Wow, kindness abounds…

… So I’ve been sort of laying low for a bit because I didn’t know how my post below would be received. Writing it was, ironically, a bit like giving birth. The labor was long – 6 whole months! – and so much emotional energy and physical exertion was poured into writing it that I needed some recovery time afterwards. So I hit publish, turn off my laptop, and took a nap.

Oh, and I also went to the ER yesterday morning. I was bitten by a spider three days ago while working in my garden and it got infected. I had a nasty case of erysipelas, aka Holy Fire. More ironies. But I’m OK now. I got a steroid shot so I won’t be playing pro sports any time soon. I was home resting all day yesterday after that and am now just reading through some 275+ comments, Facebook messages, and private emails. Wow. And I mean wow.

I originally wrote that post in January just hours before the DC March For Life. I woke up with a start and raced to find internet access, madly typing it all down before it was gone. It proved to be too personal for publication in a certain news outlet where it was set to be published. I felt rejected having poured my heart only to be told it wasn’t feel good enough – no happy ending and neat resolution. What can I say, there is no happy ending to abortion. However, to say I was also relieved was an understatement. At that point I still hadn’t told my family. It would have been wrong for them to find out that way. God was looking out for me and saved me from my own impetuousness.

But that post really started the night after my Rachel’s Vineyard retreat two years ago. It’s been there saved as a Word document on my PC that long; revised and edited more times than I can count. Lots of you left comments about Rachel’s Vineyard and I wanted you to know that organization and retreat saved my sanity and possibly my life after a particularly nasty event involving the Face the Truth people but that’s another very long post. Let’s just say it is the reason behind this, this, and this post.

Not having the post originally published in January was a good thing. It gave me time to pray about it some more and seek the counsel of some very wise people, one being my priest. I had to be sure I was going public with my past for all the right reasons. I didn’t want to make the public announcement out of fear of exposure because for years now the only other person who knew about my past isn’t very fond of me anymore and at any minute could have exposed me as a fraud. So yeah, there was that. And yes, I felt like a fraud.

More importantly; however, I had to consider what the impact would be on family and evaluate if I was prepared to tell my son when he is older. Then there was the embarrassing vain fears. Fear that I would not be liked or cause a scandal. Fear that some nice Catholic man [crush included] would read this and know for certain I was not a nice Catholic girl. Which I’m not. But I try. Which is why I only date practicing Catholics. Though I’m not dating anymore. Because… you know, I desire Heaven more than I desire a spouse.

Let’s just say I truly felt I had a lot to lose by coming clean. I suppose that is why I wrote my post with an underlying defensive tone. I was fully prepared to be called a hypocrite. I even felt being called that was justifiable.

But than the comments, and emails, and private messages poured in and it proved that the vast majority of you are kind, compassionate, and supportive beyond words. You guys certainly make it increasingly difficult to maintain my cynical world views and steely, stoic facade.

You all have proven, in your comments, that the pro-life advocates are a very caring and forgiving community of people. The few negative comments I did receive were from a self professed feminazi and some random pro-abortion advocates, and they were so far in the minority they had no impact. Naturally all the usual suspects were present in their comments; sex abuse scandals and Hitler, blah blah blah.

To borrow Leah’s Kitler

This kitten will be the only thing compared to Hitler in your comments from this moment on.

Again, I want to sincerely thank you all for your kind words and encouragement. So many of you contacted me in private with your own stories and I will be personally responding to each. It will take awhile. Forgive me.

A lot of you applauded my courage for coming forward and many expressed the desire to do the same. Please know, I don’t want to guilt anyone or make them feel they need to come forward before they are ready. As I said, this was several years in the making. It involved more prayer and tears I thought I was capable of. There was “the talk” with family and a few close friends and private communications with a priest. There was therapy and a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat. There were a hundred things to consider and even more things to do in preparation. So, if you feel compelled to share your own stories but aren’t quite ready I understand. Take the time you need to heal a bit first and search your heart for the right words and spiritual guidance.

And for those still silently suffering… please look into Rachel’s Vineyard. If money is a problem they will even waive the cost. They truly desire everyone who needs healing to receive it.

Some other great resources are:

Abort73.com
Priests For Life
Silent No More
Project Rachel – Hope After Abortion

Lastly, some of the most heartbreaking replies I received were from post-abortive men. Men are so ignored in the life debates with the emphasis being on the woman and her choice. Sadly, the only time men are discussed in the debate is to highlight coercion and forced abortions. But abortion hurts men too and they are victims in need of sympathy and healing as well. A lot of men I’ve met and spoken too all felt helpless to stop the abortion from happening [Follow the link for an emotional and eye opening testimonial to this fact] and live with half a manhood, incapable of making important decisions and doubting their judgement for years to come.

