Tuesday, October 7, 2014
The morning we were told our baby girl tested positive for Down Syndrome will always remain with me. There are no words to describe the hopelessness or devastation in those few short minutes. The doctor was sorry, he didn’t know what else to say. He told us several times that we needed to look at our "options" and make a “decision” until I finally looked him in the eye and told him that our decision was made. Matt and I chose life long before we ever met each other. Before we were married. Before we lived this life together. Before we prayed for this pregnancy. Before we saw our little girl’s heartbeat. Before we saw her ten fingers and ten toes and perfect little nose. Before she had a name…
We chose life.
Weeks later, the prenatal specialist used the same words. We had a “decision”. We had "options". I told this doctor the same thing I told the doctor before him. We choose life. He sighed and highly suggested we speak to someone who could tell us the challenges we will face. He strongly urged us to get all the information on how our quality of life will be diminished. He didn't think she should live - he didn't want her to live. And my anger burned. He was talking about my daughter. The child I adore. Somehow she’s not worthy of life because society deems her to have less value than children with the correct number of chromosomes.
So many lies.
In the days following that appointment, God continued to bring friends to mind who also had decisions to make during the course of their lives. Dear friends from high school who fell in love with their high school sweet hearts and chose to keep their babies to raise together. Girlfriends who stood without the father and fought to raise their child by themselves. Today, they can look into the eyes of their children without regret. I think of my friends who found themselves alone and pregnant and without emotional or financial help, or the precious friend whose child was conceived at gunpoint. They made one of the most selfless decisions of all, to endure the whispers and finger pointing only to place their baby into the arms of another mother to raise. I just can’t help but know that Jesus is so overwhelmingly proud of each one of you.
But even more on my mind were the girls who made a different decision. I picture the faces of those sweet souls who were lied to and listened to those lies, and I can’t help but feel such tremendous compassion for them. Even before I was saved, my heart was tendered to the girls who chose abortion, and I never knew why -- until a little over a month ago when I received the news that my future was not what I wanted it to be. While I didn’t think of abortion, I can honestly say that for a very brief time, I wished I wasn’t pregnant. I wondered how life would be so much easier if I didn’t have to walk this path. My future, like these friends‘, was terrifying and uncertain.
I’ve thought often of what I would say to that girl whose life was changed with one decision, and this is it. The lies are so loud. And I completely understand. I’ve faced off with the devil many times in my life. I know his games, I know his tricks. He’s the king of lies, the master deceiver. I can imagine how Satan stood so closely behind you and gently whispered in your ear - it’s just a clump of cells, no one will ever know, a baby will ruin your body, what are you going to do with a child, think of what people will say if they see you pregnant, you’re all alone, no one will help you, it won’t hurt, no boy will ever love you if he knows you‘ve had a kid…
Human mouths gave those words breath, perpetuating and validating the lie. And then just seconds after the procedure was complete, Satan stood before you and screamed in your face - Murderer! You just killed your baby, you have a secret you’ll have to keep forever, no one can ever know, you don’t deserve to ever be a mommy, what boy will ever want you now, Jesus could never love you, you are unforgivable…
Lies. So many lies.
Oh, beloved sister, if I could take your hands and look you in the eye, I would make sure you heard the truth in this very moment. Jesus died for YOU (John 3:16) NOTHING can separate you from His love (Romans 8:38-39). Jesus gave His life as a payment for our sins, all of our sins, no matter how big, no matter how small. We ALL sin and fall short of His glory (Romans 3:23) but there is NO CONDEMNATION in Christ (Romans 8:1). It is by grace, a gift we can never deserve, that we have been saved (Ephesians 2:8-9)
That is the truth. He was whipped and tortured, thorns tore his flesh, spikes nailed Him to a cross, and He died the cruelest of deaths, to bring us forgiveness and eternal salvation. But even more than that - our GUILT and our SHAME DIED with Him that day. Three days later, Christ was resurrected, but our guilt and shame stayed DEAD. There’s no place for them anymore.
Some have seen through the deceit and found Jesus in their pain - praise GOD. But sometimes those lies are all you’ve heard for years. Sometimes you’ve heard them for so long, they become your truth. But it’s time to make another decision, right now. Do you turn toward the God who saves, Jesus who’s been waiting all this time with aching arms to hold you? Do you accept the price He paid for our forgiveness that leads to eternal salvation? Or do you hold fast to the lies? You are the daughter of the King Most High. It’s time you start living it…
Make your decision, sweet girl. Choose Life.