I’ve felt the seeds planted. I’ve watched it take root and I saw it begin to sprout, it aches within me. Do I deserve to ache? I’ve never felt the kick. I’ve never seen the heart beat. She turned the screen from my face. Never experienced the getting ready for. The blues and pinks. Like the other mothers have. I chose to leave it. So like a weed I uproot it. Like a weed in my flower bed I tear it out and throw it away – far away. Because I don’t want to deal, with truth. With pain. With reality. Like a weed so deep I continue to pull. But my soul can’t forget. The could have beens. My soul can’t forget small life and I reach for the paper with that signature. It’s mine but unfamiliar. It signed over goodbye but the me now yearns for the other road. Yearns for the early mornings and the tired eyes. The voice that would call me mamma and the small hand to hold. And though I forgive the younger me, the liar reminds me. Little life gone. Because he said I’d be better off. he said the world would be better off. he slipped in during the night, in the quiet, and he said this isn’t life. he said he would let it go but he hasn’t let it go. he still slips in during the night at times and reminds me. But I’ve seen the Light. It outshines the night. And I refuse to begrudge this life. I refuse to let the weeds take over. It hurts but it won’t separate. I won’t let the hurt of little life gone separate me from the Healer. From Creator. From the One who created the little imprint in my soul in the first place, I will worship Him. The giver of life. Of light. Of healing. Of wholeness. Despite the rawness. Of goneness. Of pain. Despite the yearning, and wanting. Despite the plans that go unfulfilled. The lullabies unsung. In these moments the liar would feel accomplished for us to stay sulking. For us to stay living with this burden, with this pain. But whatever darkness we encounter, we can choose to look for the light and follow it. And I run. I sprint into the arms of the Hero. I fall into the carrier of the cross. Of my mistakes and regrets. Of my loss. The strong arms of the one who is. It’s done. It’s Heaven. It’s more than I can describe but it’s freedom. And I can rest. I can breathe. I can trust. I can cry but believe that the tears will be wiped away by Jesus. Like a cycle. Then comes mourning. Then comes healing. Then comes hope. Then comes morning. Always comes morning.
I’ve been really tired lately. I haven’t been living out the best version of myself, probably been rolling my eyes more than usual. I’ve been letting the world get the best of me. In return I’ve been letting the world harden me.
Been too tired to ask God for help. Been too scared to ask God for help. Not too sure if I wanted His help. Not too sure if I wanted to walk this path anymore.
And it’s the middle of the night and the enemy creeps in. He says we’re friends but the fear and regret, the pit in my stomach and the separation he brings from Love says otherwise.
The enemy creeps in and offers me nothing new. He offers old things, stale things, what I’ve already lived through, what God already replaced with life. And somehow he makes it sound good for a moment. Somehow he takes my old things and dresses it with a bow. Somehow in the night memory is blurry and old things seem right. And worship and lifting of hands and that song that broke my heart on Sunday seem so distant. Seems so… not for me anymore. Walking through those old church doors dragging my feet.
I haven’t been myself and the enemy calls me prey. He sees me wounded and now is his chance. He lures me into separation and anxiety and no more lifting of hands. No more praises in heart. And am I the only one? Have you ever felt so alone in a room full of people?
Maybe I was bitter that first love slipped away.
Maybe I’m bitter that I gave my only child away.
Maybe I’m bitter that a father’s love just can’t stay.
So I’ve been told that harboring bitterness separates,
me from Him,
and maybe that’s true,
But in thorns of bitterness I still feel Him, hear Him. A voice in the distance that sounds familiar, speaks closer with each acknowledgement. Fog grows thicker but the voice grows desperate. For the one who hasn’t been herself, feeling lost in fog. In old wounds that have already healed. The enemy points out scars as reminders.
What amazes me, despite it all, God remains. His love. His presence. We make bad decisions but he sits with us through trial. Holding our hand tight like only a mother deep in love with her child might do. Knowing that we are guilty but remembering deep inside the day we were created. What we were created for. Remembering the look in our face in the only moment we were innocent. Before the world invited us in. The deep root of love penetrates through holding of hands. Through nail-scarred hands.
And there is wholeness in that. Restoration in that. A better life in that. In nail-scarred hands. They keep me coming back. I could walk away from Jesus for the life I once had, for everything the enemy has offered me, but I’ve tasted both sides and His well is sweeter. He offers new life. New experience. His love is stronger. His promises are better. He gives strength again for lifting of hands. He refills the soul for all the more praise. And when He asks if I’m going to leave I respond,
Where else would I go?
