Meet The SaveOne Team
At four years of age, my mother and I were in a tragic car accident. I was thrown through the windshield, she was killed instantly. Throughout my childhood years after this event I endured sexual abuse, then a psychotic stepmother came in to the picture who hated me and made sure I knew it. At eleven years of age I was sent to live with my aunt and uncle and although my uncle was an alcoholic, those were the happiest most endearing years of my young life. My uncle wasn’t your typical alcoholic, but rather a charisma-filled, eccentric charmer who was always the life of the party. Or at least that's how I remember him. He and my aunt made life fun again. It was during my aunt/uncle years I accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour. I was only twelve, but I knew exactly what I was doing.
Throughout my teen years I lived for the Lord and made it all the way through high school a good girl. It was only after I started college I made decisions that I knew weren't good for me, but at the time I wanted to have some fun. So I packed God up in a neat little box and put Him on a shelf. With me at the reins of my life, it didn't take long to steer right off a cliff. Within the year, I was in a relationship I had no business being in, and six months after that I was pregnant.
Everything in me said abortion was wrong, but I charged forward with really bad advice, from even worse friends, and I went through with it anyway. March 29, 1985 was the day of my most regrettable mistake. I was nineteen years old and making decisions of life and death that I had no business making. My boyfriend broke up with me shortly after and I really don't blame him. He begged me not to have the abortion and I selfishly did anyway. Don't ever let anyone tell you this is just a woman's issue. Men suffer from the aftermath of this choice as well.
For seven years after this date my life quickly became a mess. I started drinking, then consuming vast amounts of drugs. I spent all my money going to concerts and getting backstage, and signing up for credit cards and maxing them out. I suffered through a rape, and I went through relationships like water, not committing to anything or anybody. I became obsessed with death, hoping that if I took enough drugs, or drank enough alcohol I wouldn't wake up. After an attempted suicide and being consumed with hoping to die, I met a man in a bar and cleaned myself up enough to get married.
My husband Jack, is the real hero in all of this. He loved me even as messed up as I was and lived with the drama of my life for years. We had two sons right away. My first son I have always felt was a gift from God to wake me up. That pregnancy got my attention and made me realize my life was worth living, if not for myself, then for this precious creature entrusted to me. My second son was indeed born on March 29th, the very day I had taken a life, God gave me another gift straight from Him. God speaks often, heals much, and redirects life's circumstances through children and pregnancies all the time. My husband and I have just celebrated 32 years of marriage. To have spent the last three decades with this man, enjoying life, making memories, raising two awesomely incredible boys, and growing up together I can truly say I'm completely blessed.
Not long in to our marriage I heard about a class being offered for women who had experienced abortion and were having trouble afterward. I couldn't believe it. I was so happy to find an outlet for these emotions and pain that I could never fully deal with. Being in a group with others who had suffered the same experience after abortion, validated those seven years of isolation and loneliness. This Bible study I attended gave me back my life. It showed me how I needed to accept Jesus forgiveness and forgive myself. It was an incredible discovery and a much needed transformation.
Meeting God through that study, in a way I had never known, compelled me to immediately start teaching the class. I wanted men and women who were suffering after abortion to know and experience the same forgiveness and freedom I was experiencing. I enjoyed teaching for several years. Finally in the year 2000, God started showing me the need for SaveOne-an abortion recovery ministry. Since that time, my wildest dreams have come true. I have never had more fun in my entire life than when I finally surrendered all to God. To see God take my most regrettable mistake and turn it around to help others find freedom through truth is an unexplainable event.
Through SaveOne we now help men, women, and families recover after abortion. God gave me the first book to write, "SaveOne-A Guide to Emotional Healing after Abortion" for women to work through the aftermath. Shortly after He led me to write "SaveOne-The Men's Study". Then came "SaveOne- The Ripple Effect" for friends and loved ones who grieve an abortion close to them. All three of these studies mirror each other so all three can be in the same class. As of this writing we have over 300 chapters (pregnancy centers and churches teaching our studies) in 25 countries. One doesn't grow to this size if there's not a need.
In 2018, God led my husband, after pastoring for 11 years, to join the SaveOne staff full time. He has since taken the men's study and rewritten it from a man's standpoint. Men are getting their voices back when it comes to the issue of abortion.
We are seeing abortion end in our country and around the world through the stories of people who know the truth and are willing to tell what abortion did to them. The men, women, and families who have experienced abortion are the greatest voices to be telling the truth. Because of the leaders in pregnancy centers and churches who are on the front lines of this issue, we are seeing people set free, lives transformed, men and women accepting Jesus as their Saviour, marriages restored, families reconciled, generational curses broken, and abortion ending.
