"I think we should have only WANTED children, why should an unwanted child be born and then abused?" my friend Marie whispered in my ear during the lecture.
What can I say because I know the direction this is taking and I don't agree. What would help her to think this through? I knew intermission was coming up and wanted to respond to her.
The idea came to me "how about all of your family and hers?" I was definitely not wanted. My mom made one majorly bad choice. Her husband was off fighting the war and she hadn't seen him in two years. And now she discovered she was pregnant. The Red Cross got her husband, the only wonderful Dad I have ever known, home. Anyone in the family who could count knew something wasn't adding up. She tried to pass me off as "premature" even though I weighed 8 pounds at birth. I wasn't wanted, not at first. Was I then loved and cherished? You bet I was.
Next I thought about Marie. Her Dad was an undiagnosed and untreated manic-depressive, schizophrenic, alcoholic. Her parents already had 2 children in diapers when her mom found out she was pregnant, again, with TWINS. Oh, did I mention they lived on a farm with no indoor plumbing? We can only imagine the tears when her folks heard the news of twins and ended up with four babies, under two years of age, in diapers at once. I couldn't imagine my life without Marie, my very closest friend.
Then there was Marie's son. She was newly married, just barely starting out in her chosen profession. They didn't have money for a baby nor was that in their plans for that timeframe. Some suggested she just have an abortion.
I remember well what she said, "I CAN'T have an abortion I don't believe in them personally but I do think every woman should have a choice." That was the end of discussion and we began buying baby clothes.
Her son is a delight. I thought back to the day he was in "time out". It was terribly quiet. When we went into his room he had cut the end out of a shoebox and placed pictures he had drawn over the hole in the box shined a flashlight through the picture and "projected" it onto his bedroom wall! He did this when he was seven years old. Several more "time outs" and he'd probably be a patented inventor.
Further, I thought about her husband, who was like a brother to me. About age nine, he was going down the hall to the bathroom when he heard heated words from the nearby living room, "If I never would have F----- you, we never would have had him!" I am sure those words broke his nine-year-old heart, but he is loved now by SO many. Just because his parents were going through tough times and making some bad choices, did that mean he should have died before he began life outside the womb?
Oh, then there is my wonderful husband. He is one of eleven children, coming in at number nine. I am pretty sure that he wasn't "planned". I can almost hear his mother's heart drop when she realized that "number nine" was on the way. His parents rented a dairy farm and at times there were only black birds in the pot for dinner. His father must have had heart failure when he realized they were expecting again.
Marie and I had talked before about unwanted children leading to child abuse. But what worse abuse could there be than death?
I mentioned all five of us being "unwanted" to her on the break and detailed my thoughts. I asked what all of us would have done, if any one of us had been aborted. She looked at me with really sad eyes, but didn't have time to comment, before the speaker began again.
"This is encouragement for those of you who think you might have been unplanned or unwanted. please listen carefully: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." That is from Jeremiah 1:5. The Bible was speaking about Jeremiah here but this indicated that he was "thought about and planned for" BEFORE he was ever conceived.
You are not an accident. The choices your parents made when you were conceived might not have been the best. You might have been a surprise to them, but you were no surprise to God. He thought you up, all those special parts of your personality that make you what and who you are. You were not a surprise to God but a delight. God has a plan for you, specially thought out and put together, just as you are thought out and planned by the creator of the universe. Think about that for a minute.
I glanced at Marie and she has a small smile on her face. The speaker wasn't speaking directly to us, was he? How could he have known what we talked about through the break?
"Also, there is forgiveness. Abortion is not the unpardonable sin. Let me give you some freedom here," he continued.
There were murmurs coming from all parts of the lecture hall. You could tell this was affecting many who were there, both men and women.
"I know from counseling that there are many regrets after having an abortion. Much heaviness that those who abort had no idea they would have. Those who were told "it is not a child, it is just a blob of tissue" have told me of depression, haunting thoughts about that tiny being, about what happened and their choice. They didn't even believe it was a child, so why all these thoughts?"
There was more audience shuffling of feet, more coughing and clearing throats. And the speaker went on, "Would you like to be set free from that heaviness? Would you like to have the nightmares stop? Would you like to be, in a word, forgiven?"
Marie and I glanced around us. Who knew which ones in the audience had aborted a baby?
A few years back I made a jacket using textile paints, I drew a huge female sign on the back. Within the circle of that female sign I had painted "equal rights for UNBORN women". It had sparked many a conversation. Just l;ike the jacket, I was sure the speaker was sparking "conversations" within hearts even now an he spoke. What was he going to say next?
"Think about this with me, if you will, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." This is from 1 John 1:9, yes it is in the Bible, but please don't let that keep you from listening."
There were some chuckles from the audience.
"God is in the business of setting people free. He died a horrible death and would have done it just for you, if you were the only one on earth. He loves you SO much. The forgiveness and the freedom that goes with it, is yours for the asking. It is a most incredible gift. All you need to do is ask."
With that, he turned the microphone over to a gal who had an abortion. She shared her story with the audience, and how the freedom she had in being forgiven, totally changed her life.
I sat still thinking about all we had been given that day. I already knew the part about being knit together in my mother's womb "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb" from Psalms 139:13. The Jeremiah scriptures were totally new to me I was NOT an accident in God's eyes. He planned me, He loved me AND my mother chose to give me life. I had a joy inside that was about to burst out of me!
Marie and I left the lecture that day with so very much to talk about. Choice, it really is all about choice. I am so glad that my mom AND dad chose life for me.
You will never know the total freedom in forgiveness until you ask, for yourself. God's line is never busy. He is never distracted. He is always there for you, waiting for you to call out to Him. Maybe this is your time, your day, your date with the creator of the universe how bad can that be?
(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.
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What did Marie do? Oh the heartache of careless moments, and not understanding, or having the intelligence to make right decisions. This would be such a terrible thing to live with, once one understood the real truth. Thanks be to God for His forgiveness when such an error is made. God job describing the situation so that those who have not experienced this have a better understanding.
"Marie" had her baby and he is wonderful and she is now a grandma bit I think she still believes that each woman should be able to choose. BUT I felt that I did what the Lord laid on my heart and there is a seed planted there for sure.