One of my most vivid memories of my eighth grade year was learning what an abortion was. I had barely learned what sex was. Even at 13 years old, it sickened me to think that a mother would kill her baby. In small ways, I became involved in the ProLife movement and remained active for many years.
After awhile it became tiresome. Not that I had changed my belief in the sanctity of life. If anything the gift of my four children hardened it into my soul. Over the years, I became aware of the myriad arguments on both sides and came to know women who had experienced it, if not once, but several times, for many reasons.
At first I was ashamed about not showing up for the meetings, the human chains at highway intersections, and the annual March for Life. What would people think? And that is a whole other post…
But as my spiritual life was deepening, I became truly aware of the Presence of the Holy Spirit in my life to a degree that it was an ever present life raft. There was something more vital and life-giving that the Lord was asking me to do. It hit home at a Deacon and wives conference where Helen Alvare was the keynote speaker and the Rachel’s Vineyard organization had an information booth.
At the time I had just finished my Master’s Degree in Pastoral Counseling at Loyola University. And here was God’s mission opportunity for me in the field of respect for life. During all those “active” years that were very public, I saw the worst aftermath of abortion. The soul-killing regret, shame, and depression of the mothers (AND fathers) that had aborted a child. No one had ever told them about that side effect.
As a licensed counselor, with a specialty in allowing faith in God to guide the healing process, I could sit with these parents and guide them back to a full life with God’s merciful love and full forgiveness.
Today, while we fight over laws about respecting life and abortion, God is present trying to get His message of mercy and love through to us. When we rely on God’s grace we understand that He can heal any situation of life, whether it be helping a woman to see that an unborn child’s life is precious not only now, but for future generations, or assisting a dying person in seeing the beauty of each moment of their life.
Do we need the public activity in the fight for respecting life? Yes, awareness keeps us on our toes and gives us direction for our prayers. But, it is these prayers and our willingness to speak freely about God’s love for us that will change the hearts of those looking to end lives by their own decision so that there will no longer be any business for the abortion clinics, nor need for measures to end one’s life early.
May the peace of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit be with you.