Abortion Tragedy and Post-Traumatic Effects on Those Who Abort Their Babies

“For You shaped me, inside and out.
You knitted me together in my mother’s womb
long before I took my first breath.
I will offer You my grateful heart,
for I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe.
You have approached even the smallest details with excellence;
Your works are wonderful;
I carry this knowledge deep within my soul.”
Psalm 139:13-14 VOICE

All life is precious to God, no matter what age. Yes, even those millions of tiny seeds of life that are snuffed out by abortion.

About this time each year, a church we pass by lines up long rows of pink and blue crosses to represent the lost lives of unborn children. It’s a humbling sight. In 2015 in SD alone, 444 abortions were reported. Little lives that were never given a choice.

According to WHO, there are over 3000 known abortions per day in the USA alone. At least 125,000 per day throughout the world. Words are not adequate to describe how horrendous and heart-breaking this is.

❤️ I am so sorry, precious little ones. ❤️

Sadly, we can’t bring these babies back, but we can speak up for these little voices who have been silenced and for those who are still in danger. We can tell others they are not just globs of tissue, but lives that are created in God’s image.

10 Weeks Old

At the same time we can be there for women and teens who are struggling. For those who are being deceived, especially the young, vulnerable, and naive. For those who have aborted and now feel such an empty ache in their hearts. Those overwhelmed by shame. Those who wonder if God can ever forgive them or they can forgive themselves. Feelings of aloneness and depression weigh down their hearts and lives. Some even commit suicide.

Many women who have aborted keep it a secret, bearing their burden alone out of fear of being judged, condemned, or ostracized, especially by some Christians.

Abortion is so wrong, but so is condemning others. Jesus set us an example of love, compassion, and forgiveness. Loving like Him bears the burdens of the hurting. Jesus never turns us away, no matter what we have done or not done. He extends His welcoming, loving, forgiving arms to all who are troubled. He can mend a heart that’s torn. He can bring beauty out of ashes.

“The LORD is near the brokenhearted;
He saves those crushed in spirit.”
Psalm 34:18
 “Carry one another’s burdens
and in this way you will fulfill
the requirements of the law of Christ
[that is, the law of Christian love].”
Galatians 6:2 AMP

Stories From Teen Girls Who Aborted – Girls talk about why they chose abortion, what it was like, and how they feel now.

Abortion Trauma and Healing – Important information about PTSD in those who have aborted their babies, the need for healing, and the importance of hope

After Abortion – Hope and Healing After Abortion

Lumina/A Ray of Light in Abortion’s Darkness – “Feelings of anxiety, panic, grief, guilt and shame can often seem insurmountable, but there is a way out of the pain. You do not have to suffer alone!”

Hope After Abortion – “It’s normal to grieve a pregnancy loss, including the loss of a child by abortion. It can form a hole in one’s heart, a hole so deep that sometimes it seems nothing can fill the emptiness.”

“You Are Loved”
by Ellie Holcomb

“Some days you’re tired of trying to measure up
You see a girl whose not enough
When you look in the mirror
Some nights all you wanna do is hide
‘Cause every time you look inside
You’re face to face with failure

But you are loved, oh
Not because of what you’ve done, no
Even when your heart has run the other way
Nothing’s gonna change His love
And you are wanted
Not because you are perfect
I know that you don’t think you’re worth that kind of grace
But look into His face you’ll know
That you are loved…”

Everyone Needs Compassion

compassion-butterfly

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people,
holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with
compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Colossians 3:12

Everyone needs compassion. Everyone longs for kindness and caring. For someone who is willing to help. They need someone who will see behind their masks or dismissing words. They need someone to validate that their pain is real and worthy of attention. They need someone to “be like Jesus” to them.

A couple of weeks ago I read a blog post that gave a beautiful example of compassion. Ceil Ryan describes how her friend felt her life was “out of control.” That her friend said, “I feel like I’m drowning… Well. I guess it could be worse.”

“It could be worse.” Instead of agreeing with her, Ceil validated her feelings and struggles as real and she looked past that statement and saw a hurting soul. She writes, “The pain, stress and worry she is feeling is real. She’s sharing so her struggle can be recognized. It calls out to me, begging to be carried, and to be respected as a burden too heavy to carry right now.”

Ceil’s willingness to look past dismissing words personally validated my hurts, too. I have read other posts or comments to mine that also validate my pain (and I thank God for you all), but too often I dismiss it and don’t allow it to instill more compassion towards myself. Sure, I’m learning to open up and write more about my struggles, but I often say to myself “It could be worse. Appreciate that and be thankful for what you have.” In this way I deny my struggles, whether with chronic illness, the lingering triggers of past abuse, emotional pain, loss, and other stress or worry in life. This inhibits me from grieving as I should. And I’m realizing it drives a wedge in my relationship with a loving and compassionate Savior. When I don’t want to admit I hurt to myself because “it could be worse” or “I need to count my blessings,” I continue to carry my own burdens, even though others are willing to bear the burden with me. And sometimes I don’t feel I deserve to be carried. And I get weighted down and don’t share my hurts with Jesus. I don’t feel the driving need to unburden my pain to Him or let Him carry it.

Even though Jesus knows every deep recess of our hearts, He still wants us to admit we hurt and to unload our pain and struggles to Him. To admit we are helpless without Him. With Him, not one thing we suffer is “too little” to be acknowledged and mentioned. His heart is full of compassion for us.