God has walked me through forgiving the abusers in my life, owning my bad choices, and wiping my slate clean. He has made me a victor of my past circumstances...no longer a victim. What happened to me as a child is not what defines me, but rather strengthens who I am today. The enemy meant all that junk for nothing but destruction in my life, but God used it all for the betterment of myself, my awesome family, and to help others through the same situations.
It is my passion and purpose to go wherever, speak to whomever, and do whatever it takes to get the job done. What is the job you ask? To see abortion end in our country and around our world.
So there's the real story. Without Grace I'm a mess, true and simple. With Grace life is awesome.
To start a chapter near you please go to saveone.org and fill out the inquiry, or email [email protected] to start the process. Being a chapter is free and we have done the homework for you to make helping others as easy as possible.
Jack Harper is the Vice President, and Men’s Director for SaveOne. He has fought in this battle for the unborn since the inception of SaveOne in 2000. Jack has supported SaveOne as a board member, a liaison to the global church, a travel partner, and through financial support. In 2018 God very clearly spoke to Jack and Sheila about coming together and Jack joining in full time ministry on the staff of Saveone.
Jack’s life has not always been about ministry. For Jack, drinking as a young teen led to alcoholism as a young adult. What started as an adolescent indiscretion became 23 years of alcoholism. Then, in September of 1998 Jack was miraculously delivered from alcohol as he gave his life to Christ. From that day forward Jack has looked for every opportunity to invest in the restoration of those hurting from the pain and destruction of addiction, alcohol, and abortion.
In 2003 Jack was called to full time ministry, and in 2007 became a church planter. He pastored Crossroads Church for 11 years before God called him to full time ministry at SaveOne. Jack is the author of the book Gifts from God a book centered on the revelation of how God blesses not only us but other people through our obedience. He is currently working on other writing projects. Jack is a board certified Mental Health Coach, and a member of the AACC.
Jack and Sheila agree, we will fight with every fiber of our being to see this door of death closed in men, women, and families lives in our nation and around our world.
At the young age of sixteen I was looking for love in all the wrong places, and soon found myself pregnant. Confused and naïve, I had no idea what I was going to do. I had no relationship or thought of God. At that time, keeping the baby was not an option. At six months pregnant, I heard about a place called Planned Parenthood and went there for an abortion procedure. At six-months pregnant, I was told that I would need to have a two-day procedure. Day one: dilators to induce labor. Day two: to remove the baby. After waking up following the procedure, I remember waking up feeling empty, but also confused, lost, broken, and shocked. I felt as though when I walked out that day, a piece of me was left at that cold, dead, hopeless place.
Unfortunately, I repeated the choice of abortion at a later time in my life - and I still did not have a relationship with God. I was looking for what I thought was a way out. I finally met Jesus in a glorious way, and today I have had the privilege of raising eight children. Some grew in my stomach, and some grew in my heart. God works everything together for His good. I am truly honored and humbled to be the daughter of a King!
Because of what I’ve gone through I am passionate about educating men and women to let them know there is hope after an abortion. I am happy to now serve as a coordinator for SaveOne.
SaveOne is an organization that functions as a voice for people who need encouragement, and brings awareness to the world.
If I could leave people with one word, it would be redemption; God redeems all things.
Several years ago, on a rainy day in January, I found myself in a place I never thought I would be in. When I signed the form at the abortion clinic, I had an overwhelming feeling of signing my life away. I felt like this was my only choice. I was young, scared, emotionally numb from a date rape and consumed with the thought that I couldn’t embarrass my family or myself by being pregnant and with no father for the baby. He was long gone.
The surgical abortion process began at 7:30am and I ended up leaving the clinic around 4:30pm. This was the longest, worst day of my life. I was told everything would be “easy” but as I drove away I knew that a sweet piece of me was still at that clinic and I would never be the same. I made a commitment to myself that I would die with this secret and never allow myself to think about it, or speak about it with anyone. But God had a different plan for me and it was better than anything I could’ve planned.
I tried anything I could find to heal that gaping hole in my heart, like substance abuse, many relationships, and I even considered driving my car off a bridge. I just wanted my hurt to stop.
Sadly, my relationship with God was non-existent. I knew about Him from being raised in a loving, Christian home and checked the church attendance box each week. But a relationship with God was the missing piece. Not too long after the abortion, I met my husband and life was perfect on the outside. But on the inside, I felt like I was suffocating. Seven years of marriage went by before I told my husband about the abortion. Even though it was agonizing to reveal my secret to him, he loved me and covered me with grace. Together, we began chasing after God and His purpose for our lives.
I decided to stop living a religious life and started living an intentional life with a close relationship with the Lord. I spent time with Him. And as we became closer, He started tugging at that secret I had spent so many years trying to hide. The topic of abortion kept coming up over and over in my daily life. In the Bible, I read that God would take my ashes of a past and turn them into something so beautiful...if I let Him. I desperately wanted to see a garden grow from all of the dirt!
