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.

Click “like” if you are PRO-LIFE!

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.

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

Reprinted with permission from LiveActionNews.org

Red alert! Only 3 days left.

Support pro-life news. Help us reach our critical spring fundraising goal by April 1!


Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signs the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

, ,

Indiana faces backlash as it becomes 20th state to protect religious liberty

Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben
By Ben Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, March 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Thursday, Indiana became the 20th state to prevent the government from forcing people of faith to violate their religious beliefs in business or the public square.

Gov. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 101) into law, saying the freedom of religion is a preeminent American value.

“The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion, but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action,” Pence said.

Gov. Pence, a possible dark horse candidate for president in 2016, cited court cases brought by religious organizations and employers, including Catholic universities, against the HHS mandate. “One need look no further than the recent litigation concerning the Affordable Care Act. A private business and our own University of Notre Dame had to file lawsuits challenging provisions that required them to offer insurance coverage in violation of their religious views.”

The new law could also prevent Christian business owners from being compelled to bake a cake or take photographs of a same-sex "marriage" ceremony, if doing so violates their faith. In recent years, business owners have seen an increased level of prosecution for denying such services, despite their religious and moral beliefs.

The state's pro-life organization applauded Pence for his stance. "Indiana's pro-life community is grateful to Gov. Mike Pence for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law,” said Indiana Right to Life's president and CEO Mike Fichter. “This bill will give pro-lifers a necessary legal recourse if they are pressured to support abortion against their deeply-held religious beliefs.”

“RFRA is an important bill to protect the religious freedom of Hoosiers who believe the right to life comes from God, not government,” he said.

The state RFRA is based on the federal bill introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The Supreme Court cited the federal law when it ruled that Hobby Lobby had the right to refuse to fund abortion-inducing drugs, if doing so violated its owners' sincerely held religious beliefs.

In signing the measure – similar to the one Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed – Pence and the state of Indiana have faced a torrent of venom from opponents of the bill, who claim it grants a “right to discriminate” and raises the spectre of segregation.

"They've basically said, as long as your religion tells you to, it's OK to discriminate against people," said Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, a national homosexual pressure group.

The Disciples of Christ, a liberal Protestant denomination based in the state capital, has said it will move its 2017 annual convention if the RFRA became state law. The NCAA warned the bill's adoption “might affect future events” in the Hoosier state.

Pence denied such concerns, saying, "This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way I would've vetoed it."

The bill's supporters say that, under the Obama administration, it is Christians who are most likely to suffer discrimination.

"Originally RFRA laws were intended to protect small religious groups from undue burdens on practicing their faith in public life,” said Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. “It was not imagined there would come a day when laws might seek to jail or financially destroy nuns, rabbis or Christian camp counselors who prefer to abstain from the next wave of sexual and gender experimentation. And there's always a next wave.”

The bill's supporters note that it does not end the government's right to coerce people of faith into violating their conscience in every situation. However, it requires that doing so has to serve a compelling government interest and the government must use the least restrictive means possible. “There will be times when a state or federal government can show it has a compelling reason for burdening religious expression – to ensure public safety, for instance,” said Sarah Torre, an expert at the Heritage Foundation. “But Religious Freedom Restoration Acts set a high bar for the government to meet in order to restrict religious freedom.”

Restricting the ability of government to interfere in people's private decisions, especially their religious decisions, is the very purpose of the Constitution, its supporters say.

"Religious freedom is the cornerstone of all liberty for all people,” Tooley said. “Deny or reduce it, and there are no ultimate limits on the state's power to coerce."

Advertisement
Featured Image
Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting.
Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

Porn is transforming our men from protectors into predators. Fight back.

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon van Maren

Since I’ve gotten involved in anti-pornography work, I’ve met countless men who struggle, fight, or have beaten pornography. Each person seems to deal with the guilt and shame that accompanies porn use in a different way—some deny that it’s “all that bad,” others pretend that they could “stop whenever they want,” many insist that “everyone is doing it,” and most, when pressed, admit to a deep sense of self-loathing.

One worry surfaces often in conversation: What do my past or current struggles with pornography say about me as a man? Can I ever move past this and have a meaningful and fulfilling relationship?

I want to address this question just briefly, since I’ve encountered it so many times.

