It is good to be able to tell the story of Jesus Christ and His Loving Mercy toward me, because He rescued me from total self destruction. This really is the story of His saving Love and Mercy, the power of intercessory prayer, and the Hope there is for everyone in Christ. I am assured He wants me to share my story knowing it’s the last thing I would ever have wanted to do, but also knowing Jesus wants everyone to know of this love and mercy He has for each one of us.
When I was fourteen I was raped. Worse still, when I told someone, the person blamed me and said, “You should not have let that happen. Now you are a whore.” I made a decision that day that I was a whore. This was the beginning of my acting out promiscuously. If alcoholism hadn’t been so devastating to my family, my mother may have been more available for advice at the time. This was not the case. As the ninth of eleven in an Irish family, whore was never something dreamed of for my future.
A false sense of morality took over and it was decided, by me, that if you’re in “relationship”, it’s okay to have sex. By the time my sixteenth birthday rolled around I was pregnant, scared and pressured into my first abortion. The lady at the clinic told me it wasn’t a baby just a clump of cells and gave me a drug to calm me because I was shaking. When the “Dr” examined me, he sexually assaulted me. The downward spiral began; drinking and drugging to numb the pain. At eighteen still in the “relationship” we ended the life of our second child, more drugs, more drinking, the “relationship” deteriorated and died. Another “relationship” came and another baby died when I was twenty.
Then, what seemed to be the worst thing that ever happened turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. My mother was killed by a drunk driver when I was twenty three and I cried out to God. My mother had been a faith in action Catholic and I knew she was going with Jesus. At her funeral when the incense rose above the casket it drew my attention to the fact that there is an eternal life and that someday we would be with our loved ones if our lives are right with God. For me, some things were going to have to change. A month after her funeral my pregnancy test failed, but abortion was simply not an option for me anymore, praise God. There was this overwhelming sense that my mom, being with God now, knew everything. Ultimately over time it was realized that it was God that my conscience would not allow me to offend any longer, especially with another abortion. I began to go back to church.
Help came through the prayers of my mother, united with God, and from my friend’s mother praying to the Venerable Fr. Solanus Casey for me, interceding. She enrolled me in the Seraphic Mass Association and gave me holy oil on a cotton ball. I began to bless myself saying one Hail Mary every day. Then, Sr. Helen Therese, a Franciscan sister that had the gift of healing came into my life. She told me something Jesus wanted to tell me. Abortion affects a person on so many levels and being terrified of Jesus was one way of thinking that permeated my being, the thought that He would never forgive me haunted me. Most of my time was spent trying to hide from Him, from intimate relationships, from the truth. Much energy was wasted trying to pretend everything was okay. Sr. Helen prayed with me, loved me , helped me grieve the loss of my children, name them, embrace them as a part of me that will remain with me for all eternity and the Holy Spirit came in power. Jesus said, ”When the Sprit of Truth comes He will glorify me because He will take what is mine and reveal it to you”. (John 16:13,14) Jesus took me into His Mercy and forgave all my sins and revealed the truth of who I was in Him, not a whore, but a friend. The story of what He has done for me is not my story to keep. It must be told for His Glory and to let others know they are not alone.
Eileen M. Craig