I got involved with an amazingly supportive church family and was surrounded by women of strong faith who loved and mentored me. Then I found myself at a crossroads; would I trust His Word and His promises, or would I continue to try and heal this huge wound on my own? I quickly learned that the trauma, guilt, and shame of having an abortion was just too much to try and deal with by myself. I knew I could be restored, but I had to be honest with myself; I needed my heart transformed. I needed healing that can only come from the Creator. I needed to resolve anger issues. I needed to unpack and understand how deeply this abortion really traumatized me. I needed peace. So, I found SaveOne and let God do the healing. SaveOne and the founder, Sheila Harper have forever changed my life for the better and I am so grateful! My heart is burdened for the men, women, friends and family members who suffer silently after abortion and I will spend the rest of my days fighting for life. Please hear me...God cares for you and He sees you. He adores you and wants the very best life for you.
I currently facilitate a SaveOne chapter at my church here in Florida and it is such an honor to walk side by side with these brave people! If you have any questions about SaveOne or want to get started on your own path to healing, I would love to connect with you and help you get started.
“When we express God’s truth, we depress the enemy’s lies.” -Lysa Terkeurst
My story begins being raised in a wonderful and loving Christian home. I was brought up in church my whole life. My parents are Godly examples who served in many capacities both in and out of the church building. My love for the Lord grew and was very strong as a teen. Still, I was very shy and painfully introverted. I was often told my quietness was seen as wisdom. However, I just didn't want to speak up because of fear. The recurring praise was both uncomfortable and appreciated, and with it the enemy started twisting things in my head. I assumed the role of the good girl who was performance driven. Now, I couldn't/shouldn't mess up! On top of that, I began to experience panic attacks. Although my life was truly blessed, I was a bit of a mess... quietly, internally.
Other than High School prom, dating didn’t start until late in high school. My life was not filled with drinking, drugs, or being promiscuous. Then my prom date and I reunited. With boundaries down, we allowed ourselves to be intimate. I ended up pregnant. Knowing abortion was wrong, but not allowing myself to think or feel, I made the decision to rid myself of our child. This decision was made against the will of my boyfriend at the age of 19. My regrettable choice was selfish and fear based and I had planned to take it to my grave, but God had/has a bigger plan.
My prom date and I have now been together for 33 years. He is my wonderful husband Jerry. We both received our Father's forgiveness from our sin and I am so grateful for the Cross and Jesus. Jerry was later called into the ministry and as we served together, I'd periodically be attacked by the enemy with accusations of worthlessness. I'd go to Jerry for help but he didn't know how to help me at the time. We both were still carrying the guilt and shame from the abortion. My healing journey started through a Pastor friend and her church ministry to broken/wounded people. God then led me to another abortion study with a trusted friend and I received more healing. Next I came across SaveOne and a CD of Sheila giving her testimony. I have such respect for her transparency and the work being done by God through this ministry. I reached out to Sheila with the desire to lead a group and she asked me to go through the SaveOne study. It was great from the beginning to the end. After the study I began leading classes as a chapter leader, and I absolutely love seeing first hand the mighty work God does. He sets the captives free indeed. Praise be to God!
I'm also proud to say Jerry has been through the study bringing not only his healing, but our healing as a couple. I can honestly say that I no longer walk in guilt and shame. Jesus paid it all! He sets the captive free and I am ever so grateful! It's a privilege to be here and serve with SaveOne. I look forward to walking this journey of Hope, restoration, and healing with many in the future. All for His glory!
As a single mom, shame and guilt were heavy on my heart when I found out I was pregnant again at age 22. I had already disappointed my parents once by getting pregnant at age 18 and marrying the father against their wishes. When I discovered I was pregnant again I had no idea who the father was, and I felt I couldnt face telling my parents what I had done. In my mind I needed to terminate this pregnancy praying my parents would never find out and everything would go back to normal.
A number of years later I started my journey of guilt, fear, secrecy, sorrow, and isolation as I tried to control the pain. I was married to a wonderful man whom I shared my secret with but told no one else. Eventually I cut myself off from my feelings and never identified the source of my guilt and pain. To anesthetize the pain I became a workaholic even spending many years working two jobs.
My husband and I started attending Highland Park Community Church and even started helping in various ministries through the church. Although I was in ministry helping others I still felt this emptiness. I also felt like there was something more I could do to earn my salvation. Because I was a workaholic in my career I tried to impose that on my spiritual life too.
