"I will not fear, for You are ever with me. And You will never leave me to face my perils alone."
The clock was ticking, ticking..... Alaina couldn't get the sound of the of the clock out of her head. She stared at it on the plain white wall. It was 5 minutes to 3:00pm. She was waiting for the doctor to come in with the nurse. She had an uneasy feeling in her stomach and was unsure if she was making the right decision. She talked about it with people she trusted. Their conversations were repeating in her head. "This will be all over soon, and you can go on with your life" she heard her friend say. "This is going to ruin your life, do something about it" her mother demanded! "What do you think everyone is going to think once they find out?" All of the voices kept getting mumbled in her head. She started to panick, picked up her purse and then the door opened. "Hello, Alaina....are you ready?" The doctor asked.
The above story is fictional, however many women can identify with Alaina. Various thoughts go through women's heads before an abortion. Am I making the right decision? What if I don't have one, what will my life be like? I have counseled, and prayed with women who have had an abortion. It affects both men and women but it is usually the women who seek healing afterwards. Many come into therapy with shame, guilt, loss, unforgiveness, and trauma. "Abortion is a women's reproductive right" we hear in the news and from some politicians. What they don't mention in the news is what happens after the abortion. It brings emotional and spiritual scars, as well as trauma from it. After an abortion, many women want to know how to "fix the hole" that is in their hearts. They live with tremendous guilt and want to know what to do to get on with their lives. They become stuck in this stale state, unable to move on for years and even decades.
Our 40th President of our country, Ronald Regan once said " I've notived that everyone who is for abortion has already been born." Meaning that..... Abortion is taking of an innocent life. It is goes against the 5th commandment. God gave us these guidelines to help us. They give us Joy and Peace. When we don't follow them, it creates heartache and pain in our lives. It's how we are wired. Life begins at the moment of conception and any doctor or scientist (morally and ethically good ones who work for the common good) can tell you that. But not all of us have been brought up with this knowledge. Maybe we have not been brought up to know God's ways or maybe we have turned away from them? That's why it is wise to seek counsel and help when we have feelings of shame, depression and loss. This is the Holy Spirit speaking to us saying "I know what you have been through, and I want to take away all your burdens and pain."
So, how does one heal after an abortion? Well, the first thing to do is to seek a therapist, or a trusted friend to talk with. It is very unhealthy to keep emotions and thoughts inside oneself. If a person is holding onto guilt, shame, grief and does not talk about it, these can manifest into physical symptoms. This means a person can get sick physically which can lead to an illness. Our emotional and spiritual health is connected to our physical health. Once a person finds a therapist or a trusted friend it is important to seek forgiveness. Forgiveness of oneself and seeking forgiveness from the child that was taken (this can be done in session). And also seeking forgiveness from God. If we do not know Him or believe in Him, maybe this could be the crisis that leads to knowing Him. He is very kind and loving and is ready to welcome you with open arms.
Another great resource for healing after an abortion is Rachael's Vineyard. This is a retreat for both women and men. There are 375 locations around United States, in Columbia, and in Europe. Rachael's Vineyard is a safe place to rebuild and renew broken hearts after an abortion. This is totally the work of the Holy Spirit. These retreats are usually a day or a couple of days with an overnight stay. There are other people there who have been in the same situation. Healing happens when you can relate to others who have been in the same boat as you. If you would like to find out more about them, here is the link to their website: https://www.rachelsvineyard.org/ Grief work and naming the child is also part of the healing process after an abortion. Another way to heal from abortion that is holistic is through Jesus. Many women find their way to a Freedom in Christ Conference. This is a Healing and Deliverance Ministry. There are several prayer teams across the country and around the world. At a Freedom in Christ Conferencem you can recieve Unbound Prayer. This is where a person renounces a spirit of shame, guilt, depression etc. in the name of Jesus. It is a very powerful ministry where many find freedom. You can find more about Conferences at Heartofthefather.com and also at https://maryshousechicopee.org/
In conclusion - If you or someone you know has had an abortion, please don't hesitate to take the next step in healing. You do not have to live in shame or with the guilt. It is so important for your emotional, spiritual and physicial health. Once healing happens, you can live a life with hope, purpose and peace.
About the Author: Donna L. Marotto is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Director of Faith Formation and a Lay Franciscan. If you would like to contact her, please visit her website at Youarelovedministry.com or email at email@example.com