pearl_of_great_priceThe day after I published my last post I received a fiery dart disguised as a question via Facebook private messenger from another blogger who ironically markets herself as a “Christian Humor Writer.” This funny lady asked,

“How can you say [the child I aborted] mattered when you killed her?”

I presume this comedian’s question was rhetorical–borne not out of curiosity, but merely meant to hurt and shame–because she immediately unfriended me thereby blocking any reply.

You might think I felt shame or hurt after being called a baby killer by some woman I’ve never met, but what I felt was sadness because now she’s never going to hear the miraculous if decidedly very unfunny story of how Jesus saved even a wretch like me from being exactly what I confessed in that post that I’d become: A selfish, self-centered, battered and bruised, drug-addicted, baby-killing slut.

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

shutterstock_163111787In the Book of Matthew, Jesus tells a story about a good shepherd who leaves his 99 obedient sheep to go find one who is missing. Jesus says that when this shepherd found his one lost sheep he rejoiced over it even more than the 99 who stayed put.

It’s been three months since I published that post about how it was I found myself pregnant and lying on the floor with the wind punched out of me by the father of my baby. But it isn’t shame that’s kept me from writing the next installment of the most important story I’ll ever tell. It’s fear. Fear is always the enemy of a writer.

Mostly I’m afraid that I’m not up to the task of telling this story because this story means everything to me. This story of God’s unwarranted love for me is my one and only precious pearl of great price. This pearl cost me everything. It cost me my self-worth. It cost me my self-respect. It cost me everything I believed about myself and about God. But most of all this pearl cost my child her life, and I can never forget the evil I did and the price my child paid to save a wholly undeserving wretch like me.

I also must confess that I’m afraid that after seven years of alienating most of my Christian audience, I’m about to drive away everyone else by publicly admitting that despite it all–and by “all” I mean all that American Christianity has become, and my myriad of ethical, moral and theological problems with it and everything I’ve said or written about my faith in the past seven years–thanks to this one holy and sacred encounter with the Divine, I remain to this day a true believer in the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

I am the one sheep. And maybe you are, too. And despite my terror, this is me leaping over my fear to find you.

The Plight of the True Believer

Maybe the shepherd has already found you, and like me you also have a miraculous story of God’s unfathomable love and grace, but because others who seem to hold some religious authority have shamed you you’ve learned to keep your own pearl of great price hidden out of self-preservation.

Jesus taught his followers not to bother casting their pearls before swine. Like you, I have also been dismayed to discover that the swine Jesus warned his followers about are not always unbelievers but very often those who have risen to positions of religious power and authority. But why are we dismayed? This is exactly as Jesus found the world when he came in the first place.

Yes, it is disheartening that the other 99 sheep may likely never appreciate our stories of God’s amazing grace and unearned love, but we cannot give them the power to silence us. They have become like the prodigal son’s older brother: resentful and jealous, consumed with showing off their own self-righteousness. Rather than feeling angry at the modern-day Pharisees God puts in our path, we should instead be grateful that we’ll never have their cross to bear. How heavy self-righteousness must be. Even more challenging, you and I must find some way to help our blind and deaf brothers and sisters shoulder the weight of a cross they don’t even know they carry.

Maybe you’re still a very lost sheep who has somehow stumbled upon this blog post and are wondering, “WTF?”. Maybe you’ve become worried that God will never find you. Maybe you even think God has stopped searching for you. Maybe you’ve been told by someone who holds some religious authority that God is no longer looking for the likes of you. This is a terrible lie. Please do not believe it.

Maybe you’re among those who think you’re a very good hider, and God will never find you if you have anything to do about it. Or maybe you just don’t believe God’s love and grace is looking for you because you don’t need it. Maybe that is true. Maybe some people never feel the need for God’s love and grace. Since that’s not me I admit I don’t really understand this. I seem to find myself in constant need of God’s love and grace. Fortunately for me, it seems that no matter how many times I wander off, God always comes looking for me again.

A True Believer?

Being a True Believer doesn’t mean I don’t have doubts about whether there is a God or not. I have serious doubts. But despite my disbelief, I cling to a hope that there is a God who loves us not despite our worst behavior but because He knows that when we’re at our worst is when we need His love the most.

In the months before my mother died, she said to me, “It really sucks to reach the end of your life story and realize that you weren’t the main character.” I’m not the main character of this story. If anything, I’m the villain. I fucked up my life beyond repair, and I have nobody to blame for it but myself.

That Christian Humor Writer reminded me of the gauntlet of angry, yelling “pro-life” protestors in front of the clinic I walked into on that terrible day in early February of 1985 on my way to have an abortion I did not want. It’s not very funny at all that not a single one of them put down their ugly sign to ask me what they could do to help me not kill my baby. Nope, that’s not funny at all.


XB78WQK09OClick bait. I’m shamelessly admitting that the title, I Do Not Regret My Abortion, is click bait. I’d have much rather entitled this piece, “The Story of Amber Danielle” but nobody would read that. And I want people to read this. I want people to know about Amber and what her short life meant, and what she sacrificed for a wretch like me.

