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John’s Story: Transformation of broken and lost, to freedom, forgiveness, and change

My name is John Pernell and I am 43 yrs old. I was raised in a Christian home with solid morals and values. My parents taught me that abortion was wrong and more importantly that it was a sin.      

As I got older I started using drugs and hanging out with the wrong kind of people. By the age of 22 I was married and had 2 children. By the age of 24 I was fully addicted to methamphetamine and had lost custody of my kids and my marriage was falling apart. Angel (my wife) and I were separated but still seeing each other, when she became pregnant with our 3rd baby. In the fog of addiction the decision was made to abort our baby. I knew this was wrong but I did not care nor did I try to stop her. This decision added fuel to my addiction for the next 18 yrs. I felt shame and guilt for not allowing our baby a chance to be born,love,and be loved like any child should experience. I buried these feelings along with anything else I may have felt under any and all substances I could get my hands on. For the next 2 decades my life continued to spiral out of control and no matter where I went or who I was with there was no peace to be found. 


May 22, 2022 I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ at a Teen Challenge Friday night chapel. God brought me to that ministry to get my life back in order and follow Him. A couple months later He Found His Grace came and talked with us on a Monday night. At that time I had no idea why an abortion ministry would be coming to a men's facility? That night I acknowledged the hurt and shame that was in my heart from my past abortion experience. There was a huge hole in my heart from lost fatherhood that I tried filling with drugs, but when I stopped using the hole was still there. I walked through the healing process offered by He Found His Grace and God forgave me for that choice. I now walk in a freedom that could only come from the Lord. His forgiveness has allowed me to leave shame,guilt,and self-condemnation behind me. When I came to Him and laid my mess at His feet He made me a new creation and I walk in that promise today! 

The Lord has since given me a heart to lead other men to His forgiveness and freedom. I wholeheartedly believe that what our God does in us, He also wants to do through us. When He gives us freedom and forgiveness it is our duty to lead others to Him so that they can find that as well. The point that I knew God had changed not only my life but my heart was... in a sea of angry and lost people screaming to maintain the right to have abortions I did not engage them or begin yelling at them. Instead my heart broke and started hurting for the lost people. God had replaced my heart of stone with a heart of flesh.

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