The Unseen Story


Redeeming Grace

(Listen by clicking the white play button. You can read the transcript of the story below.)

I’m Kristi and I grew up in the Dallas area. I’ve been married for 22 years, I have a 20-year-old daughter and an 18-year-old son. Well, like I said, I grew up in the Dallas area I lived in a Christian family and went to church growing up. 


Something that changed the trajectory of my life. I was nine years old when I was exposed to pornography, after that I just really struggled with sexuality and felt dirty and tarnished. Being at church every Sunday, you know, I just felt like everyone at church was perfect and holy and I was not, and that there was something wrong with me. I felt like God was looking down on me with condemnation. So that was something that I struggled with for years. 


As a teenager, I was experimenting, sexually experimenting with drugs and alcohol. I would have these moments of spiritual highs after a retreat or something with the church. But it was more of an I just need to try to be a better person, you need to do the right thing. Rather than I’m going to surrender my life to Jesus. So I would try to be a better better person and of course, I would fail. I would end up in the same place doing the wrong things. I didn’t understand. No one had ever shown me what it meant to have a relationship with Jesus. So Christianity to me was following rules and doing the right thing. It wasn’t about a relationship. 


When I was 18, I got pregnant, I was afraid to tell my parents because I knew that they expected more from me. I told my older sister and asked her what she thought I should do. She was worried about what my parents would think as well and she was concerned about me ruining my life by having a child at 18 years old. She found an abortion clinic in the area that counseled women first because she wanted to make sure that I made the right choice for me. I don’t remember what they said, but I remember that I felt like abortion was my only option because all I could think of was that it would ruin my life. What would people think? That’s all I could think of and the only way I could cover my shame and my sin was to have an abortion. So I did. 

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I remember feeling empty and numb afterward. After that, my life just continued to spiral downward. Things didn’t get better. I just continued in unhealthy relationships, drugs, and alcohol. I ended up getting arrested for DUI, failed out of college, and then ended up pregnant again. That was with someone that I had been in a relationship with for a while. And so I didn’t want to have to have an abortion, I really, really didn’t want to go through that again. 


I ended up going back to the clinic that my sister took me to before. And I remember just being so emotionally distraught. And the woman that was counseling me said, I think you need to go home. And think about this. So I went home, and just tried to figure out, how can I keep this baby? How can I do this? But was still just too fearful to say anything to my parents. And I think that fear kept me…I think had I told them, they probably would have would have helped me, but that fear crippled me. I ended up back in the clinic with the father of the baby and had the abortion. After that, I remember sitting on his couch in his apartment, and he was watching TV, waiting for me to be well enough to leave. I felt so unloved and awful. 


So then, after that, I ended up marrying a guy. And I was married to him for a couple of years. We started drifting apart. He told me, he didn’t love me anymore and told me that he wanted me to leave. At that point, I hit rock bottom, I just felt life was hopeless. I can’t find anyone to love me and felt worthless, and hopeless. But God was faithful to me, even through all of that. I know he was there, looking back now I can see him where he was there through it all. 


The amazing thing is, we had started going to this little church in this tiny little town that we were living in. I was moved to tears every Sunday. Yeah, so that’s God, that’s who he is, he was there all the time. In my darkest moment, he was calling me and drawing me to himself. I’m so grateful for that. 


It was only a month or so later that my husband told me to leave. I went back home to my parents and was living with them. I reconnected with a friend from the church I grew up in. She invited me to the church that she was going to at the time. It was a totally different church than the kind I grew up in. It was very grace-filled. In my time there at that church, I got involved in women’s Bible study. The first time I went, I remember thinking, Oh, everyone’s gonna be perfect, I was just so worried about it. But of course, God, in His kindness placed me in a group with some women who had been divorced before. 


In the group, we did Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby. pretty old. But it’s, it’s an awesome study. And a lot of it is just learning how to experience God. And one of the lessons that encouraged you to go somewhere and spend time just talking to God. So I went outside with my dog to an open field and just let her run. I started crying out to God and talking to him. I was asking him, “Why did this happen? Why? Why did I have to get divorced? Why was I where I was at in life?” I heard his voice, audibly. He said, “It’s going to be okay, I’m here.” I never felt so much peace. I just couldn’t believe it because I’d never heard God’s voice before. 


When I got back home, I opened up my Bible and started reading and opened to 1 Corinthians 7. And I was reading through it. Verses 15 through 18 say, “But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases, the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband?” that just gave me such peace, as I read that. I felt he saw me and knew me. He was giving me an answer. 

And then even later, my ex-husband reached out to me and told me that he had found the Lord and wanted to apologize for everything that he ever did to me. 


But a significant part of my story is when my current husband and I wanted to start having children. We were older and wanted to get started pretty soon after we got married. And so when we were trying to get pregnant, I didn’t get pregnant right away. The abortion, thoughts were coming back to me and lies from the enemy. I just heard the enemy telling me, “Why would God let you have children? You killed two already.” I let those lies just permeate my thoughts, even though I knew it wasn’t true. 


I knew that wasn’t who God was. But I still would hear it and believe it. I would have to constantly be reminded that it wasn’t true. But thankfully, by God’s grace, He gave me a daughter. When I held her, I knew that her name was Grace, because she represented God’s grace in my life. And now that she’s older, it’s so much more than just the fact that the Lord gave me a child, but he gave me an amazing daughter, who’s now my best friend. And so his grace is like nothing else. I don’t deserve an amazing daughter who loves the Lord. But he chose to give that to me and I’m just so grateful.


Something difficult after having Grace was I struggled with postpartum depression. My dreams of being a mother kind of turned into a nightmare. More recently, I found out that those are symptoms of post-abortion that many women who have aborted struggle with. It’s a form of PTSD. But in February of 2022, I ended up going through training to be a client advocate at Real Options, which is a pregnancy resource center. 


They want to love women, no matter what choice they make, they present their options and they hope that they will make the right choice. But even if they don’t, we still support them. We have an abortion recovery ministry at Real Options as well. So in that way, we’re able to minister to women who chose abortion. And I’m able to share my story with my clients in a very brief version. I don’t share it with all of them, just when I feel prompted to. But yeah, I can use my story to encourage girls who were in my situation to make a better choice than I did. 


I did have one little thing, about stories that I wanted to share.  I didn’t realize the impact of my story until six years ago when I was talking with a friend. She asked my story, and I told her and she had kind of a similar story.  She said, “Wow, isn’t it kind of amazing that he can do that? Like God did that?” When she said that to me. It was like, “Wow, yeah, he did!” 


I think I always felt like it was something that I did but it was not. Rather it’s about what God did in my life. That hadn’t occurred to me until then. That’s something we talk about at Real Options, abortion recovery ministry when they focus on sharing our story. They say it’s not really our story, it’s God’s redemption story in our life. I’m just thankful for the story that he’s given me. It’s so much more than I could ever have dreamed of. And I’m thankful for people like you and my friend, who have helped me to look back and recall and realize what God has done through all these different steps and all these different horrible, terrible things. But he was there, and he brought me through it, and wrote this amazing story.

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