Good Women Project - 3/55 - They Do Exist.

They Do Exist.


GIVEAWAY: 3 bra & panty sets by True & Co!

What We’re Giving Away: A Bra/Panty Set & Consult With A Fit Expert To 3 Women

True&Co has a unique shopping model that is a DREAM answer to most of our bra shopping problems.

You take a short questionnaire on their site, they send you a box of 10 items to try on, and you only pay for what you keep – at the end of the process! Anything (or even everything) can be sent back with free shipping.

And we love their philosophy: Sexy is what fits.

Our 3 giveaway winners will receive a consult with True’s fit expert, a full try on box delivered to their home, and will be able to keep their favorite bra/panty set for free!

Anything else you love? The code GOODWOMEN gives ALL our readers 20% off their order.

All you need to do to enter is leave a comment with your email address, and Like the post.

How To Enter

– LIKE this post (at the bottom)
– Giveaway closes Friday at Midnight PST
– Winners will be contacted by email

Explore True&Co!

Their site:
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Twitter: @trueandcompany

*Notes from Lauren: Not ALL sizes are guaranteed to have matching sets available, but Molly the fit expert will do her best to match you a great pair, should you need!

My Abortion Story: “You Will Never Be A Mother, You Are A Baby Killer.”

Editor’s Note: Today’s story is by Jessica. This is the story of her abortion, but more importantly, about her life. It is easy to separate an event from someone’s entire life in order to judge or simply make assumptions, but we cut a person into pieces when we do that. Jessica writes at and tweets at @ JessJudkins. Jessica, thank you. – Lauren

Photo by Branden Harvey / / Design by Lauren Dubinsky

I struggled with this blog post. Not because I haven’t shared parts of this story before. I struggle with the heartbreaking back story behind why I had my abortion when I was 17 years old.

It’s a dark story of my past that I think about and regret daily. Not a day goes by in which I wished I was braver and made a better decision. But it’s hard to be brave when your in the middle of abuse. I do not know the stories behind all the women who have abortions.

But I am sensing a general blanketed assumption from some people that most of the women who have had them love to “kill babies.”

I wanted to share my story. I don’t want to kill babies. I never had and I never will. I love babies more than anything in this wold and my son Judah is the greatest blessing in my life. I cherish that boy. I hope by me sharing my story that someone out there reads this and realizes the deep pain that is associated with having an abortion.

When I was 17 years old, I dated a man who was just like my abusive father. Alex was a few years older than me and looking back, I think it was illegal for him to date a girl still in high school. I was beginning my senior year of high school in Tampa and I noticed within the first few weeks of walking the hallways I would get really, really sick. I was in honors classes and typically loved school but I was tired all the time, running to the bathrooms to throw up and daily struggling with my school work.

One day when Alex picked me up from school, drove me to a Burger King, handed me a pregnancy test and told me to take it in the bathroom. I never thought I would find out I was pregnant in a dirty Burger King bathroom. When I hopped back into his truck, I smiled and handed him the pregnancy test. I assumed this wasn’t planned but this was still good news. He didn’t speak to me on the way home.

Once we got to my home, I remember standing on the front porch and Alex (who already had a two year old daughter) turned to me and said, “Well you have to get rid of it.”  I didn’t understand and asked him what he meant. He said I had to get an abortion. I was numb.

I didn’t know what to say to him and I couldn’t tell my family because I knew my already abusive father would beat me up again over the news of me being pregnant.

For weeks I put off the phone call to the clinic. I told Alex I couldn’t afford it. I gave him books that I found in my high school library letting him know of the baby’s progress. He didn’t care, and he would throw the books at my stomach and he would drop me off in front of my job at McDonald’s and tell me to get extra shifts. When he was really drunk and angry, he and his brother would beat me, to the point of me cramping up and spotting. Alex was an evil man and I was scared to death of him.

One day after a particularly bad beating, I hid myself in my closet, afraid my parents would know what was going on and call the doctor. I was scared and didn’t know what to do. If I didn’t make the appointment, Alex was very clear in his intent to “beat the baby out of me.” So I called the abortion clinic and set up a time. When Alex drove me to my appointment I begged him to change his mind. He would just pinch me really hard in the arm so he wouldn’t leave a mark on my face for the people at the clinic to see.

I remember laying down on the hospital bed, I saw the sonogram and the nurse told me I was around 13 weeks.

I wanted to scream, “STOP I WANT TO KEEP THE BABY” but I knew Alex was out in the waiting room and was afraid of what he might do.

The nurse gave me some sort of drug and turned on a sound machine. I remember the doctor coming in and the cramping. Then I remember the blood, so much blood. When I walked out to the waiting room I told Alex, “Are you happy now?”

