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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Promises (02/09/04)

TITLE: Aborted Promises
By L.M. Lee


Summer had ended. School was back in session. The first hint of autumn had kissed the breeze. I was in the 8th grade and life was good.

Sunday was filled with the usual flurry of activities. Between choir practice and class, my world was shattered.

Slipping into the restroom to freshen up, I heard someone vomiting in the next stall.

“Hey, are you all right in there?” I asked.

“Yeah, I’ll be okay,” answered the muffled voice. I recognized that voice. It was my friend Susan.

Standing in front of the bathroom mirrors and washing our hands I asked, “Susan, are you feeling okay? Do you need me to get your mom?”

Face flushed from regurgitating, eyes beginning to moisten, Susan stared back at me flatly and said, “Lissa, what am I going to do?”

“About what?”

“About this,” she said, “I’m starting to show.”

Turning her sleek, firm swimmer’s frame sideways, she flattened her skirt over her normally flat tummy.

“About this!”

Instantly my gaze was fixed on her tummy. It wasn’t flat. It was slightly rounded. Not fully comprehending what she was trying to tell me, I flippantly said, “I guess you’ll have to cut out the Twinkies!”

“Lissa, this isn’t Twinkies!” she fumed, “it’s a baby. I’m pregnant!”

“You’re what?” I stammered, completely taken aback. I knew where babies came from. My friend was only 13. We did everything together. We were inseparable. How could she be pregnant?

“I’m pregnant!” she emphasized again.

“But how? You can’t be. Are you sure?”

“Now Lissa,” she glared, “I don’t have to go over all that with you, do I?”

“You know what I mean,” I awkwardly sputtered. “I mean when and who’s the father?”

Who’s the father? What a bizarre question to be asking my friend. It just felt so surreal. This couldn’t be happening.


“Barry!” I exclaimed. “He’s 7 years older than you. How could he be the father?”

“Well you know how his family and my family always go out on the lake together,” she began. “This summer our families went on the lake together. While our folks were on shore dining, we stayed on the boat. I don’t know Lissa, I’ve always had crush on him. One thing led to another and well, it just sort of happened.”

“Does Barry know?”

“Yes, I told him, but he’s denying everything. He swears I’m just making it all up. He told my parents that I am a slut and sleep around with every boy I see.”

“And they believed him?”


I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Susan’s parents would take the word of Barry over their own daughter. It just seemed too wild to be true. I had to be dreaming. Trying to make some sense out of what she was telling me I asked, “What are your parents going to do about it?”

“They’re sending me to Florida. My sister’s boyfriend is a pre-med student. He has a friend who can take care of it.”

“What do you mean take care of it?”

“You know… an abortion.”

“You can’t do that!” I said in shocked horror. I couldn’t believe what my friend was telling me. I stood in stunned speechless shock. In the last 10 minutes I had been told the most unimaginable thing my friend could have ever told me. Not only was she pregnant. She had been molested by a family friend. The family was denying it. And her parents were going to cart her off and allow some medical student to kill her baby.

I was completely overwhelmed. I was totally out of my element. I was not prepared at 13 to handle what my friend was telling me. I simply hugged her and we both cried.

Someone else came into the bathroom. We dried our eyes and slipped outside to continue our conversation.

“Have you talked to the youth pastor?” I inquired. “I mean he ought to have a better suggestion. You could go to one of those unwed mother homes and give the baby up for adoption. You don’t really want to kill your baby, do you?”

When I said that; Susan just stared at me. Her gaze hardened and she looked at me squarely in the eye, “You mean give my baby up like someone gave me up?”

“Well, yeah I guess. But it wouldn’t be giving it up. You’d be giving it a home. Parents who would love it. People like your parents.”

“I would never do that to my baby!”

I just looked blankly at my friend. I never knew she felt that way about her own adoption. I had always envied her. I always thought she felt loved beyond measure. Her parents had gone through all kinds of red tape and spent a great deal of money to adopt her. I always thought she had the perfect life.

Now I knew she didn’t. Every promise her parents had made to protect her, look after, defend her and care for her…every promise…now lay shattered in the broken pieces of my friend’s heart.

…and the promise of another life was dying also.

© 2/9/04 Lissa M. Lee

Member Comments
Member Date
Corinne Smelker 02/16/04
Is this a true story?? My heart broke for the girl, only 13 and dealing with adult issues. Compelling reading.
L.M. Lee02/16/04
Yes, it is a true story. My friend had the abortion...it was really sad. I didn't write about how our youth pastor handled the situation...it was really ugly. No love or compassion...only judgment. It was a very difficult lesson I had to learn at an early age.

My friend was never the same after that. She was never able to bear children. It split their family. It would have been so much better if they could have just admitted what happened and dealt with it, instead of acting like it hadn't and trying to cover it all up.

It was my first lesson in the results of trying to cover our sins, instead of confessing them. I have found, no matter how bitterly painful, confessed sin no longer holds any power over you. Sins you conceal and try to hide control you all your life.
Anna Johnson02/16/04
Lissa: This is an excellent story -- well written, and also so very sad, but compelling. Great job, and your friend is blessed to have had you as a friend. I'm only sorry she didn't listen to you, and 13 is SO young.
Lucynda Gullia02/16/04
My heart breaks to think about how many MILLIONS of these true stories you experienced with your friend are out there. I just pray that someday your friend will use her life story to encourage and help others, and understand God's Love for her, and share that love with many other girls. I pray that one day she will be the woman in Isaiah 54: Sing O barren woman, you who did not bear; break forth into sining and shout for joy, you who were never in labor;, for the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of the married wife says the Lord. Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities. Fear not; you will no longer live in shame. The shame of your youth and the sorrows of widowhood will be remembered no more, for your creator will be your husband. The Lord Almighty is his name. He is your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel, the God of all the earth. For the Lord has called you back from your grief, as though you were a young wife abandoned by her husband....Just as I swore int he time of Noah that I would never again let a flood cover the earth and destroy its life, so now again I swear (promise) that I will never again pour out my anger on you. For the mountains may depart and the hills disappear but I will remain loyal to you. My covenant of love will never be BROKEN!says the Lord who has mercy on you.
Lucynda Gullia02/16/04
Oops, large spelling error, in my above comment. God's word says break forth into SINGING, NOT sining.
Glenda Lagerstedt02/16/04
Glenda Lagerstedt02/16/04
Oops, computer glitch above. To begin anew, there are way too many stories such as the one you so skillfully and tenderly shared. We need so much to pray for guidance as we deal with a hurting world in order not to be judgemental and make situations worse. Good sharing, Lissa.
Mary Elder-Criss02/17/04
I am so sorry for your friend, and how she was failed by her family and her youth pastor. Such a horrible thing to happen to one so young. Praying this family would receive the healing found in Christ's love.
Kathy Pollock02/17/04
Lissa, beautifully and realistically written.
Annette Bury02/17/04
Lissa - Well-written, but such a sad situation for a thirteen-year-old girl, just a baby herself.
Donna Anderson02/17/04
Val Walters02/18/04
Lissa, This is a well written account of such a painful time for your friend. I am sure it was painful for you too, to go this with her.
Bonnie Baker02/20/04
Lissa - very good story on a current problem. My heart goes out to both of you. My views on abortion ended a great friendship. I wish she knew I don't judge her but that doesn't change my view. She just doesn't understand that.