When It’s Hard To Choose Life

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A friend from high school just celebrated her son’s 6th birthday. I remember getting a call from her when my oldest son was only a couple of months old. I was walking into work when she told me that she was pregnant. Her and her boyfriend were not planning on having a baby, yet here they were. Now this week, in honor of her son’s birthday, she posted this:

“You have made me a better person since the day you came into my life. You have taught me patience (I’ve needed lots of this at times with you!), how to view the world in a slightly different way, and a love that I didn’t know existed until the day you were born. . .Thank you for making me a mommy 6 years ago.”

Her son wasn’t part of her plan at the time, but having him opened her up to a love she previously didn’t know existed. I know how that feels. We got pregnant with our first on our honeymoon, and when he was only was 9 months old, we got pregnant again.

When I took the pregnancy test to confirm my suspicions about being pregnant the second time around, there was a moment of elation, followed by a moment of terror, and then sunk in the depression.  We had a nine month old who had barely learned to crawl, was hardly eating solids, and definitely not sleeping through the night. Now we have to do it all over again?  I was just starting to lose my pregnancy weight and would have to pull out the maternity clothes again. We had had people living with us for the last six months, I was working part time, and my husband had just started his own business. How was this going to work?

So I cried and I prayed, “Lord, I would be ok if I had a miscarriage.”  That is not to make light of anyone who has miscarried, it’s to show how dark this time was for me.  And then I got angry, telling God all the reasons why now was not a good time to have another baby.  I cried some more, saying “I don’t want this baby.”

If I wasn’t a woman of faith, I don’t know what I would have done.  But my body was obviously designed to create, grow, and give life, so I trusted God and let my body do its thing. When our daughter was born, it was a beautiful moment- kind of like out of a movie. Our time in the hospital was magic. When we got home, though, the struggles were difficult and I sank into post-partum depression.  I found out another friend had miscarried, and my first thought was that she could have my daughter. I was in a lot of pain from thrush and nursing problems and I was angry that my baby was hurting me. Slowly, we started to get better. Then during her baptism, I heard a voice inside me say, “There’s a reason she was born. I have a special plan for her.” The Lord was telling me that this little girl had a reason to live, a purpose, and a bright future full of hope. It wasn’t my plan, but it was His. From there, the depression and the pain started to fade away, and I was able to really start loving this child that God had given to me.

Lily is now 5 years old. Her fiery temperament is a challenge, for sure, but it also allows her to love strongly and passionately. She lives life to the full, adores beautiful things, and just today while she was coloring she was singing songs about how much she loves Jesus and Mary. I can’t imagine my life with out her.

One final story is about a girl I knew a girl in college who had had an abortion but hadn’t told anyone. We met when she came to get prayer for the guilt she felt. Over the next few months, she had started to pray and to heal emotionally when her ex-boyfriend found her and raped her. She got pregnant, had another abortion, and eventually left school.  She was so depressed- it scared me how unreachable she became. She ended up getting back together with her ex and began drinking heavily. Her family basically disowned her because of all her choices.

Long story short, she got pregnant again, but this time she decided to keep the baby. She dumped the guy, reunited and reconciled with her family, and had a beautiful baby boy. She lived at home while working, finishing school and raising her son. Years later she is now happily married, living out her faith, and growing her family with her husband. The way to healing from her abortions was to choose life.

I could continue to tell you countless stories of women who found themselves unexpectedly pregnant. From there, I know a lot of them who regret having an abortion. But I don’t know a single woman who regrets giving life to their child, even if they gave them up for adoption. It goes against nature for a mother to kill her own child. Instead of a solution, abortion can only cause more pain.

What mothers need is support and encouragement to give choose life for the gift in their womb. A woman who finds out she is pregnant cannot see a year or two down the road. She does not yet know the joy it will feel to hold her baby in their arms for the first time. She cannot even fathom the love that will grow in their heart or how God will provide for her family.

Here are the words from Mother Teresa at the National Prayer Breakfast in 1994:

“But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even His life to love us. So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.

By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And, by abortion, that father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. The father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.”

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If you want to help end abortion, we must pray, but we must also do more than that. We must love. We must donate diapers and baby gear to crisis pregnancy centers. We must make a meal for families with newborns or volunteer to babysit for a single mom. We love with all our hearts, and encourage women to choose life.

Parenting with Grace
Ashes and Flowers

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