HOPE | Abortion Recovery
You are not alone. We want to help. These are the words from women who have found hope and healing through their journey of abortion recovery at the Abortion Recovery Centre.
“When I first came to the Centre, I was overwhelmed by numbness – self-induced. The only way I could deal with my pain was to numb myself to all feelings. Sometimes the pain would surface and my way of coping was to cut myself. I wouldn’t look at my counsellor the first couple of times I went in. I was afraid that when I shared my story she would be filled with disgust and I would see it in her eyes. She was so gentle. She told me that God loved me and there was nothing I could do that was too big for Him to forgive – all I had to do was ask and then accept His forgiveness so that I could start healing. It took awhile – but that’s what I did. I cried harder than I think I’ve cried before and something broke inside and it was like all the shame and fear and guilt and self hatred just disappeared. At the end of my 8 weeks, I was a totally different person than when I first walked in their doors. I have hope and purpose in my life.” *Carolina*
“My abortion was the single worst decision of my life. I ended up in an abusive relationship and accepted accusations of being “no good and worthless”. I felt that I should wear the title “murderer” on the outside because that’s how I felt on the inside. I had responded and believed the lie that my baby was “just a blob of tissue”; I had bought the lie freely and willingly. I remember the day at the Centre when this all came up. I realized that I couldn’t forgive myself. My counsellor told me that Jesus had gone to the cross for my sins and that they were taken care of – I just had to accept it. From that point on I felt freedom. I realized I was loved unconditionally by God Himself. Because of this I was able to go into my past and release those who had abused me and as I set them free, I felt my chains of self-hatred disappear. I can look up now – not down. I can face those who have hurt and abused me and love them because of the forgiveness I have received.” *Belinda”
“My abortion decision caused me to attempt suicide, have recurring nightmares during my pregnancy with my first born and led me to make poor relationship choices. I heard the gospel message and accepted it as truth several years after my abortion. God did not have a problem with me, I had a problem with me.
I phoned the Centre and joined their group classes. The peer counsellor was compassionate and gentle. As a group we supported one another. Individually I went home and wrestled through the questions, the readings, the emotions, but I knew next week in group I could listen, I could cry, I could talk and I knew I was not alone; I was not the only one. Isolation is a terrible feeling – to know that there was another who identified with me and who validated my feelings gave me incredible freedom. I had permission to grieve the loss of my child, the loss of hope, the loss of dreams and the loss of identity.
My recovery from my abortion grief was difficult, emotional and worth every moment. The authority I have today to define myself as an over comer gives me great liberty to embrace all that God has for me. Rather than seeing myself as not fit for the crumbs off any table I can gratefully dine with the King. The Abortion Recovery Centre provided the place and the resources, I came with a willingness to redefine myself and God permeated it all.” *Naomi*
“When I went to the Centre, it had been five years since my abortion but the pain was still quite acute. I felt guilty, awful, cruel, and like a murderer. I often wondered where my baby was and although I asked God for forgiveness – I couldn’t forgive myself. Most mornings I didn’t want to get out of bed and felt that I had lost all my dreams and goals .I struggled with deep depression. My peer counsellor challenged me (and made me mad) to make a list of goals. She encouraged me to make one small goal a day, like do the dishes and then add another one.
Slowly, I began to see God’s deep and unconditional love and promises for people – even when they spurn God’s way. I began to see that I allowed myself to hate my aborted baby – I held him responsible for every horrible thing that had happened after the abortion. Slowly these feelings of hate turned to love; slowly I could be happy for others who were able to hold their babies in their arms. I learned how to trust my peer counsellor that when she challenged me and encouraged me to leave my comfort zone – it was for my good.
I came to healing and found the strong woman in me instead of the weak one who tried to deny my strength. I can get up in the mornings and know that I have value and I’m glad to be alive.” *Bonnie”
“Everyone around me, including my boyfriend, encouraged me to get the abortion. He promised he loved me and would stand by me. He didn’t and as I started to deal with the horrible depression and hateful thoughts I had, I realized that I needed to deal with my abortions as decisions I had made.
Each counselling session left me feeling better than when I walked in. Each one helped me believe that I was worthy of love and that I didn’t have to let the abortions define me as a person unworthy of receiving or giving love. That didn’t mean it was easy to get up and go to the Centre. Uncovering those emotions left me exhausted; but knowing I needed to go on.
Towards the end of my sessions I realized that I wanted to do something very specific to remember my children. My counsellor helped me plan a memorial service. I named my two children and wrote letters to them. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done but it was the best thing I’ve ever done. I was able to pour out my feelings, ask their forgiveness and let them know I love them.
I can’t say all my pain has gone; but I’m more aware of people who love me and support me and definitely more aware that God loves me.” *Kelly*
When talk of abortion came up I would become very agitated. I had been a Christian for about two years and I knew that Jesus had forgiven the three abortions that I had had earlier in my life. So why was I upset? The uneasiness grew and I prayed about what to do.
Through my church I found out about the Pregnancy Care Centre. I thought that if became a volunteer there I might be able to save other young women from the years of emotional pain that I had experienced as a result of having chosen abortion.
At the Centre, I felt safe. I tearfully shared my story with the kind and loving staff in an atmosphere that was accepting and non-judgmental. They were so sensitive in recognizing that I was in a lot of pain and in need of much healing and gently told me about the abortion recovery program.
Throughout the following weeks my volunteer counsellor very lovingly took me through the steps of healing. It was hard to deal with all those raw emotions that I had tried to stuff away for so many years. But it was also the most freeing thing I have ever experienced, second only to my initial salvation. I was finally able to forgive myself and then honor my three children that were now in the arms of Jesus. The shame was gone. The constant feelings of unworthiness and low self-esteem were driven out by the grace and mercy of God through the expert guidance of the compassionate and skilled volunteers of the Centre. *Ruth*
*Real names not used*