Dreams After Abortion
“But I aborted to be able to finish college,” the post-abortive woman shared with me. “Now I can’t even move. I’m in deep depression, have failed two classes and I want to know what is wrong with me! I can’t see how any of this relates to my abortion but I need help!”
Abortion changes everything. It is a massive dream killer simply from the emotional impact that can occur in many hearts. While many initially can feel relief after abortion, that reprieve is often temporary.
After abortion, most women commit to forgetting it ever happened. Secrecy is essential as societal judgment and shame is to be avoided at all costs. These two dysfunctional behaviors – secrecy and denial – require great emotional exertion in a heart. That effort can rob individuals of the ability to be productive in fulfilling their dreams.
As a first-generation American, the educational dreams of an entire generational family line in Ireland were riding on my shoulders. No man in my family had ever had the opportunity to attend college, let alone a woman. While my great-grandfather helped build the Titanic, he was a simple plasterer. Obtaining a higher education was a huge dream for Irish immigrants coming to America.
Many women believe that an unplanned pregnancy ends not only their own hopes for the future, but also their family’s aspirations for them as well. My mother started pushing the college dream when I was young. She often said, “You will be able to enjoy something that no other woman from our family has ever experienced – the ability to be educated. Then you’ll never have to rely on a man for anything!”
I had watched my mother as an uneducated, single parent, scrub hospital floors in a vain attempt to cover basic expenses after her divorce. We lived on eggs and toast and went hungry often in those days. Child support never arrived and most in the community rejected us as broken people.
Looking at my potential child’s life with me in the role of single parent seemed horrifying. Why would I want to bring a child into the world to endure that level of existence?
When Planned Parenthood explained I was only carrying a “blob of tissue,” abortion seemed the perfect solution. Abortion allowed me to finish my college career and keep my family’s dreams alive. I believed their lie about the “tissue.” It took me many years to realize they were referring to my child – a tiny human who had yet to grow big enough to survive outside of me.
The problem was that my tender heart was designed to love and care for others. It was not cold enough to live with choosing the life of my child over a college degree without eventually experiencing deep emotional regret.
There are other issues after abortion that can impact a post-abortive heart. Since I felt like I had committed the unforgivable sin after my abortion, my teenage mind said, “Why don’t you try other sins? Nothing you do from here on can be worse than your abortion!”
That mindset about sin led me straight into drug and alcohol abuse, along with promiscuity. I lied about everything, cheated on tests and often acted like a whore. For the rest of my college life, it seemed like I worked to sin as much as possible.
No matter how many dreams can be fulfilled by choosing abortion, no aspirations in life are worth living with the ongoing emotional agony of abortion. That cost can escalate as life moves on.
Eleven years after my abortion, I found myself having to climb the mountain of my past sins in order to discover God’s magnificent healing. My abortion recovery process involved confessing not only the abortion but the resulting sins as well.
After that magnificent healing, God placed His own dream for my life into my heart. I began to help other women considering abortion and helping the post-abortive find God’s healing. It wasn’t the dream I expected but it’s better than anything I could have ever imagined!
I am proof positive that God can use a sinner. As Paul outlined in I Timothy 1:15b-16 NIV – Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.
There is no sin that God cannot forgive – even abortion. He replaces old dreams with new ones, offering a hope for everyone’s future.
In your journal, list the dreams you had for your life before your abortion. Outline whether any of these dreams were achieved. Also record any additional sins that you committed after your abortion. Then pray over this list, confess these sins to God and ask Him to help you heal. He’s listening to your prayers!