I hated him. But I hated myself more.

On the drive home I was sick, kept throwing up, and at one point Alex pulled over his truck really fast, opened the door and pushed me out onto the ground so I wouldn’t get any throw up on his seats.

Two weeks went by, I honestly blocked it all out of my memory. I had to go to the clinic for a follow up. The doctor checked me out and said it was okay to have sex. When Alex brought me home he forcefully raped me on my living room floor. This wouldn’t be the first time. Alex wanted nothing more than to beat, use and torture my body and soul.

Eventually my parents found out I had an abortion because the mother of Alex’s first child told my father. I was 17 years old and my father kicked me out of the house. I moved up to Virginia to live with my mom and step father. I was depressed, took sleeping pills to sleep at night because I had nightmares. I didn’t want to go back to high school, I felt that I was different and that no one would understand what I went through. I hated myself and I wished I would have died.

After awhile, I moved back down to Florida to live with Alex in a trailer for a few months. I have police reports from all the beatings that took place.

Part of me even accepted the beatings because I hated myself so much from what I did. I thought I deserved them and that it was God’s way of punishing me.

Alex repeatedly told me over and over and over again how I was worthless, how I was a baby killer, and how I will never ever have a child. That broke me. I hated myself. I hated myself more than anything or anyone I could ever hate. I hated myself more than I hated Alex.

Finally, I got away from Alex and his abuse and although I am currently in my early 30’s, not a day goes by in which I don’t think of my baby and wished that I made a different decision.

I live daily with my consequences of what I did. When I found out I was pregnant with Judah, I was fearful to tell my husband because I thought he was going to beat me. Scott never has and never will lay a hand on me, he is the kindest person I know. But since Alex beat me so badly I was fearful that any man would do the same. I was scared my first 13 weeks of being pregnant with Judah because I thought I was going to lose him, that God would punish me and take him away.

When I first had Judah, I woke Scott up one night crying and asking him, “Where is my other baby!!”

The reason I am sharing this is because on the 40 year anniversary of Roe vs Wade, I’ve seen anti-abortion pictures of unborn babies and blog posts everywhere. Every time I read a blog post, see a picture of an unborn child or hear someone talking about how people “kill babies” I literally feel a deep sadness grab my heart and and pull me back to that awful day when I was 17. I hear Alex’s voice screaming in the back of my head, “you will never be a mother, you are a baby killer.”

No one can get rid of the feelings of having an abortion.

My hope in this is that we are able to come along side some of these women just like me who are hurting deeply. Women who are afraid to share their pain because they fear judgement.

If we love one another we are able to make better decisions.

If someone came alongside me and loved on me when I was 17 years old, I would be able to say that I had a baby when I was 17, that he/or she was adopted into a loving home. Not that my abusive boyfriend drove me to the abortion clinic so I could terminate a life.

I am a Christian, became a believer a few years after my abortion and I know that the Lord has forgiven me of so much. It’s very hard to reconcile that forgiveness in my heart and head when I see people posting so many hurtful things about something I did in my past.

Before we make assumptions, or post up things that could be hurtful, let’s try to think of the hurt hearts out there that need healing. And let’s think if the words we are saying are healing or hurting those broken hearts.

Fear Of Causing My Brother To Stumble Almost Gave Me Scoliosis

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is written by Crystal Sprague. She is the director of Has your posture or health been negatively affected by this fear? Leave a comment and let us know. I have bad posture/lower back problems for the same reason, and I’m really curious to know how many others there are out there. – Lauren

I’ve had pretty severe back problems for years.

A few months ago, I tried out another Chiropractor.

X-rays confirmed that the abnormal grade of my spine was somewhere around 7% off with the unnatural curves in my upper and lower back extending in opposite directions. I don’t look terribly abnormal when I stand up, because the two sides balance each other out, but underneath the skin, my back is a bit of a mess.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to try Physical Therapy. The first thing the doctor said to me was: “Stand up straight. Stick out your chest. Pull your shoulders back. Stick out your butt. Your back is supposed to have an arch. Why aren’t you sticking out your butt? Like THIS.”

And then he proceeded to pull my posterior into a position that was not only uncomfortable from a decade of disuse, it also made my inner soul scream out in mild panic.

You see, as much as I loved my church in high school, and my pastors, they were pretty passionate about not hindering men/boys with unnecessary thoughts of lust.

When I say “pretty passionate,” what I mean is, it was usually a source of conversation weekly. And wearing something “inappropriate” would get you a private counseling session as well.

Because this is the thing: I was the girl whom God saved, wholly and passionately. He was filling my hurting little heart with grace and strength to push forward in a life that doesn’t always (or ever) make sense. And I wanted so desperately to please that God, AND the church who wrapped their arms around me so lovingly, that I went the extra measure. Or an extra 100 measures, if I thought I could.