First, however, I’ve written before how I at times dislike the language of “struggling” with pornography or pornography “addiction,” not because they aren’t accurate but because too often they are used as an excuse rather than an explanation. It is true, many do in fact “struggle” with what can legitimately be considered an addiction, but when this language is used to describe an interminable battle with no end (and I’ve met dozens of men for whom this is the case), then I prefer we use terminology like “fighting my porn habit.” A semantic debate, certainly, but one I think is important. We need to stop struggling with porn and start fighting it.

Secondly, pornography does do devastating things to one’s sense of masculinity. We know this. Pornography enslaves men by the millions, perverting their role as protector and defender of the more vulnerable and turning them into sexual cannibals, consuming those they see on-screen to satisfy their sexual appetites.

What often starts as mere curiosity or an accidental encounter can turn into something that invades the mind and twists even the most basic attractions. I’ve met porn users who can’t believe the types of things they want to watch. They haven’t simply been using porn. Porn has actively reshaped them into something they don’t recognize and don’t like. 

Follow Jonathon van Maren on Facebook

Porn is this generation’s great assault on masculinity and the role of men in society. It is essential that we win this battle for the sake of society’s survival. Contrary to what the gender-bending and family-morphing progressive elites claim, good husbands and good fathers and good church leaders are necessary for a healthy society. But pornography is destroying marriages, creating distant and disconnected fathers, and, metaphoricaclly castrating men, hindering their ability and desire to make a positive difference in the society around us.

So, with this sobering set of facts in mind let’s return to the question: what do pornography struggles, past and present, say about a man?

The proper way to respond is with everything that is good about masculinity. We have to fight pornography as men have fought countless evils throughout the ages. We need to fight pornography to protect women, and wives, and children, and our society at large. This is how pornography threatens society, by castrating men, and turning them from protectors into predators. Rooting out the evil in our own lives allows us to better fulfill the role we are called to perform in the lives of others. Battling our own demons enables us to battle the wider cultural demons. Every day without porn is another bit of virtue built. Virtue is not something you’re born with. Virtues are habits that you build. And one day without porn is the first step towards the virtue of being porn-free.

Many men ask me if men who have had past porn addictions are cut out for being in a relationship or working in the pro-life movement or in other areas where we are called to protect and defend the weak and vulnerable. And the answer to that is an unequivocal yes. Our society needs men who know what it means to fight battles and win. Our society needs men who can say that they fought porn and they beat porn, because their families and their friends were too important to risk. Our society needs men who rose to the challenge that the evils of their generation threw at them, and became better men as the result. And our society needs men who can help their friends and their sons and those around them fight the plague of pornography and free themselves from it, too—and who can understand better and offer encouragement more relevant than someone who has fought and been freed themselves?

So the answer to men is yes. Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting. Lend them support and encouragement. We cannot change the fact that porn has left an enormous path of destruction in its wake. But we can change the fact that too many people aren’t fighting it. We can change our own involvement. And we can rise to the challenge and face this threat to masculinity with all that is good about masculinity.

Follow Jonathon van Maren on Facebook

Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

Red Alert!

John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry
By John-Henry Westen

I don’t like having to do this, but we have always found it best to be totally upfront with our readers: our Spring fundraising campaign is now worrying us! 

You see, with just 6 days remaining, we have only raised 30% of our goal, with $125,000 still left to raise. That is a long ways to go yet.

We have no choice but to reach our minimum goal of $175,000 if we are going to be able to continue serving the 5+ million readers who rely on us every month for investigative and groundbreaking news reports on life, faith and family issues.

Every year, LifeSite readership continues to grow by leaps and bounds. This year, we are again experiencing record-breaking interest, with over 6 million people visiting our website last month alone!

This unprecedented growth in turn creates its own demand for increased staff and resources, as we struggle to serve these millions of new readers.

And especially keep this in mind. As many more people read LifeSite, our mission of bringing about cultural change gets boosted. Our ultimate goal has always been to educate and activate the public to take well-informed, needed actions.

Another upside to our huge growth in readers is that it should be that much easier to reach our goal. To put it simply: if each person who read this one email donated whatever they could (even just $10) we would easily surpass our goal! 

Today, I hope you will join the many heroes who keep this ship afloat, and enable us to proclaim the truth through our reporting to tens of millions of people every year!

Your donations to LifeSite cause major things to happen! We see that every day and it is very exciting. Please join with us in making a cultural impact with a donation of ANY AMOUNT right now. 

You can also donate by phone or mail. We would love to hear from you!

Thank you so much for your support. 

Share this article

Advertisement

Customize your experience.

Login with Facebook