Today I’m continuing the post abortion journey with a client who is still hurting from an abortion she had decades ago. The healing process is intense. It’s exhausting for her. But when a woman who regrets her abortion is determined to be whole again, she pushes forward, straight into the storm of emotions and pain, because she knows that it’s only in walking through it that she will come out the other side. Still, part of her soul longs to shut the process down and go back to being the woman who has found a way to cope with the pain, putting on her “I’m okay” face, even though she knows deep inside that she has buried a part of herself.
So how does a person do it? How do we walk through passionate, intense emotions without being consumed by them? How do we heal from a wound so deep that it threatens to swallow us up? Or how do we recover from deep, aching grief while also bearing the regret of having made a choice? How do we overcome anger and rage toward those who should’ve walked alongside us but didn’t, or those who told us this would be no big deal but it was?
Maybe a better question is why. Why would we put ourselves through any of it–this process of telling our story, sifting through our pain, even choosing to forgive those who’ve never owned their part in the story?
Let’s go back to an earlier question: Why do we care so much about politics and what’s going on in the world around us? Why do people debate fiercely, march, and even riot? On the one hand, we long to drop all the drama, to stop caring what people in political offices far away from us are up to or what laws they are signing into place. On the other, our very identity is threatened when our leaders don’t reflect our values. Our leaders represent us, both where we live and to the rest of the world. They use our money to promote their causes. Sometimes their laws and policies even threaten our own freedom and security. When we perceive injustice, our souls demand we take action.
So it is with a woman who regrets her abortion. When she perceives that she’s not walking in step with her deepest values and beliefs, it throws her world off its axis and her soul demands she take action. So with courage and determination, she chooses to journey through the mud and mire, hoping to find some resolution to the complication of emotions rolling around inside of her; to let her soul come out of hiding and really live. The journey is intense. It’s too much for a soul to handle all at once or to walk through alone. So she honours us with the invitation to walk alongside her.
As she walks through the dark valley, she learns how to care for herself along the way. She learns to take breaks just to breathe, and she learns to receive the grace poured out on her each day from an unseen hand. She also learns to own her decisions and to let others own theirs. And bit by bit she finds the pieces of her life start to fit together and make sense again. Though there will likely always be a strand of grief woven through the fabric of her life, it no longer threatens to swallow her up. At the end of the journey she finds peace and hope for the new day ahead.