Hope for the Hurting: My Story of Healing After an Abortion

This isn’t about politics.

This isn’t a debate about government control.

This is about people.

Specifically women who, in many major circles, are placed in the category of the unthinkable. They’ve done the unimaginable and should be added to the list of the worst of the worst.

They’re talked about on Facebook like they’re heartless individuals who can’t see, feel, think or read. They’re often ripped apart by those who have never been in their position, yet jump to many conclusions as to how they got there or why they did what they did.

This is for the broken.

This is for the hurting.

This is for the lost, embarrassed and ashamed.

This is for the woman who needs to hear that she’s not alone.

This is for the one who needs to know there is forgiveness, freedom, liberty and boundless love in Christ.

This is for the woman who, like me, had an abortion that she regrets.

No one wants an abortion as she wants an ice cream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal, caught in a trap, wants to gnaw off its own leg.- Frederica Mathewes-Green

16 years ago I was that animal caught in a trap. I had made my share of poor decisions, but this time it  caught up to me. I was pregnant in college, and nearly 3,000 miles away from my family and my home.

I was young, naive, and completely afraid. I wanted to finish my degree and live the life I envisioned as a ‘normal’ student, but how would this be possible now? How could I even show my face in public? 

I was terrified of the impending humiliation, and whether real or imagined, my panic grew. The whispers of doubt turned into screams of terror in my mind, and while I could try to pass the blame off on someone else (anyone else), the time came for me to make a decision. I didn’t feel as though I had a choice, and it was time to do the only thing I thought I could do. 

I ended the life of my unborn child.

I left the clinic numb and in a foggy haze. I went home and waited for the relief to wash over me, because that’s what I heard was supposed to happen. I waited and waited and waited…

That day never came.

Instead I went on for years living in a pit of guilt, depression and shame.

Maybe I looked fine on the outside but each day that I bore my own scarlet letter in silence I lost a part of who I was. I would look in the mirror only to find a hollowed out version of myself.

I didn’t value my body because I’d already done the worst action imaginable. 

I didn’t think I deserved any form of happiness because what kind of monster, who would do such a despicable thing, deserved to be happy? 

I successfully convinced myself that I was damaged goods, fractured beyond repair.

My heart sank to the deep pit of my stomach when I saw a pregnant woman or newborn baby. I’d cringe every time someone mentioned the word abortion or when it was the focus of a headline on T.V. I was on the verge of breaking down whenever I heard a dreadful suctioning sound that reminded me of the time and place when everything was forever changed.

I didn’t fully grasp that I was traumatized until much later on, and truthfully, I thought these torturous feelings were just punishment and absolutely everything I deserved.

Like many women I kept these things to myself. I didn’t know who I could turn to. I didn’t want damaging words to wound me more than I already was.

This was not a decision I was proud of and I didn’t want anyone convincing me that I should be. And if I heard one more woman proclaim “I could never do that”, in her air of haughtiness, surely I was going to scream. 

Throughout this entire experience I was in Christ, but I didn’t know Christ. It seemed impossible to think that the same God who created life could possibly forgive me for taking life away.  I couldn’t see how He could ever put my wrecked and shattered pieces back together again.

He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom;
he snapped their chains.
Let them praise the Lord for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.

Psalm 107:14-15 NLT

I was in the darkness, but He drew me out. He never stopped calling my name, pursuing me or loving me.  As I came to learn more about God’s true character I realized that He doesn’t view me as man does, and that’s when everything changed.

He doesn’t say “I’ve never been there so don’t expect me to understand”.

When we ask for forgiveness and repent, He is faithful and just to forgive us!

He doesn’t hold a grudge.

He cares so deeply for the innocent unborn baby in the womb, AND he cares just as deeply for that life that grows and matures into a woman who is trying to find her way in this sin-filled world. 

Nothing can separate us from His love.

Finally, finally, finally, I got it, and I began to walk in the healing power of His glorious light.

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.  He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NLT

It is in this place of healing that I know I am free. I have no doubt that I am forgiven. And it is from this place of profound peace and comfort in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, that I share the most vulnerable part of my heart.

I share to offer hope to the woman who needs to know that all is not lost. To the woman who can hardly make out these words because of the salty sting of her desperate tears. To the one who is dejected and lonely with no semblance of hope. This is for the one whom the enemy is seeking to devour, to let you know you don’t have to remain in a tormented place.

