Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A rebuttal

*Warning.  Today's post contains sensitive information regarding pro-choice and pro-life topics, personal to my life.  

I've been kicking this post around in my head for a few weeks, and figured today was as  good a day as any to finally address it.   A friend of mine from a looooooong time ago, whom I only know casually now, posted a blog about her being pro-choice and her litany of reasons.  Three years ago, I would have agreed with them.  Five  years ago, I would have fought for them, and eight years ago, I was in a position to make that choice for myself.  

Out of respect for her, I'll not quote her directly, but suffice it to say that she and her husband have been trying to get pregnant for a couple of years, and are finally expecting with the help of IVF.  Now, I know that many committed Christians think IVF is wrong, and you will not find me among them so long as all the embryos are used and not destroyed.  This is a personal conviction, and I don't expect anyone else to share it.  

For as long as I can remember, I have been pro-choice.  I called the people who disagreed with me "anti-choice" instead of "pro-life".   I'm the child of a teenage mother myself, and things were never easy.  When I was nine, my stepfather said something to me after I declared that  I was a Democrat to the effect of, "You of ALL PEOPLE can't agree with them on the abortion issue".  That's an old wound.   I'm still a hardcore believer who happens to be a Democrat (technically a left-leaning centrist).

In any case, yes I was pro-choice until (and for some time after) I got saved.  I looked for liberal Christian theology to back up my position and, as I'm sure you can imagine, I found it.  But it never sat well in my spirit; justification never does.  We are called to holiness, which my friend and pastor John defines as, "always knowing what is right, doing what is right, and requiring of others what is right".  Not exactly an easy thing to aspire to.

My friend whose blog post prompted this one, she thinks that it's ok to terminate a pregnancy because she can say unequivocally after undergoing IVF that this "mass of cells" was not a child.  I have a feeling that's grief talking, but I can't speak to that, having never been in her 
position.  My point is not to argue that  a pair of cells is now a human person.  I don't know when we're ensouled, though I'd rather err on the side of caution.

But what I hope my friend learns, now that she's pregnant, is what it's like to be a mama bear.  That the heart 
of a mother is to protect, to  cradle, to sacrifice for your child.  In the 
movie "Enough", we hear the line, "You have a divine  animal right 
to protect your life and the lives of your offspring", and I'm not sure 
I've heard many truer things.   

I've had four chances to do this mothering thing, and only three I've taken.  I lost a lot when I made the choice to allow, nay, pay, someone to kill my child.  I  lost friends.  I lost 
innocence.  I lost a chance for God to show His love for me by 
bringing my sin into the light AND blessing me with a child.  And of
course I lost him, my would-have-been firstborn son.  

And I miss him, more and more acutely as I watch my other three
 grow.  He would have been the perfectly ordained big brother for 
the rest of our growing clan.  I'll never know the extent of what I've done in this life, how deeply I broke God's heart, what 
exactly I've missed.

I am a mother to four, not three.


Michelle@Life with Three said...

Heather, thank you for sharing this. It couldn't have been easy to write. I have tears in my eyes -- it really touched me.

Beth said...

What a beautiful post. I can only imagine how hard this post was to hard this post is to live...

God has forgiven you and your baby will be waiting for you when you get to heaven !