When we have compassion, we put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and really feel for them. What an absolutely perfect example we have in Jesus. He put Himself in our shoes and suffered in our place. And He still does as He watches over each of us, carrying our sorrow and our pain. He sees into our very souls and shares in our tears. He never dismisses our pain. He never says His pain is so much greater than anything we suffer, so we have nothing to complain about. He never says anything we hurt about is “too little” for Him to care about. He hears our buried longings begging to be carried by Him.

Yes, it can always be worse, but this doesn’t mean our pain isn’t real. Wherever we are feeling pain, stress, or heartache, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, financially, etc., it’s worthy of attention. There are people who by God’s grace will show compassion, who are willing to help ease our burdens. Please don’t get discouraged if you cannot find them and if you are getting beaten down again and again. You are worthy of love and compassion. Remember, dear friends… There is one perfect Compassion-Giver Who cares so deeply, will never slight or belittle our concerns, and will never turn us away. He wants us to acknowledge we’re hurting and to freely bring all our burdens to Him. He not only loves to carry our burdens, but He even delights in doing so. And when we have no more strength to go on, He will gently lift us and carry us through.

“Because of Your great compassion
You did not abandon them in the wilderness.
By day the pillar of cloud did not fail
to guide them on their path,

nor the pillar of fire by night
to shine on the way they were to take.”

Nehemiah 9:19

“But You, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”
Psalm 86:15

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

“When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them,
because they were harassed and helpless,
like sheep without a shepherd.”
Matthew 9:36

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.”
2 Corinthians 1:3

“Compassion Hymn”
by Keith and Kristyn Getty

“And with compassion for the hurting You reached out Your hand,
As the lame ran to meet You and the dead breathed again.
You saw behind the eyes of sorrow and shared in our tears;
Heard the sigh of the weary, let the children draw near.”

Thank You, Lord Jesus,
for your unfailing compassion.
Please make us more like You with hearts
full of compassion towards the hurting.

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Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

Gleanings from a Caring Community

ToNeedHim

In last week’s post, I told you I didn’t want to write, but God nudged me to write anyway and just be honest about being depressed. But even after I scheduled it to post, I was tempted to delete it. “God, isn’t it too much about me?” And yet I felt I needed to leave it.

Last week I was overwhelmed with worry, anxiety, and fear. This week I am overwhelmed at the love and goodness of God and the caring support and prayers of online kindred spirits.

So I want to share with you some of the truths I was reminded of or have been reflecting on because of caring online friends, people I have never met in real life:

  1. Trust your heart, not all the voices that speak against you.
  2. When we talk about healing and forgiveness, we can “think of it like manna – enough for today.” (Michelle)
  3. When you write real, sharing the pain or darkness in your heart, there are people out in the blogosphere who can be comforted, because they feel less alone and more understood.
  4. Even when you feel discouraged yourself, God can still encourage others through you.
  5. Birds are like “a big God hug and reminder He sees me, He is with me, and He will keep me and heal me.” (Hisgirl)
  6. Instead of rehearsing in our minds or words the bad someone has done to us, let’s remind ourselves of what we are to God. (Sita)
  7. God “is bringing you through the pain one tiny step at a time. This is a journey where we fall, falter and fail even as we lean heavy on His grace. It takes far longer than we ever imagine because wounds go deep and need a powerful cleansing and healing.” (Joy)
  8. To God, it’s not a stigma to be depressed.
  9. Depression can be “another stage in the process of recovery.” (Joy)
  10. There are more people whose heart goes out to us than we think.
  11. We can feel God’s love and care through others who show their support.
  12. Jesus is everywhere present and available and longing to help us. He is never confined to church buildings.
  13. When your focus is on encouraging others who are hurting, don’t forget to allow yourself to be ministered to.
  14. God does lift us out of the darkness. In fact, the darkness of night is like the day to Him. So even when we can’t see Him, He sees, knows, and cares.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to You;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to You.
Psalm 139:11-12

These are only a handful of what I gleaned from caring comments I never expected and further reflections. I can’t even begin to describe to you the inclusion I feel in a community. How my heart has opened a crack to allow community in. To trust and allow myself to be comforted. It sinks in deeper to me that opening our hearts to others who care, both in writing vulnerably and in accepting encouragement for our own hearts, is part of God’s healing process.

In the past, it was when I opened up my heart to those I thought cared or when I shared the truth, those are the times when I was abused, rejected, or hurt by silence. God has since blessed me with a loving husband and caring family. Then the circle went further as He gave me a few friends that believe me and support me, but sometimes I sink back into that fear and put up a wall of protection. But ever so slowly, God is opening my eyes to see how many there are who truly care who will nurture and encourage us instead of hurt us. Sometimes it may be hard to find a safe community or to allow our hearts to trust again, but I thank God for leading me to a community of caring online kindred spirits. You have made such a difference in my life and in the healing process. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your love and support. You are giving me a safe place to be me.

I was tempted to give up writing, but God has confirmed to me that I need to keep on writing from wherever I am. Last week as I started writing anyway, God slowly started comforting me as I tried to encourage others. And now since then I feel so very blessed by an online community of caring kindred spirits.

I also want those of you who read but don’t comment to know I think of you and pray for you, too, that God will fill the empty places in your hearts and give you hope, healing, and freedom in Jesus.

“I thank my God
every time I remember you.”
Philippians 1:3

“10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)”
by Matt Redman

Thank You, God, for caring so much
and for giving us people who care!

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Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

Bonnie – Faith Barista’s Beloved Brews