Hope, Healing And Forgiveness After Abortion

Megan Marley/Key photo

Megan Marley

There is hope of healing after abortion, and that was the message of a special prayer service for healing and forgiveness held October 7 at Sacred Heart Parish in Warrensburg.

The ‘Afternoon of Prayerful Remembrance and Intercession’ sponsored by Project Rachel, featured testimonials (most read by volunteers) from actual persons affected by the loss of a child through abortion—a counselor, grandparents, a doctor, a priest, a friend, a father, a sibling, a mother—each followed by an intercessory prayer lead by a Knight of Columbus. Before each testimonial, a violet flower plus a flower signifying the healed and restored relationship between the person and God was placed in a vase before a Divine Mercy image.

“It’s no excuse that 29 years ago I was truly ignorant of a baby’s development in the womb and allowed the abortion to happen. What a terrible mistake I made!” read the grandmother’s testimony.

“I know it’s broken my heart over the years, not knowing the grandchild I lost, but also seeing my daughter struggle at life as a result of the decision. If only I could take away her pain I pray for her each day that she will come to know the mercy of God as I have.”

“As a doctor at an abortion clinic for several years, I participated in the deaths of thousands of children,” read the abortionist’s testimony.

“Though I know I will never be able to give the children I killed their natural lives back or repair the harm I have done to their mothers and fathers, I can and do seek to offer reparation by witnessing now, as God allows me, to their children’s sacred dignity. I also ask forgiveness from them, the women and men whose children I aborted.”

Last came the in-person testimony of Kathy, mother of an aborted child. At age 16, she got pregnant by her boyfriend.

“I did not take the time to think that this was really truly a real baby—it barely crossed my mind. Instead, I thought we had done something very, very wrong and no one could find out.”

“What would my mother say? She was in severe clinical depression,” Kathy continued. “All I could think was: would she become suicidal?”

“I thought I would be ostracized, everyone would find out how bad I really am.”

“Abortion was our only answer.”

“It kept invading my thoughts. ‘No going back’ kept lingering in my mind again and again. I had to stop,” she said. “I kept saying everything would go back to normal now, everything is normal. We got rid of our problem! Dead wrong.”

“I went to confession, and everything was supposed to be ok. I finished high school, went on to college, but the abortion never left my mind. I again went to confession—my penance was to go to 9 First Friday Masses. Still, was I really forgiven?”

She graduated college and went to work as a nurse and met her husband. His family didn’t approve of her, and when her husband decided they would move close to them for his residency program it bode ill for their relationship.

“Later I found out that our marriage really didn’t mean anything to him—this left me heartbroken. This was the ultimate rejection.”

Angry, resentful and depressed, she worked nights in Labor & Delivery—the tough schedule pushed her to addiction to drugs and alcohol, and she lost custody of her two children, then her job and house. While all this was happening, her mother became very sick.

“Before she died, I finally got up the courage to tell her what I did. She was so loving, compassionate, forgiving. It felt like 10 tons was lifted from my shoulders,” Kathy said.

“This very same year, I was diagnosed with breast cancer—I had a mastectomy. Since there was no familial history, I believe the cause was my abortion. Research says the likelihood of someone having an abortion and having breast cancer was very high.”

“I knew the time had come, and I needed to do something good. Or I would be dead soon.”

She went through 23 hospitalizations over years in a recovery program for her addictions. At rock bottom and in desperation, she prayed.

“I begged and I begged and I begged Him to take away this addiction. And He did. He took it. It was gone—poof!”

“The power of Christ’s love and mercy and justice knows no bounds. I’ve seen it over and over and over again. This was the beginning of my personal and beautiful relationship with God.”

The next step in the program was to make amends to the people she had harmed.

“I had two firsts on my list: my aborted little baby, whom I harmed in the worst possible way, and my two living children whom I essentially abandoned. It was impossible for me to separate the two. That’s when I joined project Rachel—it is an extraordinary program in which I was provided the counseling and group meetings together with others who had had abortions.”

“We discovered through scripture that God loves us so much more than He hates our sin. One of my biggest problems was learning how to forgive myself, especially now that I’d hurt my living children who are continuing to survive without a mother. Could they ever forgive me? Could God forgive me again?”

A few years later, Human Life International brought a replica of Our Lady of Czestochowa to one of the crisis pregnancy centers she knew of through her work with the Gabriel Project. She came to see the image and learned another name for the image: Our Lady of post-abortive mothers.

“This is how I came to know I’d been forgiven. I am healed, I am whole—God loves me more than anything in the whole world.”

The afternoon concluded with confessions and a rosary said in conjunction with the Rosary Coast To Coast campaign to pray for the dignity of all human life, also occurring October 7 nationwide.

For more information on Project Rachel, visit projectrachelkc.com. For more information on the Rosary Coast To Coast project, visit rosarycoasttocoast.com.

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Tuesday
October 16, 2018
Newspaper of the Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph