A choice to heal
Dr. Michael Ferris
counsels women in need of spiritual and emotional healing from
the scars of abortion. His ministry, A Choice to Heal (achoicetoheal.com),
is based in two Connecticut churches. Ferris, 48, holds a doctorate
in counseling psychology and a master’s degree in marriage
and family therapy. He attends Christian Life Church, an Assemblies
of God congregation in Kensington, Conn. He spoke recently with
News Editor John W. Kennedy.
PE: Did you plan
to get into post-abortive counseling?
I had no idea God was going to lead me in this way. A woman who
was chronically angry came to me and I discovered she had an abortion
when she was younger. I suggested there might be a correlation
between her current symptoms and her unreconciled abortion. Abortion
is more than just an emotional or psychological issue; it is also
a spiritual issue. As I fasted, prayed and searched the Scriptures,
God laid out a process that brought my client through six stages
of healing, which I call a “redemptive process.” Since
then God has been sending a steady stream of women who want to
deal with this painful and shameful part of their lives. Last
year I founded A Choice to Heal, a ministry that uses this six-step
PE: What is the
magnitude of this problem?
An estimated 26 percent of American women of childbearing age
have had at least one abortion, and 73 percent of those who have
had an abortion suffer psychologically or emotionally. This is
a plague of biblical proportions that extends into the church.
In fact, most of the women I see are from the faith community.
When a woman has an abortion not only does her unborn child die,
but so does a part of her relationship with God. Even though she
knows in her head that God can and will forgive her, and she has
asked Him a thousand times, she may still have trouble walking
in that forgiveness. And when a woman has an abortion before she
comes to Christ, it is not uncommon after she gives her life to
Christ for her to still feel as if God has forgiven all her other
sins except this one.
PE: What are some
factors that can complicate and lengthen the counseling process?
The average woman does not seek help for the emotional effects
of her abortion for 10.6 years after her abortion. There are other
variables that contribute to the length of treatment. Was her
pregnancy the result of rape or incest? Was she compelled against
her will to have her abortion? Was she facing abandonment by her
family? Did she let others talk her into it? Ninety-five percent
of post-abortive women say they compromised their convictions
in order to have their abortion.
PE: How can problems
manifest themselves years later?
of healing a woman’s wounds, time becomes the mechanism
that helps erode her sense of who she thought she was. This may
result in distracting behaviors like substance abuse, overeating,
chronic anger and workaholism. It’s like a large beach ball
that the person is trying to hold under the water. It takes a
lot of energy to keep it submerged. Sooner or later that person
is going to get tired, and when she does the beach ball pops to
PE: Will there always
be a need for clinics such as yours?
live in a fallen world. The Scriptures teach us that there is
a thief whose only objective is to steal, kill and destroy. Abortion
is a powerful tool in the enemy’s arsenal that accomplishes
all three objectives at once. It is not God’s will that
His people spend their lives carrying the burden of their sin.
It is God’s desire that we be healed and set free.
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