What I Wanted to Tell a Young Woman Wanting an Abortion

Yesterday my four year old John, four month old Hannah, and I waited at the doctor’s office for their check up appointments. While we waited to be called, a tall, red-headed woman in her 50s marches out of the exit door and into the waiting room where her husband is sitting.

This woman isn’t happy with the news she’s received. The elderly couple sitting in front of me is looking at her as well. She storms over to her husband and plops down next to him. She’s mouthing off words to him and I can’t help but listen. They’re sitting just a few feet away from us.

“I told you!” she quietly yells. “I knew it and you didn’t listen!”

His eyes grow wide and he looks distraught.

“She’s 20 weeks along. She’s measuring 20 weeks! This must have happened right after her miscarriage. She had talked about how she’s been feeling so bloated!”

My eyes grew wide and I listened intently. Hannah is fussy so I stand up and bounce her around.

The young woman who is most likely her daughter had been pregnant before, I thought.

“She wants to have an abortion but she can’t at 20 weeks! No doctor will allow for that. She’s in there crying and I told her we’d be out here waiting.”

The husband says a bunch of words back but they are muffled and I can’t understand him.

“I told her she has two options. Keep the baby or give it away!” the wife said. “She’s too far along.”

The conversation was getting more heated. I wanted so badly to make my way over to them and offer some counsel and I was just about ready to.

The husband kept shaking his head and looking down at the floor.

“She needs to know she has support all around her,” the wife said. “Alright, Let’s take this outside. We don’t need to be talking about this in here.”

They headed outside and I was still trying to gather all that I was hearing.

Their daughter would eventually make her way out the exit door. I formulated a plan in my head as to the words of encouragement I wanted to to tell this young woman. My heart was racing and everything in the room felt like it was in slow motion.

I imagined what she looked like and if I’d be able to see her baby bump. I waited and watched the door swing open as people walked out and the assistant called in new patients.

I was ready to speak truth into her heart. What if God had placed me there in that exact moment for a reason? Legally she had to keep the baby but she seemed so insistent and you just never know.

A nurse opened the door to the office: “Hannah?” She called out. “Hannah?”

I stood up and picked up our belongings and we headed through the door and down the hallway to our room. Time had run out and I didn’t get to see her. My heart was still racing thinking about what happened.

Most likely the parents of this young woman were okay with an abortion up to a certain point. They were outraged that their daughter was further along than expected. Of course the mom claimed she knew all along.

In addition to the anger and sadness I felt, my heart broke for this family and young woman. I had never witnessed a conversation like that. Obviously I didn’t know the whole story- only what I heard in the dialogue. The opportunity didn’t exist for me to reach out to her and even if it did, there’s no guarantee the young woman would’ve been willing to listen.

But if I had the chance to pull her aside and whisper a few words to her, I would have said:

God knows all about this. And he cares. He really, really does.

If abortions have been in your past, God knows about those too. There is no sin too great for God to forgive. He still loves you and is calling you to do what is best for the baby and for you. And what is best is allowing your unborn baby the chance to live. 

The act of an abortion will not heal or fix any hurt or pain or problems. From women I know personally who’ve had abortions, they’ve said the emotional, spiritual, and sometimes physical pain is devastating and something you never forget.

You’re not alone. Other women have been in your shoes and are in the same situation. Even Christian women.

If inconvenience or fear is the reason, God has a way of working out things for the good. Trust him. Go beyond your personal desires and wishes and think about God’s plan for your baby. Think about your baby’s dreams. 

If finances, your career, the responsibility of raising a child on your own are all concerns, don’t allow your fears and worries cast a shadow on the present reality and the joys and blessings that the future could hold. God has a way of providing when we trust him.

If you fear shame among your friends and family and what people will think, don’t live to please other people. Do what is right and true.

There is no feeling in the world like holding your newborn baby for the very first time. The love you’ll have for him is indescribable. You won’t understand it until he is here. Looking into his beautiful eyes, smelling and touching his soft skin, kissing his cheeks, rocking and cuddling him, singing to him, nursing him on your breasts, and watching him grow up to be the man God created him to be brings no greater joy.

When you choose to give your baby life, I promise you there will be challenges and hardships but you’ll be okay. God will give you the strength to endure and carry on. 

If you still feel you cannot handle the responsibility, you can always give your baby up for adoption. There are plenty of wonderful families who can raise your child and give them a loving home. 

Your Creator God, who created you, values and treasures all human life. He loves you so much that he died on the cross and rose again so that you could have life. Remember that He has a way of redeeming and healing the most difficult situations. He turns ashes into beauty if you will only ask him. 

Choose life. I beg you. Choose Life.

Well during the remaining time at the doctor’s office I never ran into the young woman. But God used the experience to teach me a lot. As a woman who follows Jesus Christ, I’ve been encouraged to speak up for the innocent and vulnerable, who cannot speak for themselves. I’ve become more aware of the beauty and life around me and the precious lives of my own children and family and friends. And I will not be silent or negligent to pray for those women at such a crossroad in life.

Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the Lord called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name. – Isaiah 49:1

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.  – Psalm 139-13-18

When You Fear People More Than God

As Christians brought up in the church, this particular young woman and her boyfriend struggled with their purity. Eventually, they found out they were pregnant and considered having an abortion. All kinds of thoughts brewed through their mind:

We know abortion is wrong, but it would be devastating if people in the church found out we were pregnant.

Getting pregnant out of wedlock is the worst sin imaginable.

People would never look or treat us the same again.

We can’t let anyone know we’ve been living in sin and having sex.

Other thoughts ran through their mind and they just couldn’t bare the thought of keeping their baby and the turmoil they would experience from others. They eventually made their decision and sadly ended the life of their innocent child.

This story isn’t a whole lot different than the real-life stories laced throughout Scripture that involve men and women who trusted and put their hope in people more than God. The Bible calls it the “fear of men.”

I’m going through a Bible study with my seminary wives small group on fear and anxiety and I thought these questions were very helpful when it comes to pinpointing what the fear of men might look like in our every day lives. The author of the study, Edwards Welch, asks:

  • Have you ever struggled with peer pressure?
  • Have you ever been overly concerned about your appearance?
  • Have you ever been tempted to get plastic surgery?
  • Do you find that your view of yourself fluctuates on the basis of your achievements or the opinions of others?
  • Do you show favoritism?
  • Do you ever say yes when you should say no?
  • Do your public actions look much better than your private thoughts and behaviors?
  • Have you ever had a difficult time loving someone because you didn’t feel loved by that person?
  • Do you ever struggle with jealousy?
  • Have you ever been scared to talk about Jesus with someone for fear that the person would think differently of you?

From time to time, I struggle with all those questions (some more than others) minus the plastic surgery one because well… that freaks me out.

The danger in fearing other people is that we allow them to control us. We make decisions based on what they think or say. We fear the consequence if we let them down. We put our hope and faith in them instead of what God thinks or would have us do. And it’s a bit of a “subtle” sin.

But thank goodness there is a solution to being obsessed with what other people think of us. And it comes in four beautiful letters:

L O V E

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. – 1 John 4:18

Welch describes it like this: “God took all the initiative. He loved you while you were an enemy of his. He loves you now not because you are great, but because he is love. Such love is unwavering and secure. The Cross of Jesus- the ultimate evidence of God’s love- establishes it.”

God’s unconditional love is our motivation to trust in Him. He knows what is best. He is watching out for us. And he is guiding our path as he desires. And if we ever doubt him, we need only to fix our eyes on the cross that he died upon to remember His love.

When we look to Him, this world and what it “thinks” tends to fade away.

I personally know the young couple who had the abortion. For many years they dealt with guilt, shame, regret, depression, and major emotional, physical, and spiritual turmoil. They eventually learned that the people in the church they’d feared were far from perfect too. They just looked good on the outside and were able to say the right words.

While this couple still naturally carries guilt and shame at times, they have accepted God’s forgiveness and love and have forgiven themselves. They are open about sharing their mistakes and they’re learning what it means to trust in God, rather than in men.

Fearing, Loving, and Reverencing God more than men.

How liberating and God-glorifying to live life in such a way.

Video: UCLA Student Undercover at Planned Parenthood

As followers of Christ, we’ve been called to help protect those who have a voice, but who are rarely heard.

Those who are Vulnerable. Weak. And Innocent.

We live in a deceived culture that says “Save the trees (Go green), but kill the children.”

Yesterday while searching for youth stories for an upcoming project we’re doing at work with Max Lucado and Thomas Nelson, I stumbled upon UCLA student, Lila Rose, who is fighting for truth through creative media. And I am so inspired by her boldness.

Lila Rose and her pro-life student group, Live Action, have been hard at work the past three years uncovering the medical lies and manipulative counseling offered at Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion chain.

The video above is the first in Live Action’s “Rosa Acuna Project,” a multi-state undercover audit documenting Planned Parenthood’s abortion counseling. This video was filmed with Lila while she was undercover in the clinic for the purpose of asking a few questions.

Take the time to watch the video above (it may need some time to load), share it with others, and support Lila and her team with your prayers as they continue their new media movement for life.

* You can check out more undercover videos on the Live Action site, including her appearance on the O’Reilly Factor.

12-year old speaks out on abortion

Abortion. It has happened to one out of four women in the church today (yes, the church). Abortion is familiar territory in my husband’s family. Sitting on her couch one day, my relative chose to reveal the pain she still carries today 35 or so years ago. Hers was performed in the 70s when free love and free sex danced among the streets. When not much was known about abortion- just that it was a procedure.

“We [her husband] just did it not knowing what we were doing,” she told me. “I’m sick to my stomach every time I think about it. The loss is still with me knowing we have a baby in heaven.”

It felt surreal to hear about her pain– the emotional, physical, and spiritual toll it has had on her. She knows it and desires to educate others about the trauma she experienced and deals with today.