When Celebrate Recovery came along I volunteered to help with the information table for this ministry. Much to my surprise God was leading me down a healing path of my own. At CR my christian brothers and sisters began to share their testimonies and the difference that God was making in their lives. Every time someone shared that they had an abortion that old hurt kept coming back. I had no idea that my wound could be healed and that God was preparing me to deal with a choice I had made years ago. Through CR I was able to expose my shameful past, by taking a bible study designed for post abortive individuals like me. This was a journey that helped me heal from years of a wounded and broken heart that I never realized existed. Through this bible study I was able to seek forgiveness, forgive myself, and finally start forgiving others. 1 John 1:9 states If we confess our sins He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
During this bible study I got on my hands and knees and surrendered myself to God, seeking his forgiveness. I felt this heaviness being lifted from my heart and I knew I was forgiven.
Since my own recovery God has led me to give back by facilitating the SaveOne abortion recovery Bible study where I have been able to help lead men and women on their journey of healing and freedom. My co facilitator and I have witnessed and felt the pain, fear, blame, hurt and self-deprecation on the faces of the participants and have watched their pain turn from grief and sorrow to freedom, courage, peace, joy, love and a special bonding for their children. We have also witnessed marriages being restored during two couples classes.
Each time I facilitate I find more healing for my own journey. I wouldnt be able to experience this without SaveOne and the support I have received from my regional coordinator and Sheila Harper.
I started my life journey in Floyd, Virginia the year of November 1961. I was raised by my grandparents because my mother died when I was 3 months old. I was a lonely child who never felt like I fit in anywhere. I went to church because I had to, and I gave my life to God at age 13 because my other classmates did. My teenage years were full of discovery, marijuana, alcohol, uppers, downers, disco, and hard rock. Yes, I know an interesting combination. All these discoveries followed me into my young adult years then I added sex and cocaine to the list. I tried college and almost had a psychology degree, but bartending sounded like more fun and I liked cash in my pocket after every shift. I moved to Arizona in 1986 and soon found a party guy to date. I got pregnant and did not know what to do. I knew it was wrong to have an abortion, yet it was legal. I had heard about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and I was drinking and drugging regularly so FAS was my excuse. In silence and all alone I scheduled an abortion.
I went to the clinic for a pregnancy test and to make an appointment for an abortion. They gave me Valium to take before I came in and told me to bring $400 cash. Three days later, I took the Valium with a shot of Whisky, two bong hits, and drove myself to the clinic. It had to be obvious I was wasted but it did not phase the nurse or doctor. My number was called along with 4 others’. We were taken into a room for counseling. I remember looking at one of the other ladies who was obviously pregnant and thought how could she do this, what a horrible woman. The nurse told us that we would be given a prescription for birth control and if we had complications after the procedure not to call them but go to the ER. The “horrible” woman exclaimed, “those didn’t work, I need stronger ones this time.”
The procedure was painful. The sound of the suction was sickening. The doctor’s eyes were cold and unfeeling. The nurse was silent. My thoughts and heart were numb. There were other women in recovery, but it was silent, no one spoke. The chocolate chip cookies and orange juice did not fill the void no matter how much I consumed. As I walked out the back door alone, I drove a completely different woman home. My new emotional friends became, shame, guilt, self-loathing, isolation, and thoughts of taking my life. Anger was my new best friend, but I could not tell you why I was so mad. The psychologist told me that my abortion had nothing to do with my issues. I later learned I would never be able to have children because of the scar tissue from the abortion. I moved to Alabama in 1994 and got real with Jesus and HE changed my life. I found a pregnancy center that offered Abortion Recovery and discovered I was not alone or crazy. I soon became the Post Abortion Director and found out about SaveOne. God has used me and the SaveOne Abortion Recovery Bible Study to lead captives from the abortion sin into forgiveness and freedom. Psalm 40:1-3 is my life story, verse, and foundation for what I now do. I encourage you to look it up and read it. I do miss my Charlotte, my baby in Heaven. She is my partner in ministry and the reason I share our story is to help others choose life or recovery. Only by the grace of God am I alive and able to share HIS story!
Please allow God to come into your life and heal you from your past abortion(s). I am here and I care.
I have always been passionately Pro-Life! In the 1980's God allowed me to be one of the founders of the Crisis Pregnancy Center in Clarksville, Tennessee. I witnessed many miracles over the years and saw God grow the CPC from the basement of church to a beautiful center near Austin Peay State University. I remember one day especially when a very well-dressed, professional woman came to the center for a pregnancy test. As I was asking her the routine questions, she was very calm and sure of herself and her answers. However, when I asked if she had ever had an abortion, she burst into tears. I believe she was as startled at her reaction as I was. She kept saying, "I don't know why I'm crying. It happened years ago." I didn't realize it then, but I now know that God has kept that memory alive in my heart as a reminder of the pain abortion brings, even years later.
I worked as a counselor and board member for years at the CPC until my family and I became missionaries for 8 1/2 years in Costa Rica and Mexico. It was in those years that Spanish became a part of my life. In 1998 we moved to Gallatin, Tennessee and I became a Spanish teacher in High School. I made attempts to get involved in the local Crisis Pregnancy Center here but for some reason it never worked out.
