Confessions of an Exorcist

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I remember being scared out of my mind when watching the 1973 horror classic, The Exorcist.  So I decided to interview Dr. David Appleby, who performs exorcisms.  Most exorcisms (or deliverances) are not like the movie.  Read his story below.

I interview Dr. David Appleby, founder and president of Spiritual Interventions, Inc., which is based in Lynchburg, VA.  Dave is also a graduate counseling professor and pastoral counselor.  He has been involved in the deliverance ministry for more than 35 years.

Heather’s note: Dave doesn’t see like a demon-slayer: he has warm and kind brown eyes and has a very fatherly way about him.  He’s also very soft-spoken.  But don’t let that fool you.  In addition to being super smart, well-educated, and possessing an impressive professional pedigree, he gets rid of things that literally go bump in the night.  People come from around the world to see him, after they’ve tried just about everything.  He then performs an exorcism (or deliverance, in evangelical Christian terms) on them, and their whole life changes for the better.  Below is his story:

Do you consider yourself an exorcist?

By definition an exorcist is one who is able to cast out demons or spirits.  It is usually a word associated with the Catholic tradition.  Protestants often use  the word deliverance, or deliverance ministry.   That would be me.

How in the world did you end up in this line of work?

When I was an associate pastor I was responsible for providing counseling services for my church.  I kept running into good solid Christian people who apparently weren’t able to overcome their problems when I used the standard psychological or spiritual protocols.  I knew that I was missing something so I went back into the Scriptures to look for indications of supernatural change.  I saw that change occur when demonic spirits were cast out.  Back in the 1980s there were no books explaining how to do deliverance available (though there were several who made a case for it) so I just started experimenting.  After 35+ years I’ve developed a methodology that seems to work consistently.  I got into the field because nothing else was helping my clients.

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Dr. David Appleby has developed a model he has been using for 35 years to help people with demonic oppression.

Please describe your typical client?

Our clients are all Christians.  We won’t work with anyone who is not. Deliverance is for believers.  Why would one who has refused to be submitted to the Lord want, or hope to be set free from things when their whole attitude is in rebellion against the one who can provide their freedom?  Plus, if you remember the story from the Scriptures about the strong man and the stronger man.  When the house was cleaned out but not filled, the stronger man could come back with others that were seven times worse than the ones that were there to begin with.  Why would we do that to anyone?  Please see my book, It’s Only a Demon, for a more detailed explanation.

We see men and women, children and adults, professional people and not so professional people, the wealthy and the poor.  We see the physically and emotionally well and those who are not.  We see a huge range of clients.  The consistent factor is often that they have been damaged in some way, which in turn, opened the door to demonization.

What are some symptoms of spiritual oppression?

There are many.  First, feelings of shame or guilt that don’t resolve, accusatory voices in the mind that won’t stop, ungodly coping mechanisms (such as cutting, binge drinking, drug use) that just make the situation worse, difficulty making connections with people and with God, recurring nightmares or thoughts that disrupt sleep, and sins that don’t yield to traditional spiritual disciplines like meditation, prayer, fasting.

Some of this will be psychologically based, some physiologically based, and some spiritually based.

Here are a few more: a feeling that your life is not your own and that something else is working against you, personal or family problems that don’t respond to therapy, physical or psychological problems that don’t respond to medication, and finally, an inability to really, truly change.

How do you specifically make the demons leave the person? 

I don’t have the authority to make anything leave anyone.  As believers, however, we have all been given the authority by our Savior to command these things to leave in the name of Jesus.  When we do that in faith, and stand firm, they go, not because they want to, but because they have to.  Sometimes, however, we have to address the situations where these things gained access to the client before we can move forward.  It is only through the name of Jesus Christ (and his power) that a client can be set free.  While he is fully human, he is also the Son of God.  He created everything that is, including Satan and his demonic kingdom.  He defeated death when he died on the cross and rose from the dead.  In him we find life and supernatural authority over demonic spirits.

