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Pro-Life Advocate Healed From Hidden Shame

In 2017, attorney Nada Higuera of the Advocates for Faith and Freedom, made headlines. Her client, a pro-life, Christian pregnancy center in Marietta, California refused to follow a new controversial state law.

Nada says, “In 2015, the California State Legislature passed what’s called The Reproductive FACT Act which essentially forced pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise abortion and to refer their clients to abortion clinics.”

At 8 months pregnant, Nada, a Christian, stood confidently before the State Supreme Court and the onslaught of media.  But privately she was afraid. . . afraid her secret would be exposed.

“I thought I was a fraud and that I was just pretending, if they only knew then they wouldn't even want me representing them in this case.”

Nada was the youngest of eight daughters born to devout, Muslim parents. She had little or no say in her life, even her husband would one day be chosen for her. In her mind, she was little more than property.

“My parents only wanted a boy. So I believed that I was unwanted, uh and that I didn't have a purpose or any value.”

A belief etched even deeper in her mind when a friend of her parents sexually abused her from the time she was 6 to 16.

“He just told me that nobody would believe me// and so it was that along with knowing um my personality of wanting to be a peacemaker and not wanting to cause any strife or division in my family. I felt helpless, I was just a shell silently surviving.”

It wasn’t until she got pregnant that her parents confronted the man. He fled to Yemen leaving nada to face the consequences.

“There wasn't any questions about how long it's been happening or when or how, it was almost as if I was coming to them telling them I went and had sex with a boyfriend and am pregnant.”

Nada’s wasn’t the only life affected.

“The solution to sweep this under the rug was ‘You're getting an abortion.’"

In high school, Nada started looking to other religions. Then, through some Christian friends she learned about a God much different than the one she had been taught to follow.

“When I was 18, I heard the gospel for the first time and it just struck me. I didn't know if I believed it because, you know, it was hard for me to believe that you could be forgiven for all of your sins.”

So, in college, she kept looking for answers.  And now, away from her parent’s scrutiny, she started dating.

“I thought the answer would be to find a man who loved me to show me that I do have worth and I do have value and I am – I can be loved.”

Then in her sophomore year she began attending a Christian church regularly. Now working towards law school, she grappled with the intellectual issues of Christianity.  Then on Easter in 2008, her senior year, she decided there was only one conclusion.

“And the pastor had a call and said, ‘If you believe and you want to make this confession of faith today, raise your hand.’ And so, I did. And that marks to me when I truly believed that Jesus Christ is the Lord.”

But still unable to silence the voices from her youth, Nada continued to believe her worth would come through a Muslim man. One day, she found him.

“Just seeing how kind and loving that he was and successful he was and that he would be interested in me and that he loves me, gave me a sense of worth.”

Eventually they moved in together and got engaged.  That’s when she realized that her fiancé was as serious about his god as she was of hers.

“I felt torn between this amazing man, everything besides the faith was in line with what I wanted, but then I wanted God more than – more than anything, so I just felt torn between the two.”

Then, he ended the engagement.

“I just felt like my world had been taken away from me, just empty and again, not having any value, useless and worthless.”

As she had often done before, she turned to the Bible. This time, the words cut through the voices in her mind, and penetrated her heart.

“I saw myself through God's eyes now, I saw that I was cleansed, you know, by the blood of Christ, that I'm sinless and spotless. I felt like royalty reading about myself through the scripture and connecting with God and understanding his love for me.”

Nada also began to realize everyone needed God’s forgiveness, including her parents and the man who abused her. But it wasn’t until she fought and won the case in favor of pro-life, Nada realized God could even forgive her for the abortion.

“I was afraid of the shame, just having to feel that, when this all happened, and God redeemed that, I felt set free, redeemed. The word that kept coming to my mind is redeemed.”

Today, with her husband Grant, Nada is raising her daughter, Nyla Grace, to understand the value she, and all people have in the eyes of God.

“Jesus filled my identity and my purpose. When I felt like an empty shell all those years as a child, now I'm uh have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of me. That he knitted me together in my mother's womb, to be loved more fully than I could have ever imagined.”

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