- Posted February 9, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Have you had an abortion?
I thought this would solve my "problem". However, after the realization of what I had done sunk in, I was filled with shame and regret. Every time I saw a picture of a baby it was as if a knife was stuck into my heart. Because I did not like the way I felt I started drinking and led a loose life style. I dated men who were abusive and felt my life was in a downward spiraI. I often dreamt about the baby, what did he or she look like? Was it a boy or a girl? Whenever that time of year came around I would be depressed and felt such guilt. My so called answer to the problem became a bigger problem. I was angry often.
Every time I went to church, I felt condemnation and shame, not from the members, but from myself. What if these people really knew what I had done? I thought they would judge me and throw stones at me. So I told no one and kept the secret inside after all, I had killed my child, not something you would share with someone! Then I met a man who was a Christian and he asked me if I wanted to go to church with him. I did, and found the people to be loving and kind and full of a joy that I certainly did not have. The more I went there, the more I felt their love and acceptance. I did ask the Lord to come into my heart, to be my Lord and Savior. We started attending a bible study. THe lady whose house we went to worked at a women's pregnancy center. I finally felt safe enough to confess my abortion to her, she was loving and not surprised. SHe did not judge me or condemn me for what I did. In fact, she encouraged me to go through a post abortion recovery study which I decided to do. THere were 10 women in the group, some who had had several abortions. I felt safe in that group and we were encouraged to talk about our experiences. There was such healing there, as I let out my secret. I did not know that secrets have a hold on you and keep you imprisoned, like chains wrapped around you. One of the hardest thing we had to do was write a letter to our child asking for their forgiveness. I was not sure what the sex of my baby was, so I was encouraged to pray and find out. I eventually realized it was a boy. We had a memorial service where we lit candles and grieved our babies and read our letters to our child. When a woman has a miscarriage, everyone comforts her and she is allowed and expected to grieve. However, with an abortion, you don't do that, you keep it inside and don't allow yourself to grieve because you don't feel you should, as you made the decision to kill your child. This causes all sorts of behaviors and unpleasant emotions in your life. Instead, after the memorial service, and saying goodbye to my child, I felt free. I knew God had forgiven me, but more importantly, I had forgiven myself. I was able to go forward with my life and not feel the regret of that abortion controlling me.
Years later I attended a different church and got involved in Celebrate Recovery. When the director of that program asked what group I wanted to lead, I said I want to start a post abortion group here at this church. His reply was that we did not need it right now. I shared with him that at least 33% of women between 15-45 will have an abortion, and many were sitting in our church with that secret keeping them in chains. Several of us went to California for the Celebrate Recovery Summit. Almost every other speaker talked about abortion and the devastation it causes in a woman's life, as well as the man's. After we heard so much discussion about abortion, he told me that I could start an post abortion recovery group. When I got home, I started looking for a curriculum to use for this group. I selected Surrendering The Secret, which is a DVD driven course where a group of ladies talk about their decision to have an abortion and the effect it had on their life. THey share their experiences and healing journey which opens up the group to talk about their own pain and sorrow.
We started the study in the fall, and had 4 ladies attend, It was amazing to see their demeanor when they started the study. They were filled with guilt, shame, and could hardly look us in the eye. After dealing with unforgiveness, anger and the many other emotions that are part of the aftermath of abortion, they started the healing process. Many of the women had gotten into alcoholism, abusive relationships, and even considered suicide. The memorial service was hard, we all cried as they grieved their children. They picked names for their child, and brought flowers to represent their baby or babies. At the end of the study, the change in them was amazing! You could almost see the chains being broken that had held them captives for so long. It was so freeing for all of us. In leading that study, I was still receiving healing for my abortion from so long ago.
Unfortunately none of us realized that when we made the decision to abort our baby that there would be such strong emotions and disastrous consequences after the abortion. We are led to believe it is no big deal, after all it is legal! It is the easy only way out, but no one tells us about the mental anxiety we will suffer later.
If I knew then what I know now, I would have looked for other options. I have found that when I make a decision in a crisis, I often make mistakes. I was in a panic mode and was looking for a quick fix. There are so many reasons why women choose to have an abortion but when they are presented with facts and alternatives it might help them to make a more informed decision.
Not one woman I have spoken with who has carried her child to term rather than have an abortion regrets her decision. Instead they are filled with joy when they are holding their baby. Some, though not many, choose to give the baby up for adoption. I myself have 2 adopted children.
I hope that women are given more statistics and facts before they turn to abortion. I know what it is like to be in their shoes and to feel helpless. However, this is when we are the most vulnerable and let our emotions rule our heads rather than waiting and trying to make a more rational decision. I am not sure what would have happened if I had spoken with someone who presented the facts and went over options with me. Maybe it would have made me stop and think more, who knows? It is a hard place to be and the woman needs caring people to comfort her and help her to see all avenues available to her.