If you’ve been following along with my post-abortion recovery journey, you already know that it was a pretty emotional, yet amazing time for me. I continued to be amazed by God’s mercies as He walked with me through remembering the experience, getting angry all over again, and then working through the forgiveness for the people involved… including myself.
I carried so much baggage into this journey: insecurity, loss, anger, betrayal, hurt, worthlessness, regret, shame, sorrow, and the list goes on. But what I was starting to realize is that even only halfway through the journey, God was starting to redeem my pain (my secret pain) and restore life back into my being.
Once I worked through forgiveness, an invisible weight was lifted off of me – a weight that had followed me around for years after my abortion. The chains that bound me to the baggage I had been carrying were breaking. I was finally able to think about my baby as a little tiny human blessing that I was never able to meet, rather than think about my baby as a decision I had made to destroy. I was finally able to think of my baby as my SON.
One of the amazing things that happened during my healing journey is that God revealed some things to me that I would have never otherwise known – and I’m not the only one, many other women have experienced something similar. He told me that my baby was a boy and that his name was Jonathan. Jonathan means “God gives”. My tender, loving Heavenly Father allowed me to see the humanity of my baby and connect with him in a way that I had never allowed myself to do. The Lord also reassured me that my baby was in heaven with Jesus – what a sweet picture that was!
As I was allowed to know my baby in this way, I was finally in a place where I could allow myself to grieve. As a post-abortive woman, I never felt that I had the right to grieve my baby. I didn’t feel like I had a right to even feel loss over a decision that I had made. But that is so far from the truth! Like many women in my situation, I was deceived by the greatest deceiver there is into making that decision – and I had a right to grieve for my child!
So that’s what I did. I grieved.
I not only grieved for my baby boy, I grieved for other things I had lost. I had lost that opportunity to experience pregnancy and motherhood. I lost opportunities for relationships that I would have only had as a result of my child – other parents, other kids, teachers, etc.
I learned through this process that I wasn’t alone in my grief. My husband and a really close girlfriend were by my side each step of the way. I had also known from the beginning that my Heavenly Father was prompting me to take this journey, so He was with me. Mourning the loss of my child allowed Jesus to meet me in my place of need.
Blessed are those who mourn, because they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4
Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name, you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk the fires of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 43: 1-3
The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm… The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:15, 17
I love this quote from the healing study I went through: “Too often we see ourselves as the sum of all our failures. We get blinded to who we really are and how God sees us after we’ve placed our trust in Jesus to rescue and redeem us.”
And it’s so true! Even after I repented and experienced the forgiveness of Christ, I often continued to discount my worth and value. I discounted who He says that I am. I didn’t always believe that He was and always is big enough to cover my offenses.
…you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all of your filthiness…I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone…give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit within you… you will be my people… Ezekiel 36:25-28
Despite what my Heavenly Father tells me, I didn’t allow myself to experience His newness in me right away. I continued to believe the lies that the enemy told me about myself – that I wasn’t worthy, that I was still dirty and that there isn’t any way He could love me. I resisted the Holy Spirit’s work in and around me.
I had to learn that with Christ, I have power over the enemy and that I didn’t have to believe his lies. I can accept who the Father tells me that I am. While mourning and grief is a God given process to allow me to deal with losses in my life, I don’t have to dwell in my grief. I have the ability to accept the forgiveness, redemption and restoration that the Heavenly Father has for me.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. Isaiah 61:1-3
I absolutely love this passage. How incredible is it that our Father will give us a crown of beauty instead of ashes, joy instead of mourning, and praise instead of despair. How incredibly amazing is our Father?
If you have found yourself in a situation like mine or a situation that has left you feeling bound and broken, I’d like to invite you to consider walking through a journey like mine. Yes, it will dig up old memories. Yes, it will stir up emotions that you may not want to deal with. Yes, it may be painful at times. But the beauty, glory, and rest in the Father that you will find will far outweigh any of the difficulty it takes to get there.
I still wasn’t finished with my healing journey at this point, but I can tell you that I was already feeling such joy and relief that I never thought I could have again. Our Father is a good, good Father and He has amazing things in store for you. Please consider what He offers.
What I’ve Learned:
- I was allowed to grieve. I deserved to grieve the loss of my child.
- My Heavenly Father was with me every step of the way, reminding me of His presence and the restoration that was right around the corner.
- I was – I am – worthy of God’s forgiveness, mercy, healing and redemption… because He said so.
- I no longer was bound by the lies that the enemy had fed me for so many years about my worth and who I was. My identity is in Christ.
- What loss have you experienced in your life that you’ve never allowed yourself to grieve?
- What has kept you from grieving that loss?
- What lies have the enemy told you about your value?
- What joy lies ahead if you will take the hand of your Father and allow yourself to grieve?
If you need prayer or would like to talk, please contact me privately. I would love to pray with you, pray for you or simply be an ear to hear. God bless you.
Comments on: "Good Grief" (3)
Bless you for your courage! You’re helping someone today and everyday when they read your posts of your experience. 😆❤👍☝
Heather, it’s nice to see your blog and to know that you’ve reached the point of forgiving yourself. When God put away the altar sacrifices he did it so that the Israelites wouldn’t hold onto their guilt anymore. Through the personal sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we can now nail our hurt and pains from our past to the cross and leave them there. I’m proud of you that you have done just that! May the Lord Almighty continue to bring you blessing of joy and peace all the days of your life. ❤
[…] Taking time to grieve the loss of my baby was probably one of the most healing things I had done throughout this entire post-abortion recovery journey. I had learned so much about myself, my circumstance and about God along the way; but finally allowing myself to recognize that I had experienced loss in this whole situation, was so entirely freeing. Up until that point, I had never allowed myself to feel loss because I didn’t think I deserved to acknowledge that I had lost anything – it felt inappropriate to want to grieve. You can read all about that in my last post: Good Grief. […]