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  • Writer's pictureSerena Dyksen

Embracing Hope: Navigating Responsibility and Healing on Sanctity of Life Sunday

Many times, as an abortion-wounded person, I would avoid going to church on Sanctity of Life Sunday to escape the reminder and pain. Sometimes, I tried to slip out quickly so people couldn't see the hurt and sadness. Other times, I could feel the devil heaping so much guilt and shame on me that it felt like I was experiencing a slow death. I also remember moments of anger at the pastor for not addressing it, or if he did, my skin would crawl, and I couldn't leave fast enough. It was a no-win situation because the reality was, I was wounded and hurting, and I needed healing.

Taking responsibility for my healing, Sanctity of Life Sunday became less and less painful and more encouraging as I became free and witnessed others becoming free. I no longer felt triggered by what my pastor said or didn't say. I will say it until my dying breath: recovery is life-changing, but it's up to us to want to touch the hem of Jesus and allow him to journey with us to freedom. We don't have to remain stuck in our guilt, shame, or hurt unless we choose to stay stuck.

Today, I want to share the story of a recent student who chose to heal. Sanctity of Life Sunday will look different for him moving forward. It is our prayer that this story offers you hope and encourages you to take the next step of healing.

Recently, one of our students walked through avoiding Sanctity of Life Sunday because he didn't want to cry at church. He decided to stay home and watch online. He became emotional and even startled his dog with his reaction. What he realized was he had never actually grieved his child. He had worked through guilt, forgiveness, and anger but had never grieved his child. He was able to join his community of recovery brothers and share this process, and another layer of healing and freedom took place. Moving forward, this day will look different, but he had to choose to receive God's grace and journey through this process.

Perhaps this story resonates with you. If it does, maybe God is giving you an invitation to join recovery so he can set you free. Trust the process, my friend! Next year will look different!

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