After an Abortion: Steps Toward Healing

1. Recognize that you are not alone. Others have been through the same experience and the same trials. Their experiences and understanding can help you. They want to help you, just as you may want to help others after you have finished going through the healing process.

2. Recognize that the road to full recovery will take time and effort. God's forgiveness can be had instantly. But sorting out your feelings and overcoming the ever-present temptation to give in to despair and doubt-these take time.

3. Recognize that it is normal and good to mourn the loss of a loved one. Just as mourning the loss of a parent or spouse takes time, so does mourning the loss of an aborted child. In the case of abortion, the mourning process is often cut short and never completed because of denial or feelings of guilt.

4. Courageously allow the mourning process to get back on track. Accept your grief as normal rather than something which must be covered up or pushed away. Recognize that the pain of your loss will fade as your healing progresses.

5. Admit your personal responsibility but also recognize that others, too, were involved. Pray for the strength to forgive both yourself and everyone else who either encouraged you to have the abortion or failed to help you avoid it.

6. Give your child over to the care of God. Know that he or she is loved, happy, and well cared for in heaven. Do not try to hold onto your child by prolonging your grief. Hold onto him or her by remembering your child's happiness in heaven.

7. Forgive others. Recognize that they, too, acted out of ignorance, fear, or petty human selfishness. If possible let them know that you forgive them.

8. Forgive yourself. Remember that because your child lives in the love and mercy of God, he or she is beyond earthly malice. Your son or daughter does not resent or condemn you. Instead, your child, like God, wants you to be healed and restored to the fullness of joy and happiness. ~(from Elliot Institute, Hope and Healing, 1998)

Contact Project Rachel
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