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Elizabeth's Story

Having the Memorial Service and Mass was such a blessing! After all these years, I finally feel like I have “done right” by my two children. If any of my children died, of course there would be a funeral. Now my first two children have had that honor and privilege. Because I feel now that I’ve done everything I could, it frees me to be a better mother to my living children. Before, there was a paradoxical feeling that there was no way I could be a “good mother” when I had done the ultimate “bad mother” thing to my first two babies. Although I was going about the motions of trying to be a good mother and people often told me I was, in my heart I felt like it was a farce because I knew inside what kind of mother I was, because of the abortions. That feeling is gone now, as a result of PATH and the retreat. I am able to honestly say that I’ve done the best I can for all of my children.

I was struck repeatedly over the weekend at how much pain there is in all of us and how I’m not alone in my struggle. Hearing other women talk about their experiences, I realized that the ones who were adamantly refusing to forgive themselves were in fact paralyzing themselves to do anything for God. I realize now that this is what the devil has tried to do to me for years. By keeping me so convinced that I am unworthy of love and forgiveness, he had rendered me useless to help bring about the kingdom of Christ. God has given me gifts and the only way I can use them to bring Him glory and bring other souls to Christ is to forgive myself when I fall, get back up and press on! I know now that we all gave the choice to be like Judas, who denied Christ, then despaired and killed himself rather than ask for and receive forgiveness- or we can be like Peter, who also denied Christ, but after feeling true remorse, got back up again and out of love for God, helped establish Christ’s Church on earth, becoming our first Pope. As Mother Teresa said, “We are not called to be perfect- only faithful!” So, the most productive thing that came from the retreat for me was a new energy to go out and bring Christ to others instead of focusing on myself and the past.

My favorite meditation was the woman about to be stoned- I put myself in her place and truly felt God’s compassion. I realize that I am not any better or any worse than anyone else. We are all human with original sin and we all fail. When we fall, we just have to get back up!

Thank you to all who make post-abortion treatment and healing a reality for hurting women. God will bless you richly for your compassion and love!