“I don’t want something so tragic to be suppressed into my stone heart. If someone is going through this I want to pour into them. It hurts. It sucks. It’s full of regret. It’s full of wondering if there’s healing. If anyone will ever understand. I want people to know that I understand. I believe there is healing. I believe this will always be painful. Always be embarrassing. Always be shameful. But I believe one day I will wake up and a burden will be gone. One day I will wake up and breathe light. It will hurt but I won’t be scared to share. To speak truth about abortion. To speak up.”
This week will be 42 years since Roe v. Wade came into affect. 42 years. 56 million babies. What they don’t tell you is abortion is not an easy fix. It does not take away the fact that we are still mothers and fathers. Sometime around now I could have been celebrating life. I could have been buying birthday cakes and candles and there could have been celebrations. And I’ve fought with my inner self for some time. It seems like over the years I’ve counted every footstep I’ve taken that has separated me further from that day. Further from my younger self who didn’t choose life. And it rings true that we don’t realize what we had until it’s gone. And by then it’s so far gone from here. I’ve spent time staring out blank windows feeling an emptiness. Watching the snow fall out blank windows and days would change but the pain always remained the same. I’ve spent time with a jealous heart when mothers walk hand in hand with their babies. And I’ve spent time wishing for mine. Daydreaming of an echo of a voice in my mind and wanting so badly to reach it. For it to be real. I’ve beat myself up over the goneness. In the silence. I stayed silent for too long. But 56 million babies have come and gone and how many more since my own? How many more moms only realize what’s missing when the missing comes far too soon? I wonder if they are dealing with it or if they keep it hidden in their heart. I wonder if any of them have begun to stare into the same blankness and are wishing that same wish. One thing the abortion clinic doesn’t prepare us for is that there’s no refund. There’s no getting our babies back. When we realize what we have actually done. They say it is best for us. That we will be relieved. But abortion is forever and so is the yearning for our babies back. They never prepared us for the day we would blankly stare out of these windows watching the snow fall, missing a baby we only knew for a little while.
If I could give advice to anyone facing abortion I would tell them to really think about it. Lay it all out there. A baby might not be convenient in your busy life right now, but life will get quiet. And in the midst of the silence “what-ifs” become overwhelmingly loud. The temporary inconveniences will pass but the regret is lasting on the heart. Know that the after-affects of abortion is more draining than chasing around a toddler ever would be. I want to face it head on. I don’t want to be scared of it. I want to speak life into it. I want to declare victory over abortion. Because the world tells us to keep it hidden in the darkness but there is healing in the light. After all this time I’ve finally found peace. I’ve found a piece of healing. I’ve learned to loosen my grip on this secret. I’ve learned to embrace the memory of the one I only knew for a little while, and I marvel in the Lord’s promise that I will one day see my baby face to face. I refuse to stay silent anymore, because my child’s death will not be in vain – for there will be victory over abortion. You were here. You existed. You are remembered.
A voice is heard in Ramah,
Mourning and great weeping,
Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted because they are no more.
but I will turn their mourning into gladness;
I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.
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I thought by now maybe we’d be somewhere new. Somewhere broke down on the side of the road in the motor home we bought three years ago that’s now probably been sold a time or two since we sold it last fall. I’ve spent time wondering maybe if I didn’t miss some turns then maybe we’d be somewhere far from here by now. But we’re still here, in our hometown.
Sometimes you’re called away but sometimes you’re called to stay. Just stay. And when you’re gone from everything, all that you know, in a new town and new faces, new street signs and stop lights, it takes all that you have to be brave. Brave to step on the new sidewalk outside of your new house. Brave to re-memorize where the closest Tim Horton’s is on the corner (you pray to God there’s a Tim Horton’s). Brave to say hello to new faces. To start over again. And that’s always viewed as honorable. You’ve made it, right? Getting out of your hometown. But sometimes you’re asked to stay. Stay planted in the familiar. You don’t have to use that old GPS in the center counsel because you’ve drove down Michigan Avenue a million times or two since you were a kid. Seeing a familiar face every time you go to the store and it all feels like home. A different memory at every red light floods your mind as your car comes to a stop. When did it become such a bad thing to say you’ve lived here all your life? When did it get written in the rules that we have to leave in order to really have lived? Sometimes life’s missed when we’re so busy saving up for the next bus ticket out.
Yes, it can be brave to leave, to start over where nobody knows your name, but it also takes courage when we are asked to stay. Invest love and life right where your roots are planted. In the familiar. In the faces who already know you. What you have done in your past and the mistakes you have made. It’s brave to to pick up and start again, right where you are.
Sometimes we’re asked to pack up our things and invest in a new place. But sometimes we’re asked to just stay.