When I was in high school and college I considered myself pro-choice. I felt like I would or could never have an abortion myself, but I did not want to take that choice away from other women. I always read and heard about the women who were raped or abused sexually who would want to use the option of an abortion. The information that I was told really was very inaccurate and just not true.
Then when Greg and I got married we took classes for Natural Family Planning and Life issues that the Catholic Church took very seriously. I am so happy that we had the chance to take those classes and have those discussions. I originally started to believe in LIFE because the Church told me I should, but it was not until I wanted to get pregnant with Eli that the issue was very heavy on my heart. The 2008 election of President Obama was very hard for me to stomach because he was so pro-choice. I once heard that if we want our leaders to take care of all life…it includes issues like education, social security, military, etc. A President who values life, values all of us and what happens to us. I was also very upset because I knew a lot of Christians and Catholics who voted for Obama. I remember talking to a Pastor about my unease and how I felt like as a community of believers/Christians we had gotten it wrong! The very same day Greg and I had talked about adding to our family. But then he received a pay cut and we were not sure if it was the right time. But I prayed about it a lot and felt like if I wanted to trust God and trust in LIFE in a time when our country did not then I would really put my fears and concerns about money aside. We were very blessed and Eli was conceived right away.
His beautiful story gets so much better for the LIFE issue. Two days before Eli died we were at our Wednesday night worship service at church. Jonah (my second child) needed help and I quickly passed Eli off to another dad and personal friend. He had never held Eli and he was so delighted to hold a little baby again. He went home and hold his wife that even though it was not possible for them to have another baby God really used Eli to open up the dialogue about the possibility. Then the next night we were at church again for our bi-monthly small group. I remember being very convicted that night to talk about LIFE and how beautiful, how short it is and how we do not always value the gift that is given to us. I was nursing Eli and sharing my convictions about LIFE. There is nothing more special to me than that. The next day when Eli passed away, a member of our small group was in total denial when she received the news. She kept saying, “But we were all with him last night. He was fine.”
Somehow through all of the prayers that we said for me and Greg we were actually in peace during Eli’s funeral. I was very upset the days before and the days after, but the day of the funeral I can only attribute my peaceful state from the power of prayer. I was able to get up and read a letter that I wrote to Eli. I also stood up and went up front and discussed the beautiful life that Eli shared even if for just a short time. He really did touch many lives and I hope that now he continues to touch our hearts to search for answers. What does God want from our lives? Does God want us to put LIFE before other issues when voting and electing officials? I do not have all the answers, but I try to keep the conversation going with God so that I have the understanding from him and his Word.
Currently I will be participating in a Life campaign called 40 days for Life. It is a Christian organization that takes 40 days (in the Spring and Fall) to have a 24 hour prayer vigil outside of Planned Parenthood and other abortion facilities. There are a few campaigns that are organized in Michigan…I will be part of the Ann Arbor campaign and signed up for an hour time slot to stand outside and pray for LIFE. I will pray for the workers, for the mothers, fathers, and children who are affected by abortion. I am so passionate about LIFE now after Eli that I thank God everyday that Eli touched my heart in that way.
I often think about what if I had been in a different situation in my life…maybe out of work…unmarried…addicted to some substance…etc and then found out I was pregnant. What if I had entertained the idea of getting an abortion? What if that baby was Leah, Jonah, Eli, or Reece? I thank God that I did not entertain those ideas and that I was not in hard circumstances to begin with. I feel for women and men who feel like they have no other alternative. I know we all come from different situations, but please read my story about my baby who died at 3 months old. I know how precious human life is and how we should cherish it.
“But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have not fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy…”
1 Peter 3:14