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NOT the Most Wonderful Time of the Year: 4 Ways to Process Abortion Grief Amid the Holidays

It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but the holidays can feel like anything but joyful for someone who’s grieving a loss—especially loss after abortion. During the holiday season, there’s a strong emphasis on family, which can leave many men and women with deep feelings of sadness, isolation, and regret. A woman might also struggle to be around children who are around the same age as hers would have been. If the abortion itself occurred during the holiday season, these difficult emotions can be further exacerbated. Every man and woman experience an abortion differently, but if you feel intensified grief during the holidays—or throughout the year—there are four ways to start the path of recovery and rekindle hope.

Know you’re not alone. After an abortion, you may think you have to grieve in silence, but finding others who have had similar experiences can help you feel less isolated and can support you in your healing process. An abortion doesn’t need to stay a secret. Have you ever considered turning to God who can be a friend (John 15:13-15) who will never leave you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:8) in your time of need?

Express your emotions. Emotions like guilt, shame, regret, and sadness vary—and may arise or become more intense at different times in life. The holidays may trigger unexpected emotions. Give yourself permission to grieve and lament the loss of the baby. And most importantly, God is willing to hear you (Proverbs 15:29) if you become a child of God (John 1:12-13). Proverbs 25 shows how King David lamented horrific trials and suffering.

Seek true forgiveness. Forgiveness is a powerful truth of God’s grace. Only God can cleanse your guilty conscience through your faith in his Son, Jesus Christ, who shed his blood on the cross for each person who believes, “according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7, Hebrews 4:14-16). By confessing your sin to God and believing in your heart that He is God, you can be forgiven and saved. “There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1; 10:9-11; I John 1:7-9).

Find support from loved ones. Finding the right person to talk to after an abortion is one of the first steps toward hope and healing. If you or someone you know has had an abortion and is struggling emotionally, especially during the holidays, it’s important to find someone who understands and can help.

At LivingWell Pregnancy Centers, you’ll find a safe place with trained grief counselors and compassionate support groups who can help you find hope again. We offer a confidential, 10-week Abortion Recovery Class (ARC) to help you emotionally and spiritually process your struggles following an abortion. With a small class size and compassionate, trained counselors, you will find the courage to face the pain of a past abortion, regardless of the season.

Dear Father, Thank you that you are a God who gives comfort and hope to your children in the midst of unspeakable grief. As I gather around a dinner table and picture a family that could have been, please cover the lies that will inevitably come up during the holiday season and help me to replace them with the promise of my future hope in Glory with You and my child(ren) forever. I am reminded of my sin and grieve over this, but remind me I am forgiven through the blood of the Lamb on the cross. Bring comfort in the midst of loneliness and help me to share with a trusted friend. Allow this friend to refresh my soul, point me to place it in Your hands, that were pierced for our transgressions. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

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