God wants to use our emotions for good
The hearts of the people cry out to the Lord. O wall of the Daughter of Zion, let your tears flow like a river day and night; give yourself no relief, your eyes no rest. Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children…” Lamentations 2:18-19
Society does not allow individuals to mourn children lost by abortion because it was a “choice.” Abortion is touted as the “right and responsible” thing to do in a crisis pregnancy. Yet loss and grief continue, often unnoticed by others. No matter why it was chosen, abortion results in the loss of a child, a grandchild, a sibling, an extended family member or friend. Healing from abortion means you must deal with mourning the loss of the child.
People tend to ignore or deny any pain surrounding their feelings toward an aborted child. Others have been grieving for a long time and do not know how to resolve the loss. Regardless of your current emotions about the legality of abortion, it is not until you acknowledge the baby as a real person will you be able to grieve this child’s loss properly.
Many embrace the idea that, “it wasn’t really a baby to begin with so there is nothing to grieve.” They resist those emotions. By reviewing an unborn child’s development in the womb usually dispels any questions about the validity of human life. The human aspects of the unborn child, even at the early stages, makes it obvious that a life is extinguished in each abortion. Even though this baby was lost by “choice,” the fact remains it was clearly a human child. Your heart still needs to grieve.
Though you may cry for days yet to come, remember – Psalm 126:5-6 Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with Him.
When David committed adultery with Bathsheba, the child they conceived together died shortly after it was born. David grieved deeply and comforted Bathsheba. When Lazarus died, Jesus -even knowing full well that He was about to restore life – showed us how to mourn the loss of a loved one. The Bible (John 11:35) very simply says, Jesus wept. It is essential to cry all tears of sorrow over the loss of a loved one.
Remember that God is no stranger to pain. His people experienced pain throughout the Old Testament. Both Psalms and the Book of Job are filled with anguish and tears. Lamentations, which means “funeral songs,” was likely written by the Prophet Jeremiah as he was grieving the destruction of Jerusalem.
God created us in His own image. He created our tears as well. He wants to use them to make us stronger. At this point you need to come humbly before God and allow yourself time to cry. This may be for the first time. Understand your tears are precious and God wants to use them to ease your pain. This release means that the walls are coming down in your heart and His love can flow freely. Please give yourself permission to cry.
It is a human trait to need closure after the death of a loved one. Funerals and wakes are all passage “rituals” that ensure mourning and encourage tears. In biblical times, people wore sackcloth and ashes to inform the world of their grief. While the world believes we should swallow the pain and “get over it,” God did not make us that way. He designed our grief to be events which bring us closer to Him for comfort.
This is revealed in the words of Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Tears may come because of triggers—a song on the radio that reminds you of the abortion, meeting a child the same age your grandchild would have been, etc. These types of reactions are normal.
Grief does not touch everyone in the same way. Most people who are affected by someone else’s abortion do not have anyone to talk to about what has happened. There is an aspect of privacy for the post-abortive person. Many believe that no one needs to know this truth and that more harm can result to the relationship if you talk to too many people about it.
Remember everyone has their own shame level. Anger may result if they are unprepared to handle others knowing about the abortion. Be careful to protect their confidentiality if possible.
When Others Don’t Understand
Grief makes others uncomfortable. Do not be upset if your husband, family, friends or even your daughter/son who aborted, cannot understand what you are going through. You may need to find a private place to open your heart without others interfering with this step of the healing process.
Remember that if you share your grief with the post-abortive, they could be in the denial stage of their emotions. They could then easily discredit your feelings to fortify their own wall of denial. Until you discover someone who understands the grieving process, try not to confide in other post-abortive individuals. If restraint is impossible, go out alone and have a good cry.
Sometimes talking with a “trustworthy” close friend, minister, or counselor and sharing your feelings about your loss can bring comfort. Pets can also be therapeutic because they are nonjudgmental companions whose only role is to love us.
