His life for my life, His life for her life, His life for their lives
Updated: Nov 20, 2020
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank You for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in Your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. - Psalm 139:113-16 NLT
The evening of November 18, I opened Instagram to browse. I love seeing the bits of inspiration my 23-year-old daughter is taking in and sharing with her community. Her IG stories are full of them.
But before I could search for her page, a short video posted by a friend began to play - a precious baby boy, born at just 23 weeks gestation. A miracle, almost unrealized. Doctors pronounced him deceased, and his tiny body was placed in a refrigerator within the hospital's morgue, where six hours later, he was discovered alive by the undertakers who had arrived to prepare for his funeral.
His parents named him Lazarus. As I watched, his fragile body had been wrapped in sterile cloth. His cry was little more than a murmur, but he fought for every breath. His father urged him; "I'm here... Carry on fighting, precious little one. Resist, my love. Yes, we've got you. Resist, my little boy."
Tears over came me - the struggle - the love - the hope - the miracle of life. There was no way that this baby could have survived outside of the NICU and inside a refrigerator for six hours, except that God intervened.
Could He be giving man a glimpse of His power once again? Perhaps He is saying, "Destroy life no more. I Am Here."
Twenty-one years ago, the Lord began a radical transformation of my beliefs and principles. At the same time, He exchanged my warped view of love for one that aligned with His agape love. As the Spirit retrained my mind to think beyond my selfish desires, He also worked to purify my heart, the source from which my intentions and my actions flow.
For about a month, I had to wrestle with myself to break free from the world’s ideologies. It was painful. I cried so many tears that they soaked the carpet where I prayed. I had built a fortress around my heart, which was, by my estimation, strong enough to stand against anything that came my way.
But God invaded my space. I wondered, would I ever reach a place where I could understand that the sacrifice of Jesus, His broken body, His excruciating pain, His complete submission to the Cross was specifically for me. His sacrifice was meant to set me free, not place me in chains. It was meant to give me divine purpose, not strip me of strength. It was meant to demonstrate love to me and through me, so that I would understand that what the world had sold me was grossly lacking. His life for my life.
During those days of wrestling and mourning, I learned that God had given me the gift to encourage and build up others. That through Him, I could be the strongest version of myself and yet still carry within me, a tender and gentle spirit.
The morning that I came across Psalm 139:13-16, God challenged my belief about abortion. The realization that a woman does not have the right to destroy the life within her, in light of my feminist beliefs, was hardest to come to grips with. It meant that I had to agree with God about an issue that was controversial and be prepared to face the backlash. With His grace, I managed. It wasn't easy, but months later, He allowed me to begin serving at a crisis pregnancy clinic where I was able to give young women the life-giving counsel that I hadn't received in my own time of need.
Through God, I have begun to see a pregnant young woman and her baby in crisis, not as separate, but as one. Both need God's intervention. I believe we need a message of hope and life for mothers and babies. We have to find a way to break through that the feminist narrative, to share a message of unconditional love that will save the mother as well as the unborn baby. Every life is precious in God’s sight, both mother and child are loved by Him, and those who are true followers of Christ must look first at the young woman facing a crisis pregnancy. If we cannot, then she may miss that we value them both – she and her baby. His life for her life.
While doing some research in October of 2020, I came across a few stories about pro-life and pro-choice rallies. Embedded in one was a picture of a young woman holding a sign in bold black letters that read, "Parasites Have No Rights". In another was a video of young woman writhing sensually on the ground at the feet of her peers who held signs defending life.
The grief that washed over me stuck with me for the entire day. Are we Christians able to effectively demonstrate to these young women such a genuine God-centered love that they might be willing to put down their signs, and receive God’s love?
I believe that America is failing her daughters, and the radical feminists are leading the charge. They have missed the point! A crisis is not something to be exploited.
When I was young, I was told that abortion rights were to protect young women from back alley doctors who would butcher their bodies, doing irreparable harm. I was young at a time when scared young women went off quietly to have abortions. They were not proud of their choice, there was no celebration, and there was plenty of regret. I was a budding feminist, so I "stood" for the cause. In college, I even wrote an "A" graded essay defending the right to choose. That seems like a lifetime ago. Back then, even feminists didn’t dare to do the things we see in the 21st century.
Today's young women, undergirded by their older, radical, feminist sisters, are more severe and rash. Donned in vagina hats and suits, spewing curses and vulgarities, they do not seem to appreciate that their lives began in the womb. It saddens me to think that young women could have such hardened hearts and be so devoid of the privilege they have to be able to bear life, to nurture and to protect.
How is it possible that we have failed these young women so grossly? They have moved beyond the fear of an unplanned pregnancy, or the inconvenience of being too young to raise a child and be without resources. They have become brutal, women who call their own offspring “parasites.” What will it take to bring them back from the culture of death and show them that their worth is exponentially more than reproductive rights and sexual freedom?
I do not have the answers, but I am confident that those at the helm of the pro-choice movement have done more harm than good.
But the pro-life movement has its struggles too. The voices that are heard the loudest are without compassion. From one side of their mouth, they say, “Save the baby!” but from the other they hurl insults at the mother. There are plenty of decent Christians who go out and offer love and support to young women who enter abortion clinics. For these, I offer my wholehearted support.
But it seems that the two sides, the pro-choice supporters and the pro-life supporters shouting insults, have come to a stalemate, leaving the lives of babies hanging in the balance.
Those who love God and know Him must do better. We can no longer afford to give one month a year, or just one Sunday during that month, to the sanctity of life. God has gifted some of us to be more “hands on”. For those God has gifted this way, I believe we must roll up our sleeves, continue giving resources and time to the clinics, but also take a critical look at the gaps in our message and the application of our methods. I have recently had a heartbreaking realization that the babies murdered by doctors could have been in the arms of an adopting couple who have been pleading with God and waiting. This has been heavy on my heart.
We must pray and support those on the frontlines: the crisis pregnancy centers and counselors, the adoption service providers, and those doing crisis pregnancy ministry outside of clinics. Perhaps God will show us how to share a message of abstinence that doesn't reek of oldwives tales and outdated language.
We are aware of the constant flow of messages directed at young women. They are filled with empty rhetoric about empowerment, and superficial methods for becoming their best selves. Perhaps we need to go back to the drawing board and ask God to provide some supernatural language and solutions. A message of hope that will reach down from heaven to touch their souls. His life for their lives.
Marches are seen and heard by politicians, but rarely ever does their message reach young women who are considering abortion. But Planned Parenthood has their attention.
How do we reach these, who are fearfully and wonderfully made, but don't yet know it?
Sure, they may hate us and hate our message, but some of Jesus' most ardent followers hated Him before they loved Him. It may take a God-sized miracle to make a difference, and while I am not sure how it will come about, I do believe it must involve an exorbitant amount of love, a willingness to go to dark places and sit among hardened people, and the courage to challenge, in love, a wrong view of womanhood.
Are you gifted to be a part of the change that will make a difference? I have asked God to show me if my gifts can make a difference. As a result, I have begun creating a workshop for young women titled, Femininity, the Intrinsic Worth Found in Godly Womanhood. Here I hope to provide answers for young women, where modern feminism has sold them a lie. I covet your prayers. If you feel led to get involved in making a difference in the fight for life, for the young women and the unborn who are at risk for abortion, write to me and allow me to pray for you.