Forgiven and Set Free Abortion Recovery Program
“Abortion touches millions of women and men around the world, leaving them with emotional and spiritual wounds that are so deep they have difficulty sharing their pain with others. Because counseling before abortion does not inform women and men about the possibility of crippling emotional reactions, they often isolate themselves from others afterward, deny their feelings and suffer silently. Many struggle with issues involving depression, intimacy, rage, secrecy, anger, suicidal thoughts, and substance abuse.” – Taken from Forgiven and Set Free Manual
Forgiven and Set Free is a twelve-week abortion recovery Bible study. It offers spiritual healing and support for women and men who have experienced physical, emotional, and spiritual distress from an abortion experience. Some of the symptoms of post abortion distress are depression, rage, secrecy, anger, denial, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, loss of self-esteem, and problems with relationships and parenting. All inquiries are strictly confidential. Call Pat at (361) 442-3532.
Testimonies of Participants of Forgiven and Set Free
I am the current facilitator of the Pregnancy Resource Connection Forgiven and Set Free post-abortion healing Bible classes. I am also a 63-year-old woman who had an abortion in my mid-twenties. My life changed forever after that very bad decision. In the early seventies not much was known as to the far-reaching negative side effects of a surgical first trimester abortion.
That choice forever altered how I looked at my womanhood and myself. It has been said that you cannot destroy the life of the child without destroying the life of the mother. That assertion accurately described me. During the years that followed, my hidden guilt and shame would keep me from realizing my full potential as a wife and a mother to our only daughter.
Not understanding that my depression and out-of-control behavior stemmed from pent up and denied feelings surrounding my abortion, I lived for years trying to numb the internal pain and grief. This is an all too common reaction by many women and men who end up dealing with issues of clinical depression, substance abuse, and problems with relationships.
I began to seek help about ten years ago. In 2010 I attended a Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat on post-abortion healing one weekend, which provided a safe and confidential venue to begin to deal with my feelings that had been buried all those many years. That weekend was a major turning point in my life. I was able to finally open the doors in my heart that had been shut and locked for many years. I could finally grieve for my son who I could never even speak of before. I was free to begin to heal.
After that weekend I knew I wanted to help other women and men find a safe place to bring their broken hearts and lives and to begin to heal. It was then that I became involved with the Pregnancy Resource Connection post-abortion healing program Forgiven and Set Free.
That first class I was not only the facilitator, but also a participant. As the class proceeded I became increasingly aware just how special and effective this study was. We began as strangers but ultimately became family as we traveled together on this healing journey.
I strongly recommend this study and from the bottom of my heart pray that many will find the peace and freedom they have longed for within this Forgiven and Set Free Bible study.Patricia Pulliam Program Director of Forgiven and Set Free: A Post-Abortion Bible Study
My Herd in Heaven
For the last thirty-seven years I have suppressed all aspects of having chosen abortion three times in my life. I worked hard to make a good life, but there was always something lurking I didn’t understand. I struggled wondering what was holding me back from being truly blessed in life.
My sister and a friend (not knowing what was in my past) who both know the Holy Spirit very well, encouraged me to seek Christian counseling for over a year. I kept it in the back of my mind and prayed if their suggestion was the best option, but I didn’t seem to see the path. I thought that there was something else that would appear to me but wasn’t sure what it was.
I was raised a Christian and was coming back to God and Jesus in my life again. One Sunday morning I had to push myself to get ready for church. On the way to town the Holy Spirit spoke to me. I asked out loud, “How is my herd of cowboys in heaven today?” I thought to myself, Wow, that was loud and clear, but not sure what it meant.
I went along to church as any other Sunday, once again suppressing the past that had just jumped up. As I sat there Pastor Dan spoke of his commitment to human life and gave statistics on abortion since Roe vs. Wade. It was Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. I was beginning to put the pieces together of the morning.
Two women then gave their testimonies; it was so amazing what I heard! They shared their journey to healing with the assistance of the Bible study Forgiven and Set Free. That was what I had been praying for, the encouragement I needed, and the opportunity to heal with the Lord.
I went home and spent the day with God. I prayed for guidance and wisdom and thanked God for showing me the path. I called to get information on the Bible study and in a week I had made the commitment to make the journey.
The Bible study has been incredible and I now understand what it is to be forgiven, to accept God’s love, and to forgive others. It is a lesson I wish I had not had to learn because of bad choices I made long ago, but it was worth every minute to learn of God’s mercy and how blessed I am in life with what Jesus did for me on the cross.
The content and the facilitators of the study are so incredible. It takes dedication and self-discipline to get through it, but I wouldn’t change a thing. The journey has been very rewarding and I am so thankful for the women that developed the Bible study, and for addressing the subject of abortion and the deep effect it has had on those that are connected one way or another by it. It gives so many inspiring ways to heal properly with the Lord.
My relationship with and understanding of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit has been enhanced so much by every part of it. It makes each day bright again and I am able to apply the concepts to other obstacles in life that the enemy throws at me now. I am thankful for all of the angels in our group, for those that prayed for the group as we studied each week, and the clergy involved. It has been awesome!
Thank you for the journey! Praise the Lord for each day I am here on His earth and for the thought that one day I will meet my “herd of cowboys” in heaven!
He’s Calling You
He’s calling you still rings in my head. I was honored that the Lord of my life could possibility be calling me to heal from my brokenness from so long ago. We all are broken and have places in our lives where we need to heal whether we acknowledge it or not. God calls us in a faint whisper sometimes and whether we answer his call is up to us. That is the beauty of our Lord. He gives us the opportunity to walk through the doors towards a life restored. Here is my journey and the path I walked through to accepting God’s mercy and His grace.
