How a Life Can Support LIFE: Part 1


WARNING! The following post is heavy. Just – you know – I’m like that sometimes.

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When I think back to some of my very dark days – single, pregnant, and terrified numb – I often wonder what the outcome would have been for me had there been someone trustworthy to help me see clearly, support me, and to show me a better way.

I was hugely mistaken when I thought I had no other choice than to have an abortion. A voice of loving reason was missing, and not only were the words missing, but also the actions to back them. A girl at my church got pregnant. All I had heard were whispers. They refused to help her or give her a shower for fear it would be confused as support of her stupid decisions.

What I’ve experienced from passionate Pro-Life supporters has been only in public arenas – outspoken personalities tagging whole slews of people with the name “baby-killers.” In all my bone-deep support of life, and in all the pain of loss I’ve experienced because of my own abortion, I have found myself not wanting at all to be associated with the pro-lifers whose weapon of choice seems to be Hate, the very characteristic that Jesus Himself associated with murder.

A dear friend of ours recently interviewed me about my abortion experience, and out of that conversation came memories of how handcuffed the church seemed in how to deal with unwanted pregnancies. So I’ve been thinking about what it means to live out a Pro-Life Life, how stories of the better way can arm the weak with Hope, how empathy can empower someone against loneliness and depression, and how the loving actions of those coming along side the weak can be the underpinning that not only supports a new generation but also allows it to experience Life and all the Yeses that come with it.

In the next couple of days, we’ll share an idea, a groundbreaking model for holistic healing, one that I am humbled to the dust to even know about, and I’m asking you now to start praying about being involved.

What ways have you witnessed or lived out a Love-induced Pro-Life Life?

amberhaines
About me

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18 Comments

Melissa
Reply October 5, 2010

Thank you for tackling this vitally important topic! *Warning, about to get on a very personal soap box*
I am very involved in a local ministry for teen moms- in fact, one of them and her four week old baby are living with our family while she finishes high school. I have taught my own boys (who are 17, 14 and 13) to not look down on a pregnant girl because it is a mistake that could happen to half the girls in our churches youth group. Sin is sin and God uses ALL things for good. God has a plan for these girls and their babies...and He expects His people to help them reach their potential in Him, not to judge them, guilt them or hinder them {in any way} from turning to the One who redeem their "situation".
Unconditional love and support for the girls that choose life for their babies is imperative. Holding a sign at an abortion clinic does NOTHING! Reaching out to a pregnant girl and giving her hope and being Jesus with skin on...that makes a difference.

*jumping down off my soap box now*

Melissa
Reply October 5, 2010

I should probably add {if it is not obvious} that I am passionate about this issue in a II Corinthians 1:3-5 type of way: I was a pregnant sixteen year old and found Jesus through a group of Christian women who *gasp* loved me, accepted me and mentored me right where I was. They didn't try to clean me up first. There unconditional love is a huge part of my personal testimony. http://www.multitaskingmama.com/testimony-part-ii/

We are THAT family
Reply October 5, 2010

I've come a long way from my days when I shouted PRO-LIFE but lived a life that didn't declare the pro-part very well. I'm learning and I don't think it's an accident at all that God is using this very issue to change my life and make me more like Him. Loved this post. So thought-provoking and important.

deb
Reply October 5, 2010

no sign holding here.

Aunt Pam
Reply October 5, 2010

You could have come to me.

Bekah
Reply October 5, 2010

I was just thinking about this today when I saw a quiet pro-life bumper sticker. I love reading your insights because I so badly want to approach this issue in a loving way. The hate and the judgment held by so many prolifers only serves to distract everyone from the women, girls and babies who truly are in need. I am really looking forward to what you have to share.

Shannon
Reply October 5, 2010

Oh, friend, I'm so glad you have said this, because I know you're speaking from a place where you really feel the truth of it. The Church (capital "C") should be leading the way in the pro-life movement by loving these girls out of crisis into hope. Carrying signs will never change hearts or lives.

joann
Reply October 5, 2010

thank you for this. I was watching a video and it was about speaking out against abortion and not being afraid to be hated. For a moment, I thought I should repost, just to show that I am for life.
That I am okay with being hated for a good cause.

Then I realized, maybe I should only be hated for loving and living like Jesus.

Kelli
Reply October 6, 2010

Thank you for this post. I was where you were, though I was 20, but fortunately I had my family who helped me and then after I had my daughter we found a church where most were loving and supportive. God used my precious girl to bring a whole family back to His fold. It makes such a difference when the Church love you where you are at. Though I still struggle some days I still have the support to run to. (My daughter is now 8 ) Again thank you for reminding us that we need to LOVE.

