Inspire Pregnancy brings “Sanctity of Life” event to town

By: 
Charlie Denison
Reporter

Linda Peterson will deliver her testimony as part of Central Baptist’s Sanctity of Life event Sunday at 2 p.m. Dr. David Roberts of Red Lodge will also speak. 
Photo by Charlie Denison

Healing is continual.

That is the message Linda Peterson hopes to convey at Central Baptist Church’s Sanctity of Life event this Sunday.

One of two speakers, Peterson will take the stage and share her personal testimony about forgiveness and love through faith.

“I’ve gone from broken to blessed,” she said.

At the age of 18, while living in Great Falls, Peterson had an abortion, something she kept quiet for 30 years.

“I was a senior in high school,” she said. “I got on the school bus and went to school. My boyfriend picked me up in the back parking lot, drove me to the clinic and – when the abortion was done – he dropped me back off at school. It was terrible. I told no one. I was so afraid someone would hate me for it.”

Two years ago, while visiting Echoz Pregnancy Care Center in Great Falls, something happened that would forever change her outlook moving forward.

“A lady, Kay, told me she’d had an abortion when she was 19,” Peterson said. “That was the first time I’d ever met anyone like me. I started sobbing. There is something so powerful in meeting someone who has done what you’ve done, especially when it comes to abortion.”

Since that encounter, Peterson has taken it upon herself to help others who know the pain she felt. She’s now director of Lewistown’s Inspire Pregnancy Care Center, where she helps women and men “make wise choices that protect them and their child,” according to their mission. Peterson has also gotten involved in a number of post-abortion healing ministries such as Rachel’s Vineyard and Forgiven and Set Free. She even facilitates Forgiven and Set Free – a 12-week post-abortion Bible Study – through Inspire. She hopes to host a class this spring.

Rachel’s Vineyard in Colorado is a Catholic-based retreat giving participants an opportunity to “examine their abortion experience, identify the ways the loss impacted them and acknowledge any unresolved feelings,” according to www.rachelsvineyard.org.

For Peterson, the experience was life changing.

“I’d held in pain for so long,” she said, “but at that retreat I gave the pain to God. It was so touching and so healing. It filled me up with so much love.”

Empowered by her faith, Peterson now has the courage to get up in front of people and share her story, which she did at last year’s “Sanctity of Life” service. She’s told her story at other conferences, as well.

It’s never easy.

“The abortion was hard,” she said, “but the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my entire life is stand up and say I’ve had an abortion. I was so afraid to tell people at the church, but I know God wants me to do it.”

Peterson credits much of her strength to her faith. She also credits Kay, who will be there Sunday.

“If I hadn’t met Kay, I’d still be trying to forgive myself,” Peterson said. “Now look at me.”

Peterson hopes people come out to hear her story Sunday at 2 p.m. at Central Baptist Church. Dr. David Roberts of Red Lodge will headline the event, delivering a speech about why he no longer performs abortions and how he became a Christian.

“I think it’s huge we can do this together,” Peterson said. “[Roberts] has never given his speech along with a testimony from someone who has had an abortion. I think it will be a very powerful service.”

For more information, call Peterson at (406) 366-6062.

 

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