I stared at her blankly as she told me the news. I know I’m not the best at initial reactions and the last thing I wanted was to respond in a way that made her feel judged or misunderstood… I kept my composure and nodded with as neutral and supportive countenance as I could.
Testing rendered very high probability of severe mental illness … pregnancy terminated.
What do you say in a moment like that? What’s done is done. There is no wavering over which decision to make. All of the soul searching and weighty decision making had been made. I was determined that nothing would come out of my mouth that was anything less than understanding and loving. I wasn’t faking it either, I dearly love her and wanted her to know that no matter what, we were friends and I wasn’t going anywhere. All I wanted was to understand her heart. On the inside though, I was shocked. For days afterward I was asking myself the question that I wondered if she would ever ask me.
What would you have done?
How difficult it must have been for her to think about keeping the baby when she knew what kind of future would result — not only for this child, but for her existing family and all life as she knew it. I can’t imagine being faced with such a decision, and I am humbled by the fact that I never have been. What would be my reasoning in a time when reason has to fist fight emotion for the driver’s seat? Even though it’s unlikely that I will ever find myself in this circumstance, I very well might be faced with something else that tempts me to give way to fear. To take control. To do everything in my will to provide a more suitable plan.
After some soul searching of my own, I have come to terms with what I would say is my hope, my guard rail, that I pray would help me stay on the path ahead of me when faced with tremendous fear and anxiety. The thing I would hope my dear friends and family would remind me of in life’s darkest moments. It is found in the words of James Chapter 1.
My dear brothers, consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance, and perseverance must finish its work so you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
I used to think this verse sounded kind of trite and shallow… And then I watched people I loved walk through some of the most unimaginable heartaches and challenges life can bring, and come out (sometimes YEARS later) with a song of God’s faithfulness in their hearts and more joy than they could have ever had if they had an easy, predictable, smooth life. This verse has come alive to me.
I can only hope that in the trouble that unavoidably stands between me and my finish line, that I will not only make it through with my faith, but surrender myself to the only One who can redeem death for life. The only One who can make beauty from ashes, and the only One who can cause new life to spring up from dry ground. For me, its about trusting His heart.
I know there are countless women in my life, some I am even unaware, who have made decisions in their past that are extremely personal . . . extremely heavy. For many, reading a blog like this undoubtedly stirs up something in your heart. If you are reading this and are overcome with guilt, anger or shame for any reason– know that all of these things are what God’s grace is pleased to cover. You can’t change what’s done. It is part of your story now, but Jesus can bring new life from it. Dear friend, this is the whole point of it all. You and I are all broken, and none of us gets it right all the time. And Jesus got it right for us, once and for all.
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus law of the spirit of life has set me free from the law of sin and death. -Romans 8:1-2