A hole was ripped in my heart the day I got my abortion along with a hole in my marriage. How could I trust this person who did not love all of me, did not want our baby? Who was I now that I had rejected this new life? I hated myself. My identity as a mother and wife was shattered. What kind of mother was I? How could I ever respect myself again? How could I respect my marriage, my husband? How come I didn’t stand up for my child? How come I didn’t know it was a child and not a blob of cells? I hated the people who had convinced me abortion was the better path. I hated the people who made me think choosing life was a selfish act. And one of those people was my husband. I hated myself for being so blind.
I felt deadened. I thought my husband would always protect me and now I knew different. I felt unloved by the man I had always thought loved me. We carried on, but it was different because I felt I could never be happy again. I resented my husband for his lack of support, for his lack of understanding of my pain; a pain that only increased with time. After fifteen years it had become intolerable.
He could only see things in practical terms and was impatient with me at times, but in the end I wore him down. He came to finally share my deep regret. Only the grace of God in our marriage could heal this kind of schism. John Paul II had blessed our marriage and I credit him with keeping us together. But those were lonely years filled with failed attempts to release, cover and deny the agony. Attempts that did not work and were often very destructive.
We were ignorant really and duped by the secularists around us who influenced our thinking and only thought of the child in materialistic terms. We had lost our connection to God. That’s when I became absolutely certain that returning to the Catholic Church, which we had left, was my only salvation. Only there would I find Christ truly revealed. Only there, could I trust I would find the truth.
In my weakness I had closed my heart and mind. Everyone else, every other theology, spirituality, philosophy had lied to me and led me down this path of destruction. Only the Catholic Church taught the hard truths in the face of the worldwide lie and pressure to believe that abortion was just a simple procedure that benefited woman and their families. My first abortion took me away from the Catholic Church. My second brought me back.
My healing began through an Entering Canaan Day of Prayer and Healing and continued at a Hope & Healing weekend. I saw the brochure at the back of my Church and at first threw it away. They’ll just make me feel guilty I thought. I had confessed my sin, what more can I do? I don’t want to dwell on it. It took 12 more months of on and off depression and increasing feelings of despair and regret for me to listen to that little voice saying go – go to this retreat.
I spent the whole day shedding the tears I had never shed and experiencing the love of God. I actually took off the cloak of denial and justification of what I had done and was wrapped in Christ’s warmth and healing mercy. The Hope & Healing Weekend was even deeper. I was able to believe and rest in God’s forgiveness.
Now, I wanted this for my husband. I wanted this for his soul. I knew that he had never suffered the regret I had, but I also knew that if he did not face up to his part, it would keep him from God and keep him from me. It took a little prodding but he saw the change in me. He saw me experience joy and peace even though there still was sadness.
After a while, my husband attended an Entering Canaan men’s retreat. I could tell immediately that this had been a profound experience for him. In the end, it has brought us so much closer together. We are now on the same spiritual track, and he has asked for my forgiveness. This moved me deeply and washed away any feelings of bitterness I had. I feel like I finally have my sweetheart back. ~CSB