In 2012 my life changed drastically when my marriage of 33 1/2 years ended in a divorce. It was by God's grace, three amazing friends and several weeks of DivorceCare classes that helped me learn to breathe again. I know first-hand from these classes the power of joining with others who can relate to your hurt to help you walk through your pain.
Then, in 2019, I got to know a dear lady, Sheila Harper! I knew Sheila had founded SaveOne but I wasn't sure how I could be a part of SaveOne as I had never had an abortion. One Thursday, however, I felt a strong urge to text her and tell her I'd like to talk to her, to find out more about SaveOne and see if I could somehow be a part of this ministry. God's timing was perfect! She "happened" to be having a training that Saturday! I signed up, still not sure what I could do. During the training that Saturday, the memory of the woman's pain from years before became clear to me-she had never dealt with her abortion and still carried guilt. I also understood how joining together for weeks with others who can relate to your pain can change lives forever as DivorceCare had done for me.
A few weeks later Sheila asked me if I would be willing to lead a SaveOne zoom class for two Hispanic ladies in New York City. I wasn't sure if I was ready and knew this would be a stretch for me, but I said yes. First class-in Spanish-on zoom-in the middle of the Covid pandemic, but thank God, we did it! These two ladies have changed my heart and I love them dearly. They are now taking the training classes to be Spanish leaders to ladies they know in NY.
I am honored to be a part of SaveOne and "SALVE A UNO."
When my husband told me he needed to attend a SaveOne class my first response was confusion. He had not mentioned this part of his past to me before and obviously I was taken aback by what he was telling me. I made the decision to go with him to protect him from any women who would have anger and bitterness towards men. Sheila was so excited that I was there, and the things we discovered in those weeks were just as much for me as they were for Timothy. When I walked into that room and saw other women in the church who I had relationship with and my stereotypes were proven wrong; my churchi-ness had to go. I needed to learn how to love unconditionally, to be non-judgmental, and to be a grace giver.
In October of 2004 I miscarried my second baby. The grief was terrible and I didn’t feel like I had anyone to go to. I felt trapped, angry and alone. Was it my fault? How can Timothy love me after losing his baby? Maybe Im the mistake. Over the next couple of years people brought other women to me to minister to after miscarriage and all I could do was refer them to SaveOne. I hadnt been allowed to get through my own grief yet. One day the thought came that I could also do the SaveOne course as a student. I wondered what the other ladies would think of me, but they welcomed me with open arms!
I was supposed to be a facilitator in the class, but I was learning so much from my fellow students. They validated me and what happened. There is often a misconception that the amount of grief a woman feels for her miscarried child is equivalent to the time she carried the child. Satan had been using that misconception to hold me back. Together, the other ladies and I walked into freedom and wholeness. There was still so much to deal with afterwards, but one by one I was able to see each lie Satan had been telling me and get past it to the truth. Without SaveOne I wouldn’t have had the keys to be able to open the door to a new life.
I dont love you enough to have your children. That was the only explanation I received from my girlfriend, who would have been the mother of my child. In a ten minute conversation on the phone, I heard from the woman, I thought I was going to marry, that I had been a father for two or three months. I had no idea that she was pregnant. For several months, I was depressed. I did not want to attend my university classes, I didnt eat, and I started a four year addiction to pornography. I didnt stop going to church and believing in God during this time. I felt like a hypocrite, and that made the feelings that much worse. During those years of pain, guilt, and shame, it never occurred to me that maybe it was because I needed an inner healing. I thought I was over it.
When I was twenty-six years old, six years after this mistake, I heard about SaveOne. They made an announcement for the start of the new class and it was open for men who had this in their past. Immediately I knew I should go. I thought I was healed and had moved on only to find out there was still hurt and grief for the child who was taken from me.
I was the only man in the class; the first for SaveOne. I was newly married and my wife took a brave step and attended the class with me. She was determined to protect me from the other women if necessary. Kristy has never had an abortion, but it turned out that this class was as much for her as it was for me. I discovered healing; she discovered wrong thinking that needed correction. So often, women who have made the choice of abortion are looked down upon. This is just as wrong as the act itself.
In 2004, a new job took us to Slovenia, in south eastern Europe. God quickly showed us the need for SaveOne there and he brought the right people in our path to translate the material. We had several successful classes. While living in Europe we met Sonja Horswell who has a pro life ministry in Vienna, Austria. We partnered together to translate the material into German language and SaveOne Europe was born. We strongly believe that SaveOne is one of the tools our almighty Father is going to use to restore the beauty of womanhood around the world. Wherever God leads us, we will spread our testimony.
