Where Do We Go From Here?
Where Do We Go From Here?
God makes a new path
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, … to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. Isaiah 61:1-3
The only way to heal the pain that will not heal itself is ask God for forgiveness and then apply forgiveness to the person who hurt you. You may need to forgive them for not forgiving you!
Someone once said that holding bitterness and anger against someone else is like drinking poison but hoping the other person dies! Our bitterness and unforgiveness hurts us more than the individual who did us harm.
Forgiving stops the ongoing reruns of pain in your mind and heals your memory so you can change your memory’s vision. When you release the wrong doer, you cut out the cancer living in you. You set a prisoner free only to discover the prisoner was you! A freed person can choose to live with an uneven score when they forgive.
Love is the power behind forgiveness and will enable you to continue loving them no matter how mean, cruel, or unfair they have been to you. It does not mean you continue to put yourself in a position to be hurt repeatedly, however. Love can have healthy boundaries where it can flourish and become healthy again. There are no guarantees with love, but you can open the door to the possibility of restoration.
Restoration may come slowly or not at all. Try not to continue to beat yourself up or give the enemy room to come back into your thought life and ruin the work you have done. When negative and hurtful thoughts come up again ask yourself these questions:
Is this what God would say to me? God will address any wrong action to bring you to repentance. He will not accuse us – that is the work of the enemy.
What else does God want me to see about myself?
If you still have any unforgiveness in your heart, what steps do you need to take? Remember, forgiveness is a process.
If those questions cannot be answered within the pages of God’s Word or by a review of the work accomplished in this study, then the enemy may be the one trying to ruin your healing and lead you back into bondage again. If this is the case, remember Galatians 5:1 – It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Talking about the abortion with your daughter/son
The next task may be to deal with the abortion with your daughter/son. Before you do that, please pray! Pray for God to soften any part of the wounded relationship between you so that healing can begin. Healing may look different for you than it does for your daughter/son or anyone else for that matter.
It is always better to do these types of things in person. If that is not possible, you may want to send a letter but only as a last resort. Either way, writing helps to put your emotions out there and gives your heart time to edit out anything that should not be said. This letter can help you with a personal discussion in that regard. If you write a letter, make sure that you set a time and place to discuss it later.
If you are planning on writing a letter to your daughter/son, find a trusted friend who can help you and spend time in prayer with you. Allow your friend to critique the letter and be open to editing it so that the true meaning of forgiveness is wrapped in grace. Mercy and love is shown to your daughter/son. This should only be done if you cannot speak to them in person. Otherwise it is a one-sided conversation that may not bring healing to the other person.
The following points may help when you formulate your letter or statements.
- Make sure your conversations about the abortion are always in private.
- If you were involved or pressured for the abortion; admit your part in the abortion. Do not focus on what he/she did, but on what was your part. Give her/him permission to disagree with you about the abortion but to forgive you for any responsibility you may have had in the decision in the first place.
- Remember you are now in a vastly different place than your daughter/son may be.
- You have now worked on your own feelings and resolved them. Bringing this topic back up again means their pain may start all over again. That is okay. Pain can be God’s way of turning a heart back to Him.
- Never condemn her/him or tell her the abortion was all her/his fault.
- Be honest about how the abortion impacted you and your relationship with her/him.
- Assure her/him of your love for them.
- Realize that any anger expressed may not be at you although it could be directed towards you. Anger is a common ally of grief. Be sure to depersonalize these emotions and patiently pray for the individual.
- Give her/him time and space to heal and permission to bring this subject back up later if needed.
- Love with an everlasting love, an unconditional love.
- Tell her/him where help can be obtained and provide them with a copy of Her Choice to Heal: Finding Spiritual and Emotional Peace After Abortion. Then leave it alone. She/he needs time to think.
In his book, Forgive and Forget-Healing the Hurts We Don’t Deserve, Louis B. Smedes shares:
“When you tell those you hurt that you realize what you did was intolerable and that you share their pain……. If they believe you, your separate sadnesses begin to melt into one. When you confess this way, you do more than admit your blame…… When you confess to another person, you do not merely admit that you did something; you tell the person you hurt that you hurt too, with the very hurt that you hurt them with and that you want terribly to be forgiven.”
Ask yourself the following questions and pray over them
- Is it profitable right now to bring up the abortion?
- Will it help or hinder?
- Is she/he emotionally able to process through the abortion?
- Is not talking to her/him out of your own fears because I John 4:18 relays – Perfect love cast out all fear.
- What other questions or concerns do you have?
Write them out and then pray about them. Ask God to let you know the best time to bring up this subject. Pray for His timing. Rely on His timing…when he says do it then do it! Do not make excuses when the time comes – obey!
When restoration/reconciliation does not happen
Everyone can receive grace and be reconciled to God due to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Realize that healing may be a solo flight! You do not need complete forgiveness from all parties involved to have the joy and freedom of God’s healing.
It does not feel great to leave a huge issue like abortion unresolved. Your daughter/son may never see your point of view. You may never understand why he/she did what he/she did. You may never see her/him be against abortion. You may never hear him/her say, “Will you forgive me?” You may never receive from him/her forgiveness for your part in the abortion. These are the realities we must face but it does not mean that your healing is in any way incomplete.
Your daughter/son may still be in denial over the abortion. They may deny for a long, long time that it has impacted them. They may cling to the idea that it was the right thing to do at the time and life is better without the child.
It is typical to never talk about the abortion. Silence replaces these deep emotions. Fear keeps us from “going there” to simply not cause more pain. You might need to be the one that gently brings up the topic. Maybe that needs to happen more than once before you get to the place where it can really be discussed openly and honestly. Be patient with yourself and with your daughter/son.
Once you have received God’s forgiveness for your part of any sin regarding the abortion, you can begin the process of forgiving others. How do we forgive someone who is not sorry? A person who may still think it was the best thing to do or that it was no big deal?
Forgiving others is for US! Otherwise we are invisibly chained to them by the chain of bitterness, hatred, or anger. This is revealed in Ephesians 4:31 – Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
Forgiving them takes the chains from us and gives them to God. He will not let them off his hook. He will deal with them. Revenge belongs to Him because He is the only One that KNOWS their heart.
We know when forgiveness has started when we no longer want them to hurt. When you can think about them and wish them well. Forgiveness is a process. It can take time to release bitterness and unforgiveness, particularly if it has been held on to for many years. Start the forgiveness process. It takes guts but it will reap great benefits for you in your life.
When you have worked through abortion and have an unbelieving daughter/son who does not embrace Christ, let alone the sanctity of human life, it may be difficult to discuss the topic or receive forgiveness from them. That does not mean that forgiveness has not happened. There may be death that separates the process from ever being resolved.
Writing a letter is a good way to deal with abortion if your daughter/son is no longer living. Asking for forgiveness is the key. Accepting restoration may not ever happen is difficult. Know your own heart. Leave the rest to God.
Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us; we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep his commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. 1 John 3:20-21
Remember Jesus came to set you free! Live Free! He loves you with an everlasting love! Believe it! …. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21
Complete the following:
Healing Activity 9.1 – Make a list of what you need to leave with God. If necessary, ask a trusted friend to hold you accountable when you struggle.
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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