The bottom line is that God’s grace is still near. His forgiveness is real no matter what what we have done. And she knows that. But sadly, it will never take away the pain she senses every day. This video of a courageous 12 yr. old girl stirs my heart to action– especially now that I have a greater glimpse into just how deep the pain cuts.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOR1wUqvJS4]

Thoughts on the Faith Forum at Saddleback- David Nasser

 I was reading David Nasser’s most recent post today. The issue (of when life begins) has been on my mind and heart constantly as I research these two candidates and where they stand on the sanctity of human life. I’ve talked about this with my friends, Jay and Julia, and Jeremiah. It’s an issue in my mind that just cannot be ignored. I figured I would post what David wrote as I agree with everything he says. So here it goes:

Thoughts on The faith Forum at Saddleback, with McCain and Obama: (David Nasser)

Before I get started I want to make sure that you understand that I am not endorsing either candidate. I’m not trying to tell you who to vote for. I will however go on record to say that you should get out and vote. Make your mark.

Saturday night’s Faith Forum at Saddleback has been swimming in my mind, my heart, and on my tongue since the moment it aired two nights ago.

First of all, I want to declare a winner! The winner of the forum is…(drum roll please)…

Rick Warren. Whatever you think of Rick, his mega church, or even more mega selling book, you’ve got to give him points for asking questions that were both revealing and timely. Rick did a great job of asking the kind of questions that everyday people want to know the answers to. He was also fair and gracious to both candidates. Hats off to you Rick… Now, if we can just convince him to get rid of the goofy Hawaiian shirts…

There is so much to discuss here, but as you might have guessed, what got me blogging was the question about when life truly begins, and the candidate’s stances on abortion. Don’t get me wrong, everything they talked about was important.
Their heroes? Important.
The war? Important.
The economy? important.
The education of our children? Important.
The responsibility to care of the needy in the world? So-so important.

But to me the plight of the unborn, is still the most important.

Why? Because every other decision that a president makes flows out of his core belief about the sanctity of human life. Not just the sanctity of life for an already born adult, but for those in a mother’s womb as well. This is not just a pro-life stance, but what many conservative evangelicals like myself like to call a “whole-life stance.”

Here are the facts, no matter what your opinion:
1. Although abortions are on a decline in the past few years, almost every third baby conceived in America is aborted.
2. Since 1973 (Roe vs. Wade), when abortions became legal in the United States, there have been nearly 46 million abortions to date. This is not to mention the illegal, and untraceable abortions now more frequent because the abortion pill.
3. Most scientists, Christian or not, agree that some form of a “new living” cell begins at conception.
4. Combine these facts with the belief of billions of people that abortion is the termination of that “new life”, and you can see why this is a searing hot topic to say the least.

So here are a few thoughts on each candidate’s response to Rick Warren’s question.

John McCain:
The question was: At what point does life begin? His answer: “At conception.”

I know his voting record on pro-life issues before the forum. I know that he was in favor to uphold the ban on partial birth abortions. It’s also important to note that I also know that, unlike me, McCain approves of embryonic stem cell research. I fail to see the difference between a parent who discards an unwanted or leftover in-vitro embryo, or an unwanted embryo in a womb of a mother. While I recognize the urgent need for stem cell research in the fight against such things as Parkinson’s disease, I see adult stem cell research as the only ethical choice. Is a human embryo a human life? If so, when is it OK to kill a human embryo for any reason?

Barrack Obama:
The question was: At what point does life begin? His answer: Basically, “I’m not sure… I’m pro-choice, because I believe that women make this decision with much thought and serious consideration. I want to see abortions reduced by offering better options.”

Rather than taking potshots at his “above my pay grade” comment, I will pose a question instead. Let’s say that no one really knows when life begins. Let’s say that none of us can really ever be sure. Let’s just say the question is above everyone’s pay grade. Since we don’t know, Senator Obama, could it be that we MIGHT be killing babies through abortion? Aren’t you admitting that they might be alive, by saying, “I don’t really know?”

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the FDA approved a drug that we think might be killing millions of people. It’s a highly controversial drug that many people disagree about. Let’s say no lab really knows for sure whether the drug is safe or not. All we know is there is a valid argument on both sides that this drug could or could not be lethal. Would you be OK with allowing this kind of Russian roulette game go on as the president? Would you say that since you don’t know if the drug is really killing people or not, that we should continue to use it? How is that not a pro-death stance?

I heard both men profess Christ as their Savior, and I heard both men stress the need to stand against the innocent killings in places such as Darfur and Rwanda. I heard both men say that 150 million orphaned children need a home, and that this great nation must rise for the oppressed. But, I also heard both men agree that evil exists. What greater evil can there be than the holocaust of 46 million innocent children in our nation alone?

Our prayer:
Oh Lord, we repent. We repent for the lack of tears, the lack of shouts, the lack of passion, and most of all, the lack of vigilant prayer for the unborn. Revive this land, Lord. We are a desperate people in need of you. We pray for our leaders, both present and future. Break their hearts for the things than break Yours. We don’t need a king, Lord, we already have one. You are it. We need You.

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