In 2017 SaveOne Europe became a separate donation based organization here in Vienna having outgrown its original home within the Österreichische Lebensbewegung. Sonja & Chris Horswell lead this ministry as Directors, working closely together with Sheila Harper and SaveOne in the USA. We believe that SaveOne is a mighty tool in our hands to bring restoration and healing through Jesus Christ to men and women in Austria and Europe and that God will use it to eventually turn the tide of abortions in our country and others .. Sonja - for the past 15 years I was leading the association Österreichische Lebensbewegung in Vienna as the General Manager. There we counseled many women and couples during their unplanned or crisis pregnancies and to establish with them alternatives to abortion. In 2008 I was asking myself the question, how women and men in Austria can receive long lasting restoration after an abortion. I was led to a website in Slovenia where I found the book "SaveOne". We then trained for this ministry, translated the workbook into German and began to hold small group courses in Vienna for men and women to be restored. We ran this as an extension to the pregnancy counseling. In 2010 Sheila Harper commissioned me to build up and coordinate the work of SaveOne in Europe and as a result SaveOne Europe was formed. As you have read, this work is continuing to be blessed and country by country across Europe people are being set free, healed, and restored from the consequences of abortion. Chris I started the work here with men and couples. I run the courses for men and together with Sonja those for couples and siblings. Together we travel to the other centers delivering SaveOne courses throughout Europe to teach, encourage and guide them. Our heart is to make SaveOne available in every country across Europe and within reach of all who are in need of it. To this end we go to establish and present SaveOne wherever we can and Bosnia-Herzegovina and Poland are coming up in 2017. If there is no center near you then we will be very happy to hear from you and to see how one can be established.
At age 24, I met my husband, Rocky. I was very happily married, had a beautiful home, had everything I needed for a comfortable and happy life. Yet, on several occasions, I thought, "Is this it? Is this all there is to life? "I've got to be missing something". I felt such a hole in my heart, an ache in my soul because we didn't have children. I have two wonderful stepchildren that I love deeply; however, I continued to feel that sense of loss for the children that "might have been". I continued to grieve for something that was never mine. I couldn't watch a television commercial with a baby in it without crying. When I was around family or friends with babies, I'd fight to keep my emotions under control. I would be in deep depression for weeks after attending my friends baby showers. I would never allow myself to hold a baby and I would actually distance myself from them because it brought so much pain and longing. I actually believed that the losses I had experienced years before, when my fiancee' was killed in a car accident one week before our wedding and my not being blessed with children now, were punishment from God for past sins. And I believed I deserved every bit of it.
You see, in 1972 when I was in 10th grade, I got pregnant as the result of date rape after I had broken up with my boyfriend. He snuck in the house through an unlocked door when he knew I was alone and forced himself on me. I didn’t tell my parents that the pregnancy was the result of rape. I didn’t think they would believe me because he had been my boyfriend and I felt I was to blame because I had sex with him before. At the time, it seemed to my parents that abortion was the only way out of an unexpected and embarrassing situation. At 15 years old I had no say in the matter and probably wouldn't have chosen anything different. Ever since that day I have spent a lifetime hiding my secret and burying the pain, guilt and shame.
In March of 1998, a tragic event took place that would change my life forever. My husband's friend lost his life in a horrible accident. Little did I know how God would work through this tragedy. At that memorial service every song that was sung, every word that was spoken ministered to me deeply. I began to learn of God's love and forgiveness that day. The words that were spoken were direct from God and anyone who had the window of their heart cracked open just a little bit could claim that message of salvation as their own. I did! As we drove out of the parking lot that day I said to Rocky, "That's it, I'm coming back here on Sunday", he said, "So am I".
I began to turn from agnosticism that day and started to learn what a life under the grace umbrella of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ means. All of the Bible verses were new to me; “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, those who are called according to His purpose”. Romans 8:28. What I had done all those years before can be turned to good? Really? He is the “God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." 1 Corinthians 1:3-4. God can use my suffering to help others through theirs? Really? I also learned in Luke 12:28 that “from everyone who has been given much, much will be required”. Well, I had received much forgiveness and I was starting to understand ~ much would be required of me. And I would gladly give it. It is so amazing to see how drastically my life changed in one year. God had peeled back the top layers of pain and healed me in many ways, however in doing that, He exposed the deep root of pain caused by my abortion decades before and it needed to be dealt with if He was going to use me in service the way in which He intended. Over the next 4 years the Lord walked me down an incredible path of restoration and healing from a lifetime of pain, shame and guilt from the horrible sin of abortion and from the grief I was harboring over many losses in my life. I knew that God was going to use me in some way to help other women who were suffering the way I had been. God trusted me to follow Him because I told Him I would, and I trusted God to equip me for whatever He had in store because He told me He would. Our amazing, Gracious, Merciful Father brought me to this point for such a time as this. In December of 2005 I purchased a book called SaveOne. It followed the exact path of healing and restoration that the Lord Himself had led me on over the previous years. I knew the time had come (for such a time as this) and I knew, without a shadow of doubt, that this was the vehicle to use.
