My name is Justine Norman. I am a recovering alcoholic. I chose life over abortion. I am 1 in 4 who have experienced a miscarriage. And I am currently suffering with Postpartum Depression. This is my story.
I started drinking leisurely when I was in high school. Once I was out on my own, I tried community college, but wasn’t committed to staying in school. I ultimately dropped out of college, moved in with a boyfriend, and this is when my drinking picked up. I was a waitress so my schedule basically consisted of working evenings/nights, going to the bar across the street until it closed, and then I could sleep all day. I dabbled in some drugs when they were around at parties but drinking was my kryptonite.
Eventually I ended working at NASA as a Project Support Specialist, because I had family who worked there and helped me get in the door. Once I started working there, I completely stopped with the drugs, but I just could not stop the drinking. While I was working here, I ended up breaking up with the boyfriend that I was living with and because I have this overwhelming fear of being alone, the drinking reached an all time high.
I met my husband, Dave, in a bar the end of May 2013. He was nothing when I met him, he came with the clothes on his back and an 18-pack of beer and… never left my apartment. We drank the same way so it worked, I guess.We drank the same way so it worked, I guess.Click To Tweet
I was eventually fired in July that same year because of my drinking. This was devastating to my family because not only did my being fired hurt my own life, but it hurt those who had helped me get the job in the first place. After I got fired I went on a really bad bender for about 2 weeks. Since my mom was on vacation when I got fired, I had to be the one to tell her before she went back to work. When I went to the house to tell her, I realized I had a problem, I needed help.
This lead to my decision to get sober which influenced my husband to do the same. From May up until this point, we had never been sober together, and so we didn’t really even know each other. My intent was to go back to my apartment and drink all the alcohol that was left and then get me in to Pathways, a rehabilitation center. But what actually happened was when I came back to my apartment, I instead dumped all the alcohol down the drain, which as an alcoholic is… scary.I realized I had a problem, I needed help.Click To Tweet
My husband took a few more days to decide to sober up and that made it extremely hard for me to be around him. One day I came home and told him that if he drinks he had to go, because I was really trying here.
I couldn’t get into Pathways until August, and when I got there, they decided that I only needed intensive outpatient care. This consisted of me going there 3-4 days a week for 3 hours and to start attending Alcoholics Anonymous. My husband and I started going to AA together, and it’s really been working for us. We will be 5 years sober this July.
Right after we got sober, I got pregnant. I didn’t find out that I was pregnant until October because I was missing a couple of periods. I was not employed and my husband was working for minimum wage. We decided to go to the Pregnancy Clinic just to get a test for confirmation. My husband had been told before that he couldn’t have kids, so we were mainly there as a formality to take a test and find out why I had been missing my period. We were sitting in the waiting room and I remember looking down the hallway and us joking that the “abortion monster” was back there and would try to get us if we went back there.Right after we got sober, I got pregnant.Click To Tweet
So the nurse comes back and she says “you’re pregnant” and I blacked out. I never even considered this as a possibility and I didn’t know what to do. Before they even tested me, they asked me what I would do if I found out that I was pregnant. I told them that adoption was not an option because I couldn’t live my life knowing that my child was out in the world and I wasn’t raising her. I said, “I’m broke, I am so new to sobriety, I wouldn’t be a good mother, I would have an abortion”. This was Monday October 8th.
The clinic asked me to come back the next day for a viability ultrasound to see if I could even have the baby. Privately, my husband was internally ecstatic because he was told he could never have kids. He said “It’s your body, I support you with whatever you decide, but I want this baby”.
So I made the appointment, and went home that night, and that was the first time I really prayed. I prayed from the moment I walked out the doors of the clinic to the moment I came back the next day and I just kept saying “I don’t know why this is happening, I don’t know what you want me to do, but just tell me, and I WILL DO IT, because I have no other options but to trust you, right now.”“It’s your body, I support you with whatever you decide, but I want this baby”Click To Tweet
I told Dave as we walked into the clinic the next morning that I didn’t want to hear the heartbeat, and thank God they didn’t ask. They just pushed a button and there it was. I looked at Dave and I said “There’s our baby”. It was in that moment that I heard Christ saying “Trust me, everything is going to be okay”.
So I waited to tell my family to make sure that I didn’t miscarry. When I finally told them, they freaked out and were pretty disappointed. They didn’t like my, at the time, boyfriend, now husband. They didn’t like that he had a past, and they didn’t trust him with me. But God took this opportunity to work on everyone’s hearts and eventually we were accepted as a family. When our daughter, Kaylee, was born the following May, 2014, she was the greatest blessing to our entire family.