Again and again, I want to thank you all for your kindness and understanding. I appreciate and welcome the prayers. All I would ask of you at this point is your continued prayers, not for me, but all post-abortive men and women still silently suffering.

Thank you.

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • rebecca de anda boucher

    WOW.your response to the response is even more amazing than the original post. That is in no way to belittle what you did in writing the post. It is about the power of love and forgiveness and all that blubbery stuff! God bless you, Katrina. 

  • http://twitter.com/LauraOinAK Laura O’Neill

    Kat,

    I’m so grateful God forgives us our sins.  I think we have a harder time forgiving ourselves and sadly some people are incredibly judgmental, too.  Thank you again for being so honest and I think some things do need to wait and be covered in prayer before coming forth.

  • Anna

    Thank you for reminding everyone about the fathers too.  While sidewalk counseling in college, I had one encounter that still breaks my heart.  One young man came outside and asked for our help in talking his girlfriend out of the abortion.  We gave him a few ideas for things to say, including an offer of immediate assistance at a CPC nearby.  And we gave him a little plastic fetal model to show her.  He was unable to convince her, and after she went upstairs he came out and asked if he could keep that little model.  That was all of his child he’d ever hold; it still makes me tear up typing this and that was 14 years ago.  I wish we could have helped them…   

  • drea916

    We love you Kat.

  • Joshua Korf

    It makes sense, or should.  If in heaven there is more rejoicing over one repentant sinner than over 100 righteous men, then why should the attitude in the Church Militant be any different?

  • Tammy

    I’m so glad you found even more healing through the love and encouragement of others. That is how we, the Church *should* treat each other, even if it doesn’t always happen that way IRL. How can we judge others, just because our sins are different? If we pray ‘forgive us our trespasses AS we forgive those who trespass against us’, we must forgive those who have sinned, just as we all have sinned in so many ways. 

    And as to your pain, know that you are not alone. I lost my baby to miscarriage a few months ago. Any mother who loses her child is going to have tremendous pain and hurt, no matter how it happens, and how much she tries to repress it. I pray you can continue to find healing under the loving mantle of Mary our mother who also lost her child,  and in the arms of Jesus. God bless you for trying to help others through their pain. 

  • Gunterdonna

    Kat,
    One more thing I want to tell you. I just know your children in heaven forgive you, love you, and revere you as their mother. Just know that. They are praying for you, your family, and your son. They are part of the cloud of witnesses who are rooting you on.
     

  • Mary

    Hi Kat

    I didn’t get a chance to post on the day you shared with everyone. It seemed as if so many people wanted to reach you because at the time I attempted to post you had over 200 posts and the hour glass kept going around and around.

    What you did took so much courage and you have made a difference! And, you ARE a nice Catholic girl! Jesus is smiling down at you because you have given public witness to Jesus’ invitation of forgiveness. God bless you!

  • Leeny

    So many have shared their thoughts and I wanted to also add that this post and your first one have only elevated my level of respect for you. We are ALL sinners who need the mercy of God. We are all in this together by God’s grace. Thank you for being so honest and willing to put yourself out there like this. God bless, Kat!!!

  • Karyn

    Katrina:  Mother to many.  Some biologically and others spiritually.  Thank you for sharing your story.

  • http://thehomesickhome.blogspot.jp/ L.

     I repeat (because I can’t repeat it enough) that even though I hold very different opinions from you (having crossed over from the pro-life side to become a “pro-abort”), I admire your honestly and your convictions.  I know it took a great deal of courage for you to write this post.
    I sincerely wish you all the best as you heal, and help others like you to avoid the pain you’ve silently endured for years.

  • Barbara

    I wish the world could understand that THIS is what being Christian is about. We hate the sin precisely because it hurts the sinner so badly. You are loved. While you can’t undo what you did, Christ can redeem it. I think your brave for allowing Him to.

  • Gail Finke

    Kat: I thought it was a very beautiful post. I never had an abortion but I used to be “pro choice,” and it took me years just to come out and say I was not, and years past that to go to any demonstrations or vigils. I was raised in a very secular environment, in which being pro-life was considered tantamount to being crazy. I am not proud of it, but there it is, and if it took me years to just be able to say “abortion is wrong,” who am I to judge anyone else? We think we make free choices, but so much of what we do is for reasons we don’t understand and because of influences we don’t know are there. God bless you.

  • Ed

    I’ve always considered you a Courageous Conservative Catholic.  Sharing your story like this just confirms it.  I can imagine how hard this may have been for you.  May you be an inspiration to others who have had to deal with what you have.  We are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. However, you have accepted responsibility for your actions.  You didn’t just shrug your shoulders and say the devil made you do it, so he is to blame and not you. More importantly, you have received forgiveness via the sacrament of reconciliation.  I hope you continue to try and lead others to Christ.  You bless yourself and us with you blogging, which is true to Christ and His Church.


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