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After my abortions, I tried doing many things to heal: 12- step programs, acupuncture, and affirmations. Every morning, I would look at myself in the mirror and say affirmations fifteen times, but this didn’t make me feel better about myself. I read many self-help books too, but they didn’t help me either. Years ago, I had gotten confirmed, but then I had stopped going to church. But sometimes I would go into the Catholic Church nearby and just sit. One afternoon, I found a Sisters of Life Ocean of Mercy: Healing After Abortion brochure. I picked it up and was going to use the words “Ocean of Mercy” for the vision board I was making. But my life was so dark that, by God’s mercy, I somehow called the number on the brochure instead. My heart was broken when I called the Sisters. I had tried to fix it, fix my life, but I couldn’t. It was too much for me to bear. I knew my abortions were wrong, but I couldn’t reconcile them. My broken heart was calling out to Jesus. From the Sisters I received love and compassion. The darkness, shame, self-reliance, and my attitude of thinking that “I can heal on my own” began to melt. I met other women who were on the same journey, and I received love and encouragement from them. The Sisters taught me how to pray. I started going to church again. And about a year later, I went to Confession and confessed my abortions. I felt relief and peace. My Catholic faith has become a way of life for me now. I have learned that I cannot heal myself. Healing comes from God. It comes from deepening my relationship with Jesus. It comes from the Sacraments of Confession and the Eucharist. Only God can heal my wounds, and I have to persevere on this journey to receive the healing I need.

*Name changed for anonymity. Originally printed in IMPRINT Magazine Spring 2021.