Choose Grace International | Kay Lyn Carlson’s Story of Grace
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Kay Lyn Carlson’s Story of Grace

“We can choose to live a life in shame and regret, or we can choose His grace which is sufficient for all.”

– Kay Lyn Carlson

It’s incredible how many women share their abortion story after hearing mine. They nod their heads in agreement when I speak about the seemingly ever present depression and inconsolable grief, intrusive nightmares, paralyzing anxiety, occasional waves of feeling like I want to die, feeling like I murdered my child, etc. I mistakenly thought I was alone in my shame and despair only to discover there are thousands, maybe millions, who have experienced similar reactions to their abortion(s).


My story is not unique — having unexpectedly gotten pregnant and are shocked–experiencing the typical feelings and questions associated with an unplanned pregnancy, including:


  • Identity – How and why did I let myself get into this situation? What will others think of me?
  • Future – Would anyone want to marry a single woman with a child? What does this mean for my dreams of going to college and a getting a career?
  • Reputation – I was popular, still in high school, prideful, self-centered, and didn’t want to be known as being promiscuous.
  • Rejection – My Dad had said that if I got myself pregnant that he “would kick me out of the house so fast…”
  • Judgment – “What would the neighbors think?” was often the mantra in my parents’ home growing up. And I knew how church people viewed out of wedlock pregnancy in our congregation. The looks, the sneers. The gossip. I wanted to save myself and my family the shame and embarrassment.
  • Security – Where would I live? How could I make ends meet at 17? Where would I go? What would I do?


To be clear, I believed in God and Jesus Christ. But, my understanding of God was negatively skewed. I blindly saw Him as angry, judgmental, and unforgiving regarding the ultimate sin of taking an innocent life. Instead of running to Him, I fearfully ran away from Him.


For years, I suffered silently – alone. Whatever I tried, I could not get past the darkness and hollowness in my soul. I was terrified to seek help. I would often say to myself, “If they only knew…” I lived behind a mask in fear, shame, and despair. Finally, “when the pain outweighed the shame” I sought professional Christian counseling and began my healing journey.


Looking back, I think I just cried for the first two sessions! Once the tears subsided, I began talking and examining the circumstances surrounding my decision, the lies I clung to, and the insurmountable amount of pressure that was felt that led to my decision.


I went from begging God to take my life (that I didn’t want to live any longer) to praising Him for the renewed joy I had received through Jesus Christ. I came to see that grace is a choice and that for years I had rejected God’s free offering. It took me a long time to believe that God could still love and want ME and forgives ALL sin, even mine.


After my counseling process was concluded I went back to college to obtain a Social Work degree. I did not want other women (or men) to suffer like I had suffered and wanted to help others as I had been graciously helped.


That passion remains today. I am humbled and determined to assist leading others to the truth and to the One who will “wipe away every tear.” 

“The Empty Womb”