I know I’m just one voice. One small voice that’s barely audible over the crashing wave of a great divide, but I will use my voice still.

I will use it to tell you that you’re not alone. I understand. I hear you, I see you, and I love you.

I will tell you that your heartbreak is my heartbreak, and your sorrow is my pain. I will tell you that He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, and that one day joy will replace the mourning. I will tell you that I have no strength to share these words or believe them for myself if it wasn’t for Jesus, and while I am but a vessel, it is the Lord who calls your name.

It is time sweet friend, precious daughter of the King. It is time for you to live the life you’ve been too hurt to live. The one you didn’t believe could ever exist. It’s time to forgive yourself and embrace the liberty and freedom He has for youIt is time for you to release the past and run towards the future.

It is time for you to love yourself and let it go.

 

 

88 thoughts on “Hope for the Hurting: My Story of Healing After an Abortion

  1. Thank you….I’m on the verge of tears because our wonderful, awesome , loving God works in the most amazing ways. I don’t know if you remember commenting on my photo yesterday about the healing I received in my small group, but this is the exact healing I received. 7 years ago, this was my exact same story. I shared it with my small group and I thought I had moved past it but sharing made me feel closer to the women in my group and, in turn, God let me know how much I am loved. I went home and it was in the book I was reading, this morning it was in an online article, and now your post. Over the last 24 hrs, I have recieved so much affirmation from our Heavenly Father than I can even fathom. Thank you for your post, your honesty, your beautiful spirit. Please know that the Lord is speaking through you. Much love mama!

    1. Kelly, oh Kelly! After I first read your comment I had to step away and come back because I was overcome with emotion. This is the reason why I shared. And even though my heart is and was pounding out of my chest because of the unknown and the fear that can come with that, I know that Christ’s perfect love casts out that fear. We were forgiven on the cross and nothing will change that! I’m so happy that this touched you and that you know you are free indeed!

      Blessings and love,
      Patricia

  2. Thank you for sharing your heart… once again. May “His Grace and Tender Love ” that you have shared thru this personal experience speak deeply to many.

  3. What is the purpose of a testimony if God hasn’t delivered us from anything? God’s strength is made known when He delivers us from the things that bound us, thusfreeing us to be used for His glory.

    Amazing testimony my dearest friend! This will encourage many to no longer live in condemnation. All glory to God…

    1. I couldn’t have said it better Steph!! It’s all because of HIM and for that there is great reason to rejoice and glorify His Holy name!!!!

      Blessings,
      Patricia

  4. Oh sweet friend, what a difficult post this must have been to write. You are brave!! And THAT is where God turns beauty from ashes. Sharing your testimony in a way that glorifies HIM! I am all too familiar with the world of abortion. Not because I had one of my own, but because I used to volunteer for years and then work full time in a crisis pregnancy clinic. Sadly, the quote you cited is not true in a circumstances though. I know of many women who didn’t at all look at the life growing inside of them or the double lines on the stick as a life. They quite easily decided to abort without any feeling of regret or remorse. It was shocking to me to witness these things. But then there are those like yourself, who live with shame and regret and don’t know where to go for help. That’s why I’m thankful for clinics like the ones I have been a part of who offer post abortion counseling. It’s so important to heal and know that you are forgiven! So glad you know that truth today. Love you friend!

    1. I never knew that about you Vanessa. I actually volunteer at a Pregnancy Resource clinic right now, and one of the things I do is share my testimony and counsel woman both pre and post abortive.

      Oh I know all too well that there are many who will come in for the 4th or 5th time and not give it a second thought. It’s very sad and shows so clearly that we are in the dark world. And the enemy really has a hold on some people. There’s so much deception!!

      I really wanted this to speak to those who do have those regrets because often that regret will lead to shame and the shame will lead to silence. I will never hold up my sign and be proud that this is a choice that I once made, but I will glorify God with all that I have!

      At the end of the day I am grateful that God still desires for us all to come to Him and I pray for those women and for women like myself, that we would all know His grace, mercy and love.

  5. As always I am inspired by your strength. Thank you for sharing the real -ness and the rawness of your experiences. I know these words will help so many women who have found themselves right where you once were. God is good and his grace is amazing. Sending you much love ,
    Marieke ❤️

    1. Your encouragement truly means so much to me. Thank you for your support support and for being an inspiration as well!

