From the outside Chandra Jarrett’s life looked perfect.
But on the inside, she was hiding a deep and painful secret. She had spent years suffering in silence for having two abortions.
During an interview on the CBN News show, “Prayer Link,” Chandra shared about the first time she decided to abort her baby.
“My life was very complicated,” said Chandra. “I was married to my husband. He had an affair within the first year. And in an attempt to get revenge, I had an affair and got pregnant by the other guy.”
She continued, “And the thought of having another child by the other man, I knew the word, I had grown up in the church, but I could not deal with the weight of having this child come into this complicated relationship. And so, for weeks I pondered it and cried and wept. And before I knew it time had passed and I was almost twenty weeks.”
Chandra decided to terminate her pregnancy. Two years later, she had a second abortion.
The memory of her abortions tormented her for twenty-five years.
“The first two years I cried a lot and tried to process it,” she said. “I had graduated from college, but I wasn’t able to function well. So, even as an engineer it was the first time someone recommended, I see a therapist. But no one could connect the dots because I didn’t know to tell them that I had an abortion. I was so ashamed.”
“I just became numb, tucked it away, like I’ve learned many people do and just learned to function,” explained Chandra. “But I was physically ill and would get sick every four to six weeks.”
Healing for Chandra came after attending a post-abortive Bible study.
“The Holy Spirit began to stir in my about my abortion in 2010,” she said. “I didn’t even know they existed. I entered that class November 8, 2010, and that night while I was sitting there, the Holy Spirit said to me, ‘there are three things associated with your abortion, ‘your sickness, your crying, and your depression.”
“At the end of that class, the facilitator said to me, ‘Is there anything you want to share?’ Because I had just written it on the corner of my book and I said, ‘I feel like the Lord said there are three things associated with my abortion and I repent for this sin.’ And that night the Lord healed me.”
Chandra said her sickness includes symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea and headaches.
“I could be shut down for days, sometimes weeks,” she said. “I couldn’t function. Couldn’t go to work. I couldn’t care for my son. It was trauma. My body really was traumatized from the experience of my abortion.
She added, “At one point my mom thought she would have to put me in a mental institution. Because I didn’t come out of my bedroom at one point for three months. She took me for the abortion, but we never talked about it.”
Chandra, who is now a director at a local crisis pregnancy center in Virginia, writes about her story in her book called, “What I Wish I Knew About Abortion.”
She says she wrote it to tell people the truth about abortion.
“I’ve worked for a crisis pregnancy center for the last seven years,” she said. “I’ve led a post abortive bible study for eight years and over and over I hear story after story where women go in thinking they’re going to have an abortion, but no one is telling them everything.”
“No one talks about the emotional trauma,” she explained. “No one talks about the physical trauma. No one talks about the spiritual trauma. And this is what I wish someone had told me. I didn’t even understand Roe versus Wade. I wish someone had told me that when you say you’re pro-choice, what you’re saying is you believe in taking the life of your child. I didn’t know that.”
Chandra also offers other post-abortive women the hope of forgiveness that comes from a relationship with God.
“You only forgive yourself when you believe in the cross. What Jesus did,” says Chandra. “We say that if you can’t forgive yourself, then you are saying that what Christ did on the cross was not enough. And what he did is enough for every sin we committed, and he died for that sin too. And one day we will see our children.
“We can’t change our past, but we can change our future. And that’s what the cross is all about. It’s about surrendering everything to Jesus and saying Lord I want you to give me a new life. To redeem what I lost and to allow me to walk out a new life.”
Her message to others suffering the pain from the pain of abortion is simple, “You don’t have to stay in this place of shame and guilt and condemnation. Christ came to set you free. Trust and believe him and walk in that freedom,” Chandra says.
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