Journaling is an excellent way to release emotions and bring you to greater understanding about your true feelings. Again, writing letters you never intend to send is another way of expressing your feelings to people involved. Other activities that can help us cope include cooking, physical exercise, reading, playing a musical instrument, gardening, and housecleaning, shopping, or just going to work.
The hearts of the people cry out to the Lord. O wall of the Daughter of Zion, let your tears flow like a river day and night; give yourself no relief, your eyes no rest. Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children…. Lamentations 2:18-19
In the above verse, what are some of the things that the prophet Jeremiah says happens when you are grieving?
What does Jeremiah say will bring relief to your broken heart?
When you think of grieving, where do you think you are now?
Confronting the Questions of Heaven
It is one thing to deal with the tangible issues surrounding abortion. This could include feeling anger toward flesh-and-blood people as well as asking forgiveness from God whose Word assures us of His answer. But it is another thing to come to the heart of what hurts and to wonder what has happened to this child. The questions are almost too fearful to face, but you will never be fully at rest until you have the answers.
Where Is This Child Now?
Many struggle with terrible guilt because they are uncertain what happened to a baby who was aborted. If a child dies before accepting Jesus, where does he go? Can she possibly find a home in heaven? How can we know for sure?
God knows every heart that He has created. Like the lyrics to the old hymn, Jesus Loves Me, reveals: “Little ones to Him belong. They are weak but He is strong.” Nowhere in Scripture is there a single verse indicating that babies, even those conceived out of wedlock, are unwelcome in the home of their Heavenly Father. Rest assured that this little one is safe in the arms of Jesus.
In the Bible the word for “bereaved” (according to Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary) means “to miscarry, i.e. suffer abortion, to be (made) childless, deprive, destroy, or to be robbed of your child or children.” This concept allows the following scriptures to have a new meaning!
God not only talks to the bereaved heart of women, He also wants to give us something to cling to during our times of grief. In the passage below, replace the words bereaved or bereavement with the word abortion.
Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me. Your sons hasten back, and those who laid you waste depart from you. Lift up your eyes and look around; all your sons gather and come to you. “As surely as I live,” declares the LORD, “you will wear them all as ornaments; you will put them on, like a bride.“ Though you were ruined and made desolate and your land laid waste, now you will be too small for your people, and those who devoured you will be far away. The children born during your bereavement will yet say in your hearing, ‘This place is too small for us; give us more space to live in.’ Then you will say in your heart, ‘Who bore me these? I was bereaved and barren; I was exiled and rejected. Who brought these up? I was left all alone, but these—where have they come from?‘ Isaiah 49:15-21
God is talking about His people, Israel, in this passage, who were held captive in Babylon. He chose a bereaved mother as an example of His heartache over His children. God provided for these children of bereavement to have royal caregivers as revealed in Isaiah 49:22-23 Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I will lift up My hand to the nations. And set up My standard to the peoples; And they will bring your sons in their bosom, And your daughters will be carried on their shoulders. Kings will be your guardians, and their princesses your nurses. They will bow down to you with their faces to the earth and lick the dust of your feet; and you will know that I am the LORD; Those who hopefully wait for Me will not be put to shame.
In our society today, statistics show that the children of the desolate, (bereaved, aborted) are more numerous than the children of the married. This is revealed in Isaiah 54:1 “Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband,” says the LORD.
In God’s sovereignty, He knew the choices that all of us would make. God has provided for these precious children. We are blessed with our hope in Christ Jesus to see our children again.
It is as if God is saying to us…. “I understand you are out there wandering around in exile. You are lonely and you do not know who to talk to. You do not even know if you will ever get to see this child. But I am telling you, ‘Kings will be their guardians and princesses their nursemaids.’ They will be caring for this child. When you come to Me at last, they will, ‘carry your sons in their bosom and your daughter/son will be carried on their shoulders’ They will come and kneel down and present your child to you.”
