Today's Devotional Thought
January 25, 2019 by Rachel Piferi
An Open Letter to the Woman Contemplating Abortion
There has been a lot of talk lately about abortion. We are currently in "sanctity of human life month" and we just passed the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. And then, there is the nationwide discussion of New York's controversial expansion of abortion legislation this week. The news media, my Facebook feed, and even casual conversation has been full of debates regarding whether a woman has a right to choose abortion.
And, do you know what I have thought lately? As I've listened to people talk about abortion and list the many reasons that they feel it is right or that it is wrong, I have started wondering which of those voices out there has really experienced it? Like, who is speaking from the very real experience of walking a road of a hopeless, lonely pregnancy in which they have to decide what to do? Who knows the burden of feeling that abortion is your only option? Who has truly had to make that choice?
Please don't get me wrong, I value people who care enough about issues to study them and articulate their views and help those going through situations that perhaps they haven't gone through. It's so important. But today, I wanted to add another voice to the conversation about abortion.
A voice from someone who knows what it feels like to be in a crisis pregnancy. A voice from someone who has had to make that choice.
And not only that, but today, I'm writing to those of you out there who are listening to all the discussion about abortion and all the arguments and are trying to think among all of the noise because you too have to make that choice. Today, I am writing to the woman out there who's life and choice they're talking about. To the woman who is sitting quietly on the other side of this screen, having to actually make that choice for yourself.
This letter is for you...
To the beloved woman contemplating an abortion,
I suppose I should tell you a little about myself. Tell you why I care so much about you. I've never met you, but I feel a kinship with you simply because you're going through something that I went through too. You see, like you, I had to make that choice. You know, the dreaded abortion choice. Like you, I found myself in the middle of everybody else's hypothetical scenario. You know, those hypothetical situations others use to argue their point of whether abortion should be legal or whether it should be banned. Like you, I never thought I'd be in that situation. Seemed like something other girls faced. Abortion was certainly a topic that I had opinions on. I grew up in the church, so I knew where I stood. I knew all of the Bible verses that stated that life began at conception. I knew that God had a plan for my unborn baby and I knew that He was the author and finisher of life. I knew it all. And honestly, I believed it as much as someone (who hadn't had that belief tested yet) could.
It's funny how real life tests all your hypothetical beliefs. If you think about it, those hard things in life are really a gift because they let you see where you really stand. What you really believe. But I digress...
If you'd asked me before my pregnancy crisis if a woman should get an abortion, I would have told you no. But beyond, "life begins at conception," I don't think I could have told you why she should choose life. I could have quoted all the Bible verses about life, but I couldn't have told you why that choice was better. I couldn't have told you how choosing life helps a woman who is in the middle of hopeless pregnancy situation.
To be perfectly honest, as soon as I found myself in my own crisis pregnancy, I didn't need someone quoting all the Bible verses of when life began. My situation seemed so much more complicated than a couple of contritely stated Bible verses about life. And honestly, those verses heaped a little shame on me in those fleeting moments I thought abortion was my only choice. No matter how true those verses are (and I truly believe them, please hear me), the truth of my situation was overtaking me. And I imagine you feel the same. I don't even know you and I would bet that your situation is complicated. I imagine you feel pretty alone. Like no one understands.
I know my situation is different than yours. I was a married woman in my early thirties. I already had two kids. I had a career. I had a supportive family. And I had money and good health insurance. I certainly wasn't what everyone thinks of when they think of someone seeking an abortion. But despite all of those facts about my life, I was still in the middle of a pregnancy that looked very hopeless. A pregnancy that required I decide if I was going to end it or continue with it.
Like you, I still felt alone. I felt hopeless. I felt like I just couldn't find a good solution to my bad situation.
But, do you know what I've learned from listening to women's stories of their own crisis pregnancies? Every story is just a little different. I think that is what makes it so lonely. It's like you're the only one who has ever lived your story. And honestly, you are.
But even though the details of your story may be a little different than the details of mine, I have also found that there are some very key similarities. First, I imagine you feel like there is no good way out. I imagine you feel trapped. Like whichever option you choose, it's going to be the wrong choice. It's going to be too hard. It's going to hurt. No matter what, this is bad. And you feel like you really have no good options.
I wonder if you have been told, like I was, that abortion truly was your only choice. The only way for this bad situation to go away.
Can I whisper a little hope into your heart? I know this looks really bad now and you feel you have no good options, but sweet sister, there is hope. You do have another option besides abortion. You do have another choice.
But back to my story for a second...
In my pregnancy, the doctors told me at our 20-week ultrasound that our baby had a lot of problems. They called her "incompatible with life" and told me she was going to die at birth. I was at one of the finest hospitals in the world and they told me there was no hope. They told me my baby was never going to live outside of me. And to make matters worse (as if they could even get worse), they told me that my baby was threatening my health. So, if I continued with my pregnancy and carried my baby to term, she was likely going to kill me.
The doctors gave me my options:
Carry my baby to full term and die (and she's not going to live anyways).
Or abort her and I live.
Even though it was technically my choice, they recommended that I abort my baby. Pushed it, in fact.
And they made that recommendation out of their expertise. Partly because she wasn't going to live anyways. And partly because I was going to die and that would leave my other two children without a mother and my husband without a wife.
It was a pretty bad situation. One that really had no good options.
But that's just my story. I know yours is likely different. And oh how I wish we were sitting face to face over a cup of coffee so I could look into your eyes and hear your story. Hold your hand as you tell me that you feel like you have no good options. That the way you see it now, everybody's losing.
