After the national marches in January, people in the Church tend to be invigorated for Life. They often ask us, “What can I do about it?” Sometimes taking action for Life means stepping out of your comfort zone. But sometimes even a simple or easy idea can make a profound impact. Here is the story of Susan, a woman struggling with a past abortion, who found healing due to the simple act of sharing an announcement in a church bulletin. Please note that the author is Catholic and references Mass, but Rachel’s Vineyard offers non-denominational retreats as well. There are other healing programs other than Rachel’s Vineyard, and you can find local healing in your area with Silent No More’s online search tool.
Sixteen years ago, in October 2003, my life was changed forever. I went to Mass at my local parish church and picked up a bulletin as I left. When I arrived home, I perused the bulletin with my cup of coffee. And, then I saw “it.”
It was a small box ad in the bulletin saying something like this:
“Suffering after an abortion? There is hope and healing available at a Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat. More confidential information is available at www.Rachelsvineyard.org or by calling this local number.”
That was the first time I had ever heard of the Rachel’s Vineyard ministry. Being a good computer junkie, I hopped on my laptop and went to that website. As I read through the site, I wept buckets of tears. It was the first time in 36 years that I had acknowledged my suffering after abortion. That website offered me hope. It took me a few days to make that phone call listed in the box ad. But I finally did – I knew it was time.
Several months later I attended a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat. What a remarkable, healing experience this weekend was. Words do not do justice to the love, compassion, and understanding I found during the retreat. Later I went through a mentoring process and became part of the team offering the retreats in Oregon. Rachel’s Vineyard gave me my life back.
Thank God for that tiny little box ad in the church bulletin. What power it held for me.
This blog was originally featured in the January Shockwaves page on the Silent No More Awareness Campaign website.