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The Lord’s love taught her to see herself as he sees her

Debra Niesen is the archdiocesan consultant for the pro-life office.

by Debra Niesen

A couple of weeks ago, I met with a new friend of mine (I’ll call her Sandra) for coffee. She is on fire to serve pregnant single women and we had planned to share ideas on growing our pregnancy support ministry. Our conversation took a turn in an unexpected but inspiring direction.

When I first met Sandra, she shared with me that her passion for this ministry came from a personal understanding of what it feels like to face an unplanned pregnancy. When she was young, she found herself pregnant. Paralyzed by fear, her friends swooped in and took her in for an abortion before she could process what was happening or pause long enough to consider all of her options. Though she felt immediate relief after the abortion, she soon regretted it and mourned the loss of her child.

Sandra considered herself healed from that experience because she had gone on to get married, have children and grow in her faith. However, she still had a strong desire to help other women be spared from the trauma and pain of abortion.

That morning in the coffee shop, she was bursting to tell me about an incredible weekend retreat she had recently experienced. She explained that the Holy Spirit had made it very clear to her that she still needed healing from her abortion. He helped her to see that she was still carrying significant pain, guilt and feelings of unworthiness.

With the support of her loving husband, she signed up to attend the Project Rachel healing retreat.

Sandra shared how the retreat was life-changing. I could hear and see that she was finally set free from this burden she carried for so long!

She said, “Jesus spoke to my heart and convinced me the only thing I needed to give up for Lent was my constant pursuit of shame!”

His merciful love helped her to finally see herself as our Lord sees her — as his precious and beautiful daughter, full of dignity and worthy of his love and forgiveness.

Divine Mercy Sunday reminds us that God’s mercy is greater than any of our sins!

I’m so inspired by my friend. It took much courage to register for that retreat and face her wounds. Now His love can flow freely through her to help other women who are scared or broken.

Do you have an abortion in your past? Are you carrying the weight of a choice made out of fear or pressure?

Do you know someone who has been hurt by abortion?

You have a wonderful opportunity to make a life-changing difference in your or your friend’s life.

Visit for healing and hope after abortion.

About the author

Debra Niesen

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