Read: Why I'll march for life tomorrow by Eileen Craig

The first ever Michigan March for Life will take place tomorrow, Wednesday, November 8, in Lansing.

“I will march because I know from personal experience that abortion is not a solution to an unplanned pregnancy, it’s another trauma,” says Eileen Craig, a licensed practicing counselor in Brighton, pictured.

Eileen has faced the same darkness in her own life, which is why she now helps coordinate the Entering Canaan Days of Prayer and Healing and works as the team counselor for Rachel’s Vineyard retreats in the Diocese of Lansing.

Both ministries are confidential ministries that support women and aim to help heal the pain abortion causes. Craig credits the intervention of the Blessed Virgin with her own healing and recovery.

“Our Lady became a lot more important to me personally after I was raped at age 14,” Craig says. “The culture at the time suggested that if you had a boyfriend, you got a bit of a pass on sexual morality. I was having sex with my boyfriend when he was 17, and I was 16. I soon became pregnant. He took me to an abortion clinic, got the money to pay for it and told me we must do this because we have to finish high school.”

Craig’s memories of the event are as strong as ever. “When we got there, I was shaking. I remember being in this waiting room and then the nurse or the counselor came to take me into another room, and she said, ‘Don't worry about it, honey. It's not a baby. It's just a clump of cells,’” Craig recalls.

“She gave me a drug to take to calm me down. Then she took me into another room and the abortionist came in and he put on a rubber glove. I was only 16 and I'd never been to a gynecologist before, so I didn't know what he was doing, but he checked me. It was then that Craig’s tears came.

“I just remember going completely numb after that, but I could still feel the tears soaking that paper sheet that I lay on. After it was over, I went into a downward spiral where I began drinking and using drugs. I wanted to keep myself numb,” she says, remembering.

Two years later, still believing she was without options, she had a second abortion.

But soon enough, Craig began to put her life back together. “I began to go back to church,” she says. “Then, a month after my mom died, I found out I was pregnant with my oldest daughter and I just could not have another abortion because I had this sense that my mom, being with the Lord, would know everything I'd ever done. Our Lady also understood everything I'd ever done and knew, and so did Jesus."

"There was no way that I wanted to offend them anymore, especially with another abortion. I had my daughter baptized, and I began to work and take care of her. Then I met my husband a few years later. The day before we got married, I went to confession and told the priest everything.”

At last, Craig found forgiveness. But at first, she didn’t know whether to believe in it.

“I still had this fear of Jesus,” she says. “I had committed the most unforgivable sin, and I was in denial about it in many ways, even though I thought of it every day of my life, I didn't really address the pain that was shoved down deep in my heart.”

Finally, it was a vision that she received when being prayed over by a Franciscan Sister that helped Craig find peace.“I saw myself on Jesus' lap, and I had my head pressed against his chest, and I could hear his sacred heart beating,” Craig says.

“Then I saw Mary come with each of my children, and she gave them to me. I was able to hold them and ask them to forgive me and tell them how sorry I was. I gave each one back to our Lady. And then Jesus and Mary embraced me.”

Craig advises women who are hiding, struggling and in pain to find hope in Jesus and in the Blessed Mother, as well as sacramental confession. Through the Entering Canaan Days of Prayer and Healing and Rachel’s Vineyard retreats, she also provides support and healing.

• If you are hurting from the pain of abortion, Entering Canaan and Rachel’s Vineyard are safe places to receive the healing of which you are worthy. Contacts: