Do I dare touch this topic? Or should I say do I dare not touch this topic? Being a person who likes to avoid conflict and arguments, it could be easy to avoid such a topic. However, knowing what I know about hurting young ladies who have chosen abortion, my heart and mouth can’t be silent.
Many of you know my story. At the age of 18, I found myself pregnant by someone I barely knew. I was devastated and scared. I called abortion clinics, but never made an appointment. I chose to marry the father of my baby and through God’s grace things worked out for us. I know that is not the case with a lot of other young girls who found themselves in the same predicament. Some may go through very difficult times. I will never minimize the stress and trauma of a young lady trying to figure out what to do. It’s horrifying.
Fast forward many years. I am now training at Grace Ministries International to become a lay counselor. I was fascinated by the process that we took individuals through each week. It was supernatural to watch God open eyes to a person’s pain and bring healing. Post abortion counseling quickly became one of my favorite ways to help ladies who were stuck in their grief.
I have no idea how many women I have counseled over 30 years who experienced an abortion. I’ve heard story after story, and I’ve watched God bring deep healing. It’s actually a beautiful process to walk with ladies through this specific healing. If you have had an abortion, and you’ve never reached out for help to heal emotionally, please reach out to someone. You do not have to go years and years pushing down the pain of your abortion. I have counseled women who are close to my age, who have grieved, and hurt for decades. The shame of what they did kept them from facing their decision and getting help. On the other hand, in today’s society, I have counseled young ladies who have experienced an abortion with no guilt initially. Yet there are others that still believe they are being punished for their decision. This is such a tragedy.
So what is involved in post abortion counseling? We want to look at the truth. God’s word tells us that He formed human beings in the mother’s womb, and that they are fearfully and wonderfully made. To heal, we must come to grips with the fact that a life was ended. I can’t convince anyone of this truth, so I wait on God to open their eyes. There should be no condemnation in discipleship counseling. Being one that almost made the same decision, I most certainly will not condemn. However, I know that the truth sets us free. And God wants to set us all free. If you still aren’t convinced that you ended a life, ask God to show you the truth. A beautiful, small fiction book named “Tilly” by Frank Peretti can help you see the truth. I often ask my clients to read this small book which is available on Amazon.
Once the young lady understands she ended an actual life, she also needs to know that forgiveness is readily available. God is a God of mercy and forgiveness. She needs to receive God’s forgiveness, and a healed heart. There needs to be closure for the mother and the child. This happens by giving this child an identity and a name. You see, there is a child in heaven that deserves an identity. This recognition gives them their dignity. It’s a beautiful process to watch the lady guess at the sex of the child and give the child a name.
We spend some time talking about God’s forgiveness for this decision. We then discuss how she can forgive herself. We should never hold ourselves hostage to unforgiveness when God has forgiven us. We need to make the decision to forgive ourselves. Forgiveness is a choice, it is not a feeling. If you are grieving, you may not “feel” like you can forgive yourself. But you absolutely can make that decision. Forgiveness is never saying it’s okay that you did what you did. It’s saying I will no longer hold myself accountable, because God is covering this sin with his very own blood, and declaring me righteous.
Once you understand that God has forgiven you, and you have forgiven yourself, we are going to give the baby the recognition he or she deserves. This is done by writing a letter to the baby explaining the circumstances that were happening at the time of their conception, and asking for the child’s forgiveness. I have no words to describe the healing these ladies experience through this process. God can bring so much healing through our imaginations. One lady read her letter aloud in our session, and as we prayed she saw her child in her mind. He said, “That’s my mommy” with pride in his voice. Only God can do something that beautiful. She wept with gratitude.
Closure and healing is possible through choosing to walk in the truth. If you are hurting and need someone to talk to, feel free to give me a call. I would love to help you with this process.