So you’re telling me that some Christians are under the influence of demons.  How does this happen?

Oppression is a non-biblical term that believers have decided to us to describe some level of demonic involvement that keeps the demon outside of the believer.  If you don’t believe that a believer can be demonized you have to have some explanation of what is taking place in the person.  Saying that the person is oppressed keeps the demon on the outside so you don’t have to deal with the theological issues.  The common doorways are generational (coming down through family lines), occult involvement (such as Ouiji boards, divination, witchcraft, sorcery, false religions, Masonic involvement in the family, drug use), trauma and victimization (physical, emotional, sexual, and verbal abuse, abandonment or betrayal by parents or loved ones, etc.), and long-term sin (a commitment to disobedience).

So there are four doorways for demonic oppression.  What is the most common one you’ve seen?

Trauma and victimization is the most common.  We are constantly astonished how many children are traumatized by their families and sexually assaulted by friends and family members.  When a person finds himself/herself traumatized, victimized, and isolated, with no support from the people who are supposed to care for them, they can become prey for the Enemy.

What are some of the strangest things that you’ve ever seen during your sessions?

Physically I have seen people act like spiders and try to climb up a wall, writhing on the ground, screaming, changes in voice and mannerism, etc.  Just a variety of weird stuff.

Can you elaborate on this a bit more?  I know there was a young man you mentioned in your book where it took you several men to pin him down.  Can you give at least one more example of odd/crazy behavior?

One time I was speaking at a conference where I normally do a public deliverance at the end of the training.  Actually seeing what takes place during a deliverance helps to normalize the experience for those observing.  It also normally makes people more comfortable with the thought of them joining a team and participating in the ministry.

In any case, in preparation for the conference, I asked the host to find someone who was willing to have a public deliverance.   The host was such a believer and had such confidence in God’s ability to deliver people that he went out and found the worst client that he could find.  What I did not realize at the time was that my client was about 6’ 4”, weighed about 300 lbs., and had a long history of mental illness.  He had also just been released from a mental hospital that morning.  He had also not attended the conference, nor was he a Christian.  I had no idea about any of this.  I try not to work with openly mentally-ill people in public settings as it often leads to a whole other level of complexity that is not helpful in a teaching setting.

In any case, all the attendees were sitting in rows behind me while I was sitting in a chair facing him.  He was an enormous, powerful man.  The first part of the deliverance went well.  When I addressed the demon, however, things deteriorated rapidly.  Suddenly he stood up, put his face about four inches from mine and began roaring, I mean screaming with a power and volume that was new to me.  I could feel his breath and spittle on my face.  After he got finished roaring at me he stood up, still screaming, and moved to the back of the room, where he started picking up and tossing chairs and tables around.  I sat in my chair without moving silently praying, “Lord, big angels, big angels.  Lord, big angels.”   Eventually he calmed down and told the host that he had to leave as he had to go to work.  He walked out the door.

The observers, who were sitting behind me, didn’t say a word the whole time as they sat there in total shock.  Needless to say, there were not many people who were interested in joining me in the deliverance ministry after that.  🙂

Another time, my team and I were working with a young woman who was suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder (Sometimes what appear to be alters are actually demonic spirits.  Other times they are legitimate alters; parts of a fragmented personality.)  In the midst of this deliverance I excused myself to go to the bathroom while a colleague continued working with her.  When I came back into the room I recognized that something unexpected had happened.  In the midst of the deliverance the main personality, with whom we were working, disappeared and a pure demonic spirit took its place. It was not fettered by the presence of a human personality.  As soon as I walked into the room it recognized me and began to speak to me.  As it spoke every hair on my body stood up as an overwhelming sense of evil and terror filled the room.  It then went on to suggest all kinds of sexual things that I could do to myself.  It was a little unsettling.  In any case, we went ahead and removed this spirit and several others.  When we finished, our client was completely healed and never again had any episodes of dissociation.  In this case, what appeared to be alters were actually demonic spirits.  That is not always the case.

