The couple that came had been to marriage counseling in
the past (they gave me permission to share with you and
others their story). They had separated several times; each
had had affairs during their shaky marriage. The marriage
was still on shaky ground when they came. Emotionally they
remained distant because of the pain. One of the only
reasons they stayed together was because of their children,
born after the abortion. Their shared Christian faith also
helped them continue to struggle to stay together.
They came to the realization that it wasn't so much a
marriage problem between them as it was an abortion problem.
They came to RV, admitting that they do have love for one
another, but didn't know how to get past the barrier that
abortion brought to their lives. Not knowing how to love
anymore. As they put it, "We're empty." And so they came to
The husband said of his rock, "I've been carrying this
rock for 14 years. I've been emotionally dead for that long.
I throw myself into my work, which alienates me from my
wife, and it causes her to be angry, but I don't know what
else to do. She has had some post-abortion help, but I don't
know how to heal. We don't know how to heal our marriage.
Another thing the husband said is that since the abortion
he never knew who he was as husband and provider. He never
knew what he was supposed to be and to do so he threw
himself into his work. He said his identity-who he was- was
all taken from him and he never felt whole...never felt he
was, who he was supposed to be since the abortion.
He said, I know I was never there for her during the
pregnancy, I accept my part of the responsibility, I know
she made the final decision because of me and our shaky
relationship (he was in the service at the time), but that
was the day I died. I've been dead for 14 years.
During the Lazarus exercise, something beautiful
happened. When the team came to wrap a part of their body
they had chosen, the wife decided to have her left hand
wrapped. She said, "This is the hand that my wedding ring is
on, and I want to see our marriage restored". He said, "You
have to wrap my heart . . . it is just broken. It's been
broken ever since I got the call that the abortion was over
and my child was gone".
So we wrapped accordingly. After prayer, when we got
around to the unwrapping, two of the team went to the wife
to unwrap her hand and her husband stopped them, and said,
"No, no, please, let me do it -- I think this is my place as
her husband. I want a partnership to begin that we never
have had. I want to be there for her, not so distant any
And so, he unwrapped her hand. She, in turn, unwrapped
his heart and asked forgiveness for her bitterness toward
him. They then embraced for about 5 long minutes. To see the
husband keep drawing his wife close to him after the Lazarus
exercise, was such a heart blessing. They began to hold
hands as they walked the long horse-trail to our "Mess hall"
for meals. Those of us walking behind them couldn't help but
smile. We all realized that he took back that which was
taken from him as he unwrapped his wife's hand . . . he was
taking back his vocation of being the provider and protector
of his wife. And, as we all know, that is a miracle only God
can work. I was just glad to be there to see it! And his
wife was thrilled too. She said that she was feeling secure
in his love, and protected, and loved. She was enjoying the