts or memories of these sweet babies I had denied life to. I could change everything about my life and myself, but I was haunted by what choice I made.

I drank. And drank. My relationships in my life got worse. My emotions were even worse. I cried very easily and was a wreck. I had two stuffed animals I had bought in their memory, but even that became so painful. I shoved them in a box along with my broken heart. My sono. My hopes and dreams and desires. My pain.

Somewhere in all that mess, I met a new guy and – you guessed it – got pregnant. Not even two years after the abortion. Before, I told my new boyfriend I made a choice: no matter what, I would have this baby. Or babies. I prayed for two. Two. I needed two.

This time my story ends very differently. The guy and I had this baby. I love him and protect him with everything I have. The guy and I moved, got married, and God redeemed us. God saved us both. This man loves me. Loves his son. He never ran away. His daddy had left his mom when she was pregnant. She had been brave. Why hadn’t I?

I got pregnant again and had a baby girl. I love her and protect her with everything I have. Her daddy didn’t run away. Why did I run away from my first two?

After her birth I was thankful for two. For God trusting me with two lives again. But even then I still carried heavy grief. Heavy chains of shame.

That is when He met me one night. He asked me to finally open that box and deal with my pain. I woke up sick. I dreamed about that choice almost nightly. Those babies had truly never left me. The next day, I looked for the box. The box was gone. No sono. No animals. I thought even worse of myself. How could I have gotten rid of all that! The box is gone, but my brokenness remains. I could never be set free from my choice.

For days I relived my choice. I recalled all the details that for years I could not remember. I once again was a mess. No forgiveness. I had made a choice. I had no choice but to live with it. Bed for days!

So God asked me again to trust Him. It was time to let go. I had no idea how or where to do this. I needed a safe place. That week, at a church, there was an announcement on an abortion class. Rachel’s Freedom. I e-mailed while I was still in the church parking lot. I drove home in fear and pain. That night I told my husband I felt like God wants me to deal with this wound. He was very supportive. I went to bed thinking, God, if you want me to do this class, you better show me a sign.

Middle of the night, I had a dream. I dreamed of the box. The color. The location. The contents. My hubby got up, went to the attic, and the box was there! In the wee hours of the morning, I rejoiced. In the same moment, I realized it was time. Opening the actual box opened up the box in my heart. I wept for hours. How could I have been so stupid? So selfish?

Now, after two kids, I know they are babies from day one! My choice was not right.

I took the class and dealt with my pain. Forgiveness came! Shame left! God showed up and showed where he had been during this painful time in my life. The color pink – yep, that was Him. He was there. He never left. It didn’t happen overnight, but He came to me every night offering love, hope, and forgiveness. Eventually I asked him, and he broke those heavy chains off me!

I received forgiveness and forgave myself. I received a vision of my daughter and son playing in heaven. On a swing. Whole. Healthy. Peaceful. I doubted for a long time this vision. A son. A daughter. But confirmation came with the stuffed animals in the box. A boy and girl stuffed animal. God had never left me.

I am pro-life now. It was my choice. The wrong choice. I will never judge or shame another individual for her choice, but I will speak up for babies who still have a chance. I will speak up to the mommas who still have a chance. I will tell them about my pain and the grief and the shame that came with wrong choice. I will share my story of being restored. I will encourage the mommas. He is the great I am. He is the One who will provide. He is the One who has good plans for us. He is the One who loves us. I will walk alongside others who make that choice and show them to the One who will never forsake them. Show them to the One who will forgive them and break off those chains. I will make sure that no girl ever feels alone or feels like the wrong choice is the only option.

I share my testimony so other precious lives will be saved. That is the best choice I can make from all this.

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Reprinted with permission from LiveActionNews.org

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Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

Vatican pressing forward with reform of US feminist nuns: Cardinal Müller

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By Thaddeus Baklinski

Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, says the Vatican is pressing forward with plans to reform the U.S.-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).

In an interview published in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, the cardinal said that the reform of the LCWR, which was undertaken after an assessment of the group found serious doctrinal problems, will be carried out with the goal of helping them "rediscover their identity.”

