We are so pleased to be able to share this month’s blog post with you from our guest writer, and incredible STS Certified Leader, Kathy Hill.
Thousands bound by secrets, heartbreak, and fear are sitting in our churches, living as our neighbors, or they may even be your closest friends. Read on to find out how to respond to their heartbreak. YOU can be the key that unlocks her hidden pain, shame, and regret!
Do you have a friend, sister, mother, wife, or a daughter who has had an abortion? Do you wonder how she is doing especially with all the recent news about Roe V. Wade being overturned? I invite you to reach out to the women in your life and help them find forgiveness, healing, and restoration.
Most women will share their abortion story with fewer than five people in their whole life! Women are afraid they might be judged or abandoned by friends and loved ones, so they remain silent. Many try to forget the haunting details of that day and stuff those memories down deep inside of them. But sadly, as this wound festers it continues to plague them in ways they may not even realize. They experience a whole range of complicated emotions and grief that they don’t quite know how to reconcile. Women feel angry, depressed, anxious, or emotionally numb after their abortion – some for decades! Many turn to alcohol, drugs, and/or promiscuity to ease their pain. Baby showers, ultrasound pictures, or even just seeing babies can be heartbreaking to women who have suffered an abortion.
Millions of women are silently screaming for help. Their fear and heartbreak keeps them imprisoned in a lonely and dark place. If you have a loved one who has suffered from a past abortion, you can be the key that unlocks her hidden pain, shame, and regret. You can lead her to the path where she can find healing, forgiveness, and hope.
Pose this simple question to her: “Hey, I know abortion is all over the news and social media these days. How are you doing with all of that?” Let her know you love her and are willing to listen to her story. This way she feels “safe” enough to share her experience without your condemnation or judgement.
Many women will simply tell you they are “fine”. But gently ask, “How is your heart?” Then sit quietly until she finds her voice. Let her cry!! Every tear will help her to heal and begin to release the pent-up despair and sadness she carries.
If you are uncomfortable asking her about her abortion, try a softer more indirect approach. Tell her you heard a woman speaking about abortion regret or someone gave you an abortion recovery brochure. Either give her the brochure or tell her the information you learned from this article. Talk to her about what you heard regarding “other women’s” struggles after an abortion. Again, if she begins to cry, be the shoulder for her to cry on!
If she resists any conversation, that is OK. Don’t push her. Now she knows she has someone who loves her and is willing to talk about the experience with her. You have planted a very important seed. She has learned there are healing programs that can show her the way out of her pain.
If your friend, sister, mother, wife, daughter, etc. does find the courage to share her feelings, just listen for as long as it takes. Be empathetic and tell her how sorry you are about her experience and for her lost child. Tell her you love her no matter what and you want to see her healed and whole. Try not say: “you did the right thing”; “you can have another baby”; “you had no choice”; “just don’t think about”; “put it behind you”. If she is hurting from her abortion, she already knows these things aren’t true!
Encourage her to begin the journey toward healing. There are many programs available ranging from one day retreats to weeks long group Bible Studies – all with other women who have suffered a past abortion and share her pain. (Surrendering the Secret is highly recommended!!) A whole range of religious and secular abortion recovery books are available to help her. Please help her find them!
Nine out of ten women who have had an abortion do not even know healing programs exist! You have an incredible opportunity to initiate this rescue mission and show her that there is a way out of her prison. Walk the healing journey with her. You will be a huge blessing to her for the rest of her life.
To be connected to one of our Certified Leaders, please visit surrenderingthesecret.com/find-help.
You can find healing and training resources at surrenderingthesecret.com/shop.