#StandForLife

Proverbs 31:8: “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute.” While this verse is not limited to the issue of abortion, I do feel it is a depiction of what we are called to do as believers in Christ. I want to speak for those who are defenseless, for those who cannot yet speak for themselves. I don’t want to tell my children or grandchildren one day that I did not fight on behalf of the unborn for the basic right to life.

In light of the recent Planned Parenthood videos, I wanted to address a deep conviction and passion that I have regarding pro-life. I’ve seen several profile pictures on Facebook that display the word “LIFE” on the background, which compelled me to write about this topic on here as part of the social movement, #StandForLife. When I saw “LIFE” on the background of several Facebook profile pictures, my mind went to pictures of my niece and nephew. I could write and write about reasons to stand for life from the moment of conception, but I just want to share a few narrow scoped thoughts I have mainly regarding the experience I’ve had with my niece and nephew (and a miscarried niece/nephew). Side note: What you will read is not a basis or foundation for which I stand for life. In other words, if these experiences did not happen, I would still hold true to pro-life ideals. I was pro-life before I became an aunt, but I just want to share an extremely zoomed in perspective if you will. Plus, since this blog reflects experiences in my own life, they are the ones I can talk about on a personal level. I can’t speak for others’ stories, but I do know that every child in the womb is fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God, no matter the circumstance. And every child deserves a right to life.

I have not experienced the growth of a baby inside my own womb, but to experience the joy of being an aunt has given me a real perspective of life before it even enters this world. I remember the day I found out my sister was pregnant with my niece, Reagan, and we were all overjoyed. It was so surreal to hear stories from my sister about how Reagan would kick her and how you could see her head lop-sided on one side of my sister’s stomach. Since I didn’t live near, I would receive picture updates of her growing belly and I remember waiting anxiously for the day that Reagan would arrive (though we did not yet know her name). March 15, 2013 came, and I received a picture over text of my precious little Reagan Elise. I never knew a 6 lb. 15 oz. baby could bring so much joy until that day came. It has been such a joy to watch Reagan grow and develop and see how uniquely God has wired her. She’s a little pistol and has the most spunk I’ve seen in a 2 year old. We even share the same shaped birthmark on the same leg, in the same place, so we share a special bond :)

The following year around Reagan’s first birthday, I received a text from my sister with a picture of Reagan in a shirt that said something along the lines of, “Big Sister” right before I walked into my home group (Bible Study). I remember I could not hold in the excitement so I told the people there even though it was not yet publicized (I asked them not to say anything yet). Our family was once again overjoyed and wondered if this baby would be a girl or boy, if he or she would look like Reagan, and we talked about names and everything. But a few weeks after we found out my sister was pregnant, the joyous feeling suddenly turned into a sorrowful loss. My sister had a miscarriage. Although she had a miscarriage, that baby had a heartbeat, its own DNA, its own blood type, its own functioning organs, and its own life. The reality is, we don’t know if that baby was a boy or a girl, or what his/her personality would be like, but God knows. His ways are higher than our ways and for whatever purpose, He allowed that baby to be brought into the presence of Jesus when all we knew is that this baby had a heartbeat and began forming in its mother’s womb. Life is truly precious, even life inside the womb. God gives and takes away but He is worthy to be praised through it all.

My sister got pregnant again a few months later and naturally we were more aware than ever that the process of development inside the womb would have to progress in a certain way for it not to result in a miscarriage. But by God’s grace, my sister had a healthy pregnancy and I had the opportunity to be in the hospital room when my sister gave birth to Dawson Reid on January 12, 2015. It was one of the most surreal experiences I have ever walked through. From that day on, it has been such a blessing to see how Reagan interacts with him and to watch that little boy’s smile light up when I play guitar and sing to him.

As I saw with my niece and nephew, and the miscarried baby in my sister’s womb, the development process in the womb from the earliest stages reveals that a human life exists. The question is no longer whether a human life exists, but whether or not we value that life. Whether we treat others the way we would want to be treated. Whether we choose the sanctity of life over mere “inconvenience.” The science is there to back up the fact of human life. Why would a child in the womb be treated as a clump of cells if someone can get intact human body parts from that “clump of cells?” Each body part makes up the body as it has its own specific structure and purpose. The sad, twisted reality in our world is that if we discovered a single cell on another planet, we would affirm that life exists there. We have fetal homicide laws in 38 states. Do you know what that means? If I were pregnant and a person shot and killed me (as I was on my way to terminate my pregnancy at an abortion clinic), that person would be charged for two accounts of murder. But if that incident did not happen and I had an abortion, it wouldn’t be acknowledged as murder. A fetal surgery treats the unborn as a separate patient from the mother. Like I said, I could go on and on about the horrifying news of abortion today and reasons for why it is appalling, but more than that, I want to leave you with good news. I would not want to speak of the sin of abortion without offering the good news that follows. You could have had ten abortions and still come to know true joy found only in Christ alone.

There is good news for those who have had an abortion or for those who have worked on behalf of providing abortions in some way or another. That news is found at the cross. Tim Keller says it well…”Jesus was stripped naked of his robe and dignity so that we could be clothed with a dignity and standing we don’t deserve. On the cross Jesus was treated as an outcast so that we could be brought into God’s family freely by grace. There Jesus drank the cup of eternal justice so that we might have the cup of the Father’s joy. There was no other way for the heavenly Father to bring us in, except at the expense of our true elder brother (Jesus).” Jesus came to this earth for sinners–to rescue and redeem those who have lied, stolen, murdered, tried to be independent instead of Christ-dependent, and the list goes on. The reality of abortion is sinful, but Christ offers forgiveness and newness of life in Him.

Romans 8:1 says that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For those of you who have had an abortion or supported abortion efforts, this is the good news I long for you to hear and take hold of. The apostle Paul was a murderer before he was converted to Christ and he said, “Formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent..” Thank goodness his story doesn’t end there as he went on to say, “But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 1:13-15). My life before Christ was marked by hatred and ignorant unbelief until I was confronted with the life-changing reality of Christ.

There is redemption for the scars we hold onto, for the sin we have walked in. While our scars have been marked by sin, shame, and guilt, Jesus has scars too. But His scars are a result of his own love in coming to die on a cross for you and me. His scars reflect redemption and an opportunity for us to quit striving on our own and find rest in Him. No matter what you have walked through, no matter how dark the secret is that you hold in, remember that the cross of Christ is God’s way of showing you that He loves you desperately and wants a relationship with you.

Because Christ has stood for our life by losing his, may we cling to Him and aim to be like Him. In social issues from abortion to alcoholism, from disease to human trafficking, from poverty to homelessness, may we enter into the madness. May we pray and move toward working to rescue people from suffering through the gospel of Jesus. May Christians not only support life that is in the womb, but enter in and adopt or provide foster care to the vulnerable outside the womb. May we pray on behalf of the ones who cannot speak for themselves.

StandforLife

 

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