A young mother with a secret sits in a small apartment in a small town outside a small city bordering the Black Hills. Becky Soske knows no one in western South Dakota; she and her husband left friends and familiarity behind so Harold could take a job with the Rapid City police. But right now, Harold is off training at the police academy in the state capital of Pierre, and Becky is home alone.
Well, not completely alone. With Becky in that small apartment is their daughter, Grace, not yet 2 months old. Sure, simply having Grace was an answer to prayer, but an infant can't really keep Becky company while Harold is away five days a week.
So Becky finds a new companion: "Power 107" — KSLT in Rapid City.
"Here I am, this mom with a little baby, pretty isolated," Becky says. "So I tuned in to Christian radio, and there I found this wonderful broadcast — Focus on the Family — that ministered to me in so many ways. I was learning how to be a parent in a Christian way, in a godly fashion."
The year is 1999, and the program is Becky's morning cup of coffee. She tunes in every day without fail. She learns the importance of teaching kids responsibility, the value of prayer and how to apply Scripture to her parenting. She orders Focus books and videos and magazines, devouring them all. She listens some more and discovers ways to strengthen her marriage, too.
And when Harold comes home, Becky shares with him everything she's heard and learned and read.
"Listening to Focus on the Family was like being in school," she says, "and I was that eager student, excited to hear what the teacher had to say next."
So Becky keeps listening, and she hears another broadcast — stories from women who suffered the same way she suffers: from guilt, from nightmares, from depression and suicidal thoughts. The voices on her radio have all endured the weight of a past abortion.
"As these women described the consequences," Becky says, "I felt a comfort I had longed to feel all of my adult life. It was the first time I realized I was not alone."
This is Becky Soske's secret. Grace wasn't her first child.
That morning feels ancient, but the memory's still fresh. Nearly 12 years prior, when she was a college freshman, Becky's then-boyfriend knocked on her dorm room window at 4:30 a.m., waking her for the two-and-a-half-hour drive to the nearest clinic. He wasn't prepared to be a father, he said, and Becky wasn't prepared to argue.
Their relationship eventually ends, but Becky can't forget. She prays for forgiveness, and salvation, but the grief lingers. Even after she meets Harold, after she tells him everything, after graduation and a wedding and the joy of Grace's birth, she still lays awake at night, haunted by thoughts and fears beyond her control.
"When we got married, I figured, OK, now things are normal. I have a job. I have a husband. So everything's better. And you can convince yourself in a lot of ways that it is better. But I never dealt with that pain."
Becky's healing takes root when she shares her heartbreak with other moms at church, and when she listens to those women on the radio. When Becky hears them describe their hurts, she hears them describing her.
"I realized those issues I faced were not me," she says. "They were due to the abortion. It was like a floodgate of hope was released in my soul. I could finally find a way to move past the pain."
Fifteen years and two more kids later, Becky and Harold have moved to Wyoming, back to where they both grew up. Becky is a kindergarten teacher, and she's never stopped telling others where she found the help she needed when she needed it most.
"[Focus on the Family] increased my knowledge of Christian parenting, increased my faith in Christ, taught me practical applications of being a Christian in a suffering world."
More than that, Becky says, Focus made her feel loved.
"I felt like I had come home."
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The Focus on the Family broadcast is a half-hour daily dose of encouragement and advice for families. The program reaches more than 1.7 million people daily on 2,100 radio outlets in the U.S. and Canada, and has become one of today’s most recognized Christian radio programs. Find a station or listen online at FocusOnTheFamily.com/Radio.
Have questions about guiding your kids or improving your marriage? Struggling with tough issues like post-abortion depression? Our licensed counselors are available to listen and pray with you, as well as provide guidance and resources to help your family. Find out more at FocusOnTheFamily.com/CounselingHelp, or call 800-A-FAMILY (232-6459) Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m (Mountain time).