5 Steps to Help with Emotional Healing after an Abortion
Is abortion part of your story? Recently or has it been years, you’ve tried to get over the emotion, but you still struggle. Are you hoping no one catches you reading this, and the thought of facing God, you can’t even begin to think about doing that? You don’t know of a safe place where you can go to talk about it or get support from someone who understands. I get it. Can I share some of the steps in healing after an abortion that helped me?
First, I want to tell you, you’re going to be okay. ❤️
There is healing for you after an abortion, and I want to help you find it.
In fact, after you read my experience, if you decide you’d like me to walk you through your own steps in this same way by video with a little more detail, we can do that, too? ☺️
I’m here for you.
Twenty-five years ago, I took a class with my friend, Kath.
If I’d stereotyped her, I’d have guessed she was in the National Honor Society and in choir or orchestra in high school. Back then, we never would’ve hung out. I was too busy skipping school and getting high. 😜
Without God, we wouldn’t have been friends.
But with Him, we found a depth in relationship that shocked me. She and I both wanted as much healing as possible and kept running into each other in the same classes.
So finally, we joined forces.
After an inner healing training, a few of us went down the hall to find a room to practice. Of course, prayer is prayer and God shows up; nothing’s practice for Him.
Related Post: Is there a Hole in Your Heart after an Abortion?
Healing after an Abortion, Step One:
Name your pain.
One woman, I’ll call her Sue, wanted healing after having had an abortion. That theme seemed to be going around. Kath led the session. Even though she’s sensitive, she’s bold, confident, and trusts God to show up and heal. She sees things in others they may not see in themselves and shares honestly.
I confess I’m not always ready to hear what she has to say, but afterwards, I’m grateful for her words. I know she cares and speaks from a place of love, so that makes a big difference.
As we prayed for Sue, I offered quiet prayer support.
In a safe space with three of us praying for Sue, Kath invited her to share her story in as much detail as possible. Kath led her to name her pain more clearly than she’d ever done before.
When I went to seminary to get a counseling degree, that’s one of the first things they taught us, to name our pain. I thought they were crazy. But you know what? It helps. And when I don’t have someone close by to share with, I journal. I write until I have nothing left to say, pouring out my heart to God.
Nothing comes as a surprise to God, but I learn things when I explain myself to Him.
Healing after an Abortion, Step Two:
Ask God for a memory that needs healing.
In our little group, we closed our eyes. Kath said to Sue, “Tell us what you remember.”
Sue said, “I went to the abortion clinic on Lake Otis.”
As she spoke, I pictured what she described, ascended the stairs in my mind, and entered a generic-looking waiting room.
At the same time, an internal urgency wanted to hurry me along. What was that?
Kath took her time. “What went through your mind?”
I shook my head from side to side in an effort to dislodge the thoughts of my own experience that interrupted my thinking and dug through my purse for Tums. I set the roll on my lap and ate one after another as my leg jumped up and down.
“After they called your name,” Kath said, “what happened?”
That’s when I sunk into my own memory.
A nurse escorted me down the hall for a brief “counseling” appointment, nothing more than a compulsory ten-minute slot to satisfy governmental qualifications for the clinic, no doubt. I sat with four others awaiting our procedure in white hospital gowns wide open in the back.
I shivered, but not because I was cold.
Looking around the room, I blushed. Everyone else sat with her mom or her man.
My mom didn’t know.
And Tony said he loved me then got on a plane and moved out of state.
He rejected me, like I was doing by aborting our child. But that morning, I didn’t see that part. At seventeen, I saw a problem I needed to solve.
What about the others in the room? What led them here? The older couple, was he abusive? Or maybe she got raped? I’d wished that we could step outside and have a cigarette together, share stories.
“As long as everyone’s ready,” the counselor smiled brightly, “we can return to the waiting room.” Oh yeah, ready, that’s me. I wrapped my johnny more tightly around me. And back down the hall, I smiled weakly at my friend who’d journeyed into Boston with me, prepared to spend the day.
“It’s time.” Kath brought me back to the present.
“Tell me what happened.”
In my mind, I followed Sue into the operating room. As I came around the corner, I fully expected to see her on the table, but instead, I lay there.
My memory traded places with her description.
Gasping for air, I opened my eyes then closed them again tightly as I prayed, “Lord, I’m here for her!” and tried to return to my version of her memory.
As if trying to resume a dream, I couldn’t.
“It’s okay.” God attempted to ease my panic.
Healing after an Abortion, Step Three:
Ask God to show you the lie you believed.
So I did. I just said, “God, what was the lie I believed that led me to get an abortion?”
When I first heard what He said, I shook my head. It wasn’t true. That’s when God reminded me, “You asked me for the lie you believed, right? Now you can see that it’s not true, but at the time you believed the lie and acted as if it were truth.”
Wow, He was right.
Then without missing a beat, the liar impersonating my own inner voice whispered inside, “I had no other choice.”
I believed him as I lay on that table in that abortion clinic, wondering what the name of the drug was that made me feel so good, too good while doing the worst thing I’d ever done.
Each time I thought back on this, the liar repeated his next line, “Oh well, there’s nothing I can do about it now.”
Healing after an Abortion, Step Four: Ask God to reveal the truth.
It’s the truth that sets us free. Have you ever heard that? It’s from the Bible (John 8:32) and it’s true.
Sometimes we recognize truth when we realize a lie we’ve believed. Like in my situation, when God revealed the lie, I knew He was right. And I knew that’s what I’d believed at the time.
Now I could see alternatives.