When she was first born, I struggled a lot with thinking that my child was going to think that I didn’t want her. But I eventually realized that it’s not that I never wanted her, but it is that I never thought I deserved to have her. She changed our life, the Pregnancy Clinic changed our lives. My daughter was my first glimpse of a blessing of obedience from God.My daughter was my first glimpse of a blessing of obedience from God.Click To Tweet
Fast forward to Kaylee’s first Easter, we decided to try church for the first time. We ended up at Lighthouse Church and I was so moved by the Holy Spirit that day that I got baptized on the spot. Of course right after I was baptized Satan moved on the unstable ground in our home and used this as an opportunity to keep us from going back. I wasn’t fully prepared for that, and I wasn’t even fully aware that it was happening.
It was August 2015 and Kaylee and I were at my grandmother’s house when my husband calls. He said “I don’t know why but I just have this overwhelming feeling that I need to go to church. So I’m going to go right now” So he goes to Lighthouse, he calls me again afterwards and he says “I got everything I needed, and more. We are going to start going to church as a family every Sunday”. Okay.
So we started going to church regularly, and well, we were behind in rent. So we reached out to the church and met with the benevolence team. That’s when my husband turned his life to Jesus. That’s when he got saved. He came home with a new believer’s kit and everything. We paid our rent and then our landlord tells us we have to move within 30 days. We found the perfect place for us in Calvert County. It’s far away from everything, but it’s great for us.“I got everything I needed, and more. We are going to start going to church as a family every Sunday”Click To Tweet
About a year and a half after Kaylee was born, I had actually gotten pregnant while using and IUD. I realized one day when I was hurdled over with pain and had to be driven to the hospital. When I found out I was pregnant, I was like “Really? We were trying to prevent this” and it was like God was saying You can’t prevent want I want to happen. I ended up having a miscarriage when the doctor removed it and it definitely made me feel like I did want to have more children one day.
Once we started really going to church, we attend the LH101 partnership class, LHU doctrine class, and we really wanted to get more involved. We were interested in serving in the LH Kids ministry. We were talking with the Kids Ministry Lead and she said “you guys are great, but… you’re not married”. We had been engaged forever, since September 2015, but this was our first “Why don’t you just get married?” moment.“Why don’t you just get married?”Click To Tweet
It was then that Dave was getting more involved with the men’s ministry, attending a men’s small group and things of that nature. One of the elders at our church was talking with him and said “well, you guys are abstinent right?” to which my husband responded with “Um.. we have a kid, no we’re not” and was told “You need to be”. Dave came home that night and said to me that we needed to abstain from sex and that we were going to start doing that. And we did, for the next 6 months until we got married.
We were married on February 24, 2017 we could feel that God’s hands were all over this day. Not everything went according to plan though due to an accident, some of our guests did not make it to the ceremony on time. But, my groom was there, my dad was there to walk me down the aisle, and Pastor John was there to marry us, and everything was more than I could have asked for.
We started serving in LH kids the following weekend. My husband is now (2018) a Kids Lead, and I am about to enter back into serving because we just had our second baby which caused me some severe postpartum depression. We got pregnant with Addison right after our wedding, She was born December 2017 and one thing we have realized that our first did not prepare us for our second. But everyday we are learning. When I got diagnosed with the PPD I remember thinking, it’s okay, God’s going to get me through this heavy dip in my faith, and this is just going to be another part of my testimony of God’s hand in my life.
So here we are now, married, two beautiful daughters, sober almost five years, and serving in the Kids ministry at our church, as well as volunteering by speaking at events and helping with the Pregnancy Clinic. Instead of focusing on saving babies, we plant the seeds of the gospel in the lives of these women to see if it lands on fertile ground, that maybe we can save some unborn lives. But even if these women do choose abortion, this could eventually lead them to Christ and though one life may have been lost, another will be saved in eternity.
If you are, or know someone who is, pregnant and considering abortion, I strongly recommend looking into the Pregnancy Clinic. This clinic has completely changed my life. It was a turning point for me that led me to my own salvation, and my family’s salvation. It’s like we just woke up one day and we knew who God was. It truly is amazing.
My daughter Kaylee was the blessing that showed me the true love of God.
If you have any questions about abortion, I would love to talk to you.
You can contact me here:
You can contact the Pregnancy Clinic directly HERE