Beauty From Ashes: How God Killed Two Birds With One Stone, Part II

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By now I was in my final year of college and still a single mom; Jeremiah was now 8 years-old. I could see the finish line! I was almost there. The University of North Texas was an hour’s drive for, which was too far given my heavy involvement in my research and whatnot.  So, that spring Jeremiah and I loaded up and moved to Denton, Texas to be near UNT. It was the furthest I had ever lived away from home.  I felt like I had set out on some brave new adventure. It was just the boy and me. I had worked hard for years in school and together, Jeremiah and I were about to conquer the world!

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I remember that time in my life well.  I was living solely on financial aid.  I wasn’t even getting any child support at that time because Jeremiah’s father was in jail.  We had food stamps and Jeremiah was on Medicaid.  I saw welfare as a means to an end.  I didn’t feel bad nor did I feel embarrassed about being where I was at the time.  I swiped my Lone Star card with pride!

Since I didn’t have health insurance, I found out that I qualified for a plan through the county hospital.  One afternoon I was at one of the local clinics…having my lady parts inspected. I was actually there to get an IUD. It had been forever since I was on the pill and I certainly didn’t want to wind up back in the abortion clinic for God’s sake. I knew that I was playing Russian roulette. I knew I had to do something.

My ob/gyn agreed that the IUD was a good option for me. We set up an appointment for me to come back in and have it installed the following month. I remember that it was during that visit that I complained to my doctor about my breast implants. I had had two breast augmentations at the time, one in 1995 and the other in 1997. The doctor who performed my surgery in 1997 almost ruined my entire world and my rockin’ hot bod.   When I woke up from that surgery I discovered that he had made my breasts the size of Dolly Parton’s. I’m not kidding you; I was a teeny-tiny stick figure at the time. I was 5’5″, 120 pounds and that quack had put 850 cc’s in each of my breasts. I felt like a freak show. I felt like Frankentitty.

We had SO MUCH in common!

Both of my breast implants had become encapsulated. Further, I wanted a full reconstruction done but didn’t have an extra $8000 lying around to make it happen. As I discussed it with my doctor that day, we came to the conclusion that because of the encapsulations, the county hospital just might afford me a full reconstruction for almost no charge. It was brilliant.

Much to my surprise, after I left the doctor’s office and was in my car, my cell phone rang. It was the doctor. I had just walked out of her office. She was calling to tell me that she was canceling the appointment for the insertion of the IUD. We’d have to put it off one more month because she wanted me to have an MRI on my breasts. She informed me that she didn’t want any metal in my body during the procedure; apparently the copper wire from the IUD might interfere with the results of my MRI. Although I wanted the IUD, I wanted a new boob job more! And plus, what was one more month going to hurt? I had managed to not get pregnant for over 4 years! I was close to graduation… I would soon be ditching the horrendously enormous tits… I had it all planned out!

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It had been a while since I’d talked to Jake. He was mad at me for something stupid and had been giving me the silent treatment for some time. But again, I wasn’t trippin’. While Jake was a phenomenal creature and had everything going for him, I had quite a bit going for me too. As a matter of fact, God had performed a miracle for me. I was wholly dependent on my financial aid to take care of Jeremiah and me, but during the summer of 2004, for some reason, I wasn’t able to qualify. Wouldn’t you know it, God showed up just in time? I applied for and was one of 9 people from around the United States to be selected as a National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholar. I would be paid over $3000 for both summer sessions to do research (something I loved doing anyway)! I had financial assistance for Jeremiah’s childcare and the campus was just one mile from our new place. The stars were managing to line up for me and my boy! Our dreams were coming true!

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One lovely spring afternoon I was strolling through the campus when I saw something odd. It was enormous and there was a crowd gathered around whatever it was but I could not make it out. About two-stories in size, at first glance I thought it was a giant McDonald’s menu. My curiosity led me toward the massive structure. There was something going and for some reason, my curiosity was piquing out of control. When I got closer this is what I saw:

There were guards around the exhibit. Debates were heating up everywhere. This pro-life exhibit was definitely ruffling some feathers.

When it comes to abortion, you can’t straddle the fence. You are either pro-choice or pro-life. I thought I was somewhere in between at the time, but in reality, I guess I would have to had classified myself as pro-choice. Ultimately, I felt that that if abortion weren’t legal that women would be getting killed in back-alley butcher shops trying to get abortions.

For whatever reason, I felt compelled to walk up and talk to one of the volunteers who was sitting outside the gates of the exhibit. I am not one to push my views on others; you will scarcely find me debating about sensitive issues.