I could have had the baby or given it up for adoption.
If you’re working through these steps with God for your own healing and you don’t sense the truth, you can ask God. He’ll show you.
God wants to heal you. 🙂
Healing after an Abortion, Step Five:
Ask Jesus to reveal Himself in your memory.
“Since God has always been with us, look around the room,” Kath said. “See if you see or sense Jesus.”
No! I hyperventilated as quietly as possible. It wasn’t that Jesus wasn’t there. I knew exactly where He was, over my left shoulder, but I didn’t want to look at Him, not now. Twisting my head, I put Him in my blind spot. I breathed as if I were giving birth.
“When you’re ready,” Kath said, “Look at Jesus.”
“Can you see Him?”
If I wanted to, I could. I inched my head back, then forward, stealing a quick glance, then turning away until I had the nerve to stop and look.
Expecting His wrath, my whole countenance shifted as I watched tears stream down His face. He had one arm behind my neck and the other alongside the left-hand side of my body.
I could feel His touch.
This is hard to explain because it’s impossible in the natural.
But at the same time Jesus held me, I also saw His outstretched arms hanging on the cross.
I’d heard Scriptures quoted in church about how Jesus paid for my sins by dying on the cross, but I never thought I had done anything bad enough that required that. Well, except this.
Now Jesus personalized what He did for me.
Never again would I question my need for Him.
Up close and personal, Jesus loved on me at the same time He paid for my bad choices, even for this and for everything I’ve ever done or will ever do. For the first time, I got it, really got it:
I needed Jesus’ sacrifice to pay for my bad so I could be made right with God.
At the moment I ended my baby’s life, Jesus embraced me with a heart of sorrow for my loss. And on that cross, He paid for my choice, dying for me in love, not in anger.
I caught my breath and cried with Him.
If you think you’ve done something God won’t forgive . . .
That’s not true.
God’s not mad at you. He loves you!
Sit with that for a minute.
Seriously, God knows everything you’ve ever done, who you are inside and out, and He loves you . . .
. . . more than you will ever know!
Would you like God’s forgiveness?
If so, all we have to do is ask. 🙂
Maybe you have other things you’d like to say first. I wanted to tell God that I was sorry even though I knew that if He put me in a time machine and sent me back, I’d still probably make the same decision.
But the person I am now wishes I didn’t make a lot of the decisions I had made then.
I spilled my guts and tried to explain everything to Him as best I could. He already knew, but my confession healed my heart.
Maybe you want more of God in your life. If so, we can tell Him that, too. And if not, you can skip that part. You can skip any part you want and add in anything extra! ☺️
Okay, here we go:
Now, how do you get more of God in your life?
You have no idea how much I would LOVE to help you with that!
If you’d like that, too, I invite you to join my spiritual adventure team. Each week, I’ll touch base with you. In a short email, I’ll share a funny God story or attempt to enCOURAGE you with something God has shown me because I believe that He’ll do for you everything He’s done for me if that’s what you want.
When you sign up, I’ll also send you the four videos I mentioned above where I’ll walk you through the 7 Quick Steps to Heal all your Emotional Pain. You can use it over and over to heal all kinds of things!
God has an awesome plan for you and I want to help you find that, too. ☺️
Also, if you or someone you know would like more post-abortion healing . . .
It’s available and I totally recommend it.
Because sharing my secret was such a huge part of my healing that it felt good to have a safe community where I could talk about it. There are hundreds of pregnancy resource centers around the country and many of them offer (or have information about) post-abortion healing groups in their area.
I took a class called Forgiven and Set Free* with a friend where we owned our stories, acknowledged what we missed, and learned about our choice as we worked through the issues of our past.
Next, I signed up for a class that worked through a book called The Wounded Heart to work my sexual abuse issues. That was over twenty years ago, and I talked to two of the women in that group this week. That’s how closely we bonded.
Then I studied and then led a class based on the book called Boundaries. I hadn’t learned how to set boundaries growing up and that’s how I ended up pregnant. So many things are interwoven and I wanted as much healing as I could get.
Here’s the cool redemption I often see.
At some point, many of us whose lives have been touched by abortion sign up to help others. Maybe we stuff envelopes or pray with women trying to make their choice. One friend runs a pregnancy center.
So, if you’ve been afraid to stop in and inquire about one of these classes for fear of judgement, you don’t need to worry about that. I’ve experienced quite the opposite. Instead of judgment, these people have become my biggest cheerleaders who’ve come alongside, eager to help me find even more healing.
Of course, God can mend our hearts in an instant and I trust that He’s doing that through these steps.
But I also hope you don’t stop there. Because for me, there have been so many layers.
Will I ever “get over it?”
Maybe not. Abortion will always be part of my story, but I no longer feel the shame.
Related Post: Is there a Hole in Your Heart after an Abortion?
Related Prayer: A Powerful Healing Prayer after You’ve had an Abortion
I Bless You in Every Single Way You Need Blessing!
Much of this post is an excerpt taken from my book called Mary Me: One Woman’s Incredible Adventure with God. In it, I also share about losing my virginity on a date rape, finding out another boyfriend preferred men, and what it was like to go back and to talk to and forgive those guys years later. If you are interested, click on the title to find out more.
And thank you, Carol Wilson, for your huge heart for others who, like us, have a baby in heaven because of abortion. I know you’ve facilitated numerous support groups and I appreciate your help with this post while I look forward to your upcoming book.
* These days, my local center uses a different curriculum called Surrendering the Secret. If you click on the title, a link will take you to the group’s website and show you what they offer.