Blog Post

Women of Grace®: Helping Our Sisters Heal

Kira LeydenIt happened when she least expected it, while flipping through the channels and coming across Johnnette Benkovic's Women of Grace® show on EWTN, that aspiring Indy pop star Kira Leyden learned that birth control pills can cause abortion. Horrified at just the thought, this chance discovery turned out to be a life-saving moment.

According to, Leyden's story starts in 2009 when, at the age of just 25, she woke up one night feeling like there was a huge weight on her chest and a feeling of numbness in her arm and mouth. Fearing a heart attack, she woke her husband, Jeff, and asked to be taken to the emergency room.

Leyden immediately suspected her birth control pills but doctors insisted it had nothing to do with her symptoms. She was not convinced, especially because she had been having other problems that all seemed to begin shortly after she started on the pill.

“Physically I was having problems. I was getting horrible migraine headaches. . . . I just had this feeling inside that there was something wrong. [Taking the pill] was the only thing that I had changed in my life. Why would this be happening to me? [The pill] was the only thing that I started to do that’s different. I was scared to death,” she said.

Physical problems were not on the playlist of this young married couple who were already making a name for themselves in the Indie pop-rock music industry. Several of the songs they wrote appeared on TV shows such as Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars and NBC's The Biggest Loser.

Their band, named The Strange Familiar, was gaining national attention and had made the top 48 in America's Got Talent.

Climbing up the ladder to success was one of the reasons why they had decided to use the pill to prevent a pregnancy that neither of them felt would fit into their plans at the moment.

Kira, Jeff and Rayne Leyden Kira, Jeff and Rayne Leyden

“We didn’t hear from anyone that this was the wrong thing to do,” Leyden told LifeSite in an exclusive interview.

She and her husband were church-going Catholics, but that was as far as it went. She described them as being in a I-go-to-Church-on-Sunday-but-it-stops-there rut.

"We didn’t really partake in the other sacraments, like reconciliation. I think we were missing a big piece of our faith,” Kira said.

One night, Leyden was flipping through TV channels and caught Johnnette Benkovic on EWTN's Women of Grace® show speaking about how the pill can cause women to unintentionally - and unknowingly - abort a baby just after he or she had been conceived.

Leyden was shocked, having never heard this before.

“That just hit me so hard," she said. "At the time I was in the state of shock. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is horrible’ . . . . I was just devastated that I could have unintentionally aborted a child. That is the greatest evil that I can think of in this world – aborting a child,” she said.

This, coupled with her other fears, convinced her that it was time to get off the pill. She and Jeff began to delve further into the issue and discovered the Church's teaching about the beauty of fertility within marriage and how birth control attacks the integrity of a couple. The search led them to read Pope Paul VI's landmark encyclical, Humanae Vitae, as well as John Paul II's Theology of the Body. Their minds and hearts slowly began to open to the Truth, and it changed their whole worldview.

It also deepened their faith-life. The two began to pray the Rosary together and soon felt ready to go to confession and ask for forgiveness for the use of birth control.

“When I went off the pill, it was just so liberating,” Kira remembers. “From there we just started getting into our faith a lot more, and that spurred on our desire to do more with pro-life work.”

"Last year, Kira and Jeff found themselves engaged unexpectedly in the most pro-life activity a couple can perform," LifeSite reports. "They conceived and gave birth to their daughter Rayne."

The couple were filled with joy! “It was such a miracle and so amazing to go from a place of a totally wrong mindset — a contraceptive mindset — into welcoming life, no matter how crazy our life was – being in a van and trying to do music for a living,” Leyden said.

They have since learned that being a mother and a father has not stopped them from continuing their music career.

In fact, they just released their latest album, The Day the Light Went Out, which features a song entitled, Rain, that started out as a lullaby for their daughter when she was yet unborn.

The first line of the song - “you are the heart that beats inside of me” - came to Leyden  after hearing her baby’s heartbeat for the first time at 10 weeks.

Even though The Strange Familiar is not labeled as a Christian band, their music is now infused with songs that give positive messages about the value of life.

After hearing their music, Leyden hopes people will walk away with a new insight into the meaning of love.  “True love is sacrificing all for someone else,” she said.

We believe that Kira Leyden's story is repeated over and over again, quietly, without much fanfare, as the Lord works His miracles one life at a time. How honored we are to be the messengers of the healing He wishes to give, and how edifying to know that our sisters are being helped in life-changing ways through this humble outreach. Our thanks go out to all who work, pray and sacrifice for this ministry.

Alleluia! It's working!

Read more about The Strange Familiar here.

© All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®

You can be a Woman of Grace! Click here for more information.