I remember the girl that I spoke with, although I couldn’t tell you her name. She looked really sweet and had a natural, gentle beauty that seemed to define her. I remember she had a tiny cross necklace on. It was evident to me, because of her demeanor alone, that she was a Christian, although this was not a Christian exhibit. We talked for a little bit and I took in the exhibit. As we talked, I opened up to her about my past abortion, something I never spoke about. She didn’t say too much. She just listened to me talk. Somehow or another I felt the Hand of God during that encounter with the volunteer. I had never asked for forgiveness for having an abortion, and I sure as heck didn’t have an ounce of repentance in me for the whole ordeal. But when I walked away from the exhibit, I did. I can’t explain it. It wasn’t guilt or shame… It was just a beautiful conviction… A renewal of my spirit… After walking away from the exhibit I felt I was seeing the world with a different set of eyes. I didn’t know I needed any healing, but I felt healed in some cosmic way.

As a matter of fact, I felt so transformed that afterward I met up with some of my best friends to tell them about my experience. We were all scholars on a particular research team at the university. All of them were amazing girls, but in hindsight, I noticed that these gals were liberal as hell. I say that with a chuckle because I loved them all (and still love them all) so much. They were my sisters, but they were also modern-day hippies.

I shared with the girls what I had experienced, which opened a discussion. For the first time ever I found myself taking a stance against abortion. I had known so many girls, particularly from my stripper days, who seriously used abortion as a form of birth control. I’m not a judgmental person, but I’m also not ok with the fact that you’ve had 8 abortions. I learned that day that I did consider an unborn child a human life. I acknowledged it had a soul. Something changed in me that day.

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Things were great in my life. I had the best kid in the universe, I had escaped stripperdom, I was about to—against ALL odds—graduate from college, with honors. I mean, life was good and the wind was at my back. I was sure I could do anything at that point. As a matter of fact, I was a Psychology major and I had just made the decision to stay in school and get my doctorate. I was going to be a clinical psychologist!

Wouldn’t you know something had to happen to rain on my parade? I mean, damn… I hadn’t been keeping track of my periods in quite some time, but I had this feeling that it had been a good while since I had had one. I waited… I waited some more, but the mofo never came. So I did what any girl would do, I took a pregnancy test.

Actually, I took many pregnancy tests. Wouldn’t you know that all of them were POSITIVE??? I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience as I read the results over and over and over. It was surreal, and I felt as if I had just been hit by a locomotive.

This was bad… I mean, this was really, really, really bad. I felt like a trapped rat as I began to mentally explore my options.

I had always told everyone that I met that I was a single mother. My mother was a single mother, so I saw single mom’s as strong, heroic women. What I didn’t tell anyone was that I felt like I had cheated Mother Nature somehow with Jeremiah.

There could not have been an easier child to raise. Oh my word, that child was a Lamb of God. Plus, I had managed to escape the karma that my mother had always cursed me with. I had it coming bad for being such a wretched teenager. What in God’s green earth was I going to do now?

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Was I the girl I was in 2000 when I had my last abortion?  No.  Absolutely not.  And was it an accident that the doctor had cancelled my appointment to get the IUD or that I had seen and been transformed by the exhibit?  No.  Absolutely not.

God had touched my life.  He had prepared me for this.  I was having this child.  There was no doubt about it.  I didn’t have a clue how I was going to pull it off, but I would make it…somehow.

But what about Jake?  I had to tell him.  So on May 4th, 2004, I sent Jake the following email:

Jake,

You and I really need to talk. If you choose, I can write you a letter, but I think it may be better to talk to you in person.  That’s just my gut feeling; I may be wrong.  I have a final in the morning at 10:30 and won’t be available until tomorrow, after this test.  If you choose to delete my message and not reply in anyway that is your choice, but be warned that you are making a big mistake.  Again, this is not some tactic…this is “really” serious.  I don’t have time for games.

Ava

Much to my astonishment, I didn’t receive a reply.   This pissed me off, so I sent another email (this one not so delicate):

Jake,
Since you have chosen to completely ignore me I have no other choice but to tell you this way.  I have no desire to see you or speak to you about this.  My respect for you has gone out the window
It is the consensus of all who know about this that I have a “responsibility” to inform you.  Consider it done; it’s just ONE less thing I have to worry about.  I would have been a little more sensitive about telling you but you denied me (and yourself) that opportunity.
There is no possible way that you are not the father as you were the only person that I had sex with even close to the time of conception.  But don’t worry…the Attorney General’s office will provide a “complimentary” DNA testing when the time comes.  I found out a while ago and have taken several home tests and have seen my doctor.  My due date is the 29th of December.  I am not happy at all, I am very afraid; my nerves are more screwed up han you could even imagine.  However, I will continue to put my faith in the Lord and acknowlege that He doesn’t make mistakes.
Your selfishness, snobbery, and complete disregard for my feelings in general have absolutely blown me away.  If it weren’t for this issue, I would have “completely” written you off after you said such hateful things to me the last time I had contact with you, especially after I asked your forgiveness.  That is all I have to say to you.  I am “livid” with you Jake–you just have no idea. 
Ava