“Congregations have no more vocations and risk dying out," Müller said. "We have first of all tried to reduce hostility and tensions, partly thanks to Bishop Sartain whom we sent to negotiate with them; he is a very gentle man. We wish to stress that we are not misogynists, we are not women gobblers! Of course we have a different concept of religious life but we hope to help them rediscover their identity.”

Moreover, the cardinal said that problems specific to the LCWR are not a reflection of all the women religious in the US.

"We need to bear in mind that they do not represent all US nuns, but just a group of nuns who form part of an association,” Müller said.

“We have received many distressed letters from other nuns belonging to the same congregations, who are suffering a great deal because of the direction in which the LCWR is steering their mission.”

Cardinal Müller's remarks confirmed the assertion he and the Holy See’s delegate to the LCWR, Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle, made in an address to LCWR officials in Rome on April 30, that the theological drift the feminist nuns are taking constitutes a radical departure from the foundational theological concepts of Catholicism.

The Holy See “believes that the charismatic vitality of religious life can only flourish within the ecclesial faith of the Church,” Müller said in the address.

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“The LCWR, as a canonical entity dependent on the Holy See, has a profound obligation to the promotion of that faith as the essential foundation of religious life. Canonical status and ecclesial vision go hand-in-hand, and at this phase of the implementation of the Doctrinal Assessment, we are looking for a clearer expression of that ecclesial vision and more substantive signs of collaboration,” he stated.

The LCWR has openly defied the mandate of reform intended to bring their organization into line with basic Catholic doctrine on the nature of God, the Church, and sexual morality.

Among the CDF’s directives, to which LCWR has strenuously objected, is the requirement that “speakers and presenters at major programs” be approved by Archbishop Sartain. This, Müller has explained, was decided in order to “avoid difficult and embarrassing situations wherein speakers use an LCWR forum to advance positions at odds with the teaching of the Church.”

The LCWR has invited speakers to their Annual Assembly such as New Age guru Barbara Marx Hubbard, and Sr. Laurie Brink, who is particularly noted for flagrantly denying the Divinity of Christ and telling the sisters that to maintain their “prophetic” place in society they need to “go beyond” the Church and even “go beyond Jesus.”

In one of the first public statements of his pontificate, Pope Francis affirmed that the investigation and reform of the LCWR must continue.

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Brian Fisher

Birth mothers: real heroes of the pro-life movement

Brian Fisher
By Brian Fisher
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What does it mean to be brave? Is it the doctor who dedicates himself to improving the health of a third-world nation? Is it the woman who faces her third round of chemotherapy to fight the progression of cancer? Is it the teacher who forgoes the comforts of a suburban school to reach minorities in the inner city? All of these are examples of bravery demonstrated in exceedingly challenging circumstances. And our society longs for stories of bravery to inspire us and fill us with hope.

As someone who works day in and day out with those on the front lines of helping rescue babies from abortion, I’m no stranger to stories of bravery. I see courage every day in the eyes of the men and women who sacrifice their time and energy to help women facing unplanned pregnancies. I see it every time a young mom — despite being pressured by her parents or significant other to get an abortion — chooses LIFE. And perhaps more profoundly than in any other situation, I see it when an expectant mom with no relational support, job, or income chooses to place her baby for adoption rather than abort her son or daughter.

This was Nicky’s situation.

When Nicky found herself pregnant with her boyfriend’s child, her life was already in shambles. During her 26 years, Nicky had already given birth to and surrendered sole custody of a little girl, committed several felonies, lived in her car, lost several jobs, and barely subsisted on minimum wage. So when she met up with an old boyfriend, Brandon, Nicky believed she was being given a second chance at happiness. “Our first year together was beautiful. We were getting to know each other and deciding if we would stay together forever.” Unfortunately, a positive pregnancy test result changed everything.

“When I told him I was pregnant, Brandon sat down on the bed, looked me in the eyes, and told me to ‘get an abortion’.” Nicky says those three little words changed everything for her. “I became depressed living with someone who wanted his child ‘dealt with.’”  Like thousands of women every day, Nicky began searching online for information on abortion, hoping her boyfriend would eventually change his mind. Through our strategic marketing methods, Online for Life was able to guide Nicky to a life-affirming pregnancy center where she received grace-filled counsel. “The woman I sat with was beyond wonderful. She helped me to just breathe and ask God what to do….And so I did.”

