I had illicit relations with a married man and ended up pregnant, and had an abortion because I didn’t want my family to find out. From then until now I have continued to have remorse…. What I did is heavy on my conscience, and I am experiencing anxiety and distress…. I need your help because I have a a ten-year-old daughter who is being hurt by my emotional turmoil.
We congratulate you for thinking about your daughter’s welfare even during your difficult trial. You learned too late that abortion was not a good option, and in the process you lost that child forever. However, you do have the chance to make things better for the daughter that you still have.
Many women have terrible remorse after having abortions. They grieve for years, but the regret is even worse than the grief. Of course, their consciences bother them, as your conscience has bothered you. They know, as you do, that their children could have lived, but instead those tiny babies won’t ever have the chance to take a breath.
The pain and loss may never go away, but God is willing to forgive you because His Son Jesus Christ died on the cross to take the punishment for all your sin (and mine). However, it is not automatic. You must pray and ask for forgiveness with genuine repentance. When you do, God will see your heart and will forgive you. The Apostle John put it this way, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”1
It is difficult for us to comprehend that God is willing to forgive us even when our sin seems to be too terrible to qualify for His grace. But in God’s eyes, all sin separates us from Him, so your sin separates you from Him no more than any other sin would. If you read the Scriptures and learn more about God, you will learn that He wants to forgive you and to have a personal relationship with you.
Post-abortion trauma, along with other emotional and physical traumas, can negatively affect our children unless we take great care. We recommend that you find a support group for those suffering from grief and loss. Having a safe place to talk about your feelings will help you set those feelings aside when you are interacting with your daughter.
Make sure that you never burden your daughter with the weight of your anxiety and grief. Determine to show interest in her friends and her daily life, and take joy in your relationship with her. Participate in her activities even when you don’t feel up to it. In just a few years she will be a teenager, and it is often much more difficult during those teen years. Determine to take advantage of this time to form a closer bond with her, before it is too late.
You made a bad mistake with one child, but you can’t fix that now. Instead, put all your energy into doing the best you can with the daughter that you have.
May God’s peace fill your heart,
1 1Jn 1:9