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Carrie Goad

Editor's note: Thirty-six years ago this week, the Supreme Court decision Roe vs. Wade overturned all state and federal laws that outlawed or restricted abortion. To mark this anniversary, this week we offer a series of stories on people who are fighting to protect the life of the unborn, including Carrie Goad, whose testimony follows:

By Carrie Goad

I had an ordinary childhood. Nothing that would foreshadow what my future held in store for me. I came from a good family with three brothers and loving parents. While my roots were Catholic, we were non-practicing. I was a happy child and a good student. For my freshman and sophomore years of high school I was privileged enough to attend St. Margaret's School, an all-girls boarding school. But like most of the girls there, I didn't realize what a privilege this was and yearned for the freedom of public school back home. My junior year I was allowed to return to public school. That was the year my life changed forever.

Enjoying my newfound freedom, I began skipping school to hang out with friends. We were delinquent — drinking, smoking, using drugs — never thinking about tomorrow, only living for the day. My relationship with my parents became strained. My grades were failing. I was spiraling deeper and deeper into a depression. It wasn't long before I found myself pregnant. I was 17.

Never will I forget the night my mother made me tell my father. The words wouldn't come out of my mouth. I was his only daughter, the same daughter that used to say I wanted to be an angel when I grew up. Now here I was trying to find the words to tell my dad I was pregnant. All I kept repeating over and over though my sobs was, "I'm sorry." I knew as soon as the words I needed to say, "Dad I'm pregnant" came out of my mouth he would never look at me the same. My father is the strong, quiet type. A rock. I had only seen him cry once in my life, at his father's funeral.

That night I made him cry.

I was ashamed of myself. Ashamed of what I had done and who I had become. I went from attending a private college preparatory school with a bright future ahead of me, all my family being proud of me, my younger cousins looking up to me, to a high school drop out and teen mother. What must God think of me? How disappointed He must be with me. Mistakenly, I believed God loved only the "good," not sinners. I was a sinner. My misunderstanding of God's mercy crushed me. I thought there was no way He would accept me after all I had done, so I chose to reject Him before He could reject me.

So I became a young mother. It wasn't until I was 23 that God engineered the chain of events that led to my conversion. While my conversion isn't a "romantic" example, it proves that God can use even modern technologies to draw in souls.

It all started with trying to enroll my daughter in Catholic school and needing to have her baptized, requiring me to go through RCIA, which I did. I did it for her, not for me — or so I thought. One day I happened to have EWTN turned on the TV for background noise while I was cleaning. I heard a prayer being sung. It was the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy in song. It caught my ear. I stopped and watched. Though I didn't know what I was listening to, the words were so beautiful they made me cry. The words "have mercy on us and on the whole world" resonated in my heart.

A couple months later, I logged on to the Internet search engine Google and typed in those words, "have mercy on us and on the whole world." They were the only words I remembered. I wanted to hear the song one more time. After much searching, I finally came to the Marians' website,, where I was introduced to the message of Divine Mercy and St. Faustina.

Little by little Divine Mercy chiseled away at my cold and hardened heart. It was the key I needed for breaking down the wall that, for years, I had put up between God and myself. I had even gotten so far I was convinced He didn't exist. My heart was numb. Divine Mercy contained the very message my heart needed to hear: that God loved me and wanted me. He always had. He was not a rejecting God, as I thought Him to be. Rather, He was full of mercy!

Jesus told St. Faustina, "The greater the sinner, the greater the right he has to My mercy" (Diary, 723).

Today I am 27 years old. My husband and I are going on 11 years together. We now have four beautiful daughters. My experience as a troubled teen has served as a catalyst to volunteer at an unplanned pregnancy center helping other girls in similar situations to mine. With my GED, I went to community college and received my associate's degree. It took me five years to earn a two-year degree, but I did it and I did it with honors, magna cum laude!

I attended George Washington University before transferring to Shenandoah University. Jesus gave me enough education for me to realize that I am smart and capable of learning before showing me that, for now, my place is with my kids and working towards Him.

Jesus didn't want to be just a part of my life; He wanted to be my life, so I joined the Lay Missionaries of Charity, which requires total abandonment to God's will, with child-like trust in His fatherly care, and service to those in greatest need.

I will never forget my first meeting a year and a half ago. I was very nervous. While praying in the church, I looked up, and directly across from me was the image of The Divine Mercy. What comfort it brought to my soul! Not only that, but my Lay Missionaries of Charity group recently announced that, from here on out, the renewal of vows would be done on the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday!

I was also astonished when visiting the Missionary of Charity Sisters for the first time and discovered that not only do they pray the Rosary while they work, but they also pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet as well.

