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As shared at our Annual Meeting, March, 2009, in her own words:


I would like to start by reading a couple of verses from God’s word.
- Psalm 30:11-12 — You changed my sorrow into dancing. You took away my clothes of sadness, and clothed me in happiness. I will sing to you and not be silent. Lord, my God, I will praise you forever.
- Psalm 9:1 — I will praise you, Lord, with all of my heart. I will tell all the miracles you have done.
- 2 Corinthians 5:17 — if anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new creation. The old things have gone; everything is made new.

When I was asked to speak here tonight I knew that is was of God and that the journey that I had set out on a year ago is coming full circle.

At age 20 1 became involved with and starting dating a man with whom I came to love very much, very quickly. This was uncommon for me as I had built a brick wall around my heart as a child and never really let anyone too close. He was my second relationship; however I was still a virgin. As we got closer I shared with him my desire and conviction to wait to have sex until I was married. He was more than okay with my virginity and said that he loved me even more for sharing with him.

Then 10 months into our relationship, at age 21, the nightmare began for me. It was Valentine’s Day and we had a date in my home. I remember being shocked and horrified that night by his violent rage. When it was over my virginity was stolen from me, my dream shattered, and I was left alone and broken. I had been raped by the same man that had been so gentle and loving up until now; the same man that melted my heart.

After 5 weeks of emotional instability, shame, guilt, and hatred, I found out I was pregnant. What am I going to do now? I cried alone so violently at times that I would be sick. I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of confusion, fear, depression, and no self-worth. I remember thinking that if there really was a God, He obviously did not accept me, care for me, or love me. Eventually I lost what little faith I did have in God. At this time I shut down and decided I needed to live my life on my own — alone.

After a few more weeks of despair and hating myself I concluded that the only option for me was abortion. Abortion would allow me return to my “normal” life as if nothing had happened — all of the pain would go away. The nightmare would end and no one else would need to know or be hurt. What an illusion and lie those statements turned out to be for me.

I aborted my baby at 10 weeks — something I have regretted doing every day since. I remember being very numb and unfeeling, almost cold on my way to the abortion appointment. I remember feeling terrified and alone as the procedure began. I remember how painful it was physically and how draining it was emotionally. I remember the loneliness, the hopelessness, and despair after the abortion. I remember sitting in my home after the abortion vowing to myself that I would cut myself off emotionally and physically from everyone and everything. And I did! It was like I dying inside. I remember working hard to rebuild the “brick wall” I had growing up to avoid feeling anything and to prevent myself from getting hurt. I cried alone many, many times. I remember feelings of shame, guilt, anger, and hate. I remember for many years holding it together when I was around others and drowning my life and sorrow in alcohol when I was alone.

Four years later I got a new job opportunity which required me to move away and I jumped at the chance. I didn’t have to think twice! I remember thinking this is my opportunity to start over, to get away from my past, and leave all of the horrible experiences and memories behind me. Instead, life got worse and I fell further into the “darkness.”

Finally on April 16, 2006, I decided that the only way “out” of my “hell” was suicide — I couldn’t bear the pain. However, God had other plans for me. Through His divine intervention I am still here today and I give Him all the glory and praise.

A couple of months after that almost fateful day I gave my heart and life to Jesus. However I still was struggling with things. Then a few months later I see a familiar face from the past. He was speaking about the Valley Care Pregnancy Centre. The Holy Spirit convicted me so strongly that day that I went to him and asked if we could talk sometime — I need to talk to you sometime. I shared my life story with him and I was amazed by the accepting and loving attitude that he had for me. I was encouraged to become involved in the post abortion Bible study, “Forgiven and Set Free.” I remember agreeing but being scared and somewhat hesitant. I remember waiting for the leader to give the disapproving looks and judgmental attitude that I was expecting each week. However, they never came. I was truly amazed that she had the same accepting and loving attitude towards me. Then God gave me the courage to repeat this Bible Study with a group, which has blessed me beyond words. The women that I have met are my sisters in Christ but have also become my friends.

I am now involved with Making Peace with Your Past Bible study which has been building on the foundation that was already laid by the Forgiven and Set Free Bible study. I am really learning how to open up and share with others in a caring and loving environment which really has been a foreign concept for me most of my life.

The Centre is a true representation of Christ’s Love. They accepted me for who I am and right where I was at in life. It has become a real “safe place” for me. I believe that their heart’s desire is to see people experience God’s love in their life and to be restored back into a relationship with the Heavenly Father. Then and only then can a person be truly forgiven and healed and become what God has intended for them to be. The Centre has helped me grow in Christ’s love, accept myself, and truly deal with my past. In turn I have experience God’s unconditional love, mercy and grace not just in my mind but in my heart. There is a peace that I cannot describe with words, it can only be experienced and I am sure that there are those of you who know what I mean. I know who I am now — I AM HIS. I belong to God. All of this has been made possible through the blood of Jesus Christ who died on the cross for me so that I might be “forgiven and set free”.

Due to the love and strength I have found in Christ through the Centre, I can stand here and share this with you. it is a feeling of freedom that cannot be explained. As a result of “Forgiven and Set Free” that is exactly how I feel. I now live as one who has been forgiven. I walk with joy to know my debts are paid by Jesus Christ and that-my name is clear before my Heavenly Father. To know there is no reason for me to be afraid or ashamed because I am God’s child. Christ has pardoned me undeservedly, therefore, I have learned forgive others who have wronged me. I have learned compassion. I know how fear builds “brick walls” instead of bridges, therefore, I am building bridges in my life with others because without that I cannot be shown or show God’s love. I desire God’s Love and power to shine through and in me. And I want to honor Jesus’ name by sharing Him with others so that He may heal those that are hurting in this world.

So, I cannot tell you specifically everything that God has in store for me. However, I can stand here confidently and tell you that through my faith in Jesus Christ He is going to use some of my greatest hurts in life to do amazing things in which He will be honored and glorified. I believe this because God is greater than anything that I can ever imagine and because I am seeking Him in my life He is able to accomplish abundantly more than I ever could on my own.


Christ, through the love of others at the centre, has taken me literally from death to life.


 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kentville, NS

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Kentville, NS
Canada, B4N 3X9

 

 

   
   

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