I am not convinced that personal experience is the best argument against the practice of abortion, but I do find inspiration from people’s accounts regarding their own encounters at the crossroads of life. I think all of us can relate to being in a situation in which we’ve dug a hole for ourselves and God comes in to ask us if we want to keep digging or if we would like to stop and allow Him to help us out. It is the most beautiful experience to be up to your neck in a mess of your own doing and to realize that God loves you enough to come in after you.
Such was my situation in my sophomore year of college. I was young, in love, and a little lonely, having just had an argument with my parents over the guy I was dating. We clung to each other in a way that only married people should, both emotionally and physically. Then one day...panic. “What if I am? What would we do?” I went to the student health center for the test.
While waiting for the result, my heart was racing. A million thoughts ran through my head, most of them driven by fear. My name was called, and I approached an older woman with a kind face. I sat down.
“Well,” she said, “It’s positive.”
She must have seen my jaw drop, because she quickly asked me if I had thought about what I might do. In that moment, I felt completely exposed. I wanted to run, to be anywhere but there, having to deal with all of the consequences of my irresponsible behavior. I wanted it to go away.
Thank God I got to have those feelings. Though I didn’t have to deliberate between choosing life and choosing death, I received the understanding of helplessness, and it formed me in compassion for those who feel desperation in the face of an overwhelming situation. I can truly say that I've been there.
As the lady waited for an answer, I struggled to find the words to say. I wanted to make a statement, to proclaim that abortion is not morally permissible, to be resilient in the face of adversity. All I felt was shame and fear.
“I’m keeping the baby.” It was the only thing I could say.
Tears welled in her eyes as she reached out her hand to hold mine. “God bless you,” she said in a whisper.
As I reflect upon this encounter, I feel the hand of God reaching out to touch mine. I hear the words of His blessing comforting me in my shame, and I receive the gift that He has bestowed upon me, an unworthy college girl, too frightened to proclaim the words of His truth.
God supplied what I needed at that moment through the actions and words of a courageous woman of faith. That day I was confirmed in my belief that every child is a blessing because I recognized His strength and comfort in my weakness.
She is a beautiful fifteen-year-old girl, our oldest daughter, and our reconciliation with God through our vocation of marriage has been the most wonderful gift of all.
Learning to recognize God's gifts in our lives is so important. Abortion destroys God's most precious gifts and makes it more difficult to distinguish truth and beauty from the seductive lies of our culture. I pray that our country will one day realize how abortion is harming our whole society through the rejection of God's goodness.