I work at a church, so I have the privilege of hearing stories of hope and life change through Jesus Christ on a regular basis. It’s impossible to become jaded because we know how precious each life is to God. At the same time, it’s easy for me to think that I’ve heard every type of conversion story there is. Sometimes it takes a particularly powerful story to grab my attention.
Recently a friend of mine sent me a Facebook post from a remarkable woman named Margarita Walker. Her story caught my eye because it’s not just about how her eternity has changed. Walker is also out to change countless other lives as well.
Here’s how her story begins:
I am twenty six and I am the mother of 8 with six being in heaven. I am your prodigal daughter, brought up in a single parent home whose mom was always too tired to hang out, to give affection but always kept a roof over our head. There was no talk about God or mercy, I was left to my own devise. I spent many years, beginning at age 14 addicted to affection from anyone willing to give it to me. I had no standards and had no idea what self-worth was. Each abortion was surrounded by different circumstances, but the main reason for each was because I suffered from HG (hyperemesis gravadarum) which lead me to abort out of desperation.
For those who don’t know, HG is a form of morning sickness that is so severe it leads to dehydration. Women who suffer from HG often have to take fluids intravenously and undergo hospitalization. So it’s easy to see how someone not yet committed to life would react to such a condition.
I reached out to Margarita, and she told me a little more about how she got caught up in the cycle of abortion and the toll her abortions took on her conscience.
“I had given birth to my first child at 15, which my mom already wanted me to abort or give him up for adoption but I refused,” she said. “God changed my mother’s heart about letting me keep and raise my first child.”
“I was pregnant by 16 and because I suffered from moderate/severe HG, but I didn’t know the name for this disease that affects only 1% of pregnant women, I obliged when my mom said I had to abort as I was desperate for relief,” she said. “I went on to get pregnant a total of three times between ages of 16-18 with no emotions connected to the abortions. My three abortions between ages 21-22 involved more guilt as those babies were conceived with a man I cared for deeply and who also wanted children of his own,” she explained. “My fourth abortion I did out of desperation leading to our breakup. My fifth and sixth, I promised to be better, I fought myself not to go get them but with no medical treatment and a deteriorating body, I failed myself, my babies and my boyfriend. This is when I realized I was completely broken, where I had severely failed and didn’t know how to break this cycle.”
In our conversation, Margarita explained to me about her lack of exposure to faith growing up.
“My church attendance was minimal growing up because my mom wasn’t a believer,” she told me. “We went a handful of times because of invitations as a child and I went a few times as a teenager because of a teen mom program I attended at a church.”
Her post goes on:
At 23, just 3.5 years ago, I was exhausted. I was tired of the way I was living, the situations I kept finding myself in and my 6th abortion really weighed heavily on me. I wanted to change but I failed over and over again. Church became my only option so I went for the first time as an adult and I haven’t turned back since. After a month or so of sitting in those seats, my heart began to break and sorrow consumed me. Jesus was the help I needed. He was the strength I lacked, the love I longed for and the sweet embrace I didn’t know I needed. I was baptized Easter Sunday, 2014!
She explained to me in a little more detail about the journey that led her to Jesus.
“I had just googled churches in my area after my sixth abortion because I went through an internal battle to actually stop myself from aborting because of HG before my fifth and sixth abortion,” she said. “When I came to church, I had no reservations about Jesus because I hadn’t heard much about Him. I was tired of giving my body to men, but I was weak and lacked self-control. I hated that I got those abortions and couldn’t stop myself. Jesus was my only hope, a hope I didn’t know existed. His love warmed my cold heart and the forgiveness available to me quickly became my greatest desire. My sin became more evident each Sunday I showed up and it wasn’t more than two months before I was ready to surrender my life to Jesus, making Him the Lord of my life.”
Praise God for the miracle of a changed life! But God wasn’t finished working on Margarita’s heart. In fact, He not only instilled grace and forgiveness in her, but He has also given her a sense of purpose.
She could have simply accepted Christ’s forgiveness and healing and moved on with her life, but she chose instead to commit herself to becoming a champion of life.
“Well, as God has continued to heal me and bless me with an amazing husband, more children, and a great church community, the desire has grown inside me to show up for others,” she told me. “It began back in January with a desire to serve at church, and I ended up leading freshman high school girls for about nine months. I also desired to go visit the same pregnancy center God lead me to at 14. It was a pregnancy resource center that was faith-based and they were the reason why I chose life for my son. I went there this summer and ended up doing volunteer work by speaking life into women facing unplanned pregnancies. Now, I desire to share my story of redemption with others, to share my heart as a grieving mom, also as a post-abortive woman and share that I have become pro-life/pro-love with the help of Jesus. I want to see both mommies and babies saved!”
As she wrote on Facebook:
My heart is still going through healing with God as I face my sin and I will forever grieve over my children but my desire is to show up in the mess, when woman [sic] feel they have no other choice than to abort & encourage them, support them and help them in anyway I can.
I’ve entered the fight against abortion because I know firsthand that innocent lives are taken by the hands of man & it should not even be an option.
Keep praying, keep fighting, stay encouraged! These sweet babies need us to press on in this fight to end abortions!
And how is Margarita today? She’s in a tremendous place spiritually, physically and relationally.
“Today, my soul is well,” she said. “I attend a couples group through my church, Canyon Ridge; they sharpen me and are my godly counsel. My husband and I have been married two and a half years now, growing in love faithfully to one another. My children and I continue to laugh and learn together. I speak to them openly about the pro-life fight along with other controversial topics, allowing them to ask questions and process their thoughts aloud. I work for the school district and begin classes in January for my AA in Nursing which aligns with my heart to show up in the fragile moments of a person’s life, to help and to serve.”
I can’t wait to hear more out of this remarkable lady. I believe Margarita Walker is going to be a tremendous force for the pro-life movement and for the Kingdom of God. Remember her name, because I have a feeling we’re going to be hearing it more and more.