C.S. Lewis once said, “We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”
When it comes to a past abortion, embracing a recovery class seems like an agonizing concept but it can truly lead to God’s restoration of our womanly hearts.
Since entering the field of pregnancy center and post-abortion outreach in 1991, I have worked with tens of thousands of post-abortive individuals at all stages of healing. The post-abortive are everywhere living among us — in churches, shopping centers, grocery stores, daycare centers, high schools, pregnancy centers, etc.
We encompass the spectrum of the educational system — from high school drop-outs to those holding multiple higher degrees. We often work well below our level of capacity yet also at the top levels of corporations, governments and institutions.
If you look into any American audience, realize that one third of all female faces could have experienced an abortion. Abortion is the most common form of surgical procedure in the United States today yet a past abortion is rarely discussed in any setting.
Many post-abortive women don’t dare to share this secret. It seems obvious to our hearts that if people – even loved ones – knew about our choice, they would not like us, love us, or associate with us. In the unhealed heart of a post-abortive woman lies the belief that she has committed a sin that is so horrendous it has to be unforgivable. This sin stamps a scarlet letter A on our foreheads and souls…
We don’t need society to “punish” us for our choice. We do that well enough by ourselves. Whether that be through drugs, alcohol, eating disorders, sexual dysfunctions, suicide attempts or completions, abusive relationships, etc., we can be broken people.
Few associate their pain and behavior with a past abortion decision(s). That memory is buried deep and covered with other dysfunctional activities in an attempt to distance our minds from the seemingly haunting presence of our lost child(ren).
Somewhere along the post-abortive journey, our pain can be triggered. We then can no longer bear the burden of these memories. Just the media discussion of the Center for Medical Progress’s video exposé of Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted baby parts ignited our pain. Another trigger is the media coverage of the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision on January 22. Or it could be a Mother’s Day celebration. Getting pregnant and giving birth is another overwhelming reminder.
Or perhaps it is in a second, third, fourth unplanned pregnancy, where abortion is repeated. Hearing a song from that period or a fragrance can reminds us of the moment(s) when we lost so much. Yearly anniversary dates – such as the date of the abortion or the due date of the child – can also initiate this depression.
When this pain is launched, some confess — perhaps quietly, discreetly, tentatively, or even angrily — to a stranger, friend, loved one or family member. The pain is obvious. The “relief” in eventually recognizing our aborted child(ren) as lost human beings is often the first step in the healing process.
Others dare not confess and further withdraw into themselves, trusting no one. They have overheard conversations portraying painful condemnations such as, “I don’t know how anyone could ever choose abortion. They must be horrible people.”
Even in approaching the abortion clinic, some were branded and taunted as “murderers” by a certain type of abortion opponent. Those angry voices propel us into the seemingly safe arms of abortion clinic staff who assisted us in this choice that we may come to regret so deeply. It is hard to trust anyone ever again after this experience.
Many of us began our healing journey due to the prayers of others who never forgot quietly uttered confessions. Others have a Godly understanding that abortion’s broken women are silently in their midst. To those who have prayed, please continue to do so. Our journey to wholeness in Christ can be instantaneous or a long procession. We need tangible grace and mercy from society.
Some of you may suspect that a loved one could be struggling with this pain. You may wonder how to comfort them. Begin by understanding that everyone needs unconditional love and acceptance. There is no sin that God cannot forgive. Yet many of us struggle to forgive ourselves for this choice which sacrificed our own flesh and blood on the altar of choice.
Abortion need not be an unspoken topic around us. By carefully and kindly addressing us, share the truth that healing is available. Outline we can be set free from of the guilt and shame. Please take the time to reach out to us with the hope of Ezekiel 36:26, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
Sydna Massé is President and Founder of Ramah International and author of the book, Her Choice to Heal: Finding Spiritual and Emotional Peace After Abortion.