      Blessings,
      Patricia

  6. This is so beautiful Patty and just makes me love you more my friend. God is so merciful and wonderful and this will help and minister to so many people. I love what God can do with our pain. Powerful stuff Patty! ♥️
    xo, Nicole

    1. That is my prayer Shannan!!! Thank you for being in agreement with me and for your support and encouragement!

      Blessings,
      Patricia

  7. Oh sweet friend! This made me cry for you. I felt all the emotions you were conveying. You’re such a strong woman and I just know your sharing will bring healing so women. <3

  8. I’m sure many women (and men and even those who have never been in this situation) do feel that an abortion is the “worst action imaginable” or that people who have abortions are “monsters who don’t deserve to be happy”. That makes me so sad. Because of course the worst actions imaginable are those committed out of hate or greed or jealousy. Not out of fear or hopelessness. Thank you for your bravery.

  9. As I write this, I can barely read my words through the reads in my eyes. You have such a big heart, Patty, and are one of the most incredible women I know. I am so blessed to call you my friend. Your words are so beautiful, raw, and inspiring. What a comfort you will bring to so many in this world who need it with your message of hope and the unconditional love of Jesus. You always remain such a powerful and faithful voice in this world that can be so dark and scary. I love you, beautiful girl. Thank you for continuing to bless my life everyday!

  10. I can’t even fathom what you went through and probably still go through. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this. It makes me admire and respect you that much more. xo

  11. So so beautiful sister! I can totally relate to your struggles, guilt and depression and have been too scared to share. You’ve just inspired me to be honest and heal the world (and myself) from past mistakes with the power of forgiveness. Thank you for your courage and your heart.

    1. That encourages me so much Angela. Thank you for sharing and yes, there is great power in forgiveness!!!

      Blessings,
      Patricia

  12. Thank you for being brave enough to share your story, your pain and your redemption with the world. We live in a world where it is so easy to throw stones. I pray that God continues to cover you and bless you as you bless the world with your voice.

  13. Wow Patty, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I feel your pain. I know your pain well, I’ve worn it for a long time and I still carry it with me. I too had an abortion I rarely talk about, yet think about every day of my life. And regret, regret with all my soul the choice I made. I wish someone had explained to me the amount of regret and shame that would accompany the decision I made many years ago. Perhaps I would have considered more deeply if I were prepared to make that choice, to live with that emotion. I have debated many times over writing about my own story on my blog, yet haven’t found the strength to date. You give me hope that one day I can tell my story. I hope that your story has perhaps helped even one other person also struggling because I know if I were to tell mine, that’s what I would want – to know that it helped even one person. I struggle deeply with faith and believing in a God and I think that lack of faith has make this struggle so much more difficult for me. I envy your faith, and admire it. While I would not consider myself healed from my choice, I will say that I have experienced healing … it came in the form of having a child after my abortion. I am beyond blessed to have her, to know her, to be her mother. And I now work as a labor and delivery nurse, helping other moms both bring babies into this world and deal with the sad reality of loss. There are days at work when we have a loss where I struggle because it brings back the raw feelings I associate with my abortion, but I push past those and comfort our grieving mothers. Perhaps that is my purpose, I am not sure. Thank you again for your honesty, your authenticity. Thank you for making me feel less alone.

    1. Jen,

      Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing all of this with me. Just you writing this and sharing a bit about your story is another step toward your healing. I do believe it can and will come fully and completely!! I believe that the Lord wastes nothing, and even after our terrible decision, He has a great purpose and calling in our lives. As you continue to seek and search, my prayer for you is that you would be strengthened and comforted in all circumstances. This took me about a year, if not longer to finally share in this way, so in time, it will be your turn to help others know they are not alone as well.

      Blessings to you,
      Patricia

  14. oh friend. I love your honesty so much. I am so glad that God has brought healing to this hard place. I can only imagine how many women you are helping by sharing this. I love that he loves you so much, and it’s evident by your two daughters. Your heart is amazing!

  15. You are so very brave for sharing your story, for putting it out into a world that is so quick to cut people down. Our God is such an awesome God. I am so happy that you allowed Him to heal you and to use your greatest pain to help other women suffering with the same pain and regret. God bless you!

