Sunday, May 10, 2009
Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there. I'm going to get a little personal and maybe choked up here. So whether you want to or not, you'll get to see a little more of my heart than you probably want to.
Mother's Day used to be a very difficult time for me up until a couple years ago. Why is that? I had always thought that by this stage of my life I would be married with a few children to call my own. I'd be consumed with loving those babies God gave me, spending time as a family, just doing whatever it is that mommies do. In my great plan, all of that should have begun already, but I have learned painfully throughout the years that my plan is not necessarily God's plan. So here I am, having never been married, never having children--at this stage of my life.
I no longer get depressed on this day--but that is simply an act of my will. I simply refuse to believe the lie anymore that I'm any less than what I am intended to be. I believe that God has a plan and it is a perfect one. Wishing for something other than what God ordained for my life--or wanting to rush the plan--is fruitless and foolish. After all, He knows best. Leaving church today, a mother who appeared rather frustrated while trying to get her kids out of the car, said, "I would like to trade places with you." My response? "No, you wouldn't. You want to be in your life exactly where God has placed you. You would be miserable out of His will for your life, as I would be miserable out of His will for my life." And that's the truth. Trading places sounds good sometimes, but just as putting a square peg in a round hole simply doesn't work well, forcing God's hand--or undoing it--doesn't work either. So let's just pray to be content.
This year's Mother's Day is a unique one for me. Last night at prayer at church people were praying about Mother's Day and praying for the mothers among us. I looked around the room at the people gathered. I was struck with an awareness that we were all there because our mothers nurtured the life growing within them, carried that life to term, pushed that life into this world, and did what mothers always do: sacrificed, disciplined, loved. Some of us may have been given up for adoption. That, too, was a mother's love. Some of us were raised by moms who worked two or three jobs to feed us. That was a mother's love, as well. It may not have been convenient. It may not have been easy. We may have had special needs. But each of us sitting in that room praying were there--and we would not have been, had it not been for our moms.
And you can't think about all that without thinking about those who never were given that chance--those promises that were abandoned in the womb, the lives snuffed out. I have always been pro-life, but my whole world has changed in the last several months. My heart has opened up to the sanctity of life and the importance of protecting that life in a way I never dreamed. The fire has been lit, and I am compelled to speak up and take action. That includes calling out the president and anyone else who devalues that life, as you know I do. And I don't care who disagrees with my speaking up. It is the right thing to do. The election campaign of 2008 turned my world upside down. I wrote about that in my article called "Sarah and Little Trig Palin Come to my Classroom." If you've never read it, you can read it here. Trig's story really rocked my world for some reason, and my heart didn't open up for just special needs babies; it opened up for all babies. I look at them differently. I look at pregnant women differently. I look at the world differently.
I went with a friend recently to get an ultrasound. She and her husband are expecting their third child. On that screen I got to see that life growing inside her, the baby with his thumb in his mouth, the heart beating, and yes, we could see that she was carrying a boy! What an amazing experience. No one will ever be able to convince me that what a woman is carrying is not an actual human being. She is carrying a life--dependent on Mom, yes, but a unique life nonetheless, with his own blood vessels and cells, with his own life ahead of him.
It amazes me that God would trust humans to be most like Him, for as He is the Creator of all life, He has given us the ability to reproduce that life. It is in this capacity that we are so much like God--created by Him, for His purpose, to image Him. I do wish that I would have had that experience already, and maybe one day I will, but for now I just want to honor those who are already moms, those women who said, "Yes" to life, and who have given themselves sacrificially to the children with whom God has trusted them. Some weren't "ready," some were teenagers, some were in bad marriages, some received scary news about the baby, some may have even had the tragic experience of being raped. Yet they did it: they proved that they were greater than their circumstances.
I don't know if my mother remembers telling me this, but I remember her telling me when I was a teenager, "If abortion was legal when I was pregnant with you, I would have had an abortion." I recall the sting of that statement. At that time I would have preferred not to hear that, and I was baffled that she would tell me. But today I am glad that she did tell me. I am glad to know that I am here because the law protected my life, which is what the law is supposed to do. I am here because my mom acted in accordance with that law, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that she is very glad now that the law was in place. It kept her from aborting her blessing. God is a good God, and He had a purpose then for my life. I am determined, with all my heart, to fulfill that purpose. When it's all said and done, by the grace of God, my life will be a testimony of the necessity to embrace the sanctity of all life, to give birth to good things even in bad times, and then to just trust God to take care of the rest. Thank you, Mom.
The best is yet to come.