Abortion. The very word stirs up a tidal wave of emotions, crashing against the hearts of those both for and against the practice. I have seen the many posts on my Facebook feed from those on each side of the argument. But today, I do not desire to take a side. I simply desire to share my heart.
I am the mother of six young children. Our first did not come according to our plan. As a matter of fact, we found out we were expecting in the same month that my husband told me, “We just need to make sure you do not get pregnant” and in the same week that I told our family, “We do not want any children right now. We are going to wait five years.” Our son was not planned. At least not by us.
I will never forget that day. I stood in our bathroom, stomach twisting and fear rising as I saw two pink lines appearing where I only wanted to see one. My husband sat in our living room at his desk trying to balance our finances and study for school, waiting for the result. There I was, hands holding the proof of the very thing he had said he did not want to happen.
Shaky, sickened, nervous, I walked to him and handed him the result. He looked at it, tears flooded his eyes, and he began to weep. And then he did something I wasn’t expecting. He began to thank God. Nine months later our oldest son was born, forever changing the course of our plans.
Over the past ten years we have had six children. After our second, I vowed I would never have more. I said the same after our third, and fourth, and fifth. (Lack of sleep can cause you to say many things you will later take back.)
In fact, I was so convinced after our third son, my husband was all set up for a vasectomy. He went to his first appointment but then was forced to miss his second. He rescheduled and then was forced to miss again due to a work schedule that was absolutely out of his control. After the second sudden change in his work schedule, we considered it as a clear sign that it was not the right time to proceed. I say all this because the truth of the matter is, our children were not our plan.
Nearly every day I consider what blessings I would have missed out on had life gone according to my plans. I look at our two little girls and I cannot imagine life without them, but that is what I wanted. I had no idea just how deeply tiny, curly, messy locks of hair would suddenly make me wonderfully aware of the beauty found in my own messy locks. I could not have imagined how the sounds of their little feet clomping around in my shoes would inspire me to walk in bigger shoes. I did not foresee how one little girl’s carefree dancing and spinning around on dirty kitchen floors would challenge me to look past the dirt in my own life and dare to dance. I just could not see it.
Neither could I have imagined the joy that would fill my heart watching a little boy, who looks like me, run in the mud. I had no idea just how much I would learn to trust God when I let go of his red rocket bicycle that no longer had training wheels. I did not imagine how watching our son’s hands place together Legos scattered across the floor would comfort my heart and cause me to consider just how possible it is for the scattered and broken parts of my life to come beautifully together. Lesson upon lesson and love upon love, that I just could not see.
When I thought of a child I did not see a blessing. I saw a burden. I saw crying and messes and need upon need. But through choosing to take on the seemingly impossible I gained what I truly needed. I gained the perspective of how The Lord sees me.
I am not a burden. My cries and my needs do not go unnoticed. They are heard. They are felt. My pains grieve my Maker and my joys are His joys. I had heard this before, but only by having children of my own could I truly believe. Through the process of choosing to love and make sacrifices for beings of seemingly less worth, have I come to understand just how much God loves me and just how great of a reward I am to Him.
So when I consider abortion, when I tuck our children in bed and imagine for a short moment the picture of what could have been, their tiny bodies in bags or jars to be discarded, my heart breaks at a loss that many women will one day come to understand.
She will feel it in glimpses. She will go out to eat with her girlfriends and feel an ache in her stomach at the sight of a newborn in a carrier sitting at the table beside her. She will go to for a walk to clear her mind only to be reminded of what could have been when a mother with her young daughter passes by riding bicycles. And every year when the day comes around that should have been replaced with a birthday, she will feel it as she considers once again what could have been.
I don’t write this for those who are looking to argue. I don’t write this for those who want to debate. I write this with the hope that maybe, just maybe, one woman who is on the line, because her life didn’t go “as planned” will let hope be born.
And should a woman read this who made the choice to abort and is now feeling the loss, I want you to know that there is still hope. There is forgiveness. Their is love, because in all of this, you are still a child of God. He loves you. Hope may have died but hope can be reborn. I pray your hope be reborn today. I pray that you cast any and all guilt aside. I pray that every possibility that has been hidden in your heart, including those that people have told you will never work, will once again begin to take shape and that you may see the wonderful plans that God has for you born and lived out to their fullest from this day forward.
This is what I think of when I consider abortion.
“Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him.”
– Psalm 127:3