Paula never expected that Wednesday night would end tragically. Yet even through the unimaginable, Paula says God redeemed her story and brought her a blessing through her pain.
Paula was gang raped by her date and his roommate, and says she felt she was “left trying to pick up the pieces of my life.” She later found out she was pregnant.
Despite her circumstances, Paula saw her child as a blessing.
“People always say, oh that baby’s just a reminder. And on some level I agree. He’s not a reminder of the rape that I endured. He’s a reminder though. He reminds me every day that God’s love is bigger than anything bad that can ever happen to us. Because what happened in my life is that I encountered evil in the world, and God redeemed that and gave me the greatest gift that I could have ever been given in the little boy that I have.”
Though her family showed her love and support, they were across the country while Paula was living in Memphis, Tennessee. The people in her life she thought she could trust the most—her friends and co-workers where she was on staff at a local church—shamed Paula for her decision to carry her baby to term. Throughout her pregnancy, they put immense pressure on her to have an abortion.
Paula’s pregnancy was lonely and difficult, and she feared she would have a miscarriage. She recalls that during this time, the people she needed the most for support still refused to accept that she wanted to carry her child. They would say hateful things, devaluing the life of her child because he was conceived in rape—nor realizing that Paula was also conceived in rape.
Despite the pressure and lack of compassion she received, Paula stayed strong and welcomed her healthy baby boy. “He is everything to me. He is my joy. He is my healing. God knew exactly what I needed,” Paula said.
Paula shared this encouragement for someone who is facing an unplanned pregnancy:
“You are braver than you ever thought. You are stronger than you ever thought. You have within you the ability to do hard things. Our culture minimizes our strength as women and tells us that we need abortion to be successful, and that we need abortion to do anything in life that could ever make us happy or healthy or feel stable and secure. And the truth is, abortion does the opposite. Having our children is empowering. The most empowering thing you can do is to succeed with your child…There are thousands of people just waiting to help you.”
Today Paula serves as the Executive Director for Hope after Rape Conception, a non-profit dedicated to assisting mothers who have suffered from rape. Her story has been featured by Live Action, Life Site News, and many more pro-life news sources.
You can hear Paula share her story with us in the latest episode of The Empowered Advocate podcast.You can reach out to Paula by visiting hopeafterrapeconception.org, or by contacting The Pregnancy Network at the pregnancy network.org.