When researching third orders I felt strongly about wanting to do something with Divine Mercy, but I couldn't find anything. The Lay Missionaries of Charity called to my heart. Thankfully, I listened.

I've lived long enough to know there truly is a dark side to the world. Most people either overlook it or can't handle it, but it's there — and that's the beautiful part about Divine Mercy. Through The Divine Mercy, we can take comfort and have courage that Christ's mercy is more powerful than evil.

Every day, I not only pray for myself, but I pray for mercy on the whole world. God knows it needs it. And for the record, I have turned my mother into a Divine Mercy follower as well!

Jesus, I trust in You!

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Editor - Feb 23, 2015

To the readers, we have removed a comment from this story, and we ask that people who post comments refrain from personal attacks. We are to be merciful as our Father is merciful. God bless.

LILIAN - Jan 30, 2009

I am proud of you Carrie and touched by your humility. Keep up the good work. When i first heard of Devine Mercy, i felt that i have encountered the most beautiful thing in my life. I excited to come across people who feels the same.

A Rock - Jan 25, 2009

You made me cry again. He is "The Rock" and my prayers were anwswered when he touched your heart. I am so proud of the woman you've become and the role model you are for your girls.

Maria - Jan 23, 2009

Thank you for your inspiring testimony. I truly enjoyed hearing about how the Divine Mercy chaplet changed your life. You are obviously a wonderful role model, and a pro-life heroine. God bless you and your family for your courage and strength.

i.c. - Jan 21, 2009

Thanks. A witness to Lord Jesus is a continuous praise to Him. " Jesus didn't want to be just a part of my life ; He wanted to be my life,.." God bless you all. King of Mercy, give us the grace to offer every momenbt of our lives a sacrifice dear to the Almighty Eternal Father.

J - Jan 21, 2009

May your witness bear much fruit. I didn't kill my child, either, and now I'm blessed with a grandchild. God's love is amazing!

Chaney - Jan 21, 2009 - Jan 21, 2009

Thank you so very much for bearing your soul. You willnever know the effect your humility will have on all who read your story. As one of your fellow LMC's I am so very pleased you chose us to be a part of the plan God has in store for you and your family. I know you will do great things in this world and be assured my prayers are always with you!

A servant of Jesus and Mary - Jan 21, 2009

May God be praised!

I amazed at how good God really is. I don't recall the exact quote but scripture shows God speaking to his children. "I am not a vengeful God but a God of Love and Mercy." It is only when a crisis occurrs that we turn to God and truly recognize His goodness. In the diary, Jesus also makes reference to this..."Even the devil believes in my justice but he does not believe in my goodness..." Thank you for sharing your story and your work with those less fortunate. God bless you.

M.M. - Jan 21, 2009

Dear Carrie ... thank you so much for sharing your story! I too once believed God couldn't possibly love a sinner such as me. Divine Mercy has helped me focus on God's greatest attribute - that is mercy. May God bless you and your family!

Carrie Goad - Jan 21, 2009

Hi there Ann. Thank you for your comment! As for my particular case, I am married to the father. We met when I was 16 and he 18 and have been together since. We are going on 11 years together, 7 which have been married. Not all unplanned pregnancies end up with a single mother, though you are right that there are a good amount of cases that do. Volunteering at an unplanned pregnany center, which not only offered support for women throughout their pregnancy but also during the first years, I have come across a number of single or unwed mothers, as well as known a few personally. In an ideal world it would be great for every child to be born to a married couple, but unfortunatly in our society it is not so. And those who are are not guaranteed a happy home. What is the statistic nowadays, something like 50% of marriages end in divorce. A single mother can love her baby just as much as a married mom, it is her child either way. Instead of shunning them--they need our prayers.

Ann - Jan 21, 2009

Where's the father? This woman made a courageous choice to have the baby. But the prolife movement is becoming an advocacy movement for single motherhood, which hundreds of studies now show is not best for the child. A child deserves a father and mother. Instead of the "default" choice of "single mom" once in a while it would be nice to hear of the parents (grandparents) putting some pressure on the young man to fulfill his obligations. Remember marriage? Or if you can't give your child a home, offer up for adoption. Sounds cold, but what is really best for the child?

cheryl - Jan 21, 2009

Thank you very much for choosing life or we wouldn't have the joy we find in those 4 fabulous girls you've raised so well and loved so very much!

amanda - Jan 20, 2009

i'm very proud of you carrie, you pulled through alot of things between then and now and i want you to know youll always be my hero, always were always will be. i love you and i'm so proud of you!

Jeffrey Mark - Jan 20, 2009