Ol’ boy still didn’t repond.  What was going on?  Weeks later I spoke to his brother.  His nonchalant attitude toward me told me that Jake must not have told him.  I was so confused.  Finally, I boldly let the cat out of the bag.  I, with a fierce barage of hormones cheering me on informed his brother that I was pregnant.  Further, I unloaded on his brother as to how furious I was that I had told Jake a month prior and that he had chosen to ignore me.  His brother’s response: “Let me call you right back.”  I knew he was calling Jake.

In no time, I received an email from Jake that read, “My brother says you have something to tell me.”  I wanted to write back and say, “Why yes, dipshit.  I certainly do.”  But I chose to take the high road.

As it turned out, he had blocked my email address.  Why, you ask?  Well this is the part that’s kind of humorous, I suppose.  Additionally, it’s a tad bit gross.

Since I was a child I have possessed an affinity for picking at things on the bodies of those I love.  Yes, I know it’s a sickness, but I’m a picker.  Each and every time my teenage son has a mild outbreak of acne on his face, my eyes light up….and he runs the other direction.  I’m not kidding, I honestly should have been a dermatologist.  Do you know how many videos on ruptured cysts and boil removals that I’ve watched on YouTube?  I would love to be able to do that and get paid for it.  The science of the human body; it’s fascinating to me.

To make a long story short, the last time I had had a rendezvous with Jake, he had a pervasive (awesome) cyst on his back.  Alrighty…so remember I was over the moon with my Berringer that night, so I advised him that I would help him. 

A day later I received a nasty email from Jake.  He informed me that the cyst was 10 times larger and that he was in serious pain.   He advised me that he wanted no further contact with me (lol). From there he blocked me.  So, he could have actually known about our baby earlier, were it not for that damned cyst (glorious as it was)!

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Although Jake has more than stepped up to the plate these days, he wasn’t so considerate before Jonah was born.  It was a devastatingly depressing, lonely 9 months and I was often sick.  As it turned out, I would not see Jake for a single day of my pregnancy.  I saw him the night of conception, and then I saw him the night his son was born.

So if you read my last 2 posts, you’d see that I lost a child to abortion on October 7, 2000.  Praise the Holy, Soverign name of the Almighty Lord that I didn’t lose this one!  On December 22, 2004, I delivered this little man:

I was severely depressed and unhappy when I was pregnant with him.  However, the moment I saw his beautiful face, I was in love.  I was absolutely, madly, head-over-heels in love!  This baby literally took my breath away.

I had Jonah between the Fall of ’04 and Spring of ’05 semesters.  I remember during the spring semester that I was taking an ancient literature class.  I have fond memories of bouncing Jonah around–while he was attached to my chest in one of those baby strap on things–reading “Gilgamesh” to him in a tone that was a little like Dr. Suess or “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?”  Raising two kids without a husband was not an easy task, but I proved to myself and everyone else that I could do it.  The road has been really hard, but it’s been absolutely worth the ride.  I’d do it all over again if I had to.

My extraordinary children, Jeremiah & Jonah

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I’d like to give props to the organization who boldly sets up exhibits like the ones you saw earlier on college campuses around the United States.  It may offend many.  However, it saved my baby.  It saved him.  I cannot help but collapse to my knees and praise Jesus for that.  My child could have very easily been a nameless angel, sent right straight back to God.  But he wasn’t

The name of the organization who I encountered on that beautiful, spring day in 2004 is Justice For All.  Many years ago I looked them up and sent them an email expressing my gratitude.  I sent with it a photo of Jonah.

Would you believe that the Executive Director, David Lee contacted me immediately.  He and his increidble posse asked to meet with us and take us to breakfast.  It was a wonderful time. 

Some people would call my friends whack jobs, or at best, extremists.  I don’t care.  You should have seen the look in their eyes when they met Jonah for the first time.  As a matter of fact, here’s what happened to the photo that I sent to the organization:

He became a little poster child for the organization.  The photo above was used on Facebook to promote the cause.  Out of “800” challenge causes, Justice for All placed 6th, raising over $25,000 in 2009.  My child has a purpose.  Every child has a purpose. 

I spoke with the Executive Director, David Lee on the phone today.  He told me that he’s been traveling all around teaching teens about abortion.  He said, “I want these kids to know about abortion before they’re even in a position to ever consider one.”  I found his words poetic.  I feel that this organization gets to the root of the root on this controversial issue.  They’re solid Christian people who are peaceful.  They don’t go around blowing up clinics. I feel like they give people the facts beforehand.  Because friend, I can say with absolute certainty that the abortion clinic that I went to in 2000 did not give me all the facts.  If you have a moment, please check out Justice for All’s webpage at http://www.jfaweb.org/HOME.html

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As for Jake and I, although we never went on on a date prior to Jonah being born, we became very close.  God killed two stubborn, hell-bent birds with one, single stone.  For me, he began a transformation in me that would eventually cause me to abandon my sexual promiscuity.  Further, through my relationship with Jake, I would learn my own self worth and how to begin to let go of a lifetime of crippling insecurity.

Jake is doing well now too.  He married a few years ago and is expecting another child within the next couple of weeks.  Through our experience together, Jake abandoned a deeply involved lifestyle of sexual addiction.  After Jonah was born, we began going to church together.  What’s more, Jake would eventually  accept Christ as his Savior and be baptized in my church.  To this day he still says that I am responsible for his salvation.  Do you know how much this means to me?  After all, he is the father of my son.

God can do inexplicable, aweinspiring things in our lives if we’ll just step back and let him have the reigns.  As humans, we carry so much unnecessary weight that we simply do not need to carry.  Jesus paid the price.  It is done.  We can put our worries and burdens at the foot of the Cross and leave them there.  If your situation seems impossible, I can tell you, mine did too.  Beloved, ALL things are possible with Christ Jesus.  Know that.  So whatever you’re carrying today, LET IT GO!  Surrender and give it to the Lord.  He will not fail you…He can’t. 

All my love,

Ava

About Ava Elizabeth Wisdom

Greetings Beloved, I am a 41-year old single mother of two boys. I was a stripper for almost a decade and have lived the kind of life that parallels something you'd see in a movie. I not only partied like a rock star, I literally partied with rock stars. I stopped dancing in 2000 and began college when my oldest was 4. Shortly after turning my life back over to the Lord and beginning my academic career at the university, my precious mother, a former Fort Worth Police officer committed suicide. When I found her, she had been dead for 3 days. I did her hair, make-up, got her dressed, and had her nails filled for her viewing and funeral. In spite of my appearance and way with men, I have never been married. Rejection and abandonment have seemed to define me since conception when my biological father deserted my mother as soon as he found out she was carrying me. I am a recovering co-dependent with a heart so big that I have to be cautious so that I don't exhaust myself in focusing on and giving to others. I was a very angry child who grew up in a violent, dysfunctional home so I haven't always loved others from the depths of my heart. However, after the loss of my loved ones, I learned that time is fleeting and that you never know when you're going to see someone for the last time. So now, I am quick to love others and strive to maximize each second that I have with the ones I love. In spite of my sin and my struggles with men, drugs, and alcohol, my faith defines me. I could never deny Christ because at the times of my life when I had everything stripped away I could literally feel Him with me. I love to write and pray that this blog will inspire you and draw you closer to the heart of God. Ava Elizabeth Wisdom

9 responses »

      • I came back to re-read this again! Amazing story! I see a movie here! At the very least..
        YOU my dear, have a book inside of you somewhere!!! We will have to work on our books together!

      • You have got to be kidding me. You read this stuff twice? Sometimes you just leave me speechless…. ❤

        OK, so I've determined that Arlene lives in California…and I live in Fort Worth, TX. What part of the country are you in?

        I am going to put you on my blogroll. And another woman who has really touched my heart on his is Sabina Klutsey. Her blog is sabstory.wordpress.com. You should follow her, if you don't already.

        THANK YOU for reading my posts and encouraging me. I would love it if we could work on our books togehter someday!

        Love you,
        Ava

    • Sabina, you have unabounding beauty, both internally and externally. You inspire me in ways that I cannot begin to tell you. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my “incredibly” long posts!! lol! And by the way, are you in England? If so that is “so” cool. I studied in Greece and was in Paris for a couple of days… I’ve never been to England though and have always wanted so badly to go.

      Anyway, have a Divinely inspired, blessed day. Continue to glorify Him….

      Love,
      Ava

      • Hmm, I didn’t even notice they were long! You’re telling me! I simply love them! Whatever you do, don’t stop writing…God will continue to use you to reach more people than you could possibly imagine… Well I’m not in England…. I’m where you were for a ‘couple of days’ lol.

        Love,
        Sabina

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