- Know You Are Not Alone
It may seem like you’re all alone; however, you’re not the only one going through the pain of abortion. Statistics may vary. But abortion providers estimate there have been approximately 55 million abortions performed in the US since it was legalized. Abortion impacts those involved on every level: emotional, spiritual, psychological, and physical. If you are struggling after an abortion or know someone affected by it, you can find healing.
- Realize You Can Receive Forgiveness
No sin is too big that God can’t forgive, even abortion. You may feel, at times, what you did is unforgivable. But forgiveness isn’t something you earn; it’s based on the finished work of Jesus Christ. Agree with God about your sin and accept his forgiveness. We read in 1 John 1:9, “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” In other words, to be forgiven means your life is like a slate that God literally wipes clean!
- Give Yourself Permission to Grieve
Your loss is real. Have you been able to grieve your loss? Each person will work through their feelings differently after an abortion. You may feel relieved, but that feeling is usually temporary, followed by guilt. You may experience painful emotions such as fear, anger, sadness, grief, emptiness, and shame. It’s important to not ignore these feelings; instead, find a way to process them that’s healthy. Both women and men can struggle with feeling they have a right to grieve after an abortion. So allow yourself time and space to be sad and cry. After all, tears rid the body of toxins and help with the healing process. Find a safe person in your life whom you trust to listen without judgment, and share your story with them so they can walk this journey with you.
- Overcome Unhealthy Habits and Addictions
It’s not uncommon for someone to turn to food, drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, shopping, or another habit to numb the pain of abortion. This could create an addiction. And being in bondage to an unhealthy habit or addiction will prevent you from healing. If you struggle with an addiction or think you might be developing a habit that’s not good for you, reach out for help. Make an appointment with a counselor who can develop a treatment plan to help you overcome the addiction.
- Break Free From Negative Thoughts
Perhaps you struggle with feelings of shame, guilt, and a sense of failure. It’s normal for you to feel all of these feelings, but it’s not healthy to stay stuck in these feelings. To discover what negative thoughts you might be struggling with, write in a journal. If you are consistently struggling with shame, try to look at the source of it. Shame tells us “I am bad“. The truth is God Loves us and forgives us. It is so important to work with a trusted counselor, support group, and friends to break free from these feelings that want to define who we are because of what we have done. But God wants us to be free and live in the forgiveness He offers!
- Get Connected
Don’t isolate yourself—find support! There are many abortion recovery support groups available where you can get connected to others who understand what you’re going through. If you can’t find a support group in your area, try a Life Recovery Group. And if you’re a man who’s struggling to cope with the loss of a child from an abortion, unfortunately, it may be harder for you to find support. Don’t give up! Instead, see a Christian counselor who can walk alongside you. No matter what you’ve been through, the good news is there’s hope for you to find healing.