Saying I do not regret my abortion doesn’t mean I’m glad I aborted my baby, although I am glad I had access to a safe and legal procedure. And it certainly doesn’t mean that I do not regret every single, solitary, terrible, selfish, shitty decision I made that brought me to the doors of an abortion clinic. Not regretting my abortion doesn’t mean I’m happy about it, or that I’ve let myself off the hook. Oh, trust me, I’m still dangling on that hook. Which is why I’m telling Amber’s story now. I owe her. I owe her everything. Because whether you or I like it or not, she’s made me who I am today.

The Story of Amber Danielle

I started this story on the post about whether I’m still a Christian. I said then that I could only tell this story in pieces. This post is a 974-word piece of my convoluted walk with Christ. It’ll take you less than ten minutes to read what’s taken me 28 years to write.

You’re Pregnant!

The day I found out I was pregnant was bright and sunny. That much I remember.

I’d been feeling awful for weeks, nauseous and tired, and I was sure my lifestyle was finally catching up with me. Only on the periphery of conscious thought did it occur to me that maybe I was pregnant. My darkening nipples and sudden aversion to cigarettes would niggle at my brain as though I was trying to remember something extremely important that I’d carelessly forgotten. But the thought that I might be pregnant would be crushed out as soon as it would try to get a foothold in my brain.

I did have a bladder infection. That much I knew. So off to the free (or extremely cheap, anyway) clinic I went, driven there by my lover. He waited in the car while I went in for the appointment.

What I’ll never, ever forget is that moment I found out I was pregnant.

Looking back now as an RN, I realize that the nurse who told me probably wasn’t happy for me. I’m dead certain that I looked like exactly what I was: a meth addict. My bad skin, covered in sores that I attempted to hide under thick foundation, and the telltale skeletal thinness, were a flashing neon sign for anyone with eyes to see.

But my face hadn’t yet taken on that hollowness in the cheeks that happens when you do speed for too long. I’d only been doing it for 18 months and some baby fat still remained in my face, if gone from everywhere else. I was in too much denial to see myself as I was, but I’m sure that nurse could see me very clearly.

I’d peed in the cup and sat waiting on the exam table wearing nothing but a paper drape. I can’t remember what I was thinking, but I certainly wasn’t thinking that I was pregnant when that nurse came in.

“You’re pregnant.”


“You’re pregnant.”

“Oh my God! Really?!”

“Yes. You are pregnant.”

“Oh my God!”

I wish I could bottle the joy I’ve felt every single one of the three times someone has told me that I’m pregnant and drink from the heady elixir when I doubt God’s love for me.

“Okay. Well, what do I do now?”

“Here’s some pamphlets. You need to start taking prenatal vitamins, and you need to find a doctor if you are planning on keeping the pregnancy.”

Hmmm? Why wouldn’t I keep my baby?

Again, knowing what I know now, I’m sure that nurse knew. She worked in a free (or cheap) clinic. She saw girls like me every single day. She knew what I was, and she knew that I was in no position to raise a baby. But that was information I didn’t have yet.

Those five or ten minutes when I first knew I was pregnant were some of the most beautiful, most spiritual, and certainly most deluded of my entire life.

I walked out of that clinic on Cloud 9.

I was going to have a baby!

I walked up to the car where my lover was standing waiting for me. I’ll never forget him leaning against that car and smoking his cigarette when I told him, “I’m pregnant.”

“Oh, fuck!”


“Oh, fuck! You’re not keeping it, you know.”


“You have to have an abortion.”

“What? No. I don’t want an abortion.”

We drove the short ride home in silence. How could he not be happy? We’d made a baby. We were going to have a baby. Everything was going to change. We were going to get our shit together, and we were going to have a family. I told myself that everything was okay; he just needed time to adjust.

We got back to his mother’s house where we both lived. I probably went to pee, but I don’t remember. What I do remember is that he walked up to me without any warning and punched me full on in the stomach, and as I crumpled to the floor gasping for breath, he said, “You are not keeping this baby. You have to have an abortion.”

Welcome to Reality

I met reality that day while lying on the floor with the wind knocked out of me, and I didn’t like that bitch one bit. I still don’t.


Are You a Still a Christian?

In the past few months I’ve been asked if I’m still a believer, and even more importantly: Why? When I’m asked if I’m still a Christian I must admit I feel a little stab of pain. Does my life in fact so poorly reflect my faith? And I guess I must be honest and admit […]

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Living the Curated Life

Every month, I pay WP Engine® $50 to host this blog on a dedicated server. I also pay Bluehost money for some reason they’ve tried to explain to me over and over again but I still can’t figure out. Personally, I think it’s a racket. All I know is that last year when I stopped […]

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You Are Invited to a FLOR Design and Wine Event in San Francisco

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Outlander Starz Season Finale: Spoilers and All

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I’m off to Life@50+ National Event in Miami!

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How Dare Kate Be Prettier Than Us!

We’ve all see it by now, the glorious pictures of the beautiful, dare I say radiant, Duchess of Cambridge standing on the steps of the hospital next to her beaming husband, the future King of England, a mere few hours after giving birth to the angelic Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. Kate, markedly unlike most of […]

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