Trust me, I get it.
I, too, felt like I had no good choices that would help my situation turn out well.
I, too, felt helpless and hopeless.
I, too, had experts tell me that I had every right to preserve my life and end the life growing inside of me.
I, too, really didn't want to make that choice.
But I, too, felt trapped in a situation that was more complicated than a bumper sticker advocating or condemning abortion. And I, too, wondered if they were right that abortion was my only option.
Honestly, I didn't want to talk about abortion. I wanted someone to give me hope that there was another way. I didn't need someone weighing the two sides of the reality we could see. I needed someone to give me hope in what we could not see.
And sweet sister, that's what I want to share with you today. I know you feel there is no hope for your situation. And I know you feel that abortion may be your only option to fix this crisis pregnancy you are in.
But may I give you some hope? May I give you the hope that I did not get from the experts?
May I share with you what I learned from walking the choice you are currently walking?
Oh beloved, there is so much more for you in this situation than you can even imagine right now. There is good to be had. There is a positive, hope-filled future that could be yours. It may be a little hard getting there, but you can get there. You can experience good in this.
But you are going to have suspend what you can see right in front of you now for this hope that you can't quite see yet.
You see, one thing I learned in my pregnancy is that abortion wouldn't have just killed the baby inside of me, but it would have killed any hope of that little life inside of me turning out good. And friend, so much good came out of it once I gave God the time to create the good. Once I started to believe that more was possible than what was right in front of me, I actually started to feel hope. I didn't quite know what good could come from it or even what "good" for me in it was going to look like, but I believed it was possible.
I mentioned earlier that I didn't really need Bible verses about when life began. I already knew those. And honestly, I already believed that it was a life inside of me. What I needed was truth and verses about hope. I needed someone to help me see that someone greater than me was in control and could bring good things from this horrible situation.
I started to really pray. And God showed me the verses I should really focus on for my unborn baby:
Psalm 43:10: Be still and know that I am God.
I Corinthians 2:5: So that your faith would not rest in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
Matthew 19:26: Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
Ephesians 3:20: Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
You see, when the world was telling me that all of the facts proved there was no hope, God was whispering to me that He had the power to create more than I could see in my situation. That He could do things in me and in my situation for good. That He could use me and our story to help others or show others that impossible situations can turn out good. That I didn't have to end my pregnancy. I just had to let Him work in it.
He was giving me hope.
I didn't know what it meant or even was going to look like at first. But I prayed. And I believed that God would bring something good from my horrible situation.
And instead of choosing hopeless and choosing abortion, I chose hope and I chose life.
I chose to carry my baby and let God truly be the author and finisher of life. I let Him be in control and I gave up the burden of having to be in control myself. I decided to let God decide how this was going to end.
And true to His Word, it was far more than I could even imagine.
I went against the experts and chose to carry my baby till the end of my pregnancy. And, my baby didn't kill me. She didn't die either. Today, she's actually a very active 10 year old girl. She's got long, curly brown hair. She loves to swim. And she loves to go to church.
And she's a constant reminder that things can turn out so much better than we think they can.
We found hope in the hopeless.
And we found it because we first chose to walk towards it. We chose to believe it was possible and we chose to pursue it. We chose life and walked towards it. Even when we didn't know what it was going to look like.
We just believed good was possible. No matter what it was going to look like.
Sweet friend, I know your pregnancy looks really hopeless. If it didn't, you wouldn't be thinking about ending it. But if you just hold on and if you just let God work in it, I promise you it can be better than you are picturing right now. I don't know what exactly that will look like for you, but I know God can bring the healing (emotional and physical) you are looking for. I know He can bring the wholeness you need. I know He can bring good from the bad you are currently living. I know He can bring you purpose and passion and things you cannot even fathom right now.
And I don't know what exactly that will look like in your situation. Maybe it means a sweet couple who has been praying for a child will be able to adopt the sweet baby you're carrying right now. Maybe it means that you will raise this sweet little life by yourself, while you slowly (even though it may be hard) build a good life for you both. Maybe, like my situation, it means that your baby will have a better prognosis than the experts are predicting. Or maybe, it won't immediately turn out like that, but you will grow closer to the Lord through walking it and be able to help other women who experience loss in their lives.
I don't know exactly what is going to happen in your crisis pregnancy, but I do know that God wants to work in your situation. He came to bring you hope. And He can bring so much good from the bad you are currently walking in. And the first step towards finding good and hope in your hopeless is to choose to walk towards it.
Sweet friend, don't abort your baby.
But choose instead to walk towards an inconceivable good that God can bring in it and from it. It's going to be hard. But the truly good things in life usually are hard.
And sweet friend, you are not alone. There are so many people who want to help you. I don't know where you live, but if you did a quick google search of Christian crisis pregnancy centers near you, you will find a group of people who love God and love you and your baby. And they'll help you find this hope. They'll give you resources and options. They'll show you how God can bring good from your bad situation.
To my sweet friend contemplating abortion, I am writing today to tell you I understand what you're going through. I understand how hopeless you feel. And as a woman just a little further down the road, I urge you to choose life. I urge you to find people in your community who can help you walk towards a better future with your baby. They're there. And even more importantly, God's there. Right now, with you. And He's got a hope and future for you that is better than you can even imagine. And it starts today as you decide to walk towards hope. And walk towards life.
Don't choose abortion sweet friend. Choose life.
With all love & grace to you,
A girl with her own abortion story