My Testimony of God's Grace
Hello, my name is Erin Hollingsworth I often think when I give how am I going to share my deepest darkest secret. But my question has became how can I not! I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20) God's love is absolutely amazing. If I do not speak for those that are hurting and broken I will be accountable. The Lord picked up every piece of my broken heart and made me whole again. You can study until there is no more knowledge to be found but if you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, true healing will not be obtained. Almost 15 years ago, I stepped into an abortion clinic in Memphis thinking I was going to fix this horrific crisis in my life. Little did I know, not only did I choose to take the life of my unborn baby but apart of my life as well. I left there that day, without any information of what happened or any counseling; actually, I never spoke of it after that day. I was literally drying up inside with little life left. My life spiraled into heavy drinking and partying. The thing was I didn't do these things for a good time or entertainment but to cover my intense pain. Everyday that I woke to my problems and memories still there. Have you ever felt completely empty? That was me. I began to enter into lots of different relationships. I guess you get the picture-- I was hopeless, lost, and reckless. Then I met Scott Hollingsworth. I knew from the very beginning that there was something really special about him. I often kid with him and tell him he stole my heart but in reality it is true. I fell deeply in love with him. He treated me with such respect and showered me with love that I had never known. After we had dated for over two years, I found out that I was pregnant. Again, I was scared to death! When I called him, he said with a very gentle voice, come over to my house. He reassured me that everything was going to be okay. Was he for real? We weren't married. We hurried through a wedding. However, one month after we were married, I went into premature labor at 22 wks. I delivered a 1 1b, 6oz lifeless baby girl that we named Mary Elizabeth. Knowing my past secret, everything began to relive in my mind. I began to blame myself for her death, and I felt responsible because of the effects the abortion had on my body. I have an incompetent cervix which causes my cervix to dilate into premature labor. Scott didn't know my secret, and I felt that if he knew that he would hate and turn away from me. I again suppressed all of my pain deeply. Soon after my losing Mary Elizabeth, we became pregnant with Aly Brooke. I believe with all of my heart, that God gave her to me to begin a long process of healing that I didn't even know existed or think was possible. Using Scott's constant love for me, I realized that there were parts of my heart completely empty and missing. God was drawing me straight to Him and into a relationship with Him. Scott and I began to attend First Assembly of God here in Dyersburg, and I truly began understanding the intensity of the love Christ has for me and shares this love, through His people. Thankfully, God was drawing me to Him and I began to open my heart to accepting hope for this deep pain in my heart. This opening of my heart began five years ago. A Life Choices Representative came to a women's meeting at my church. I had no idea what Life Choices was about. I just knew that we had to bring baby presents. I've thought many times since coming to Life Choices, if I had known what Life Choices was about, would I have come to that meeting? I heard statistics of abortion….. over 1.2 million lives lost because of abortion every year……approximately 1 abortion every 27 seconds. The representative then began to share about the ministries provided through Life Choices. When she started talking about the M.E.R.C.Y. Ministry, I could feel my heart get heavy M.E.R.C.Y. Ministry stands for Mothers Experiencing Regret for Children of Yesterday. This ministry is for post abortive women and men. She talked about how it was a group study that was held at night and was very private. 46% of all women will experience abortion at least once by the time they are 45 years of age. I knew deep in my heart that I was one of the 46%. After the presentation was complete, a song was sung about an unborn baby whose mother was experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. It took everything within me to listen and not burst out in a loud cry. All of my life, I lived in silent denial of the reality of my abortion. On T.V., if abortion was mentioned I turned away…Denial was the only way I could cope. In fact, it wasn't until my pregnancy with Mary Elizabeth, that I woke up to the truth and beauty of prenatal development. When this truth was revealed to me, I knew that I had chosen to end the life of my unborn baby. Silently, I believed that hating myself and everyone else hating and condemning me was just part of the consequences of my choice. I guess I felt that it was all I deserved. I came to the Center and for the very first time, I was completely honest about my past. I was interested in helping other women like myself, but I was told before I could counsel, that I had to go through the MERCY ministry. I had no idea the vast layers of pain that I had buried in my heart until I began MERCY. I was getting ready to be put into surgery and Jesus Christ was my physician. You see The Lord used Life Choices to set me free. I am here today to stand up and say there is hope, rest and peace after abortion. When asked to give my testimony Of Grace I often wonder how I am going to stand before people and confess what for ten years of my life was my "unforgivable sin"? I have come to realize that without those who are healed voices attesting to the spiritual, emotional, and psychological pain of abortion, women and men, maybe even one of you, will continue to hurt. I also know that I am speaking to you tonite on behalf of those who have no voice—our unborn children. When begging God to come into my life, I had to confront this deep pain which was a direct consequence of my choices, of my sin! It has not been guilt or misguided attempts to do "good works" that drew me into the center. It was the complete shame, fear, anxiety, deep sorrow, regret, and emptiness that led me to Jesus Christ to receive restoration and redemption. In the beginning I had no idea how to confront my pain. I was a grown woman who could barely utter the a-word. How could a heart so broken and shattered by the hidden and unresolved shame, grief, and pain that I had been hauling around for years be at peace in a little place like Life Choices? Well, the peace is a God thing. Always has been, always will be. It is one of those truths that are not to be examined but merely accepted as the undescribable blessing it is, and the Lord Jesus offers it to all who accept Him. How many times have I heard "Nobody Ever Told me" here at Life Choices…..I knew for myself that it was true. Nobody Ever Told me…That $250 would not solve my problem but would only create more hell down the road.Nobody ever Told me…That my dignity and honor would die on that abortion table.Nobody ever Told me…That the grief and guilt would be too heavy for me to carry one day.Nobody ever Told me…That the joy of reading about the growth of my first baby girl or seeing those ultrasounds would be overshadowed by the reality of how developed my aborted child was. Nobody ever Told me…That there are couples out there that would have loved to adopt and treasured my baby. Nobody ever Told me…That a child's kisses, laughter, hugs, or words ( I love you, Mommy), are worth more than all the diamonds, vacations, gold, silver, large homes, and SUV's that a person could ever accumulate. Nobody ever Told me…That is would take the acceptance of others to help remove my shame. Nobody ever told me that those "others" would take 10 years to find. Nobody ever Told me…That when I opened the door of Life Choices, an exciting indescribable, new, vibrant life would begin within me. Jesus met me in the post-abortion bible study "Forgiven and Set Free" with His arms open wide. God is now allowing me to comfort others, as He has comforted me. My father has blessed me with the opportunity to talk about my abortion from a position of victory. Because of the prayers of others I am given the gift of courage. God remembers my sins no more. They are as far away as the east is from the west. They are buried in the sea of forgetfulness. My creator healed me deep within my soul restoring all the wounds. He heals the broken hearted binding up their wounds. My precious baby's soul is in heaven. My baby feels no pain but is whole. Because I love Jesus Christ as my
Savior, I am even learning to love my self. God's grace and Mercy has literally Set me Free.
Amazing Grace How Sweet the Sound......I once was lost but now I am found...I was blind but now I see...Thank you Lord for saving someone like me.