Never before and never since have I felt so utterly alone as I did on that cold January day. As I sat in the light blue Planned Parenthood waiting room, my soul broke. There were other people there; couples, young women with their mothers. But it seemed like they were a thousand miles away. For me, there was no one. The clinical smell of the doctor’s office and the professional demeanor of the technicians led me to believe in that moment that what I was doing was justified. It went against everything I had ever been taught, but these medical professionals had to know better, right? This wouldn’t be legal if it was wrong, right? Medically, what I felt in the depths of my abdomen was not considered a baby, right?
Wrong. That one decision tore my life apart. But it was precipitated by so many other bad decisions. The only question I had left to ask was, How did I get to this point? I was raised in a Christian home. I participated in Sunday School and church plays. I served as an acolyte. I had even taken a purity pledge in high school. There was a time in my young life when I was on fire for Christ.
Then I went away to college. For the first year, I stayed on the straight and narrow path I had laid out for myself. I went to church and spent time with other Christians. It wasn’t until I turned 21 that the immoral culture of college sucked me in. It had a magnetic quality. Was it fun? I’m not entirely sure. I spent many nights crying; many nights vomiting; many nights just wishing the room would stop spinning. I always felt an emptiness that nothing seemed to fill. Fun, really?
Through what I can only imagine was my parents’ fervent prayers on my behalf, God still clung to me. I turned away, but He called me back and started working on healing those scars in my heart. He has taught this broken soul the true meaning of grace and given me such a deep appreciation for mercy and compassion. But I know that the road I chose carries with it a pain I would never wish on anyone else. I know I will do anything in my parental power to keep my own daughter from experiencing that pain. When I look in her bright blue eyes, I see so much of myself. Is she destined to take the same path?
Not if I have anything to say about it. If we commit to breaking this cycle of youth exodus from the faith and, through programs like CrossExamined, start equipping our children with the concrete truth behind the Gospel of Jesus, we CAN make a difference in our children’s futures.
“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come..” 1 Timothy 4:8