With my whole self I wanted to please God. And if that meant not causing my brother to stumble, than I would go to every. single. measure. Even if it meant hiding my female body. And if I wasn’t accomplishing it, I must be at fault.

Cue baggy clothes, weight gain and over a decade of unhealthy self-worth. Cue standing in ways that hid my chest, my butt. Cue hunched shoulders and the inability to stop guilt and mild panic when men look at me. Cue eating disorder. Cue extreme back pain.

It wasn’t really my pastor’s fault. He saw an eager kid with a willing heart in a sea full of teens who often just didn’t want to listen. And I learned things during that stage of my life that have shaped me and changed me, in every way, for the better.

We live in a world of extremes. All in or all out. Yes or No. With us or against us.

But if I could go back, I would beg someone to show me a bit of balance. Plead with someone to show me that it’s ok to not be perfect in this crazy world, even if God is in your heart. Appeal to someone to show me that extremes are easy, and balance is more challenging… but much more sustainable.

And if I could go back, I would beg someone to tell me that my body is beautiful and a gift from God. To tell me that yes, I can and should stand up straight.

How To Be A Really Good Friend: A Tiny Story.

Editor’s Note: Everyone wants to be a really good friend, but sometimes it feels impossible. It’s a daunting task. Sometimes it feels like attempts to be a good friend go unnoticed, and that we aren’t helping because we can’t actually fix someone else’s hurts or problems. Today’s post is Anonymous. It’s beautiful. – Lauren

Photo by Branden Harvey / / Design by Lauren Dubinsky

Living in a new place was a difficult transition for me. I moved here for a job knowing basically no one.

I had lived in my previous home for my entire life, and had developed really strong relationships there. But when I moved, I was excited about the change. I figured I was following God to a new place, would make new wonderful friends, maybe meet a boyfriend, have a wonderful job, etc.

Starting your life over is much more difficult than it seemed, though. My job was good, but exhausting. I didn’t meet a boyfriend. God seemed so quiet, and more than anything, I was paralyzed with loneliness. I became closer with the casts of Gossip Girl and the Kardashians than any actual human being.

However, I did have this one remarkable friend.

I am confident I would not have been able to stay in this new place – especially during the long winter months – without her. She made me laugh, sat with me when I cried, dragged me to work out, and would even make me dinner sometimes.

One day she declared a day just as a celebration for me, and said we were going to re arrange my room so I’d have a space that was more live-able. She was so artsy and had an eye for that kind of thing, so after the transformation, my tiny bedroom in which I watched Gossip Girl was significantly more welcoming.

That’s just a little background for you, though.

That winter, in my relatively “new” town, I went on a date. I was sexually assaulted that evening.

Afterwards, I just decided it didn’t happen. I even went out with him the next day. I told myself, and the people who asked, that the date was good. I didn’t say that I was drunk, possibly drugged, unable to consent, and had a man nearly twice my size on top of me.

I had never done any of the sexual acts that I did that night. I was paralyzed with guilt. I figured that it was absolutely my fault, because I had been drinking. I felt like I couldn’t tell anyone, because a good Christian shouldn’t have been as drunk as I was. I had never felt so alone.

3 weeks later, I felt like I was imploding. I was disgusted with myself and with my body. I felt tarnished.

I asked this one friend if she would come over. Being the good friend she was, she did. We sat at my kitchen table, and I started to cry. I didn’t know how to tell her what happened, especially since I had previously told her that the date went well. But somehow, I got the words out.

Her response was possibly the most “Jesus-like” response I have ever received.

She heard my greatest shame, and just listened. She did not ask many questions, but just listened. She asked if she could rub my back, and listened. I am a messy crier, so then, she took her sleeves, and used them to wipe the snot and tears from my face. No one has ever willingly touched my snot before. I did not feel judged, I did not feel as though she did not believe me, and I did not feel alone. She wrapped her arms around me and loved me. She took me upstairs to her apartment and allowed me to sleep in her bed that night so I wasn’t alone.

I will never, ever forget her act of loving kindness to me that evening. Maybe it’s something silly, to be so immeasurably grateful to someone to using their own sleeves to wipe your tears and snot, but it truly grabbed ahold of my heart and whispered, “you are not disgusting.”

This is the difference that a good friend makes.

I am so thankful to the tangible Love that my friend was to me, and will always remember the grace she extended to me.

I know that I was so fortunate to have that friend. I know that some of you may be reading and experiencing enormous pain, or feeling abandoned or bitter if you don’t feel that you have a friend in your life. And to be completely honest, that friend is not perfect. She has also really hurt me. But we are so radically human, mistakes are inevitable. So rather than focus on the ways she has hurt me, I choose to remember the moment where she was like Jesus. He gives us these moments in our imperfect friends and humanity to be reminded of who he is.

