It was the one thing Kaylyn Knopp resolved she’d never do.
Growing up in a tiny town on the Minnesota – North Dakota border, Kaylyn was born into a family with a strong faith. She discovered the issue of abortion in middle school, and was stirred to do something. She became a youthful pro life activist – investing her time and effort in the cause.
But life carried her far from home, and at the age of 19 under frightening pressure from her boyfriend – Kaylyn had an abortion.
After years of grappling with guilt and battling an alcohol addiction, she discovered Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge. As a part of their long term recovery program, she encountered The Conquerors Program from New Life Family Services – an effort that specifically ministers to women with abortion experiences.
Kaylyn explains why, for her, asking God for forgiveness for what had happened was one of the hardest things she’s ever had to do. She explains why: because she knew God would forgive her.
“I knew He would. I didn’t want it. I didn’t feel like I deserved it. Of course, I do. I know that now. But – at the time – I didn’t want His forgiveness. I knew He would give me His grace and I did’t want it – which is very sad when I look back at it.”
Kaylyn had to deal with the shame of what had happened. Going back and revisiting those feelings was something she dreaded, yet something she finally knew she had to do.
“I had shoved this down so deep. I was almost convinced myself that they didn’t even happen.”
“The thought of having to bring these up on top of all these other addiction things I was dealing with just seemed so overwhelming. I came up with every excuse why I didn’t have to do it – because of choir practice or, you know, you name it and it was going to be in the way. It was just silly, but it was the fact that I knew I was going to have to deal with the most shameful part of my life – and the most difficult, horrible decision I felt I had made thus far. And I made a lot of them. So that says a lot.”
Though it wasn’t easy, God’s grace and freedom began to reach her heart through the messages she heard as part of Conquerors.
“I had all kinds of different feelings of shame, but He started to just get through.”
“We had a lot of Bible verses every week that would be relevant to what we were talking about, and I was really getting into my Bible and my faith. Everyone was excited to read the next Bible verse and apply it to how we were feeling, and every week just got a little bit easier – a little bit better and a little more comfortable.”
These days you can find Kaylyn joyfully living out her faith as she uses her gifts as a chef to minister with her church’s sandwich and soup ministry to the homeless. She’s the proud mom of two beautiful kids and a vibrant example of the freedom and redemption found in Jesus.