For the past 20 years I have intentionally plunged myself into studying spiritually and psychologically two areas that I desperately needed healing from: the wounds from sexual abuse and the wounds after the trauma of abortion. It has taken incredible wisdom from godly saints. By the grace and love of God, I am astonished to know that He uses our wounds and walks beside others with healing grace. God has revealed this to me as I hear, see and feel the heart cries of women and men in the South Florida area — churched and unchurched — who have sadly experienced an abortion.
Please awaken to the cries of the hurting around us. Abortion is a profound loss and a wound to the soul. But the great thing is we have resources around us to help heal the depths of the wounds after post-abortion trauma.
I have come alongside many in this area to instruct and teach through my DVD project Into My Arms. Unfortunately I have found that some well-meaning therapists and pastors don’t understand the depth of abortion wounds and how this trauma can impact us, our marriages, raising our children and sadly our relationship with God forever. Many wonderful Christians are silent to speak of their deep shame and loss.
Feelings of shame and loss
You see we often feel like we have done the “unpardonable sin.”
After an abortion we may be bombarded with messages we give ourselves or that the Christian community gives us. We may feel like we have committed unpardonable sins in a number of areas. I know I did.
I had sex outside of marriage
I got pregnant outside of marriage
I ended the life of my baby
Wow! How do we get over and forgive ourselves for these three sins? Unfortunately, the church sometimes reinforces the shame we feel. We know abortion is wrong (more than anyone), but when the church constantly shoves it down our throats with pictures of unborn fetuses and talks about how unforgiveable abortion is, we feel like we can never be set free from this burden of our shame and condemnation.
Sadly, this place of feeling like “trash” or “no good” sometimes forces us into a place where we repeat the abortion and have another. I have heard this over and over: “I am already trash, unforgiveable. I am pregnant again, so I may as well abort this baby too because I could never be a good mother or even a good person.”
This was a big factor in my second abortion and my choice to counsel other women to abort their babies.
They cry of a wounded heart
But his is not the heart of God as revealed in the Psalms.
“Deal well with me for your name’s sake;
Out of the goodness of your love, deliver me.
For I am poor and needy,
And my heart is wounded within me.
Help me O LORD my God;
Save me in accordance with your love” (Psalm 109:21-22, 26).
The path to healing
I continue to travel on this road of healing. It is my deepest desire that you will be willing to walk this journey too, even when it feels like too much is required of you. Please do the hard work emotionally and spiritually as you honestly wrestle with your beliefs about God’s goodness and you face the pain of your abortion.
Maybe if we support one another, we can make it through the dark times and see the light of Christ ahead! He is not afraid of your pain and the multitude of emotions that you may carry or have stuffed down into a box. It is often shrouded in fear, denial, family dysfunction, shame or confusion. You name how you feel. It is thrilling when you have the courage to face something that has painfully impacted so many areas of your life, and you may realize more ways you have been affected on the journey.
After an abortion, we lose our self. We lose our dignity. We lose our child. We lose our love for ourselves. Sometimes we lose our faith, and sometimes we lose the man who said he would stay if we aborted our baby. The bottom often falls out of our life, and we don’t know how to put it back.
Please prayerfully allow others to love you through your pain and grieving. There is joy in the morning. I know. I have experienced it fully as do others that we are witness to.
If you need help dealing with a past abortion, you may call 1-800-848-LOVE for local organizations that offer help. Several Bible study groups are available for men and women who have experienced abortion. In Broward call Hope Restored at 954-372-7089 or visit www.hopeafterchoice.com. In Palm Beach County contact First Care at 561-471-3601 for information on abortion recovery counseling.
Julie Woodley is a trauma survivor and a professional trauma counselor. With a team of experts she has completed two DVD projects with curriculum for women and men who have suffered sexual abuse and post-abortion traumas. For more information about her projects visit Rthm.CC or call 1-866-780-7846.