“Mommy, what’s abortion?”
The hair stands on the back of my neck and my heart begins to race. I feel a knot form in the pit of my stomach and I turn around to face my son. He is looking up at me so innocently, yet asking a question that can shatter all childhood innocence.
Suddenly, I bolt upright in bed and realize that I am slick with sweat. I have been dreaming – a nightmare, really.
My mind and my heart have been flooded with thoughts of the unborn. Thoughts of their mothers and fathers. Thoughts of the decisions and circumstances that lead to a lost life. Thoughts of the recent revelation that while the babies themselves are seen as worthless, their organs still hold value and are sold for profit. Thoughts that break my heart into a million little pieces.
Someday my child will come to me and ask me about abortion and it will be real. I will have to look into his blue eyes and tell him that abortion stops a beating heart and ends a life. I will have to attempt to answer why this happens when I have no idea why it is allowed to happen myself.
I pray about this future conversation and the words that I will say. I pray that my son will not lose his tender heart in the midst of this cruel world. My sweet boy who asks so many questions and recently had this conversation with me out of the blue:
“Mommy, did you have a blanket in your belly to keep me warm?”
“No, honey, I didn’t.”
“Was I wearing jeanies?”
“No, you weren’t wearing jeans. God made Mommies to have bellies that would keep their babies at just the right temperature – not too hot and not too cold. My belly kept you nice and cozy.”
“How did I eat?”
“There was a cord that connected me to you. It gave you the food that I ate and kept your belly full. Do you see your belly button? That’s where the cord was and that is your reminder that no matter where you go, you and I are always connected.”
“Wow, that’s amazing! Mommy, thank you so much for keeping me warm and taking care of me when I was in your belly. I love you so much!”
I love these simple and sweet words that I was able to share with my son. Since this conversation, he has randomly come up to me several times and thanked me for taking care of him in my belly. But how do I find the words to explain that it’s not always this way?
In all honesty, I used to have a really difficult time forgiving women who chose to abort their babies. I used to be so filled with anger and could not fathom why anyone would think that this could be an option. But God has softened my heart. My stance on abortion has not changed – I will always think that it is wrong. If we don’t value a human life, then why value anything at all? However, my heart has softened toward the women that go through with this life-ending procedure.
I find it interesting that the media and society in general describe abortion as a choice when most of the time, it is a decision made when one feels that they have no choice at all. We cheapen the value of life and dilute what really happens during and after an abortion in order to justify our actions. We don’t want people to think twice about their decision, but what happens if they do think twice and what happens if it’s too late? We label things as a ‘procedure’ or ‘lump of cells’ and focus on the physical aspects of a ‘simple outpatient visit’ rather than acknowledging that emotional, mental, and spiritual scarring are far more detrimental than a procedure could ever be.
There are women who were pressured by family to have an abortion. Women who felt panicked and had no one and nowhere to turn. Women who believed that when it was all said and done they would be able to move on with their lives only to find that they were plagued with the weight of their decision and consequences they didn’t expect to face.
We need to love these women.
We need to open our arms wide and let our tears mix with theirs. We need to be a safe haven and a shoulder to lean on. We need to be the kind of friend we believe a friend would like to have. We need to make them feel like they do not have to bear their secrets and burdens alone. We need to love like the One who loves us.
I have never had an abortion and I am grateful that I have never been in circumstances that would even allow me to consider it an option. But, I have done things in my life that I just can’t get back no matter how hard I try.
I know many, many women who have found themselves pregnant outside of marriage. It always breaks my heart to hear how upset people can become over this. Is it God’s ideal? No. But, a life has been formed – a life that has a God-ordained plan no matter what. Who are we to condemn rather than celebrate life? Just because the circumstances surrounding conception are not condoned, doesn’t mean that we can’t walk alongside of someone in a time of great need and offer encouragement. A woman doing her best to mother a child should be praised.
In our most broken states, we need to be reminded that God loves us just the way we are. Nothing can separate us from His love. This is a truth that I love to hear time and again.
There are countless women who share their testimony of healing and redemption post-abortion. They have been covered by the grace of God and continually inspire me to reach out to those who are hurting. God withholds His grace from no one – we just have to be willing to go to Him to receive it.
This is what I will tell my son someday: decisions are made that are so difficult and maybe even impossible to explain. There will be ‘Why’s?’ that can never be answered this side of heaven. But there is faith and hope and love because of Christ’s work on the cross. Burdens can blossom into blessings when we give them to the Lord.
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