Rejoice With Those Who Rejoice at Christmas, and Weep With Those Who Weep

If you know someone who is hurting from an abortion, consider reaching out to let them know the mercy of the Lord is waiting for them.

‘Christmas Sadness’
‘Christmas Sadness’ (photo: Sergio Photone / Shutterstock)

Advent season finds many of us preparing for our Christmas celebrations, shopping for gifts, decorating our homes, all to be ready for the event announced to the world with the word “joy.” 

Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord (Luke 2:10-11).

But not everyone is feeling that same Christmas anticipation and joy. Abortion has an impact on even our most beloved holy days. Women and men who have lost children to abortion have told me they feel the loss acutely during the holidays.

The image of baby Jesus and Nativity scenes on display in people’s homes, churches and public places can be reminders of the child who was lost. For some mothers, the child who was aborted was the only one they would ever conceive because complications from their abortions left them sterile. 

Grandparents, too, feel the loss of these precious babies no matter what their role in the abortion might have been. But it seems particularly profound for those who aided or insisted on the abortion.

For anyone missing a child killed by abortion, this passage from the Gospel of Matthew might describe how they are feeling: 

A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be consoled, since they were no more (Matthew 2:18).

The experience of a woman I know and her mother come to mind.

Karen Reynoso had four abortions within a four-year period, beginning when she was 19 and working in construction. Her mom, Miriam Kirk, went with her for the first two abortions. 

Miriam says:

I was pregnant at 16 and I married the father. By 21, I had four children, and by 25, I thought of myself as an old lady. I had given up my youth and I wanted to save that for Karen. She was a little wild in her ways and I didn’t feel she was equipped to be a mother. Thinking back, I could have stepped up and done something. That’s one of my regrets. If we had walked into a pregnancy resource center, instead of an abortion clinic, I believe the whole story would have changed.

When Karen discovered she was pregnant a second time, Miriam said:

I don’t remember feeling a lot of emotion. I took her to the abortion clinic. We knew what the drill was. I remember the third abortion the least but I do remember the last one, the fourth. I told Karen I couldn’t be a party to this anymore. I guess I was starting to realize this was not the right thing to do.

After the last abortion, Karen was living dangerously, wanting to die but afraid to kill herself. Soon after, she found Jesus and her healing journey began. She started to volunteer at a pregnancy resource center and was required to go through an abortion-recovery program.

“I had no idea all that was left in me,” Karen says. “But for the first time I was able to grieve the loss of my four children.” She named the children David, Joseph, Sarah and Steven — they were the only children she would ever conceive — and held a memorial service at her home that was attended by her whole family. That memorial service began Miriam’s journey in coming to terms with the loss of four grandchildren.

“I didn’t fully realize the impact of what had happened,” she said, “but that was an awakening to me.”

Around Christmas, as Miriam looked at the stockings hanging in her home for her other grandchildren, she realized, “There were no stockings for those four.” So she made four stockings for those lost babies. For Miriam, it was “a time for me to weep and heal, and realize the impact of what happened.”

She also started volunteering at a pregnancy resource center and began facilitating an abortion-recovery program with Karen. They now run their own abortion-recovery ministry called Deeper Still, in Fallbrook, California.

“God had taken something that was dark and turned it into such a beautiful relationship with my daughter,” Miriam said. “God has blessed us. We have this sweet time together to help other women, men, and grandparents mourning the loss of their grandchildren. With abortion, we’ve hurt our whole society. It’s something we need to address.”

Those Christmas stockings helped Karen and Miriam find their way to healing, first by humanizing the lost children. Abortion dehumanizes babies, and in the act of making something so tangible and familiar as Christmas stockings, Miriam restored their humanity and dignity. 

Healing from abortion is available to everyone, and the holidays are a time for us to be in solidarity with those who are suffering from a past abortion. “Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15).

If you know someone who is hurting from an abortion, consider reaching out to them to let them know the mercy of the Lord is waiting for them. This would be the best Christmas present to give, and to receive.

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