Once again, I found myself crying in the middle of my small group meeting. Surrounded by all of the things that were supposed to help: loving and supportive friends that know God, studying life from a Biblical perspective, a warm and safe home, food to eat and the security of a loving spouse – they all sat in my lap. Food, shelter and clothing were there. I was doing the work – connecting, growing and longing with fervor to serve God with my story. But something was missing.
Reduced to tears in a sadness that made little sense, faithful friends encouraged me by praying, meeting with me to help explore my issues and offering any help that I could name. I couldn’t name the problem, therefore, they would not be able to help.
I was able to name the symptoms. I felt alone. I was sad for no apparent reason. I trusted few. I felt worth little. I knew that God had spoken into my life, but I just couldn’t find the mustard-seed faith to believe Him. In my mind, I was too flawed to become what God had said I already was! I felt like an undeserving unbeliever hiding within the church. I hoped that my presence in church-related activities would make me ok.
It hadn’t made me ok and I knew it. What I did not know was how to stop trying and get beyond it. I had attributed the pain to the significant troubles of my childhood and adolescence.
I knew no other place to place the blame. But God knew… and He knew just how to wake me up to it.
Return with me to that small group meeting. At the end of each meeting we offer to pray for one another. The request was coming that was going to direct me to my help. A friend, quiet in nature and strong in resolve, mentioned her need: abortion was a part of her story and she wanted prayer over an upcoming ministry opportunity.
My feelings were stirred. She was stoic and strong in faith, gentle and loving in heart. She cared more about others than herself. She self-protected little and offered much. She knew who she was in Christ. I wanted to know more because I wanted what she had. Her request had instantly removed my perception of isolation.
I quietly planned to contact her just by a short email. I was intrigued but not sure. I was interested but not invested. Her reply came quickly and at length. She had found healing for her abortion through a ministry I had not heard of. She gave me the web address. My next step was clear.
It was the list that got me. I typed in the web address and found what I needed: that list! The list of so many of the things that were going on in my heart and life – things that had been there for so long I had grown weary of considering them. I had grown so weary, in fact, that I had fallen asleep. Virtually all of the miserable manifestations of my life were displayed on screen for me to read. In fact I had varying levels of all but a handful of them. Pinpointed to the point of embarrassment, my core issue had nothing left to hide behind.
Could my abortion from over three decades ago be the reason I felt so sad? So alone and impossible? The depression, the drinking, the low self-esteem? I could not afford to ignore the possibility that my abortion, silently swept under so many rugs of disguise, was the poisoning core of my pain.
My abortion had been fairly easy to sweep aside and ignore. No one in my life was talking about it so why would I bring it up? I didn’t want to face the pro-lifers in my circle and I definitely didn’t want to face the pro-choice advocates that would possibly accuse me of stripping them of their rights should I tarnish the option of abortion. I was torn. I knew it was a bad decision that had been hidden because it was a shame to my history. I felt ashamed in ways I hadn’t been able to recognize yet. Until that moment and until that list popped up on my screen. Everything was about to get roused!
A Place of Grace
I had needed a place of grace, a grace-space, to revisit this decades-old tragedy. The answer was sitting in front of me on a screen. God’s answer for me, His method of waking up my soul to its real wound, was uncovered. Awakenings was coming.
I had powerful defenses against attending a group meeting or study centered around abortion. Those defenses were birthed from my denial of what was a very real part of my history and life. I just didn’t want to face them because I didn’t see the need in the past. But now that the need had become glaringly apparent, I had little choice in the matter. Ignoring the possible key to being free would leave me locked and cold in a prison that I would be choosing to remain in. I had to take the risk. I had to at least try the study.
God knew my potential for resistance. Distance was a big one. I needed the study to be close enough that it felt convenient or I would not stay committed. At first it seemed it wasn’t going to work for me because the meetings were going to be a 45 minute drive from my home and held in the evenings. For me, those reasons were enough to decline. Then one day at work I got an unexpected text from the study coordinator saying that she had found a meeting that might be closer to me. It was located at Advice and Aid in Shawnee.
My ability to deny was dissolved. God had directed her to text me about the exact study I needed within two miles of my home.
Resistance number two: timing. I was working full time in a school and would only be able to attend meetings after school hours. The group that was meeting at Advice and Aid in Shawnee would meet earlier in the day. I began to doubt that this was actually what God would want me to do. After all, I reasoned, if it wasn’t working out with my work schedule it couldn’t be from Him. I was sure that He had placed me in my job and thought that any interference to that job couldn’t be what He would lead me to. However, after some discussion with the group leaders we were able to agree on a meeting time that would work with both my workplace and the other ladies in the study! God’s faithfulness prevailed!
The list was the missing piece to my puzzling emotional and spiritual life, but the bright morning star is what illuminated my darkness and gave light to my eyes.
God was not going to let me stay asleep. It was time to go… it was time to come to allow Him to heal. He used the Awakenings ministry at Advice and Aid to bring light to my eyes and stir me from the slumber of sadness that had overtaken me for so long.
“…Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5
The reasons for infant loss recovery are as many and varied as the number of women who need this healing.
No matter what your past, no matter what your story, you can find with us acceptance . . . healing . . . hope for your future.
Don’t struggle alone. There is no judgment here, only love and a place to begin your journey toward peace.