I started the SaveOne ministry at my church in September 2006. We have since offered 3 SaveOne classes each year and have seen many, many women healed and set free from a lifetime of suffering in silence. Many are now empowered and equipped to tell their story to help save one woman from living a life of guilt and shame.
There has never been a time that I can remember that I was not actively serving, supporting, volunteering, attending, or ministering at a local church. I have had the sincere privilege of growing up in a loving Christian home and was taught to serve the Lord from an early age. Both of my parents are in full-time Christian ministry and growing up as a "Pastor's Kid" had its advantages and its struggles. I can still remember the first time I asked "Jesus in my heart" as a rambunctious four-year-old; hearing the Pastor's invitation and taking my dad's hand to walk the aisle and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. Fast forward a decade and you find a dedicated and loyal Christian young girl serving on the youth praise team, the drama team, Bible Quiz, volunteering in Kids Church, etc. I was filled with the Holy Spirit during Kids Camp one summer and felt that I had a call on my life to be in full-time Christian service as a teacher/preacher/evangelist. Unfortunately, a lack of a continued personal relationship with the Lord found me distracted and I fell away. The next six years were o battle to find out what a relationship with God looked like for me; NOT because my parents were preachers, or because I went to a Christian school, or because I had a rich heritage of dedicated Christian ministers in my family. I can still remember as a young teen telling my parents that I wasn't sure that I wanted anything to do with "their" God and that I really needed to find out for myself exactly what it was I wanted to commit my life to. The "low point" came for me as a nineteen-year-old young woman. Broken, alone, sitting on the bathroom floor of my college dorm room holding a positive pregnancy test in my hand, unmarried... unwilling to take on this responsibility, I scheduled a visit to the local Women's Health Clinic. There I was told that I did not have to continue this pregnancy and that I had options. I knew better. I understood the "options" and knew that abortion was not the right answer. The shame and guilt of what I had done overwhelmed me and I could not see past the decision that was staring me in the face. I can still remember taking the pill that caused me to have a miscarriage at 5 weeks gestation. I kept this horrific secret, guilt, and pain hidden from the world. How could I EVER explain what I had done? How would I ever be worthy to serve in Christian ministry again? How could I lead others when I couldn't even get my own life together? What would "they" say...what would "they" think...how would "they" treat my family after finding out what had done? I couldn't' let that happen. Not again, not after l had disappointed them so many times before. Thank God for His grace and mercy because He never left my side! Looking back, I see so many times when there were divine appointments and people along my path to guide and point me in the right direction. In 2008, I rededicated my life to the Lord and really started living o Christian lifestyle that would glorify Him. At about the age of 25, I finally accepted the call of God on my life, and I have never been the same! In 2011, I married my husband, Tyler Rawls, a patient and kind man of God who loves me so well. We have 3 beautiful boys: Jaxon, Camdyn, and Brysen. The Lord has been so faithful to our family and in 2021 I had the amazing privilege of meeting Jack & Sheila Harper. They came to a local conference that I attended (Oct 2021) and shared their personal story of abortion and the pain that it caused. Sheila prayed over us and shared about the opportunity to start "chapters" in our local churches to help women and men who have been through or are affected by abortion. As I sat and listened to their hearts' desire, it started to become a passion in my own heart. I knew that even though I had asked for forgiveness for having an abortion in 2007, I had never forgiven myself. I had only let God love me as much as I thought I should be loved...and Jack & Sheila came into my life at such a beautiful time. They offered to help me go through their program and find the spiritual healing I desperately desired but never knew how to attain. I graduated from the SaveOne Program on December 27, 2021, and can proudly say that I AM FREE! My little girl, Bailey Lynn, who I have never met on this side of heaven, patiently waits for me and I know I will see her one day. In January 2022 I become a Chapter Leader for my church and started the Bible Study to help other women and men heal from this awful pain. SaveOne has taught me so much about abortion and how it's time for the church to take this issue back and not let politics claim it anymore. I want to share my personal story in hope that it does indeed "Save One". I am learning that being a Christian is NOT perfect, fair, easy, or about being right. Rather, this Christian life includes patience, joy in the midst of suffering, and a God who is willing to use my imperfections to complete His perfect will! Amen!
My husband, Mark, and I have been in ministry since 1977. We pastored in several small churches, taught in a Bible school and then to the mission field. We spent ten years (1996-2006) doing 52 city-wide crusades in India. It came to an abrupt end when we were turned in by a man on our Indian board who stole the ministry out from under us and got me labeled "a threat to national security". It was like hitting a brick wall going 100 miles an hour.
