In 2008 we lost a baby. That story I've told before. But how it changed me, and my attitude towards women seeking an abortion, that part I haven't really shared.
When I was in college, I went through training to be a peer counselor at a crisis pregnancy center. For several years I counseled women who were pregnant and seriously considering abortion. These women were in a position where abortion seemed like the only option. I had the opportunity and honor of sharing with them fetal development, the truth about abortion and that the Lord had a plan for them and their babies. It's amazing to hear women change their mind from abortion to life. But there were also women who, no matter how much you shared with them, no matter how much you prayed for them, they still chose abortion.
And that breaks your heart.
When I was 12 weeks pregnant with our baby girl, I was still counseling at a pregnancy center. I actually found out that something was possibly not right with the pregnancy as a result of an ultrasound I had at that center. I took a break from counseling for the remainder of my pregnancy (I went to live in Vegas for the summer while my husband was deployed). After we lost the baby and I returned home, and back to the pregnancy center, I just couldn't counsel anymore.
I just couldn't do it.
I couldn't look those women in the eyes, knowing that they were considering abortion for a baby who, as far as we knew, was perfectly healthy (not that abortion is okay for a baby who isn't healthy, because it absolutely is not). I couldn't not be angry with them. And I mean, very angry. There I was, grieving the loss of a baby who I desperately loved and wanted, sitting across from a woman who was grieving the potential loss of the life she would lose if she kept her child.
It made my heart ache. It ached for women who were experiencing years, decades of infertility. For women who were dealing with miscarriage upon miscarriage. For women who had lost a baby and experienced a still birth. For women who had lost small children.
Because, to face women who would willingly end the life of their own child because their baby would a burden, their baby would be in the way, knowing that there were so many of us who desperately wanted our own babies, it hurt.
I couldn't reconcile it. For a long time, I couldn't face it.
It's a difficult thing to face the schizophrenia of our culture. To know that a doctor can abort a baby in one room and then walk to another room and deliver a baby. To consider how we view children with convenience in mind. Abortion if the baby will be inconvenient. But if when the time is right, we'll spend thousands on fertility treatment to get pregnant. It's frustrating. It's heartbreaking. Our view of children, and of life, is so backwards.
But in the years since then, God has radically changed my heart toward women who are seeking an abortion. And also for those women who have aborted. After all, even though the circumstances are extremely different, we have both lost babies. And their loss needs to be mourned. And our hearts both need to be healed. Thankfully the Lord heals all heartache and brokenness. And He's shown me that His grace is enough to cover the sin of abortion. And His grace is enough to cover my sin of anger towards hurting, confused women.
If abortion is a part of your past, know that there is forgiveness and healing in the Lord. There are several abortion recovery programs available. I highly recommend this one.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9