Healing from an abortion loss, through the eyes of faith

human hand mom baby

People’s babies don’t cease to exist when they die, whether in miscarriage or through the hand of an abortionist. They continue to exist. The life from Eden continues on even after the mortal frame returns to the earth from which we were taken.
-Bob Vincent

First Things recently published a story written by a Presbyterian pastor in Louisiana, whose mother had an abortion during World War II. The baby was his older sister, Nancy, and Bob’s mother was advised by her physician to let him abort the baby “for medical reasons.” To the end of her days, Bob’s mother questioned those “medical reasons,” and she mourned the loss of her daughter from the time of her abortion until her death:

What she felt when she knew she was pregnant was the presence of another human being. And when Dr. Bill aborted her baby, she felt her absence—a quiet but profound emptiness. And it never left.

Having witnessed first-hand the impact of abortion on someone so close to him for his entire life, Bob is acquainted with the emotions and guilt the plague post-abortive women like his mom, and he writes that — although the road to freedom is difficult– the guilt need not be a shackle forever:

There is no easy way to get rid of guilt. You can’t shove it down and pretend it’s not there. You can’t reason it away. Like midnight reflux of the soul, it comes up when you least expect it, when you are least prepared to deal with it. While you’re lying in bed, half-awake–half-asleep, there it is, wafting out of your subconscious mind and dancing before you, only to disappear again before you can wrap your rational mind around it. Sometimes it comes in your dreams. Sometimes when you are attempting to pray. There it is as a waking vision, blotting out the sun, bringing on the cheerless and withering cold when the sunshine of cheerfulness should be beaming down on you.

Vincent recommends a frank acknowledgement of the act of abortion, which requires bravery

What do you do? Face what you fear to be true and admit it to God, but admit it while being held in his kind embrace and unconditional, effectual love. 

“I asked someone to kill my baby. My baby is dead.”

Admit it. Face it. Feel it. Now believe the Gospel: “Come to me,” said the Lord Jesus, “All you who are weighed down with a burden that you cannot bear, and too exhausted to handle it any more. I will give you relief. I will give you refreshing rest” (cf. Matthew 11:28-30).

The pastor goes on to explain how mothers can connect with their babies, by asking God to tell them what they would like them to know, and to tell them how sorry they are for what they did. He concludes:

Then believe the Gospel, and ask God to fill you with his presence, the precious Holy Spirit. Look yourself in the mirror, and confess: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Note: If you or someone you love is suffering from the effects of an abortion experience, organizations like Rachel’s Vineyard are there to help.

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