  16. I’m so proud of you for writing this! I know how hard it must have been, but your words are helping so many. A close friend of mine had an abortion in college as well, and I was her support system, and took her, and even though it didn’t happen to me personally, it still affects her and me to this day. bless you for sharing your story!

    1. I’m sure your friend is so thankful to have someone like you in her life. Thank you for your encouragement and support Samantha!!

      Blessings,
      Patricia

  17. I feel so proud of you Patricia for being obedient and sharing your story. God is so awesome! I’m thankful that you have found peace and freedom from your past and now allowing God to use it through you to comfort others. Thank you for your courage, transparency, and compassion. Much love!

    1. Thank you Annette!!! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and while it took me a while and was far from easy, to God be ALL the glory!!!!

      Blessings,
      Patricia

  18. I don’t have words. So, so powerful. This story can and will change lives. Jesus is so abundantly good. Thank you for giving us a window into all He has done and is doing in and through you. This is a beautiful story of grace and redemption.

    1. Courtney, your words have touched my heart. I pray that what I have shared will touch whoever needs to know the true character of our awesome God, and that they too will come to have their own story of grace and redemption. He is Good!!!

      Blessings,
      Patricia

  19. You are such a beautiful soul with an amazing voice. Thank you for your authenticity and being willing to share yourself with those around you. You lift and inspire as only few can. Love you my friend!!

  20. This is so amazing and so needed for many! You are awesome for sharing this. Your vulnerability will be a blessing to so many! The love of our Savior is simply amazing.

  21. Patrica…my heart goes out to you. Not just in necessarily the sadness, but in the strength you hold to share this part of your story. I am truly so taken by your heart. Life should not be focused on past guilt, but forgiveness and moving forward. So beautiful spoken as always sweet friend. ❤️

  22. So powerful! Thank you for using your voice! You strike a beautiful balance between standing up for life and yet offering unconditional compassion to women like you who’ve walked that painful path of abortion. I’m so sorry for your loss. Yet again, I’m in awe of your faith and capacity for lifting others! God is using your pain to help other women find healing.

    1. Thank you Jenny. Thank you for seeing exactly where my heart is and for being so supportive. All glory to God!!

      Blessings,
      Patricia

  23. Your story brings me hope. I found myself in a situation similar to yours when I was in college. I thought time would make me forget, but I feel the emotional pain as though it were yesterday. I have a nine month old daughter, and when I look at her I grieve over the life I took years ago. I struggle more now that I have a child because I think of the innocent life that was lost. Thank you for sharing your story. I have been praying so much for forgiveness and healing.

    1. I pray that you experience the peace and comfort that comes with forgiveness and healing. Yes. terrible mistakes were made, but there is mercy and grace and so much love in Jesus!! Cherish your baby that you hold and know that you have one in the Lord’s care in heaven, and you will meet again.

      Blessings to you Shannon,

      Patricia

  24. I read this the other day but waited til now to comment. Thank you so much for sharing your story. While I have never been in that position, my mother was. And it was before me. And I can’t help but wonder how if she had NOT made that decision, if I would even be around today. so I’m very torn. 🙁 But your hurting, your pain, and your strength are an inspiration to many.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing that Rachel. I’m not sure if this is something that you and your mom discuss, but I’m positive that, either way, she is so grateful to have you. Just as we all are. ❤
      Many blessings to you,
      Patricia

  25. I’m so glad you’re sharing your story, mama. I know how hard it must be. Thank you for being open and transparent – I’m sure there are ladies who need to read this.

    1. Thank you friend. I pray that it reaches whoever needs to hear and receive this truth of healing , love and forgiveness.

      Blessings,
      Patricia

  26. You are so amazing! I’m proud to call you my friend.
    There is forgiveness, Patricia. When the enemy tries to heap guilt on you, just begin to thank and praise God for your forgiveness – he hates that response more than anything.

    1. There is incredible power in praise!! Thank you for your encouraging words Bill. You always inspire me!!!

      Blessings,
      Patricia

  27. Isn’t God simply amazing! He has a way of turning what worries us the most into powerful testimonies. Thank you for sharing your journey! What a mighty God we serve!

    1. Thank you Samantha. Your support and encouragement mean the world to me. I miss you friend and appreciate you so much!!

      Blessings,
      Patty

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