What is Rachel’s Vineyard?
Rachel’s Vineyard weekends for healing after abortion are offered throughout the year in in the SA. The weekend is an opportunity to examine your abortion experience, identify the ways that the loss has impacted you in the past and present, and helps to acknowledge any unresolved feelings that many individuals struggle with after abortion. Because of the emotional numbness and secrecy that often surrounds an abortion experience, conflicting emotions both during and after the event may remain unresolved. These buried feelings can surface later and may be symptoms of post abortion trauma.
What does the name Rachel’s Vineyard mean?
The name “Rachel” refers to an old testament figure who was written about in the book of Jeremiah. The exact biblical quote is this:
Thus says the Lord:
“In Ramah is heard the sound of moaning, of bitter weeping!
Rachel mourns her children,
she refuses to be consoled because her children are no more.
Thus says the Lord:
Cease your cries of mourning, wipe the tears from your eyes.
The sorrow you have shown shall have its reward, says the Lord”.
Why a Vineyard?
There are many images attached to a vineyard. It is a place where grapes are grown, pruned, lifted up and cleansed so they can bear a more bountiful harvest. Perhaps the most significant association with vine comes from the powerful and moving words of Jesus found in Chapter 15 of the Gospel of John: ”
I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me”.
Rachel’s Vineyard takes this scripture to heart as the Weekend Retreat is a spiritual and emotional healing process. In trying to understand the mystery of death, we look to God in times of personal distress, trauma, and the loss of human life. The death caused by abortion leads to anguish and intense yearning for someone who cannot be retrieved. We weep. We recall regrets, our role in what has happened and the child we will miss. It is in these painful moments of loss that we search for meaning.
We see the images in many biblical passages where God speaks of restoring the barren vineyards to their fullness. The following scripture reflects the same journey you will travel in Rachel’s Vineyard:
“I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her….. and transform her Valley of Troubles into a Door of Hope ………. There she will sing with joy as in days long ago in her youth, after I had freed her from captivity. Then you will lie down in peace and safety, unafraid; and you will really know me then as you never have before” [Hosea 2]