I remember the day our pastor announced at church that the Pregnancy Resource Center would be having their annual fundraising banquet. He was asking the congregation to please participate in this worthwhile organization’s fundraising dinner and auction. My husband and I were new members and we were eager to try whatever church events were on the calendar. I remember sitting at the banquet being so impressed by the overall organization of the event. We bid on several items but we were not savvy enough to figure out how to bid on my husband’s phone so we missed out on having the highest bid. The tables were adorned with beautiful faces of babies and children of clients from the center. I can still remember the tug on my heart as God was calling me the first time to heal from a dark place in my soul. I left that night being touched, the seed was planted but my heart was still cold. I was not ready to answer God’s call.
Now fast forward a year and our pastor is once again asking people to participate in the now 2015 PRC banquet. Once again we were up for having a wonderful meal and yummy Italian Sodas and supporting all that the resource center had to offer the Grand County community. This time my experience was different, no auction but a lovely dinner, music and a video on the developing fetus and the beauty of God’s most amazing miracle the birth of a child. As I sat and watched the video I began to sob uncontrollably. It was as though the floodgates opened and I could not control my emotions. God was calling again this time a little louder wondering if I would listen to His beckoning to come forward and receive His love and forgiveness. I was so worried that people would notice my tears and my pain and they would see the secret that was hidden so far away. I composed myself somehow and got through the evening but sadness permeated my heart. I remember my loving husband saying ” I wonder if that would be a place for you to volunteer” for God was using him to call me too.
Here’s where the story begins.
One day my husband and I walked through the doors at PRC. June greeted us in her oh so friendly way and proudly took us on a short tour. She excitedly showed us around and talked to us about all the components of this amazing place where girls/women can experience God’s love and acceptance. A place where someone will walk side by side with you and love you and not even know you. My heart was touched, for God was calling me here, I just knew it. Little did I know that day that God was giving me a place to heal. As I filled out my lengthy application form I found out the next step was the an interview with June. On the form was a question that asked if I had ever had an abortion. I didn’t want to answer but God gently whispered you need to be honest. When we got to that place on the form June sweetly thanked me for being brave and sharing that information. June let me know that before I started to volunteer I would need to take a class called Forgiven and Set Free, where I would have the opportunity to heal from the trauma that happened from my abortion at the age of 19. I was anxious to start the class for facing the biggest regret in my life was not exactly what I wanted to do at age 62. At that point I met Pat a remarkable woman who would lead me on the journey towards recovery. I had never realized how that one decision in my life had changed my life forever. I did not know that the physical, emotional, and spiritual consequences of having an abortion would be a part of me that needed God’s healing hand. The guilt and shame I carried around with me were weighing me down and it was time to lay my sin at the feet of Jesus. My story doesn’t stop here although the healing has begun. It will be a lifelong process and will always be with me but the beauty is I no longer am hiding from God for He knows my story and was with me the whole time. He just was lovingly waiting for me to fall into His arms where forgiveness and grace were waiting for me. He is still calling but now He’s calling me to share His mercy and love with others for their story may just be starting. If just one person through hearing my story chooses life my heart will rejoice and Sarah will rejoice in heaven. I will forever be grateful to PRC for providing me a place to be set free.
My Sweet Baby
I have a really hard time finding the words right now and I find this to be insanely frightening and difficult. And, I find that to be the case a lot lately. I have spent so many years carefully constructing walls around my heart. God seems to have decided that now is the time to blow them all down. My heart is cracked wide open right now and I am feeling absolutely everything.
This is a nice change of pace from the numbness I have felt for so many years, but it is also scary. You are such a huge part of me. I have kept you like a little treasure locked down tight, deep, deep in my heart and I threw away the key. Too afraid to let anyone behind that door, to expose the guilt and fear and shame and too afraid to open it myself, afraid of what I would find there and afraid that I might be crushed by the heartbreak. But again, God holds the master key and when he wants in- He gets in. So here we are….
I want you to know that you are so loved! You always have been and I am so sorry that I was such a coward all those years ago and did not have the courage to stick up for myself or for you. I was very curious about you and I remember thinking to myself when I was sitting at work or driving that I was not in fact alone. You were with me and I loved the way that that felt. And when I could not stop throwing up I thought, Lordy baby, we are going to have to get along a lot better than this! And then, the pressure started, and it was relentless. I felt trapped, and scared and cornered and I felt like I had no one to confide in or talk to.
I was too ashamed to tell my parents and surely none of my friends would understand. And then I lost my best friend and I felt utterly alone in this. This was only my childish thinking of course. I did have a good family who loved me who would have certainly helped us through it, but I was terrified, and I took what I thought was the easy way out. In this there is no easy way! And it was a decision that changed me and my life indefinitely.
You see, a part of me died right along with you that fateful day and my heart broke into a million pieces. I have so much sorrow and regret…. I wish I could have seen your sweet face and held you in my arms and hugged you and kissed you and loved you the way that someone so perfect should be loved and I wish that I could have kept you safe. That was my job. Sometimes I feel like the grief and the sorrow are swallowing me up. I feel like my heart just won’t stop breaking.
I can think of no one I trust more than God to look after you until we can meet again! At least there is some peace in that. I love you so much and I hope that Love is all you have ever felt and all you have ever known.
It was never about you.
That is the thing about selfishness, it never is about other people, only about ourselves.
But I cannot wait to meet you. I cannot wait to hold you and look at you, and see just how perfect you are. I cannot wait to hear all about you. I am so happy and grateful to have you in my life, and not locked up and hidden behind a secret door. In that, I can share the remainder of my life on this earth with you!