On top of that sudden stop, my children came forward with their sexual abuse stories (one raped in the church bathroom) and one major thing after another happened, including a staff member ripping us off of $10k. It was like being caught up in a slow rolling avalanche, a very destructive chain of unfortunate events that I couldn’t escape. The stress was unreal. My health suffered. I was trying to hold it all together. Because of all the stress and chain of events, I had a break down.
Eventually, I had an annual exam and my pap smear came back suspicious. I then had a cervical biopsy that triggered full blown PTSD from my own unresolved childhood traumas. At the age of 6, I was sexually assaulted by babysitters, as well as being molested by an immediate family member. I thought I had dealt with these things long ago. I had no idea that this could be triggered decades later.
I sought help from a spirit-filled psychotherapist. God met me in such a powerful way and I was miraculously healed. Called to active service again, God said, “Continue your education, don't worry about the money or how it will happen. You will minister to people's deep soul wounds all over the world…." Shortly afterward, Sheila Harper came to the church I attend and told us about SaveOne. She had just written a book called Finding You: Recovering your identity after sexual trauma. My eyes were glued to her and my heart was beating out of my chest! I knew I needed to start a chapter of SaveOne and this would be the beginning of getting back into ministry.
It has been a whirlwind since then. I went back to school and got my doctorate in Christian counseling. I have a burning passion to see people set free from trauma, PTSD, especially sexual abuse so they know their identity in Christ and they can each fulfill their own unique destiny. I want to teach the world to heal the deepest wounds by the power of the Holy Spirit and expose the devastating effects of sexual abuse. I want to talk out loud about what the church needs to be in the forefront about, abortion and sexual abuse.
People ask me, “Is it disturbing for you to listen to those kind of stories?” There is absolutely nothing better than seeing a soul set free! I love what I do. No matter how sad or even horrific their story is, I know there is a miracle waiting for that precious soul. I get to see miracles!
"He heals the wounds of every shattered heart" Psalm 34:17 TPT
"You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy" Psalm 30:11 NIV
"I first volunteered with SaveOne back in 2011. I was looking to serve somewhere and a friend suggested that I contact Sheila. Looking back, I am so glad I did. God led me here to help the mission of SaveOne, and in the process I learned how much of a difference one life can make. It only takes one person to speak up for a change to occur. Thank God Mrs. Sheila was that voice for SaveOne!
SaveOne paves the way for this world to hear Gods message of compassion, redemption, hope, and healing and that is why I continue to serve this organization. SaveOne is a powerful voice declaring the truth about abortion. God has given me a heart that desires to see His truth spoken over others pain and shame. I long to let others know that Gods love is greater than any of your pain. God has a plan for you and it is for a hope and a future. "
I was born to a single mother who hid her pregnancy from everyone. She gave birth to me in an apartment alone. She then abandoned my youngest sister and me when I was about five years old. My oldest sister took us in and cared for us as her own. She quickly became my mom.
She and her husband, who also quickly became my dad, raised us along with my two younger brothers in a good home with Christian values. I struggled in my teen and young adult years to follow Christ. This led me into bad relationships, and I ended up pregnant in my freshman year of college. Even though I knew it was wrong to abort my child, I thought it was my only option. I could not be a mother at such a young age, and I did not want to lose my scholarship.
Soon after the abortion, my life spiraled down even deeper into more bad choices and heartache. I ran through countless relationships with men, partying, drinking, drugs and promiscuity. I lost so much and didn’t care for myself or others around me. I thought I would never be worthy to be a mom and certainly didn’t deserve love from God or any man.
Fast-forward through years of a sinful lifestyle, I had given birth to my first daughter, had survived a terrible marriage and divorce and finally, I surrendered my heart to the Lord and was water baptized. For the first time in my life I knew God had forgiven me of my past and I wanted to serve Him in whatever way I could.
Shortly after I gave my heart to God, I found the love of a man who loved the Lord more than anything else in this world. He showed me that I too deserved that love from the Father. We were married and now have four children. I thought my past was just that — the past. But I soon learned the sins of my past, largely my abortion, had not been forgotten by me. I had only held on to those sins and buried them deep. I just thought I was okay. I was angry all the time. I was tormented by my thoughts of being unworthy, a failure, and a fake. And that’s when SaveOne saved my life!
I am so thankful for the women in my class that held me up in prayer and showed me that the Lord wanted me to let go of the strongholds of depression, shame, and guilt. I am eternally grateful for SaveOne, and that’s why I chose to lead SaveOne bible studies in my own church. I love to see the faces of men and women who finally make that turnaround and accept and acknowledge the forgiveness and love of our Heavenly Father. I’m so excited to lock arms with SaveOne and look forward to the future together.