What is the Process of Healing After an Abortion?

"I Will Never Leave You or Forsake You"

Abortion is devastating and can leave deep wounds. How can healing begin? Dr. David Powlison, counselor and faculty member at Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF), meets women in their grief and offers God’s hope, healing, and mercy.

David Powlison has been doing biblical counseling for over 30 years and has written numerous articles on counseling and on the relationship between faith and psychology. His books include Speaking Truth in Love, Seeing with New Eyes, Power Encounters, and The Biblical Counseling Movement: History and Context. 

David handled this question with extreme care. He answered honestly and with great compassion. First, David shared candidly how he believes God views abortion: it is the killing of an innocent child, someone who is helpless and dependent.  

How did you respond to David’s straightforward response to the question? What do you think his purpose was in being so direct given the sensitive nature of the topic?
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David talked about how highly emotional and politicized the topic of abortion has become. What has been your experience talking about abortion? Does it make you feel uncomfortable? Is abortion personal to you, or more of an abstract, or political, topic?
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Do you or someone you know struggle with whether or not God forgives someone for getting an abortion? If so, what comfort were David’s words to you? What questions do you still have?
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David said that talking about how God sees abortion is actually much easier than talking about how to begin the process of healing after an abortion. He pointed out a resource called A Personal Liturgy of Confession, which walks a woman through the darkness and guilt over her abortion into the light and mercy of God’s forgiveness.  

A Personal Liturgy of Confession

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The Personal Liturgy of Confession resource provides a model for how to rightly express sorrow based on an old classic prayer of confession. It invites humility, addresses pain, and asks God for certain things. It encourages women to be honest and specific in naming their sins before God. David gave some examples. 

Confession is a powerful discipline. In what ways do you think naming specifics could be helpful for healing?
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Do you struggle with being honest in your confession? Why or why not?
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The intentional journey from grief through pain and into healing and forgiveness is meant to make a lasting impact and confirm God’s faithfulness to His people. As David said, you can be honest because God is both strong and merciful. His Word promises, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”  

Who needs the assurance of God’s forgiveness in their life? You? Someone you know? Take a minute to pray for them right now or ask someone to pray for you.
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David closed encouraging women to share their stories. He said that God often works when we take our own experiences and use them to help other people going through something similar. 

Share a time when you suffered through sin, received God’s mercy and forgiveness, and then were able to help someone going through the same thing.
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Our stories are uniquely ours. God cares deeply about the pain, suffering, and feelings of guilt we suffer, and He wants to heal us and fill us with His love. Our stories are also meant for others, though. Once we receive the healing and love we long for from God, it’s our time to try to help others. 

The Lord will never leave us or forsake us—let that promise comfort, console, and empower you today.

This video is a publication of the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). All content is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced in any manner without written permission from CCEF. For more information on classes, materials, speaking events, distance education and other services, please visit www.ccef.org