My name is Amanda Rankin.
I grew up in Miami, in what I thought was a Christian home. We went to church every Sunday. I grew up, I was in Sunday School, but I never knew that there was such a thing as a relationship with God.
And so when I was around 12 I really fell in love with Jesus, but I didn’t know what to do with it. I went to a church that didn’t really know what to do with it either.
I went to my pastor. This is really kind of a sad story, but I went to him and said, “Tell me about the Bible.” And he said, “Well, it’s just parables. You can’t take it literally.”
And so I just kind of went on with my life, and got into drugs and sex and rock & roll, and I had an abortion, and I had a suicide attempt. I was really messed up, even though I was still going to college. I finally dropped out. Stopped going to church after I moved out of my family’s house.
When I was 25 I got married. My husband and I were totally unsaved, and didn’t know anything about salvation. But when I was 27, a friend of mine that went to a parochial school with me when I was young – I found her and we got back together again.
And she had been saved. Boy was she different. She was so radically different, and I really wanted what she had.
Long story short, she sent me a book called “Nine O’clock in the Morning” that talked about being saved. And I did. I prayed the prayer, and it revolutionized my life totally. I went from black to white.
And I had four very rocky years of suddenly becoming unequally yoked with my husband. And that was very difficult.
But after four years, finally my husband one night came to me and said, “I want what you have.” And so he got saved, and we have had just a wonderful life ever since then, serving God.
But a really exciting thing that happened to me – I was at a retreat shortly after I was saved. And when I had my abortion I thought I really did the right thing. I thought this was the mature and right thing to do. I was in college, unmarried, got pregnant - quickly had an abortion.
So when I went to this retreat, the woman said, “Now, before we get on with what God wants us to do with Him, we need to forgive.”
And I wasn’t really thinking of me, but I realize that God had forgiven me for this abortion, because once I got saved, and understood the preciousness of life, I also found out that I had murdered the only child I could ever have, because I never got pregnant after that.
So, there was a lot of unforgiveness towards myself. I knew God forgave, but it was still something that, whenever I’d hear any kind of a testimony about a baby or something in utero, it would kind of stab me in the heart.
So that night in this retreat, this woman said, “We need to forgive.” And she said, “I want you to ask Jesus who it is that you need to forgive.”
At that point I literally went into a vision, and I was standing next to Jesus. And my 15-year-old aborted daughter came up to me and put her arms around me and said, “Mother, I love you and I forgive you.”
And at that point I realized that, first of all, I had a daughter. She has been raised eternally in the heavens, never hurt, raised by Jesus – and that she’s not a fetus in a baggy in a dumpster.
I also realized that at that point I could forgive myself. It was such a powerful cleansing.
The next day, the person who was running the retreat said, “Somebody has got a testimony to tell.” And I got up, and I watched the Holy Spirit just move across this group of about 250 women.
I had a woman come up to me that day and said that she was 70 years old and she had aborted twins 50 years before – and I was the first person she ever told. And the Lord healed her that day.
And I’ve told that to several people, this story, and it’s healed them, from realizing that their babies are not in little baggies, but they’re in heaven and they’re with Christ and it’s okay.
So anyway, God has totally transformed my life, and I cannot imagine a day without Him.