I recently attended a Rachel's Vineyard retreat
and it has taken me some time to digest all that took place that
weekend. I want to thank each of you
that played a part in my healing. What an amazing transformation to my mind, body and spirit.
Your work and all that you do displays God's mercy and forgiveness in such a tender way. The safe,
loving environment you created made it very easy to face my fears and mistakes. I wholeheartedly felt God's
loving forgiveness, which finally allowed me to forgive myself. My load is so much lighter now! I thank each
of you for the part you played in the weekend and am truly grateful that each of you is answering God's call to serve
in such an impactful way.
Rachel's Vineyard has changed my life! Before I went
to the retreat, I was so depressed. I felt lonely in my
depression and grief. I felt as if I were not allowed to grieve
because I had had an abortion. I had been having nightmares
every night for the past two years before my first retreat. I
didn't know who God was, or what faith was.
Now, I am devoted to prayer and have a strong faith in the
Lord. My nightmares went away along with my depression. I met so
many wonderful women and men in my group, and I am still in
contact with many of them! I know that I am not alone. What I
took from that weekend was wonderful. I have such a strong bond
with my child - I know I am a mother, whether my child is on
earth or not! My husband and I got his name engraved on the
"Holy Family" plaque for babies lost. We go to visit him all the
Thank you for creating Rachel's Vineyard. It really does
touch so many women's lives, as well as men! It helps so much to
heal and strengthen the soul after abortion! I don't know where
in life I would be now if I hadn't found out about Rachel's
Vineyard. I appreciate it and I know many others do as well!
For 12 years after my abortion I suffered in silence,
grieving the loss of my child. My life became a living hell, and
I didn't care if I lived or died. In October of 1997 all that
changed. I attended a Rachel's Vineyard Retreat and began my
journey of healing. Not only did God remove my fear, He has also
allowed me to have tremendous love and support from my family
and friends. I am now able to carry the message of hope and
healing to others who have suffered after abortion.
I have tried over and over again to verbalize the
glory I experienced on my retreat at Rachel's Vineyard. Trying
to use words to explain the miracle that happens within your
heart is difficult indeed. For how does one explain the power
and love of the Lord's mercy as His tender hand extends from the
heavenly throne, mending my broken heart and making it new? When
the Lord touches a contrite heart, the capacity to love, trust,
and hope is unimaginable.
How could I explain the feeling of peace that engulfs and
sustains my heart with a peace that surpasses all expectation?
How could I explain the abundance of gratitude as I realize for
the first time that calmness in my heart, no longer experiencing
constant fear, anxiety, and condemnation?
How can I describe that in 48 hours, I became reconciled with
my Heavenly Father? The process of healing can only begin
through forgiveness and acknowledgement of my choice to abort my
precious baby. And now, I have the greatest gift of all: the
right to acknowledge, name, baptize, grieve, and give dignity to
my first beloved child.
I attended a Rachel's Vineyard retreat this year and
the healing I have experienced as a result has changed me deeply
and fundamentally. I not only found God's forgiveness but He
made it possible for me to forgive myself. Healing is possible.
There is hope. A part of me died when I had my abortion and
God's healing is restoring me.
The Rachel's Vineyard Retreat restored my life. I feel
whole again, alive and capable of love.
Before this retreat I was spiritually dead. I was
empty inside . I felt separated from the church and from God.
After this retreat, I now feel alive, and happy to be alive. I
feel the love of God inside me.
To any woman considering the need to reconcile her
abortion, the retreat is a wonderful gift she could give to
herself. You are able to experience the sadness, grief, and
shame in the company of other women and men feeling very much
the same. You are able to turn this pain into hope with the help
of nurturing counselors and supportive caretakers. You are not
rushed or hurried, but given time to reflect and become open to
the healing process gradually. In the spirit of penance and
reconciliation this retreat addresses the pain and suffering of
women who feel their sin of abortion has (made them) outcasts
from their church and their faith
I heard about an extraordinary organization called
Rachel's Vineyard, which is doing work for those of us who have
been hurt by abortion. It was as if everything they do was meant
for me. They understood the pain and the shame that accompanies
I had given up on myself, and thought that I had
nothing else to offer anyone in life. I had tried all types of
counseling and therapy and nothing worked for me. I was very
scared and apprehensive about coming to Rachel's Vineyard and
having to share my story. It was the best experience of my life.
I feel like a new and stronger person now, and am ready for
anything life has to offer me.
