I try to tell my children that it is important to take a stand in life for what you believe in despite the consequences. I believe that God puts certain longings in our hearts that we must pay special attention to. Sometimes, those longings are easy to spot and easy to heed. Other times, the message is difficult and requires great strength of character to take on.
Throughout the Bible, God calls his people to take on seemingly insurmountable obstacles - David and Goliath, Moses parting the red sea, Noah and the ark, Jonah in the belly of the whale, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego thrown in the fire and Mary asked to bear a child despite the fact that she was unwed.
All of these stories have two things in common. The first is that these mere mortals could not accomplish any of these tasks without the divine intervention of God. The second is that they all said, “Yes.” Jonah had to be helped to say yes, but he eventually came around and went on to follow God’s calling.
Each of these stories were pertinent to the times - the obstacles were seen as insurmountable relevant to the day. For instance, an unwed pregnant mother would not appear to be a huge obstacle today. Yet, even today, we do face obstacles that still test our faith and call us to rely on God to see us through. We Christians are being thrown in the proverbial fire of our time when we stand on our faith against things like abortion.
I’m sure that I will be thrown into the fire for writing this piece - but I must write it because I feel called to do so.
I prayed long and hard about what to say and how to say it and I asked God to direct my words. I asked God to speak through me to whomever needs to hear what I am going to say. I trust that this story will reach the people it needs to reach and touch the people it needs to touch.
This past week there was a very disturbing news story all over the television and the internet concerning the selling of unborn baby’s body parts. I could use the word fetus - as if that is somehow more palatable, but the parts are human and fully developed. In a humane world, those parts would be described as human and not fetal (like a fetal pig for instance). In any case, I forced myself to watch the gruesome video of the woman peddling body parts over her fancy dinner as if they were auto parts. The unconscionable lack of emotion and indifference for what she was trafficking was truly mind boggling and completely indefensible. Watching that video made me cry out to God and beg Him to guide me to speak out against this wickedness.
God’s timing is perfect isn’t it? I don’t believe in coincidences. So, I know that opening my grandmother’s old jewelry box just a few days after I cried out to Him was His way of answering me. Today, when I opened the jewelry box to look for a necklace, the mirror fell off the inside of the box as it has been prone to do because it’s so old. As the mirror fell, it revealed an ultrasound that I had placed in the box 26 years ago. It was dated February 6, 1989.
I remember that ultrasound because I was so excited to hear my baby’s heart beating. The technician stamped the ultrasound with my baby’s age: eight weeks and four days old. I asked for a copy and I put it in my jewelry box when I got home - a special place for my special baby.
Today, I was thirty-one again remembering the day that this precious life ended. My fingers feel almost frozen right now. What do I say next? How do I put into words the waves of emotion that still crash over me? I can’t. I can’t convey to the reader the awfulness of listening the the doctor’s clinical voice telling me the baby is gone in the blink of an eye - just a few weeks after I watched my baby’s heart beating strong. His voice sounded like it was coming from the far end of a tunnel...” skull cap might still be intact. I’ll have to perform a D&C to evacuate the incomplete miscarriage.” I remember running out of his office, jumping in my car and driving for hours with no destination - feeling completely helpless, completely hopeless and completely empty.
Going through a miscarriage is tough enough with people around you, but when it’s just you, it weighs you down and burdens you in ways that I cannot explain. It was just me with my misery. My husband didn’t understand the tremendous loss I was experiencing and he expected me to get over it quickly. We did have a beautiful two-year-old, Jennifer so he kept telling me that I should focus on her and move on. He kept assuring me that we’d have another child soon.
That miscarriage was followed by four more over a period of five years. I didn’t think that I would ever have another child. I considered Jennifer a true miracle considering my history. When I became pregnant with Katie, I assumed the pregnancy would end the same as all the others. Carrying her to full-term was my second miracle. Then, I got pregnant one more time and lost that baby too. Six miscarriages was enough for me. Bill and I decided that we would adopt children if we wanted to grow our family.
I didn’t know at the time that the miscarriages would become something of a catapult for me. I didn’t know that the loss I experienced would be my walk through fire so that I could give voice to the voiceless. I didn’t know that God would use my pain to make me stronger.
i can tell you, though that I know now why God placed this heartache in my life. I know that God was preparing me for a battle. I know that this battle doesn’t require super-human strength but it does require super-human resolve. It requires super-human understanding and forgiveness.
What is the battle? I know that God has called me to speak out against the atrocity of abortion. I know that it is imperative that I speak out in a way that honors Him. I know that I cannot just sit back and watch the horror of the trafficking of baby parts and do nothing. I know that I cannot have a cavalier attitude about the tremendous loss of human potential that occurs through abortion. I know that I cannot condemn women who see abortion as the only alternative in their life. I am asking God to direct my path. I am asking God to speak to me and through me. I am asking that He opens the right doors and closes the wrong ones. I know that this is my walk of faith through the fire, into the belly of the whale to face the Goliath of our time.