How will we know these children in Heaven?
The Bible gives us examples of those who appeared and were recognized by others after their death. There was an ability to know someone without being told who they are or by being introduced to them. These Bible characters are listed below, along with the Scriptures that reveal their story of being recognized after their death:
Saints raised from the dead after Jesus was crucified – Matthew 27:51-53
What is Heaven like?
We have a new body – But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Philippians 3:20-21
We will be known – For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 1 Corinthians 13:12
We are like Jesus – Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2
We have a place prepared for us – Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. My Father’s house has plenty of room; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. John 14:1-3
We will never die again – Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26
We have a new name – Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To those who are victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give each of them a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it. Revelations 2:17
We will not grieve – Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
We will be with Jesus forever – According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18
There will be no more crying and no more death – For the Lamb at the center before the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes…..There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. Revelations 7:17 and 21:4
Children in heaven are not angels – For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you. Psalm 139:13-18
They are who God made them to be in the womb – a whole, complete person. Aborted children do not come back to be a baby again to someone else. God does not replace aborted or miscarried children. When a woman becomes pregnant again the next child is a different person with a new body and personality from the lost child.
It is hard to know what heaven will be like exactly. With God’s help, you can know that your lost grandchild, sister, brother, friend etc. will be incredibly happy to meet you. Instead of dreading that day when you look in his eyes, you can look forward with joy to the moment you first hold them in your arms. God is the only judge in heaven, not these dear children.
For many, it is very healing to sit down and write a letter to God for Him to give to the aborted child. By pouring out your sorrow directly to the child, apologizing (if necessary), and acknowledging him or her as a human being, a vital step in mourning is realized. Had this child lived he or she would have imparted great value upon the world and fulfilled a God-given purpose designed just for that child. Realizing this at first deepens your grief, but in doing so you can begin to mourn in the normal human fashion.
Memorializing or Honoring the Child
Choosing to remember this child’s short life is an integral part of healing. Initially you may recoil from the thought of it. Before you reject the idea, please read on.
There are as many ways to honor a child as there are children. You may want to hold a small, private memorial service; you might want to plant a tree; you may want to write a poem; make a donation to a charity; write his or her story in a journal. The choice is purely personal.
The simple task of naming a child is a great way to begin. You may feel like it is not your right to name this child. However, God has already given this child a name in heaven whether you give one or not. The child you grieve may or may not ever get a name from the parents. Do not wait. You can treasure in your heart this child with a name until one is chosen later by the parent.
Your Own Happy Ending
Feel free to create something using your own special talents. A tangible honoring service can be very comforting. It can create a new memory instead of always associating the memory of the child as being aborted.
Please step forward in faith and participate in some sort of honoring or memorializing. As the years go by, it will remind you that you have honored this child with the human dignity of being named and grieved. God’s strong embrace through this process will strengthen and enrich your life and future relationships. And, most of all, it will bring you peace and hope for your future.
Answer these questions:
What did you learn about Heaven?
Who can you talk to if you have more questions?
What is one or two tangible ways you have decided to memorialize this lost child?
Who would you like to include when you memorialize this child?
Complete the following:
Healing Activity 7.1 – Make a memorial plan –Develop a plan to have some sort of memorial for the lost child. Do not delay. This memorial brings closure to the healing process. What will you do? When will you do it? What kinds of ideas do you have? Who would you like to participate with you?
Healing Activity 7.2 – Naming lost children can be a part of your healing process but it is optional. If you have no idea whether your grandchild was a boy or girl, choose a name that is gender neutral: Jesse, Francis, Taylor, Aaron, Chris, etc. Remember that this name can be used as a nickname should this child’s parents come to grieving this child personally.
Hello, I am Sydna Massé Founder and CEO of Ramah International. I'd love to keep in touch and include you in our prayer chain as we continue to serve abortion's wounded and those considering abortion.
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