It seems like a lifetime ago. I was eighteen and he would have been six-years-old this week. Nobody tells you that you might still feel like a mom after your baby's gone. Now I'm just a mom whose little boy's in heaven without me. What does he look like? What does he like to do? Does he forgive me? I'll never know, but I think about it all the time. (Amy, then 24)
In this atmosphere of political motivation and dime-a-dozen internet opinions, we tend to forget that there are real faces behind the approximately 30% of women who will have an abortion before the age of 45*. That's three of ten friends; the same friends who are afraid to tell us about their experience for fear of condemnation. They work in our offices, joke with us at the gym, and send their earthly residing children to class with our own little ones.
And yes, they read their Facebook feeds too, where graphic images, news articles, and personal opinions often spawn a not-of-God shame and humiliation that I wouldn't wish on a single one of us.
Early in my faith walk, I held a lot of difficult feelings for pro-life advocates and religious figures. Sure, I wanted babies to thrive, protected and warm within their mamas' cores. Absolutely, I found it tragic to cast the unborn aside as burdens to one's life plan. But I also observed a lot of pointed fingers. I heard too many relentless accusations and pleas targeted at mothers, with little to no personal love or support offered.
At the time, I became disheartened by what I didn't see in the church body. I didn't see people stumbling over one another to serve in the community centers where children were being taught self-care and worth. I didn't see folks traveling in droves to serve the homeless and poor. I didn't see families looking to take in, mentor and support young pregnant women with limited resources. In fact, I didn't know but only a few families who had adopted, especially outside of their own race.
These issues remain today.
We can Facebook comment, tweet, and "like" the pro-life movement. We can shake our heads at the "shameful" mothers who were overwhelmed, depressed, or pressured to make the inconceivable choice. We can hate the system that makes abortion a way of life and raise our fists to the organizations that provide them.
We can be Christians worth watching...mercy seeping into our social discourse and acts of faith. We can be trailblazers and example-setters, "shining like stars in the sky, holding firmly to the word of life." We can stand outraged and motivated at the loss of life, while gently taking another's hand in healing. I'm so thankful for all of you who already do. It's my honor to witness God's light radiating from your lives.
Praying that each of us will find our place to serve both the unborn and the families who'll love them forever,
I'd love to hear your stories below, even anonymously. When we share, we heal. We are not alone, even in the most difficult of situations. So go ahead, reach out!
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (James 2:14-17, NIV)
Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. (James 1:23-34, NIV)
Here's a list of agencies who would love to have our time, energy, and resources. I pray you'll consider researching and supporting one of them:
Local to NC: www.lifelinewilmington.org
Photo Credit: Christian Joudrey
Believer. Wife. Mom. Writer. Marriage and Family Therapist. Accidental Speaker. Crossfitter and Total Book Nerd.
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PEOPLE I FOLLOW:
BECAUSE I LEARN:
BECAUSE I LAUGH:
Elizabeth Laing Thompson
Liz Curtis Higgs
BECAUSE I ADVOCATE:
Juli Slattery at Authentic Intimacy
BECAUSE I CRY (HAPPILY):
Inspiring Writing Groups:
Suzanne Eller's #LiveFreeThrusday
Holley Gerth's #CoffeeForYourHeart
Kelly Balarie's #RaraLinkup
Jennifer Duke Lee's #TellHisStory
Susan Mead's #DanceWithJesus