I hesitate to mention these extreme examples, as they tend to reinforce the Hollywood stereotype of what deliverance looks like.  Events such as mentioned above almost never occur.  I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times such incidences occur out of literally thousands of deliverances.  When these manifestations begin to occur I just tell them to shut up and sit down and they do.  We have authority.

Have you ever been afraid during or after a deliverance session?

Rarely, mainly startled, because sometimes the unexpected can happen pretty quickly.   Plus, I do have big angels (I am told).

Have you ever encountered a demon you could not cast out?

I have discovered that I cannot cast a demon out of someone who wants to keep it or who refuses to submit themselves to the Lord.  I can’t help that person.  I have encountered situations where I was unable to figure out what needed to be done in order to cast the demonic spirit out so we were not successful.  Over the years we have, by God’s grace, become more discerning and have seen more success.  We now just assume that the demonic spirits will be gone by the time we get finished working.  That regularly proves to be true.

Can you tell me, briefly, about principalities?

These creatures, along with powers, thrones, and rulers, are mentioned in only a few places in the Scriptures ( Rom. 8:38; Eph. 3:10, 6:12; Col. 1:16, 2:15, and Tit. 3:1).  Not much is said about them.  I believe (and this is just my opinion) is that they are the same creatures that are referred to as Celestial Beings in 2 Peter 2:10 and Jude 8.  They appear to be demons or angels of a higher order that are often responsible for overseeing specific territories or have specific responsibilities.  Sometimes they find their way into people.  We are able to help people remove them.

Does your ministry do anything else such as clearing out peoples houses of ghosts, or other paranormal activities?

Sure.  I do that on occasion, as people request.  When I do, the manifestations stop.

What are ghosts, and do you believe in them?

The Bible is really unclear about it so I leave the question open.  When the Witch of Endor called up Samuel at Saul’s request it was apparently really Samuel.  Would he have been a ghost? Probably.  That is the only place in the whole Scripture where such activity is recorded.  I suspect that most of what people encounter aren’t ghosts, but familiar spirits acting like ghosts.

We’ve all seen movies with Catholic priests reading from the Bible, using holy water, and symbols like the crucifix. How is what you do similar or different compared to this? 

Sometimes we will read the Scriptures, sometimes anoint with oil, sometimes lay hands on the person.  I’ve not used holy water or the crucifix, but others have with some success.  Bless them.  We try to do nothing unless we are directed to do so by the Holy Spirit.

What is the actual deliverance process like, and who is typically on your team?

Not generally dramatic.  Quiet.  Intense.  Fun.  Lasting about three to four hours.  Successful.  My team consists of men and women, some in their 20s and some in their 70s, all of whom love the Lord and are delighted to have found a place where their unique spiritual gifts can be respected and utilized.  Each one blesses the other.  It’s wonderful.  Please see the book for more detail.

Is the devil real? 

I think so.  It is hard to look around the world and not see the fruit of evil surrounding us.  If you believe in good, it is hard not to believe in evil.  Whether or not that good is personalized as God or the evil as Satan is a matter of opinion.  Since the Holy Spirit is the one who convicts of sin, I don’t spend much time trying to convince others one way or the other.  I am too busy seeing people be set free.  🙂

What does it mean to be possessed?

Bad word, as it springs from a bad translation of the Greek in the KJV of the Bible.  Better translation would be demonized (which says nothing about ownership), which means being under the control or influence of a demonic spirit.

Do you believe in angels? Have you ever seen any of them?

Yes, I believe in them. I’ve never seen an angel, but I have been aware when they have been around. Sometimes I can feel their presence. Those who can see them tell me that they are often around me.  I need all the “air” support that I can get.  🙂

How does someone know that they may be spiritually oppressed and in need of deliverance?  In other words, advice for someone out there reading this who thinks they may need some extra help in this area?

