Dr. April J. Lisbon, Ed.D. is a workplace autism advocate. She helps organizations unlock the benefits of hiring and retaining talented individuals on the autism spectrum. Dr. Lisbon is the parent of three amazing children, one of whom is a high achieving teen on the autism spectrum. She has over 20 plus years as a PK-12 school psychologist working with individuals from ages 3-22. Dr. Lisbon has been seen in the Washington Post, NBC News, Business Insider, Forbes, Autism Parenting Magazine, The TODAY Show, Good Housekeeping Magazine, Back Talk by Successful Black Parenting Magazine, and several other national and international media outlets.
My chapter focuses on the mental and emotional anguish I experienced for over two decades after having two abortions. The reader will take a journey through a small time in my life where I was living recklessly and strayed away from God. The detachment from my relationship with God led to a lot of heartbreak and pain that I never thought I would survive. But God! God thought differently for my life. When I came into full alignment with God, not only did he bless me with one child but three beautiful angels.
After reading this chapter, it is the hope that the reader will move from a place of using their past pains as a means to sabotage their present as well as their future. I want the reader to understand that even while going through the pain, the anger, the distrust in self, it is possible to experience healing—real healing through God’s eyes.
God! Why didn’t you stop me? I thought to myself. I was pissed with God as he knew my heart and did not save me. Two abortions before the age of 21. In slow motion, I kept hearing in my head for so many years—two abortions before the age of 21 (Lisbon, 2020).
Tell us a little about your story of surviving multiple abortions.
Without divulging too much information from the book, I had two abortions before the age of 21. The experience was very traumatic because I had learned growing up in church that having an abortion was murder. Yet as a college student, I could not afford to independently take care of myself let alone have a child. At that time in my life I had no other choice but to have an abortion.
Yet even during the twists and turns of this journey both during and after it was all said and done, God never forgot about me. Even when I devalued my life and questioned my purpose on earth, God still valued you. It is through my abortions that I had to learn to stand on the word of God and trust that one day I would become a mother. I had to learn that my life mattered and was worth living.
Tell us about your book chapter, ‘If The Walls Could Talk’ in the book “No More Residue”.
The chapter chronicles a short time in my life when I was living on the wild side. Growing up in a strict Christian household, books and boys did not mix. Once I left home and went off to college, I was living my life, my own way. I became involved in some relationships that were not the best, leading down a path of being pregnant in college.
“If The Walls Could Talk” is a play on words in that one would think that I am speaking of the walls within the abortion clinic. However, what I am referring to is the walls of the womb of a woman. The walls that hold and nurture life. It may also be the walls that is unable to carry life. This was my story for almost a dedicated—holding life and then losing it to miscarriages. It speaks to my self-sabotaging actions towards myself and my inability to carry life like others around me.
Then in a moment of time, God heals those walls and life is born. It is through the first birth that I was reborn emotionally, mentally, and physically. It is where I learned that life still exists. Even within the secrets of the walls of my womb and within the abortion clinic, God was there all the time. He comforted me even when I did not want to be comforted. The chapter is real, raw, and may be a little bit challenging for those who are not comfortable with curse words. However, those words were what I felt during that point in time in life and to not use them would be denying who I am as a person and one part of my life’s story.
What are some of the issues you discuss in your book chapter, and how will it help others?
Some of the issues that I touch on in the book included reckless living, anger, bitterness, feelings of rejection, self-doubt as well as self-sabotage. I also touch on forgiveness of self and the power of restoration. These issues will help others who are hurting to see that they are not the only person who has gone through this as it may happen to the best of us. However, when we learn to reposition ourselves in trusting God for who he is based on the Word and not through the eyes of man, then and only then can we find peace of mind.
What are some ways that women can release the shame of having had an abortion(s) so that they may finally heal?
You have to speak healing over every area of your life on a daily basis. You have to speak positive words of affirmation into who you are as a woman. You have to remind yourself that God can and will forgive you even when the world may say otherwise. You have to tell yourself that I will no longer allow what I did in the past to shape who I am today or who I will be tomorrow. You have to be comfortable and confident in your decision-making abilities moving forward.
What has been the most challenging part of having multiple abortions, and how did you overcome those things?
The most challenging part of having multiple abortions was the negative self-talk and self-sabotage I engaged in after having both abortions. I remember many days standing in the mirror telling myself how stupid I was and that I would never be a good mother if given another o
pportunity. I was so enraged with myself because I although I did not want to have the abortions, I knew I could not care for another life. Proverbs 18:21 tells us that we hold the power of life and death in our tongues and daily I was killing myself with my words.
Honestly, I overcame the pain and hurt after I had my first child. When I looked into his eyes for the first time, all doubt, fear, and cruel words I had ever spoken to myself went away. I realized that my life was worth living because his life was worth living. It was in those first few moments that I wanted to survive. I wanted to heal. I wanted to be free. Even when I experienced the other miscarriages, I knew that God would restore because my first child was my first miracle story towards restoration.
If you could encourage another woman who has had an abortion or may be struggling with the idea of having an abortion, what would you say to her?
I would first tell her to breathe and not make a decision based on other people’s perceptions or expectations for her life. Be sure that this is something that you want to do and realize that it will take time to heal. Do not beat yourself up for your decision as when you do this, you may begin to despise who you are as a person. If it is something that you must do, then forgive yourself once it is done. Allow yourself time to heal emotionally, mentally, and physically as it is a traumatic experience. Know that there is light at the end of the tunnel and God still heals, forgives, and restores. I know this because he blessed me three times over and continues to love me in spite of my past decisions.
How can readers connect with you and order a copy of your book?
Readers may connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am also available on social media. You may connect with me at www.facebook.com/