I went to see my grandma this week. It is hard to see her because the person we remember is fading from us. This time was especially hard because it was the first time she didn’t recognize me.
I am reminded that EVERY life is beautiful. I know it’s hard to watch what she is going through. But despite this, I believe there are life lessons to be learned. Some may say it would be easier to put her to death…out of her misery. But who says she is miserable. She seemed somewhat content with her thoughts and surroundings. We have an idea in our head what makes up a real life and we look at others who may have less and we wonder why were they ever born…they can’t do this or that.
Each of us is important. Each of us has a purpose for our lives no matter how short or long we live. No matter what imperfections we face. We were all meant for greatness.
She is still teaching me something. How important it is to be faithful. To live in the moments we are given. To be present with those we love. Life is fleeting. Those of us who still have breath should choose to live!
Anger flies in on a gentle breeze when I least expect it. It doesn’t announce its silent mission. It penetrates the barriers I have put up. What I thought was a fortress, it easily demolishes. The warriors that have sworn to protect have fallen. It darkens my soul and my countenance easily wavers.
There is anger at the loss, anger at those involved, anger at the situation. But most of all there is anger at myself. I envision a character standing above, pointing a bony finger at me. “You chose incorrectly.” And I know I did. The pain and truth of the words cut through me severing my paths of what could have been. I am doomed to a life of imprisonment.
Anger comes and goes. Years of emptiness inside a tomb I created. Regret. Shame. Pain. They are the scars that come from the choice I have to bear. I am told I shouldn’t feel this way. I am told that it was a simple procedure. But my heart knows differently. My heart wants to feel the loss, but my mind contradicts. So the battle ensues.
White light crashes. It pierces the darkness. I feel the warmth. But cannot adjust my eyes to its brilliance. The truth seeps into the crevices of my soul, the empty places that have been broken open. Healing. Hope. Love. The two forces collide and the battle continues. The darkness cannot hide. The light penetrates.
The Great Exchange: Truth for lies. Freedom for the captive. Beauty instead of ashes. Gladness instead of mourning. Restoration instead of devastation.
What could I do? How can I repay? Nothing. Just love, forgive as I have forgiven and loved you.
We (Garden of Hope) are currently in a billboard campaign in our city. We want to reach out to the women (and men) who are suffering from having one or multiple abortions. We want them to know we are out there. We know. We care.
I am privileged to work with a ministry that cares beyond the “choice”. We understand that at the center of this there is a mother, father, and a child. It’s more about after they have made their choice, what can we do to help them in their next step.
If she aborts we shower her with compassion, invite her to our healing groups.
If she chooses life and the circumstances are bleak we throw a shower for her.
If she needs a place to live because her family will not have her. We have that too. There really isn’t anything we wouldn’t do to help.
It is an honor to serve with such wonderful men and women who instead of shaming me for my choices have lavished love on me.
I was thinking the other day and it struck me. I don’t think I have written about women who have had multiple abortions.
From some of the groups I have led, there have been plenty of women that have had multiple abortions. I have seen the shame and heartache on their faces. I have heard the despair in their voices when they tell us that they were only going to admit to the one abortion and keep the 2nd or 3rd a secret. They tell me that they feel lower than a woman who has had only one abortion.
This is simply not true!
Luckily one of our leaders has had multiple abortions and also a lady on the video we watch shares her experience and that allows these women to open up and speak about it. It is part of them and their story and as equally important in their healing.
There is hope and forgiveness. It is the same for you as it was for me. I speak about my experience that happens to only include one abortion. It is a miracle that is all I had. I was by no means responsible and could have easily put myself in a situation where I would have to make that choice again.
We might look different, but we are the same.
I have been reminded this weekend on many fronts of the importance of community and our stories. The word of our testimony.
We. Each. Have. One.
We all have a story to tell, a story that can help someone.
It’s easy to become complacent and think your story couldn’t possibly help another soul and then I find myself in a group of ladies who are all post abortive. They are unsure of me as I am unsure of them. Our stories can be ugly and hard. There are tears, bitterness, regret and plenty more tears.
I don’t want them to look at me and think she must have it all together. It’s a good disguise, but it can only last as long as I open my mouth and the truth pours out. I love the part where the girls relax because they know I have been where they are. I have seen the depths of darkness. I have felt the pain and shame that comes from abortion.
I think when we break down our walls and are vulnerable with each other our hope floats and it meets others where they are and where they need it. Our stories intertwine and like ripples in a pond after you throw the first pebble they fan out over and over again.
Maybe just maybe I am a little better now because I also met someone that was vulnerable and told me I have been where you are. I felt their pain and my pain but I also saw hope.
We all need a little hope.
PS…here are some of the amazing, beautiful stories I read this weekend…