Nicky left the pregnancy center that day with a new resolve to choose life for her child, even though she still wasn’t sure how she’d financially support a child. “I was alone with just $10 in my pocket…and without any type of plan for what I was going to do.” So Nicky relied on the support of the staff she met at the life-affirming pregnancy center. With their help and through a chain of fortunate events, Nicky was put in contact with the couple who would eventually become her daughter’s adoptive parents.

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After meeting this couple face to face and coming to terms with her own desperate situation, Nicky conceded that the best thing for her unborn child would be to place her in someone else’s loving home. She told Brandon about her plans and he agreed that adoption would give their child the best chance at a happy and secure future. He even returned home to help Nicky prepare for the birth of their child. “The weeks leading up to my delivery were filled with a mixture of laughter, tears, protectiveness and sadness,” Nicky recalls. But one sentiment continued to be shared with her. “Brave…so brave.” That’s what everyone from the life-affirming pregnancy center to the adoption agency to the birthing center kept calling Nicky. “The nurses kept coming up to me and telling me they were honored to care for and treat someone like me.” After several weeks of preparation, Nicky finally gave birth to a healthy baby girl, and she made the dreams of a couple from the other side of the country come true.

Nicky’s adoption story continues to be riddled with a strange combination of pain and joy. “I cry every day, but I know my baby, who came out of a very bad time, ended up being loved by people from across the country.” When asked what message she’d like to share with the world about her decision to give up her child for adoption, Nicky responds, The voice of the mother who gives up a baby for adoption isn’t heard. We need to change that.”

To learn more about Online for Life and how we’re helping to make stories like Nicky and her daughter’s story a possibility, please visit OnlineforLife.org.

Author, speaker, and business leader Brian Fisher is the President and Co-Founder of Online for Life, a transparent, metric-oriented, compassion-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to helping rescue babies and their families from abortion through technology and grace.

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New York farmers stop hosting weddings after $13,000 fine for declining lesbian ceremony

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By Dustin Siggins

New York farmers Robert and Cynthia Gifford, who were ordered last week to pay $13,000 for not hosting a same-sex "wedding," say they are closing that part of their operation.

"Going forward, the Giffords have decided to no longer host any wedding ceremonies on their farm, other than the ones already under contract," said Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) lawyer James Trainor. ADF represented the Giffords in their legal fight against New York's non-discrimination law.

Last week, the Giffords were ordered to pay a $10,000 fine to the state of New York and $3,000 in damages to a lesbian couple, Jennifer McCarthy and Melisa Erwin, who approached them in 2012 about hosting their "wedding." The Giffords, who are Roman Catholic, said their religious convictions would not let them host the ceremony, but that McCarthy and Erwin could hold their reception on their property.

Unbeknownst to the Giffords, the lesbian couple recorded the two-to-three minute conversation. After declining to hold the reception on the Giffords' farm, on which they live and rent property, the lesbian couple decided to make a formal complaint to the state's Division of Human Rights.

Eventually, Judge Migdalia Pares ruled that the Giffords' farm, Liberty Ridge Farm, constitutes a public accommodation because space is rented on the grounds and fees are collected from the public. The Giffords argued that because they live on the property with their children, they should be exempt from the state law, but Pares said that this does not mean their business is private.

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Trainor told TheBlaze that the Giffords' decision to end wedding ceremonies at Liberty Ridge “will hurt their business in the short run," but that was preferable to violating their religious beliefs.

“The Giffords serve all people with respect and care. They have hired homosexual employees and have hosted events for same-sex couples,” he said.

However, "since the state of New York has essentially compelled them to do all ceremonies or none at all, they have chosen the latter in order to stay true to their religious convictions," Trainor explained to LifeSiteNews. "No American should be forced by the government to choose between their livelihood and their faith, but that’s exactly the choice the state of New York has forced upon the Giffords."

"They will continue to host wedding receptions," said Trainor.

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