This week, as we near the end of Respect Life Month and the Jubilee of Mercy, we hear about mercy in relation to Project Rachel.
I recently served on a post-abortion retreat in our Diocese. It was a privilege to be with such courageous women, and it is difficult to imagine the strength it takes to come forward after suffering silently with decisions made regretfully so many years ago.
After hiding away all that pain and those unresolved feelings of shame, these women took their first steps toward redemptive healing. Some of them, maybe for the first time in their lives, realized that God desires their healing; that He wants them to be whole again; and that He gives them the grace to face the past, to be reconciled, and to be set free.
At the beginning of the retreat, the Project Rachel leader revealed her hope that each woman would leave a different person than when she arrived. One attendee thought to herself, “that’s nice, but not for me.” She believed that healing was impossible, yet, thankfully, by the end of the day she recalled that her heart had changed. She left renewed and transformed.
For those who are struggling to take those first steps, be encouraged by the words of our retreatants:
“I really came into this thinking that this kind of healing is for others, but not for me…that I would probably leave disappointed. Thankfully the reality ended up being much different. I am not completely healed, but now I have hope and faith that healing is possible and that I won’t have to bear this cross forever.”
“I felt welcomed with compassion and understanding. The testimonies given by the leaders of the group helped me overcome my fear and gave me the courage to be able to talk about my painful experience.”
“Do not be afraid, you are not alone. Project Rachel and this retreat made me see God’s love and mercy. He truly loves you and wants you to heal. This is a step in your healing and deepening your relationship with God and your child. You will leave the retreat changes and full of Christ’s light. God bless you! And thank you Project Rachel for my life back.”
If you or someone you know is seeking healing after abortion, please call the confidential helpline at (888) 456-HOPE or (703) 841-2504. As we conclude the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, please let us know if you would like to support our ministry as a “Bridge of Mercy” by calling the helpline or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.