I had never heard of a special day set aside to remember the lives of children who died from abortion until I read the column written by today’s guest blogger, Dana Bridges Stout. I’m glad to see such a day of remembrance.
The thought that anyone could mourn the death of an in utero child never crossed my mind until my good friend, Pam, shared with me their family’s memorial service for a child they lost through miscarriage. It hit me then. This was a life. Life worth celebrating and worth mourning when it slips from this earth. A life of an unborn child is no less important than the long life of a 92 year old. In fact, grief over death is compounded by a deeper grief, the grief over the loss of what could have been.
How much more so for the mom of an aborted baby!
It’s a grief that, like all others, needs to be processed and dealt with before moving forward with life. In my own life, I’ve learned that processing the painful, while some of the worst emotional pain you’ll ever experience, is a necessary process. It hurts initially, oh it hurts. But once it’s done, the ensuing freedom and release brings a deep soul satisfaction like nothing else.
I’ll move aside now and let Dana share her thoughts.
Honoring the Unborn
by Dana Bridges Stout
“You want me to what?” I said as my defenses exploded in anger. “No way, no how! I purposely never wanted to do that because I knew it would be too painful, too real.” My Abortion Recovery Bible study facilitator assigned us to name our aborted babies and prepare for a memorial service for the babies represented in our class. I struggled for several days with even the thought of completing this task. Eventually, I prayed for the Lord’s help and began looking at baby name books. Through some tears, I decided on names for the son and daughter I never held.
The memorial service was one of the most holy, reverent and bittersweet services I’ve ever seen. Filled with symbolism of the uniqueness of each mother and child, we gave our babies dignity, recognized their personhood, introduced them to the world, and released them to God. Mothers honored their children in special ways such as singing a song, writing a poem, releasing balloons or reading Scripture.
Through the truths of the study, the support of the group, and this final sacred moment, I was able to connect to these babies as mother and child. Honoring and remembering my children was crucial to healing my heart from the grievous choice of abortion some ten years prior. I have since walked many women through the same study and presided over many of these services. Each time I am deeply touched to watch the intense struggle for healing come to completion as the mothers timidly but proudly call out their babies’ names, announcing their personhood and lineage to the world.
The second Saturday of September is National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children. September 9, 2017 will be the forth-annual event. It was organized as a service over the grave of 1500 aborted babies and the movement has spread throughout the United States. Pro-Lifers gather to honor the babies with dignity. You can find more information and a service near you at www.abortionmemorials.com.
Perhaps you have chosen abortion and now regret that decision. One step towards healing is honoring your child. And the biggest step is one towards the Lord, allowing Him to heal you through His Word. The wonderful ladies at Abortion Recovery Assistance at www.piedmontwomenscenter.org can help find a recovery program near you.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16) (In honor of Joshua Daniel and Delilah Starling.)
About the Author
Dana Bridges Stout founded Flourishing Life Ministries to minister restoration to women and direct them to truths that help them accept the Flourishing Life that Jesus offers. Dana speaks, leads worship, writes, and teaches live and online Bible studies. Connect with her at www.flourishinglifeministries.com or Flourishing Life Ministries on Facebook.