- Posted February 10, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Have you had an abortion?
Men Regret Abortions
My story starts over 30 years ago, when I had a relationship with a girl that resulted in an abortion. It actually seemed convenient at the time and it was kept a secret. What I didn't realize then was how this would affect me for the next 30 plus years of my life. Without my even realizing it, the guilt of what I had been part of created anxiousness, anxiety, and an anger hidden deep inside of me that I just couldn't understand. I was very often "on edge". Small issues in life often became big issues and really "set me off". I never thought that these things might be connected to the abortion I had been involved with.
Two years ago, my father died of brain cancer. My father and I were very close and during his illness I was constantly angry about what was happening to him. I was angry at God and at the situation. After my father's death, the anger didn't go away, in fact, it got worse. My wife told me I need to get help dealing with it.
During my counseling for anger, my counselor realized that there was something deeper to this anger then I was revealing to him. I admitted to him that I had something so awful in my past that I could never reveal it. My wife, who knew nothing about the abortion, insisted that I talk, so, at that moment, I told my secret. I was connected with a post abortion counselor at a local pregnancy center and I began a very difficult journey of healing. That journey included my repentance and acceptance of what I had been responsible for. Finally, and most difficult for me, I needed to forgive myself and also those who had been involved in the death of my daughter.
Part of what a man is called to do in life is to provide for and protect his family. I realized I had failed at protecting my daughter. As I worked through a study called "Healing a Fathers Heart" with my counselor and my wife, I realized how deeply this "spirit of abortion" had gripped my life. It had deeply affected my thought life, it had adversely affected relationships with family and others, and it had kept me distant from God. I was so angry at those involved in my daughters death that I really wanted to hurt them. I realized, though, that Christ had died so that we all could have forgiveness. If he offers forgiveness to them, how could I refuse to.
When I finally forgave those responsible for doing this to my little girl, it was a hugh weight lifted off of me. The power of forgiveness was like nothing I have ever experienced in my life. It was miraculous, life changing, and it brought me tremendous freedom. I was free of the anxiety, the anger, and the anxiousness that had been with me for so many years. Relationships with family and others that had been difficult for years suddenly changed. I felt closer to God then I had ever felt in my life. I had a joy in living that I had not experienced before.
Part of my journey through counseling was to write a letter to my aborted daughter. It is a very personal letter but, so that people may understand that a man actually has very deep inner feelings about what he has been involved in, I want to share with you an excerpt from that letter:
"Precious daughter, I know that the real loser in what I did was myself. Although I breathed a sigh of relief at the time because it seemed to make things much less complicated for me, I have to live with what your mother and I did the rest of my life. I did not get to hold you as a baby, to watch you take your first steps, I have no pictures of you messing up your first birthday cake. I didn't get to take you to school for the first time, to hold you in the tractor as I was plowing or sit you on the hay wagon with me. You would have been a star little league baseball player like your brothers but I never got to play baseball with you. I didn't get to attend your graduation or chase the boys away from our house. I never walked you down the aisle at your wedding or held your children. I never got a chance to be your hero as a father is supposed to be to all his children.
You, on the other hand, have been with Jesus all these years. You have felt no pain but only the joy of being in the presence of Jesus every day. I know that you were among the welcoming crowd when my father (your grandfather) came to heaven in April. I am sure he was surprised but I know you gave him a big hug and you probably see him every day. I also know that one day, when I also cross over into heaven, you will be there to meet me. I look forward to your running up to me, jumping into my arms, and saying "welcome home, daddy, I love you". I will hold you and hug you and we will be together for all eternity.
One more thing, I want to tell you how you have changed my life. This journey I have been on in dealing with your death will change my life forever. I will be a kinder, gentler, more forgiving person then I ever was before. I have learned more about forgiveness in the past 6 months then in the first 55 years of my life. I know that forgiveness is not about forgetting, because I will never forget what has happened to you. I also know that forgiveness is not about condoning what happened. What I and your mother did was, and still is, wrong! Forgiveness for me doesn't lead me to reconciliation with the abortion industry, it is as wrong now as it was back then and needs to stop. What it does mean to me is that I give up the right to punish, to harm, or to retaliate to anyone for what happened to you. I give that up to God who is fair and just and always will be the final judge. This has given me great freedom in the Lord. I will be closer to my God and more willing to walk in whatever he has for me the rest of my life. I want to do and be what he wants me to be while I am still on this earth.
So now I must release you to Jesus until we meet. Jamie, I love you very much and look forward to seeing you soon."
As a man, I can tell you that I will probably, at some level, grieve for my daughter for the rest of my life BUT I can also tell you that I no longer carry the guilt and shame of what I have been part of. I have been forgiven and, Praise the Lord, I am free at last! It is my sincere desire that, through my telling my story, other men can also be set free from the effects being involved in abortion has had on their lives.