The thing I am continually learning though, is that even if we do not have that close friend, we do still have Jesus’s promise that he will redeem us. That he has never left our side. That he knows our hearts, our heartbreak, and our shame. That he is still walking with us, even through the absolute darkest and most dangerous of valleys. And I firmly believe, that he does, and will provide us with friends to love, hold, and act out his love for us.

Do not give up on that hope.

A Letter To My Disheartened 13 Year Old Self. Sincerely, 23.

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is by Nadine Schroeder. She blogs at and tweets at @nadinewouldsay. Even if you aren’t a writer, sit down this week and write a letter to yourself. At any age. Or write a lot of letters at different ages! It’s an incredible experience. – Lauren

Photo by Branden Harvey / / Design by Lauren Dubinsky

Dear 13,

I met you again recently.

I was visiting at my parents and happened to grab an old journal off of my bookshelf in my old room. I figured I would just look at one entry but soon found myself scanning the entire thing and then moving onto more journals.

Oh 13, you were so sad. You were so lonely. You were so broken. You were trying to figure out how to please God, but you kept thinking that if you worked hard enough He would show up.

Everybody was hurting you. You wrote about giving people chances, you had pages filled with the names of everybody you knew and the ranking of how much they cared for you.

I remember those days. I remember feeling alone. I’ve been able to blur those years well enough that I can’t quite remember which girls said which comments, but I still remember parts of them.

Reading your words I can feel your pain again.

Oh darling, I wish I could go back and just hold you for a while. That’s all you needed – somebody to wrap their arms around you and tell you “you are beautiful, you are wonderful, you are loved.”

You wrote about praying and praying and praying for a friend who cared.

You wrote about wishing God would let you cry. Don’t worry sweets; God’s going to faithfully answer that prayer in the affirmative. You’re going to turn 22 and start crying all the time. You’ll be thankful that you prayed all those prayers for so many tears. You’ll suddenly start to be able to express the emotions you held in so very tightly for so many years.

You wanted to love Jesus but spent most of your time judging others. Part of me can’t blame you because I can remember how mean those girls were and how hurt you felt, but a much larger part of me wishes you had leaned into Jesus rather than made daily attempts to stand on your version of His pedestal in order to watch everybody else live their life.

There’s good news in this letter. His name is Jesus.

You’re going to meet Him. He’s going to change everything. It’ll take you a few more seasons until you get there though. In fact, you’ll even go so far as to not really believe in Him anymore for a while, but eventually you’ll come back. He’ll draw you back.

You’re going to move cities to find Him, and in His providence, that season will finally bring the friends who you prayed for as your 13 year old self. You’ll suddenly have friends who call you before you call them and who are just as excited to see you as you are to see them.

You’ll still wonder. You’ll still be unsure about what other people think, but day by day, sometimes minute by minute, you’ll draw closer to Jesus. As you draw closer to Him, you’ll start realizing that your worth comes from Him and not them. Eventually you’ll start to find peace there.

Some days you’ll forget. But most days you’ll rest in the words that He spoke.

Oh 13, you’re one sad chick. Your words written in those journals, they brought me near tears. They brought sadness to my heart as I remembered those years of feeling so very alone.

Sweet self, you had reason to be sad. Those girls were vicious. Those teachers didn’t know how to protect you. Your parents did the best they could, but I don’t think even they realized how close you got to ending your life.

I’m so glad you kept living. I know you only stayed alive because of the guilt of what killing yourself would do.

I remember those conversations reminding yourself to stay alive. 13, you took it day by day. You didn’t think you could make it through, but you did. I remember standing there, so many afternoons in that hour between getting home from school and Mom getting home. I remember, so many days and weeks in a row, considering ending it all. Guilt saved you.

I don’t think many could say that.

That guilt will be what saves you. You’ll go back to Jesus because you’ll feel guilt and condemnation. Later you’ll realize that Jesus never spoke that guilt or condemnation. He spoke mercy and grace, protection and care, love and kindness over you each day that you were away from Him. Your guilt will guide you to His grace.

13, I wish I could change the things that happened. I wish the words you were penning at the time didn’t have need to be written.

But they made you who you are. They made you become a girl who can easily forgive and can, because of Jesus, give a thousand chances to people. Those years will bring a lot of hurt to your adult life as you sort out how to trust people but they’ll also lead to a lot of healing as you start to finally lean into Jesus.

Oh 13, I wish I could come save you. But I can’t save you. I couldn’t then, and I can’t now. But Jesus can. Keep trying to find Him because in a few years, you’ll finally realize that He was with you all along.