Lots of times these folks wrestle with guilt, blame, and shame that will not go away, in spite of the fact that they know that they have been forgiven by God.  They find themselves tormented with no relief even though they are doing all the normal things that most churches teach should help to relieve such things such as more Bible reading, more prayer, more fasting, more worship, more church attendance, more small group participation or even, in the most desperate situation, working in the church nursery.  Most churches believe that the remedy to such torment is simply more.  The trouble is that that doesn’t fix the problem because these disciplines aren’t designed to address the issue of demonic spirits.  Only deliverance can do that.

Can you tell me about the gift of the seer? How does that gift manifest? Have your seers seen angels and/or demons?  

Sure.  Seers are people who are wired to see spiritual things, as did many people mentioned in the Scriptures.  Most of them have this gift from childhood but find it repressed by parents and churches who have no category for one who can see into the spiritual.  Parents will keep telling the child that they didn’t really see anything; it was just their imagination.  Those who are so gifted rarely tell others about this for fear of being seen as strange.

When such people join me in my work it is often like God suddenly opens a door and they find themselves seeing all kinds of things that they’ve never seen before.  Some have impressions.  Some see things in their mind’s eye.  Others see things as clearly outside of themselves as clearly as you and I see people.  We value these gifted people, affirm them, and train them to use their gift, particularly in deliverance settings.  They bring a very unique flavor to deliverance sessions.  Some can see demons.  Some see angels.  Some see both.

What are some of the positive changes the clients tell you about post deliverance?

A man with whom we worked a few weeks ago sent me an email.  This is what he said happened to him:

  • I must say that there is much that is different since we met. It has taken a couple of weeks to come to clarity and take shape. Let me describe what I feel is different.
  • I don’t hear the noise of condemnation constantly in my head. And when I feel something threatening it is much easier to redirect.
  • I feel at peace more often than not. I routinely sleep in when I want to instead of waking up to anxiety way earlier than I should be.
  • I don’t feel powerless. Even when I don’t do something I want to do I don’t relentlessly beat myself up. I am much better able to create and implement a plan than I have in years without feelings of pressure and hopelessness to perform. I have developed several plans and have actually followed through. Who knew 😊.
  • I do not feel a profound sense of incompetence.  I feel much more like other people.
  • When people ask how I am doing I more often spontaneously say ‘great’ – I never used to say that – ever.
  • I do not feel a profound weight of hopelessness around my spouse like I have for these few years, though this is still a matter of prayer.
  • I experience myself as uniquely gifted by God. Several have told me recently that I am anointed and I am actually experiencing that in a humble way.

Other common experiences include the removal of voices, fear disappears, there is more peace.  Even if nothing overtly can be reported, everyone will say that they feel more peace than they have ever had.  It’s all good.

Can you tell me an example of a client where the deliverance was not successful?  Why was it not successful?

Sorry, but I can’t.  I can think of people who have walked away from deliverance because they decided that they wanted to keep their demons because it gave them a sense of power that they didn’t want to lose.  I can think of people who stopped the process because they had, in infancy, been so traumatized that the demonic spirit had so closely identified with the human personality that they didn’t know where they ended and the demon began.  As we removed the demonic spirits the person became more and more fearful as they felt like they were losing themselves.  The demon that they knew was less threatening to them than the freedom that they had never experienced.

Have demons ever come after you personally because of your line of work?

Sure.  I am a target.  After 35+ years of doing this I suspect that somebody from the other side knows my name.  I’ve been impacted personally and professionally.  Of course, the Lord has always used if for the good.  Sometimes I’ve found myself demonized as a result of trauma, or personal sin.  Sometimes the Lord has delivered me spontaneously. Sometimes I’ve had to call my team to help me. Fortunately that doesn’t happen a lot.  I’ve always viewed what I do as like being in a boat.  As the water gets deeper the boat floats. As  long as you stay in the boat it doesn’t matter how deep the water is.

What is the biggest misconception about the devil?

That if you leave him alone, he will leave you alone.

In your view, what is the Devil’s primary role in someone’s life?  

His desire is to destroy everything that God loves because he hates God so much.  God loves you and he loves me.

What is the biggest misconception about God?

That he isn’t good.  That he doesn’t love us.  That he wants to punish us.  That we can’t trust him.

What have you learned about God through your participation in this ministry?

He is more loving, forgiving, accepting, and powerful than anything that I can conceive.  The Enemy has already been defeated.  God has chosen to use his children to set other children free.  That is so cool.

Second to last question.  What would you say to readers who would not yet consider themselves a Christian? What evidence can you give to them that points to a loving God?

You don’t know what you are missing.  The fact that all of creation has been created for our pleasure and that we are surrounded by a God who loves us and gave his Son over to death that we might experience all these good things.  After all, he is love.

Finally — If you could sum up your entire ministry in one sentence — What would it be? 

My six year old granddaughter was trying to explain to a friend on the school bus what it is that her grandfather does.  She said, “My grandpa is a doctor who takes bad dreams out of people’s lives.”  Love it.  🙂

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P.S. from Heather, in bullet format, because bullets are fun:

  • I have been fascinated with the Dark Side since high school and used to read a lot of books about the occult and watch a lot of horror movies. I’ve always wanted to interview someone who has direct contact with the spirit world — so here you go peeps!  I hope you enjoyed it.
  • I have my own demon story to share, and will do so in a later post.
  • I am always hyper sensitive to people’s reactions when I post a blog.  First of all, not everything that people experience is demonic oppression.  Problems and issues can be physical, psychological, mental-health, emotional,  chemical, or spiritual (demonic) in nature.  Or, more likely, a combination thereof.
  • I also don’t want people to think that only Christians can be oppressed by demons.  That is far from the truth.  Everyone certainly can, from every walk of life.  Christians are able to be set free from Satan and demons, however.
  • Deliverance is a ministry that can help some people.  If you think you need help, or have further questions, please contact Dave directly at: dappleby@spiritualinterventions.org.  His website is www.spiritualinterventions.org.  His book is “It’s Only A Demon.”  You can find it on Amazon for $16 bucks — however there are only a few left, as it’s being replaced by his new book.  Fair warning, the cover of his book is creepy and weird.  The book itself is super interesting.  He also just released a new book called “Transformative Encounters” which will be available shortly.
  • Thanks for reading!!

The Choice That Saved My Life — (my birthday story)

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My mom — pregnant with me. She wasn’t invited to graduate with the rest of her Senior class because of her ‘situation.’

It was the winter of 1972, and my mother Linda, a beautiful 17 year-old girl with long black hair and green eyes, was set to graduate Salutatorian of her senior class in just a few short months. Because she had already completed the credits necessary to graduate, she was able to finish her senior year in January, but was still planning to officially graduate with her fellow classmates and even give her Salutatory speech in the spring.

Linda had the whole world at her feet: a great family, a handsome and great boyfriend (Mark) whom she’d been with for nearly three years, college in the fall, and great friends.

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My young mom (18) and dad (20).

That day came when her period, which she was expecting for some time, never came.  She had heard that  Planned Parenthood, located downtown, offered free pregnancy tests, so she nervously drove to their facility.   Once there, she took the pregnancy test, which confirmed her fears:

She was pregnant.

Not only did Planned Parenthood offer free pregnancy tests, they also offered counseling.  She met with the counselor who told my mom that, due to her young age and because she was still in high school, that she should get an abortion.  The counselor also explained that although abortion was illegal in most of the U.S., it was legal in New York state, and that my mom should consider this option.  My mom left the clinic that day with her head buzzing with questions and her heart pounding with anxiety.

What to do?

