I love the Advent season. It has become a real resting place, a “glorious expectation” of the coming of the Christ Child into our midst. But, it was not always so glorious. Being a post-abortive woman, for years I found Advent and the Christmas season a time of great anxiety and sorrow. While everyone was filled with the joy of the birth of Christ, I experienced fear, dread, and unending pain. The New Year came as a relief knowing I did not have to deal with it all again for another twelve months.
There are many who suffer this Advent and Christmas season and I’m blessed to have two opportunities to talk about hope and healing after abortion. On Saturday, December 17 at 7:00 a.m., and again at 6:00 p.m., I will join Sr. Marie Pappas on Pathways to Learning on the Catholic Channel 129 SiriusXM Radio to speak about the difficulties of the Christmas season for those who have experienced abortion. In addition, the week of December 18, I will be a guest on Cradle My Heart Radio with Kim Ketola to speak about the pain that Advent and Christmas can bring to those who suffer from the aftermath of abortion. I have always enjoyed speaking with Kim and am grateful for all that she does for those who suffer.
If you think about it, my past reactions to Advent were understandable. I felt unforgivable, alienated from God, and certain of eternal condemnation. Why would anyone who was post-abortive want to “prepare the way” for Christ? Meeting Christ meant judgment and the flames of hell. It meant the fulfillment of everything I feared and felt about myself. The entire season spoke of my sinfulness.
Unlike Mary’s fiat, I answered “no.” My “no” to God’s gift of life loudly resounded in my head. How could I appreciate Mary’s courage, faith, and complete unselfishness when I had the complete opposite reaction? The shame was all-consuming.
Instead of the joy of the birth of a son, I was intensively mindful of the destruction of my unborn son. The grief and guilt was overwhelming. While choirs were singing “Joy to the World,” I was certain Christ’s coming meant I would be alone to suffer, with no one to love and no one to love me.
Life is certainly different now since I learned to take the focus off of myself and put it on Jesus. I came into a personal relationship with Him. I learned of His unending mercy and forgiveness in the face of my contrition for my abortion. Far from a condemning and angry God, I came to know His deep desire for my healing and union with Him.
The dread surrounding Advent and the Christmas season began to dissipate as I came to understand that it was in this act, the birth of Mercy Himself, that my salvation began. The immense void I had experienced slowly began to fill with His love and mercy and I grew to know He came to this earth for me, a sinner, so that I could share eternal life with Him and my unborn child. Advent now speaks to my heart of a “glorious expectation” of peace, joy, love, forgiveness, and mercy. This grace is not just for me but for all who trust in Him, no matter what their sin.
If you are post-abortive or suffer from other sins that keep you from the joy of the Advent, take your focus off of yourself and place it instead on Christ, born for our salvation. If you do, I promise you, you will feel and glorious expectation! As many struggle through this Christmas Season we pray that the message we will relay will enable them to enjoy this Holy Season in peace and love!
Are you or someone you know suffering from the wounds of abortion during this Advent season? There is hope, there is healing. Visit the Lumina Website for more information.