Jenny
Reply October 6, 2010

I have a friend named Jessica who inspires me daily. She has chosen to "pick up" the teen moms that others have discarded and embrace them with the love of God. If I could be half the amazing person that Jessica is with these moms-to-be, I would consider myself truly pro-life. Jess just gets it... love that about her.

Kate {The Parchment Girl}
Reply October 6, 2010

What a great post on such an important topic. I think too often Christians stand for something with words, but not actions. Maybe instead of focusing all our energies on denouncing abortion, we should use our resources to create loving, supportive environments for teenage moms, and homes for babies who are given up for adoption as an alternative to abortion.

Anne
Reply October 6, 2010

What an amazing post and so true. I love how the Lord leads and guides us through our pain and then uses it to help others. That is the blessing in what we go through. I will definitely be praying about this new venture and I would love to hear more. I have never had to go through something like this but I have been through lots of pain in other ways where I feel judgment come upon me from other Christians. My prayer too is for the Church/Christians to remember how Jesus reached out when he walked on this earth and for us to do the same... it is a daily committment to remind ourselves.

Jessica
Reply October 6, 2010

I read this and I am so glad that I did. First a few things about myself:

I'm a Christian
I'm pro-life
I have a degree in Women's Studies
I never intended to get involved in "women's issues" like the pro-life/pro-choice battle.

Most of the time God has other plans.

I definitely felt the same hesitation as you express. Although I was (and am) a determined guardian of God's precious gift of life I didn't want to be associated with the Pro-Life Movement (notice the caps) because of all the stigma that associating carries. God had other plans. God opened my eyes to see that there is battle that is happening. A battle not just for babies, but a spiritual battle for the hearts and minds of men and women all over America and the world. By what seemed like chance (but I know to be providence) I was led to a ministry that seeks to help and heal the whole woman who has found herself in crisis due to an unplanned pregnancy or abortion.

Jesus, Himself, would not have abandoned a woman in need of such healing. He certainly wouldn't have screamed, yelled or shunned her. There is more than meets the eye going on in the pro-life movement. Sometimes we have to dig to find it. We have to dig past folks that have been misguided and have used distortions of truth to guilt or persuade (often doing more damage than good). God is moving in hearts through relationship and through drawing women (and whole families) to Himself from the darkness of sin, isolation, shame...

You have a testimony that speaks for itself. I'm excited to see how God works this out in your life. The power of a person who has been in deep darkness, but has experienced healing and restoration speaks volumes about the Gospel. It speaks louder than any red faced activist in front of an abortion center.

carrie t
Reply October 7, 2010

wow amber! thanks so much for talking about this! i got pregnant with my oldest when i was 19. i was blessed with a loving family and church family that walked with me. i have lived with feeling shame because i am judged for being a young mom (i am told i look too young to have 3 kids on a daily basis- sometimes i want to answer, "i am"). i feel like God has been changing my heart to be proud of the decision to have my son, not ashamed.

because of my experience i am now sharing my story with high school girls hoping they don't make the same mistakes i did. but also sharing so they know if they do, they have somewhere to go.

Kim
Reply October 9, 2010

We have adopted 11 times ...
Being prolife is more than not supporting abortion, it's what you DO in the name of Jesus for one of the least of these!
Blessings,
Kim

Southern Gal
Reply October 9, 2010

Thank you so much for this. Having been involved in a church that struggled with the "baby shower" issue, I saw first hand how outcast that little girl was made to feel. Us with our beams in our eyes trying to remove the splinter in hers. Yahweh is showing me his love, grace and mercy every single day. How can I not extend it to someone who is searching frantically for someone to help her with the consequences of a decision that was made and is done? We have a crisis pregnancy center here and I help raise money to give these girls hope in a world that seems filled with Christian love only when you're behaving yourself. Oh, how Jesus cries for those who call themselves little Christ and yet spew hatred towards the lost lambs. Sorry. Didn't mean to go on and on. You've touched a nerve and I'm thankful.

Kim
Reply October 10, 2010

8 yrs ago, our church threw a baby showers for my sister (a young single mother), it was a beautiful out pouring of love and brought the entire church together. She was able to ask the churches forgiveness and they in return opened their arms to embrace both her and my nephew.
I believe that in supporting those that support life we should meet their needs, be it a baby shower for a mom who choses to keep her child or a pamper party for the mom who gives her child as a gift to another. Life should be celebrated!

Elizabeth @claritychaos
Reply October 13, 2010

I love how you handled this. I have such a repulsion to 'Pro-lifers' because of what you mention, and because of the lack of 'pro-life' advocacy for those babies once they make it out of the womb and into the world (social services, health care, education, abolition of the death penalty, etc.).

But your focus on love and compassion takes the spitfire right out of me and softens my heart enough to read about this. Thank you for that, my girl.

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