Rachel's Vineyard Retreats

...Some women feel they have no way out, others are misguided into thinking that the child is just a clump of cells and that there is no real consequence, physically or emotionally to aborting this precious child. The real truth about abortion is now starting to surface and there are literally millions of women who need to grieve for their children. I never even realized how much pain I had locked way down in my soul until I began to heal and ask for forgiveness.

When I was sixteen I began dating a person regularly and after a couple months of dating I got pregnant. It never occurred to me to keep the baby and put the baby up for adoption. It was just too easy to get an abortion and be done with it. My boyfriend drove me to the abortion clinic, I went inside while he waited out in the car. I remember sitting down with the abortionist and he asked me a few questions, I think he called it a counseling session, though he never told me that what he was going to do to me was going to change the rest of my life forever. I went through with the abortion and remember asking the nurse if they could tell if it was a boy or a girl. She quickly replied "oh no, it's way too early to tell that". This is the baby I named Christopher.

After my first abortion my self destructing habits continued, I was drinking, doing drugs and began having anxiety attacks. I stopped doing drugs about four years later but continued with other self destructing behaviors that included promiscuity. When I was twenty-one I got pregnant again by someone I had only dated a few times. I asked my friend to take me to the abortion clinic and there I had my second abortion. This is the baby I named Theresa. After that abortion my anxiety attacks reached almost paralyzing heights. So to try to deal with the panic attacks I began drinking even heavier, which in turn would give me more severe anxiety attacks. It was about 2 ? years later I married my husband. About a 1 ? after our marriage I began thinking more and more about God and that I needed to bring him into my life. My friend is Catholic so I asked her to take me to Mass one Saturday evening. After going for the first time I knew that God had called me home. Shortly after going to Mass for the first time I found out that I was pregnant. This was a pivotal point in my life that started my road to dealing with the abortions I had had. With being pregnant I had to stop drinking and I really wondered how I was going to deal with this, but in searching for God and attending RCIA [Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults], the urge to drown out my pain with self destructing behaviors ceased. I, to this day, have never had another panic attack and no longer need to drink to cover up my pain. God also gave me the strength to start thinking about the abortions I had had and lead me in the direction of the Church and Rachel's Vineyard.

Although I was beginning this new life and relationship with God my pregnancy was very difficult emotionally. As I began buying books on how my baby was growing in my body it saddened me to learn what I had destroyed not once but twice. I had no idea that my babies that I had aborted were so perfectly shaped at the time I had aborted them. I thought they were just a clump of cells with no heartbeat, no fingers and toes and no little face, but I was wrong. I finally started to feel the pain of aborting my children and after having spent nearly eight years covering up this pain I turned to God for his forgiveness.

Although I had gone through the RCIA process and had learned about God's forgiving love I did not truly believe I was deserving of God's or my children's forgiveness. The priest, however helped me put my doubts aside and with the most gentle spirit he consoled and guided me towards forgiving myself and believing that God and my children also forgave me. He also suggested that I seek out Rachel's Vineyard to help me deal with my grief and heal my soul. Thanks be to God for that priest and his gentle heart, for he gave me the opportunity to love my children without feeling guilty.

Almost a year later I went to Rachel's Vineyard Retreat and was helped in a way that I could have never helped myself. Though my first confession healed me more than I ever thought possible Rachel's Vineyard gave me even more healing and the strength to talk to others and share my story. I was finally given the chance to grieve for my children and love them through Gods love.

The shame I felt and covered up with self destruction lasted almost a decade. I still weep when I think of my children as I am sure most mothers do that have had abortions. But the tears remind me that abortion is wrong and I will spend the rest of my life on this Earth to try to help others not make this decision and help those you have, overcome their sorrow and guilt. I hope this helps just one person to seek forgiveness and healing because it is achievable.

Rachel's Vineyard Web Site