A former youth leader whose father was a senior pastor and whose boyfriend similarly belonged to a religious family found herself on the fork road of choosing between life and abortion for an unplanned pregnancy.

A Pastor's Daughter Loses Her Way

Sandy Smith recounted to Live Action News the shock and terror she felt of discovering she was pregnant just after high school graduation to her boyfriend Jay, whose father was a deacon.

"Jay and I both loved God but obviously we did not establish boundaries in our relationship. We were embarrassed and ashamed. The pregnancy changed everything for us including our friendships, our future, our dreams--everything," Smith admitted.

Smith also disclosed thoughts of having an abortion for she was excited to attend college in the fall. She said she knew she had a promising future, but felt the pregnancy changed that.

However, recalling the testimonies she heard at church from women who had abortions changed her mind. The great regret those women had for decades after their abortion stopped Smith from having hers. She said the emotional stories of how wounded the women were because of their abortion convinced her that she will never have one for she can not live with such "soul-crushing remorse."

Instead, Smith opted to have the baby up for adoption after birth and finally confided the matter to her parents. Her father discourage her from her plan and insisted that she alone should care for her upcoming child.

Smith and Jay eventually married, went to college, and worked to make ends meet. Their love for each other helped Smith see a new future she had never envisioned for herself and Jay. Then her daughter, Talia, was born and brought great delight to her and their families.

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A Pastor's Daughter Becomes A Pro-Life Minister

Talia was already two years old when the couple started serving in their church's ministry, from which they also gathered support in their journey. Smith said that her experience gave her a better appreciation of the preciousness of life.

"Looking back, I'm so thankful that I was raised to understand and know that life is precious and is a gift from God, even an unplanned life. When I was 18, I had no concept of the joy and fulfillment that parenting would bring. I now realize that being a mom was exactly what I was designed to do. It is alarming to think our story could have had a different outcome," Smith said.

Smith, who now is a pastor for Cedar Park Church in Bothell, Washington, stressed that her ministry allows her to share her testimony and give support to young couples who were like them 25 years ago. She said it was important for her that other people hear of God's mercy and forgiveness through her life experience.

In addition, Smith underscored the need for pastors to speak about the sanctity of life in the church and to not let the enemy intimidate or silence them. She raised that church leaders must not be afraid to talk about abortion because people are hungry to hear the truth on life as a precious gift from God. She said these troubling times call church leaders to be bold in speaking on abortion.

Besides that, she also suggested the value of creating support groups for women who had an abortion and who have decided to push through with their pregnancy alone.

The couple, who now are parents to four children, has previously spoken about their choice to continue with the pregnancy in an interview with Alliance Defending Freedom. Smith stressed that she never regretted having their daughter.

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