Last week was a rough week in social media land. Every day it seemed there was a new undercover Planned Parenthood video released, each one more horrific than the one before. Each video featuring so-called doctors and others hired to pick through the remains of aborted babies for the purpose of harvesting their organs. Selling babies body parts. This is so difficult to wrap my mind around.
What have we come to as a civilization?
I am saddened beyond words. It is right that these videos were recorded and released. It is right that such evil is exposed. It is right that we are outraged. It is right that we are horrified. It is relieving to see these emotions expressed on social media. At least I am reassured that our national conscience is not entirely dead. There are still some things that we find unacceptable.
However, I cannot even imagine how the release of these videos have affected those of you who’ve had an abortion. My heart breaks for you as you have been assaulted over and over as you’ve looked at your social media sites, listened to your friends, who don’t know you’ve had an abortion, talking about the videos and making comments about the evils of abortion.
I don’t know that you fully understood what you were signing up for when you chose to terminate your pregnancy, most girls and young women don’t. Abortion seems to be the only answer when you are in a panic, scared, alone, or want to hang on to the guy who promised he’d stand by you through it all.
If you are like most of the post-abortive women who come to us for biblical counseling, you’ve carried your secret for 7-10 years without telling a soul. It has been your private horrible hurt, your greatest shame, the thing you wish you could undo more than anything else in the world. You have a hard time going to baby showers, and to the hospital to visit your friends who’ve become new parents. Your dreams are haunted by the experience, and you have awoke in a cold sweat more times than you can count. You can’t stand the smell of antiseptic and certain sounds like blenders and other small devices unnerve you or make you want to cry.
And you do cry- a lot. You cry for all you have missed. For birthdays and Christmas mornings you and your child will never have. You cry for the first day of Kindergarten, high school graduation, and the wedding that will never be reality.
There are times you want to die. Maybe you’ve thought about it. Maybe you’ve tried to end it all because you were not sure you could live with this one more minute.
Please allow me to bring you hope. Please allow me to minister to your broken, weary, heavy soul. While abortion did end the life of your child, God truly does forgive and bring healing into the lives of women (and men) who seek Him. You don’t have to live this way any longer. Abortion is not unforgivable.
I want you to know it is OK to grieve. Grief is the normal and natural response to loss. The purpose of grieving is in part to accept the loss of someone you loved. Grieving is to be for a period of time, and grieving is to be moving forward with the outcome of the grieving to accept the loss as part of your life. We never “forget” someone we love when they die, but if our grieving is healthy we are not immersed in grief for the rest of our lives. When we lose a person with whom we’ve had a “living relationship” we have our memories of them, Places we’ve gone, conversations, and so on, we have our memories to comfort us. I know you don’t have that. Loss due to abortion is different. Your grief pain is multiplied by the secrecy and guilt that surrounds your abortion decision (Psalm 31:9-10).
Please, please reach out for help to deal with your abortion. Meet with someone who will help you admit you have suffered a real loss. Who will allow you to admit you are in pain because of the loss of your baby. Someone who will walk through the whole awful experience with you and eventually help you come to terms with the abortion.
When you express the grief, and find a ways to honor your feelings of loss, you can begin to really move forward. As with any personal loss, you will never forget what has happened, or ‘forget’ your baby, but you can create a touchstone, and you will know you did something to remember and honor your child. Don’t remain locked in this emotional hell, find a compassionate and caring biblical counselor who will show you the love of Christ.