Back in early 1972, getting pregnant in high school was extremely rare.  And there was certainly an element of shame and embarrassment that went with it. After telling her boyfriend Mark about her pregnancy, they both decided that they would like to keep the baby and possibly get married.  But first, they had to work out an opportunity to confess to her parents that she was pregnant. She knew that her parents would be distressed by the news, as their family was a moral, church-going family.  Although they were clearly taken aback by this disclosure, the only comment was made by Linda’s father was this:

“Nothing like this has ever happened in my family!”

After Linda revealed the news, her parents decided to go to their Presbyterian Minister for counsel and support.  Linda’s mother, Inge, was also this Pastor’s secretary, so it was easy to set up an appointment with him.  A few days later they met with their pastor and told him of their daughter’s pregnancy.  They asked him what they thought her daughter should do, and what advice they (as her parents) should give to their daughter.

After hearing their story, their pastor told them: “Linda is young, and she is very smart.  She should go to college.”

He paused for effect:

“In my opinion, she should get an abortion.”

My grandparents were shocked at his advice, coming from someone they considered a religious leader. Abortion was something that was only heard about in whispers, and no one they knew had ever had one.  My grandparents strongly disagreed with his advice, and went home confused and frustrated.  After my mom talked further with her parents, they all decided that it would be best that she should not seek an abortion, but rather that she would get married to Mark, set her college education on hold, and have that baby, even though her whole future lay ahead of her.

The spring rolled around and my mom was not even invited to her own high school graduation, or to give her speech.

Then one hot summer day my now 18 year old mom, her new husband, and her parents, all checked into the local hospital in Syracuse, New York, and eventually delivered a healthy, blond-haired baby girl weighing 9 pounds and 4 ounces.   They named her Heather Lee.

That baby girl was me.

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I can’t say it was easy for my mom to have a baby at 18. She proceeded to have another baby (my sister) two years later, but it was a difficult marriage, and my parents divorced a few years later.  She was able to squeeze in a one year degree to be a Medical Secretary, and she indeed pursued that career for many years as a single working mom.  It was very hard during some portions of my childhood for each of us.  Years later, my mom remarried and had two more kids, and now she is working as a nurse.  Things all eventually turned out really well, and through it all she never regretted her choice to have me, and neither have I.  🙂 To read more about some of the struggles my mom (and I) went through, click here.

As for me, I grew up, got my undergraduate degree, then my Masters, had a wonderful career, met an awesome man, got married, and become the mom of three great kids, with one adoption on the way.  In a strange twist of fate I ended up working for a leading pro-life Senator, working on pro-life policy.  (You can read about it here).

In another interesting twist, I actually had a chance to talk to that same pastor (who recommended my abortion) several years ago. I basically told him that my grandmother (his former secretary) had recently passed away, and then transitioned to tell him that I disagreed very strongly with his very sharty advice he gave to my mom and grandparents many years ago.  (Actually, I was very kind and just told him respectfully that I disagreed with him, and that I was very happy to be alive.) We got into a weird debate/argument on the phone and he told me that “abortion is God’s will because it can naturally happen anyway,” (in other words, a miscarriage) and other things I won’t go into here. I honestly wasn’t looking for an argument, I just wanted to state my case.  I guess somewhere deep inside of me I wanted him to apologize to me.  To say something like “wow, I”m so sorry for the advice I gave to your mom’s parents, because, duh, if they had listened to me, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation right now.  I am so freaking sorry about what I said and did.  Can you ever possibly forgive me?”  But he didn’t.  I think he felt defensive, so he was somewhat curt with me.  The call didn’t give me the closure I was looking for, but I felt he needed to hear from me, as one of his Pastoral Advice Survivors.

I wonder how many kiddos are not here because lots of good Presbyterians listened to their Pastor during his 30 year tenure.

Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if my mom had made a different choice.  Would Erik even get married?  He is a super picky guy.  One of his friends said he was like an oil-change service, with an 18 point check- list of what he needed/wanted in a future girlfriend or wife.  What about Claire?  Who would have adopted her?  And Logan, we almost didn’t even get him in the first place.  What if he was being raised by his birth-father right now? His birth-father who has a criminal record, by the way.  How would he turn out?  And what about Khloe?  I’m pretty sure she would still be stuck in a Ukrainian orphanage, just waiting to age out.  I don’t believe she would do well out on her own.  And those are just four people in my immediate circle.

I believe God has a purpose for each of us on the face of the earth. We are here not just for ourselves, but to help and serve and to love other people.  Every human life matters and every human life is meant to interconnect with other human lives!  We all need each other. Maybe your story is supposed to intersect with mine, and vice versa.  And what we do makes a difference, even if we can’t see it.  Please read this post for more encouragement: Small Things with Great Love.

I will close with one final story.  Many years ago, Erik and I hiked up to the top of Mount Washington in New Hampshire.  I was about to turn 30 years young and was feeling “depressed” about “getting older.”  (HA.  Foolish person.)  Anyway, I was up on top of Mount Washington in the restaurant on top of the mountain, and my eyes wandered over to a list of people, mounted on the wall.  This is not an ordinary list: it’s a list of all the many people who have died up on Mount Washington.  This mountain is surprisingly very dangerous and is said to be the home to the “world’s worst weather” and has winds that have been recorded up to 231 miles per hour!  As I read through the list, I noticed something specific:

I noticed the ages of all the people who died. Their ages were varied: fifteen, eighteen, ten, twenty, twenty-five.

So many young people had lost their livesSo many young people who died on the mountain who never reached their 30th birthday.

That was a reality check for me.  Ever since seeing that list, I am grateful, rather than depressed, whenever I hit another birthday milestone.

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Just a small portion of all the people who have died on top of Mount Washington.  Many had never reached their 30th birthday.

In closing, I am so very glad my mom chose to have me despite the sacrifice and difficulty that choice brought into her life.  And I’m glad this story had a happy ending (as I know that not all stories like this do).  And I just have to add, as I get older and older myself, I absolutely LOVE having such a young and healthy mom.  She is a volunteer firefighter, full time nurse, and she and my step dad run a homestead.  She is a super busy and active grandma. As for my dad — he is still going strong and healthy.  He retired from full-time work but still works part-time.  He is a wonderful grandpa and makes his family a priority.  It’s great to have such young parents.

So mom, if you are reading this post, thanks for bringing me into this world and giving me a chance at this thing called life. I am super happy to be here!  I love you!

Happy Birthday to me!

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P.S. from Heather : I know abortion is the most controversial issue of our day, and lots of people have strong opinions on either side, and lots of women have experienced abortion.  My intention is not to judge, cause hurt or pain in someone else, to make someone angry, for you to unfriend me on Facebook, or for you to send me a scathing text.  My intention is to share my own story as it pertains to this difficult topic.  Perhaps it can help someone out there, or plant a seed.  It is not my intention to cause division. And remember, this is only a story…my own story.  Finally, I welcome all comments!!  Even comments that have a different perspective.  But I just ask that we all respect each other as we comment.  Thank you for reading.

P.S. from my mom: Even though I was so young at the time, and I did not come to have a personal relationship with Jesus until several years later, I was still able to recognize the unfairness of depriving my baby a chance at life so that I could go on with my own life undisturbed. The choice I made did lead to hardships and difficulties that I would not have experienced otherwise, but I feel that these problems were used by God to develop my character and also to make me see my need of Him.  So I am grateful that I gave the gift of life to Heather!  As are Erik, Claire, Logan, Khloe as well as her many friends and extended family members.  It is heartbreaking to me to think of how many relationships have been lost to abortion, and that is part of the reason why I have been involved in pro-life work ever since I became a Christian.  Thank you for reading our story.

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So thankful my grandparents did not accept the advice of their Minister.
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Me, today.
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Happy birthday to me!