I had received previous counseling but nothing could
prepare me for how I felt after attending the Rachel's Vineyard
weekend. It was like a light had been turned on in my life
again. I came out of the darkness and into the light. A great
weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I was finally able to
grieve for my baby without feeling the guilt that I had been
carrying around for so long. My baby existed.
Rachel's Vineyard has helped me to move on with hope.
When I met other women who had abortions and had suffered just
the same as I had, I didn't feel so alone anymore. The healing I
experienced on the weekend was amazing and is still ongoing.
Words could never be enough to explain the gratitude
that I feel for having the opportunity to attend a Rachel's
Vineyard weekend. For the first time in years, it feels good to
be ME. I have a huge sense of peace and happiness with myself
and also with Jesus. I met such lovely people who had the same
experience as me, and who did not judge me. When I went back to
work people told me that I looked different. I looked so at
peace with myself. Rachel's Vineyard has saved my life.
Before attending Rachel's Vineyard retreat I was
secretly suffering from severe depression, because of my
abortions. Making the initial phone call was difficult, but when
the counselor told me that she was post-abortive, I felt she
would understand me and not judge me. Before the weekend I
started to panic because I hadn't been totally honest with her.
So I decided to tell her via e-mail that I had two abortions.
She e mailed me back and said that she was so looking forward to
meeting me. I was a little taken aback as I was sure she was
going to send me an e mail which tell me in a polite way that
maybe I wasn't welcome.
During the first evening when the women began to share their
stories, I was so amazed at the honesty of the women, they just
bared their souls. When my turn came I was so eager to get it
off my chest. I never thought I would have the strength to say
it. The shame and the pain that I have felt for so many years is
passing. I am hopeful for the future. The black cloud has
lifted. Rachel's Vineyard is a safe place. I am so glad that I
I really feel privileged to have done a Rachel's
Vineyard weekend, and that God has led me there. I feel so much
less burdened, and I feel that I can now let go of the past and
live again. I wish I had heard of Rachel's Vineyard years ago.
I took my daughter to England for an abortion. I
thought that I was saving her from a life of misery. How wrong I
was. My daughter has never been the same since. She began to
drink heavily and take drugs. Her life is in a mess. When I
heard of Rachel's Vineyard I knew that I had to come. I was
allowed to share my pain in an emotionally safe environment. I
was allowed to grieve the loss of my grandchild, and express the
shame, the guilt and despair which have been such a heavy burden
to carry. I now feel so much peace in my heart. I know that God
has forgiven me. I have a new hope in my heart.
I found out that my daughter had an abortion. I was
devastated, and felt so guilty. Why didn't my daughter come to
me when she was pregnant? What had I done to prevent her from
trusting me with her secret? I watched her change before my
eyes. She was not the same. I tortured myself with guilt. When I
heard of Rachel's Vineyard I just had to give it a try. I was
amazed at the kindness and compassion that I experienced on that
weekend. I was allowed to share my pain and grieve the loss of
Words cannot express how grateful I am to have had the
opportunity to come on the retreat. I was so lost, sad, alone,
and afraid. I now see hope, joy and happiness. God was present
every step of the way. The retreat was excellent, successful and
The retreat was very productive in guiding me through
the questions and negative feelings that I have experienced. The
retreat staff was very sound in answering the questions and
explaining where the negative feelings come from and how to end
those negative feelings and replace them with positive spiritual
This experience released feelings of grief and sadness
that I had repressed for so many years and even never knew I
had. The support and sharing helped so, so much to acknowledge
and move through the grief. I feel forgiven and at peace at
last. Thank you!!!
This retreat has been the best experience of my life.
I wish that I had attended this retreat sooner. I was afraid to
come because I had 3 abortions. I was afraid I would be judged
that I had killed 3 children. I felt safe, loved and accepted. I
was finally able to forgive myself and release my hatred toward
God. You must come in order to finally heal. Please come.
This retreat has been a gift and has helped me
immensely in my grieving (delayed 24 years). It is helping me to
live and love from this day forward. Thank you!
This was one of the most memorable experiences of my
life. I will never forget. My first impression was how organized
it all was and how many special touches there were throughout
the three days. The sincere concern and kindness showed through
in every detail. It was truly a labor of love, and now I will
take this love and spread it out into the world.
I would not have been able to achieve, anywhere else,
the level of spiritual healing I have received this weekend.
Incredibly meaningful -- freeing, uplifting -- after
so many years of silence our pain could find release.
