“I’ve never felt so sad in my whole life, Sydna,” a post-abortive woman shared.  “My child has been gone for 25 years.  Why did it take so long for grief to hit my heart?”

It is normal for human beings to avoid or deny sad feelings.  Few actively embrace sorrow after abortion due to the fear that their tears could result in depression that could lead to suicide. We then miss the results of embracing sorrow, outlined in Psalm 126:5-6 (NIV) – Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy…

Many combat sorrowful emotions by leaning into anger. That fury often results in the hardening of our hearts. Anger rarely resolves the sensation of sadness because we lose the connection to God’s grace that helps us heal.

It does not help that the world puts all post-abortive women in one box, stating that our silence about our abortions means we feel “fine” with this choice. Pro-aborts don’t understand that post-abortive women typically muzzle their emotions to protect their secret sin from being revealed.

I asked the staff where I had my abortion if it would impact me emotionally or psychologically. My teenage mind was at a point of terror then. I had no clue what procedure lay ahead in the next moments where my unborn child would pass into heaven.

I believe God was working to get my attention with that terrified question. I clung to the nurse’s response – “No. This will make your life better. You have plenty of time to have more children.”

Feelings of sadness can also be interpreted as a sign of weakness. The feminism spirit that helped us walk into an abortion clinic can lead us to recommending abortion to others or protesting to support abortion providers.

Few realize that sorrow is actually a path to joy. Embracing grief gives value to our lost children and outlines the emotions that need to be processed.

Here are four levels of sadness that can hit post-abortive hearts along their journey through life:

Forbidden Sorrow – Since abortion is a choice, many women perceive they have no right to “grieve” their aborted child. They wrap their tears deep into their souls as they leave abortion clinics and attempt to forge ahead as if nothing happened. When involuntary tears occur, the individual’s intellect works to dominate these emotions by linking them to other past traumas.

Denied Sadness – With comments like, “My abortion was the best choice I made,” women are disregarding any sense of loss that may have arrived in their hearts after abortion. Anger often is used in the denial process which hardens the woman’s heart. Many contact our offices stating, “I can’t figure out how I became so mean?” Angry hearts are often unable to love, which can lead to an insensitivity, particularly around children.

Fearful Blues – During various “life” moments – i.e., births, deaths, moves, transitions, etc. – denial and anger can cease functioning which tosses us into open grief. Watching a sad movie can initiate extreme crying jags that are misunderstood in our minds, leading us to fear we may be going crazy.

Repentant Regret – Embracing and processing after abortion grief leads to healing, emotional strength and understanding. When post-abortive people finally allow themselves to mourn the child they lost to abortion, God’s power returns harmony to our souls. This is outlined in 2 Corinthians 7:10 (NIV), Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

The benefit of embracing after abortion sadness means that we realize we lost something very special at the abortion clinic. Naming aborted children and having a memorial service for them can release a great deal of shame and guilt from our souls too. The peace that results changes us at a remarkable level, restoring joy and dismantling destructive anger.

God can use our hearts to help others in a way few understand.  In Luke 7:44-47 (NIV), Jesus addresses a judgmental Pharisee – Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.  Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

If you are feeling sad about your abortion, give yourself permission to cry as often as possible. These tears will wrap God’s love around your heart and continue His healing in your life. If you have experienced abortion, an abortion recovery program can help you as well as the book, Her Choice to Heal: Finding Spiritual and Emotional Peace After Abortion.

As one of the few ministries serving the world’s post-abortive audience, please keep our ministry in your prayers and consider making a tax-deductible donation to support our efforts to reach abortion’s wounded hearts with the hope of God’s healing.