Sharon has served as the International Director for Silent Voices since June 8, 1984. Here’s how God called her into pro-life ministry –
My exposure to abortion came when I was 15 years old. I had taken my first job in the histology lab at a hospital in San Diego, (This lab is where anything removed from the human body is examined by a pathologist.) When I walked into the lab that first day, I saw a jar with a baby in it. When I asked why it was there, the doctor told me it was an anencephalic baby that had been aborted, and since it was so unusual, they had decided to keep it. Even at that tender age, I felt that something was wrong with that – this wasn’t a frog or “specimen” – it was a baby.
It wasn’t long before I, too, learned to think of her as a “specimen.” It was the only way I could deal with my job, which included doing the “gross examination” of all the abortions that had been done on the days I worked. I was trained to identify fetal parts and placental tissue , and to determine the sex of these babies that were aborted by saline/prostaglandin injection. Very quickly I became numb to what I was doing and, while I was definitely against abortion, I was in total denial about my own feelings about the job – until I got married, and was desperate to have a baby of my own.
After 18 months of trying to get pregnant, and being subjected to infertility testing, my husband and I were finally told that we would never be able to conceive. During that time, all the feelings I’d been repressing/suppressing for six years began to come to the surface. I became very depressed, and eventually suicidal.. My husband didn’t understand what I was feeling, and refused to let me quit my job. (At the time I was very angry with him, but I realize now that we were both too young and immature to handle what was happening.) Finally, in December of 1979, I admitted myself to a mental health unit of a local hospital. I was really afraid that I would hurt myself if something didn’t change.
Unfortunately, my husband still didn’t “get it,” and the staff at the hospital was very uncomfortable with why I thought I was there. I was told that it was “too upsetting to the other patients,” so I shouldn’t share what I had gone through, or how I was feeling. During my three-month stay they convinced me that my depression was really cause by my “rigid religious beliefs, a bad marriage, and a controlling family.” So – I divorced my husband, walked away from God, walked away from my family, and walked into the world,. where I stayed for almost two years. I was still very depressed, and dependent on antidepressants and Valium to cope. I felt lost and alone – and crazy,
Fortunately, God never left me alone, and when I reached another “low,” I gave my life back into His care, and with His help and the help of a wonderful, compassionate church, was able to put my life back together. I put my experiences with abortion behind me, and “went on with my life, ” Yet, as hard as I tried to forget it, the abortion issue haunted me.
Then, in 1983, I decided to attend a nine-month Bible school offered by my church. One of the requirements was that each student had to be involved in a ministry every week. I didn’t know what to do, so I offered to help one of the pastors on staff with whatever he needed. After a few months he offered my a ministry opportunity. The church had been approached by a crisis pregnancy center that was looking for a liaison from our church. Because of my background, he immediately thought of me. You can imagine what I thought – “You’ve got to be kidding!” He was very surprised at my response, and simply asked me to pray about it. While I agreed to pray, I silently told myself – and God – that this was not what He would want me to do!
Within six months, I was in full-time ministry as the Director of Silent Voices – not the CPC down the street, but an outreach of the church I was attending I was still in a lot of emotional pain, but over several years, God graciously healed those hurts. As I began to read about Post Abortion Syndrome, I understood what had happened to me – I wasn’t crazy after all! The job had been crazy.
Since then, I have been blessed to be in the service of the Lord, and go see Him fulfill as the promises He made to me in Isaiah 54! While I have never remarried or had children of my own, there are hundreds of children alive who would have been aborted had Silent Voices not been there when their mothers needed help and hope.
Development and Public Relations Manager
From the time of my first pregnancy I had a calling to work with women and children, to help them in times of crisis and uncertainty. I was newly married at the age of 19 when I became pregnant. I remember standing in my room with the realization that I could have been a statistic. A pregnant teen who was a Christian. Who could I turn to without feeling shame and a need to hide, if this had occurred before marriage? I saw the draw to abort even though I was against it from my youth, but it seemed like the only option. I knew it was wrong, but so was being pregnant, right?
Wrong! Pregnancy is a gift from God to be cherished, and I felt Him telling me that I needed to share this with other Christian women who are afraid to face their family or church for fear of rejection and judgement. I wanted to open a place where I could help them find healing and help. I had no idea that there was a place like this already, in my own neighborhood!
I found Silent Voices shortly after my daughter was born, as I went to pay my car insurance bill. I thought the place looked nice and maybe they were Christian, but there was that word abortion on the window, so I was too scared to check it out. After a few months, I went again to pay my bill and felt the urge to enter the doors of Silent Voices. I was overwhelmed with the realization that they were doing exactly what I felt God wanted me to do! I was in school and a new mom, but three years later I entered the doors again and began volunteering.
After thirteen years of dedicated service, I now have the opportunity to share the work we do with the community and surrounding churches. I have been blessed with a position as the Development and Public Relations Manager through the leading of Christ. I say this because every class I took as I transitioned away from a nursing career, had somehow tied into working for a non-profit agency. I thought I was going into the Healthcare Administration field, but God had other plans. I was learning everything I needed to share God’s work with our community.
Each path that I have taken God has led me down to bring me to a better understanding of the trials that come with parenthood in our fallen world. He has given me a message to share and I pray that my voice does not falter, but is lifted up in praise for His undying Mercy and Grace for the lost and weary and encouragement for those who are silent on the issue of abortion. Please pray for me that I may touch the hearts of Pastors, Leaders, Business owners, and Donors as I present God’s plan for Silent Voices, and that I may not succumb to the negativity of opposition and impartiality.