I had an abortion when I was 21 years old. I was
immature, selfish, and foolish. Over the years I never could
completely forgive myself for this decision. No one knew about
the abortion so I carried the shame and pain with me for years.
Earlier this year I was doing some other healing work and I
determined I had never forgiven myself for this decision. This
spring I attended a Rachel's Vineyard retreat and dealt with the
shame and pain of having an abortion so many years ago. With
God's love, strength and the living scriptures meditations I was
able to forgive myself and honor my daughter. If you have lived
with the shame, regret and pain of abortion I recommend these
retreats to heal your soul and truly be able to bring love to
all your other relationships.
For 24 years I suffered from my abortions. I thought
time would heal all pain, but for years my pain remained. I
lived with guilt, shame, depression, and grief. After 24 years I
sought relief at a Rachel's Vineyard retreat. There I found
total forgiveness in my Lord and Savior, and found peace for the
first time in years. I can now remember my aborted children with
fond memories and love. I am free from the guilt of my sin. The
memorial service gave me the opportunity to pay my respects to
my children. The respect I felt they never received. It helped
me to lay them to rest in the arms of the Lord.
After the abortion many years ago I suffered the most
from the sorrow of being the cause of such a sin. I cried
several times wishing I could undo what we had done. I sought
forgiveness in the Lord and believe that I have received His
forgiveness, but I had trouble forgiving myself. Many years
later when I thought I was healed, we went to a Rachel's
vineyard retreat. I discovered that I had not dealt with many
feelings and emotions that I had buried deep inside myself. The
retreat allowed me to make a connection with my son. The living
scriptures paved the way for me to find forgiveness from my son.
It also gave me the strength to let go of the guilt and turn my
son over to the Lord. This retreat definitely helped me to find
We were all embraced with love the whole weekend.
Being able to be honest, to express, talk about, question, and
process things. A psychotherapist does not have the same effect.
We are dealing with something bigger than psychological. The
feeling that a mother has destroyed a child, it is between you
and God. It's beyond psychological. It's spiritual and I had to
deal with it on that level.
I have been through 14 years of therapy and
anti-depressants. I've confessed my abortion a hundred times.
Just when I thought I could take the pain no longer, I found
Rachel's Vineyard. This weekend literally saved my life.
It was a very intense and powerful weekend. A lot was
accomplished. I was amazed at the sense of support felt. For the
first time, it was okay to talk about what happened and
know that everyone has experienced the same feelings. The Living
Scriptures are very helpful to restore peace. It enables us to
face fears and overcome them, allows us period of rightful
grief, mourning and presents a new starting point for living
I hesitated coming because I knew it was going to be
intense and I wasn't 100% committed to all the religious
concepts (or at least I was leery of them until I could see them
with my own eyes). The Rachel's Vineyard retreat far surpassed
all my expectations. I have never witnessed so much healing and
relief from anything else I have experienced or observed.
This retreat has been a life changing and spiritual
awakening for me. It's allowed to come in touch with past
losses and grief. I feel that any woman who has had an abortion
should come to Rachel's Vineyard safe haven to experience
healing and forgiveness. It was very meaningful to be able to
meet people who understand my pain and losses. Everyone was so
warm, loving, and accepting.
It was the best weekend of my life. For the first time
in 20 years I was able to share my grief, my guilt, my anger. I
was able to mourn the loss of my baby. But most important I was
able to believe that she now lives with Jesus. For a short time
I could almost touch her and hold her and see her. For this, I
will always be grateful. I felt Jesus calling, pulling me back.
A feeling I can't forget or deny.
Rachel's Vineyard is a gift, directly, in every detail,
personalized from Father God, Jesus my Lord and at last,
indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I feel his presence within me now
for the first time in my life, actually. Rachel's Vineyard has
diversified content and the very beautiful processing of
emotions, especially for self-condemnation. There was an
opportunity for self-paced unfolding and personal growth at my
own speed. This retreat provides the ultimate opportunity for
the Holy Spirit to at last be personally real. A great healing
has come to me spiritually, physically, and emotionally.
This has been one of the most memorable and wonderful
personal events of my life. Had I not been here and
participated, I would still be a wandering soul without purpose.
Now I am on my new journey to peace and being filled with the
Holy Spirit. I found most meaningful that God is truly
forgiving, therefore, I can forgive myself. Also, all of our
babies are God's creation and are happy in their eternal life in
heaven waiting to be re-united with their mothers.