- In case you were wondering, it’s not that I simply get a wild hair to pull skeletons out of the closet for sheer entertainment value. No, that’s not it. I usually feel compelled to share something, even ugly, embarrassing things, because I need to put them down. I need the story to be told so maybe, just maybe, someone can benefit. This particular post today has details that my mother gave me permission to share, freedom to share in the event that it might help someone else, and save them from a fate similar to hers.
Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I have many friends and family members who have experienced the detrimental loss of a baby. I cannot, nor will I try, to imagine the ramifications of such a loss on a mommy’s heart. I am witness to the strength and resolve of these beautiful, strong women, who while grieving the loss of their infant, are able to stoically care for their other children, or continue their quest for the gift of motherhood however God wishes to bestow it, or love and support their husbands, or simply smile a genuine smile at the other women around them. For some reason on this day, when I am unable to relate to the personal loss of a baby, yet sympathize fully, I was reminded of my brother. You see, I have a handsome, strong brother here on earth, but I also have a brother I have never met, who sits in the lap of Jesus. While today is a day to remember infants lost by miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, and other causes, I was reminded of my mother and the many, too many, women just like her.
- I remember as a young teenager waking in the middle of the night. As I came back from the bathroom, I swore I could hear crying. It was slightly muffled, but I knew it was sobbing, yet it was more than that. It sounded heart wrenching. As I made my way into the living room, I found my mother there, her hands to her face, hidden behind a sheet of raw tears. It is a night I won’t forget, for it is the night she opened her heart to me, admitting a terrible secret in her own eyes, one she had kept buried for so long. She told me that when I was still very small she had gotten pregnant a second time. What should have been a joyous occasion was smothered by the reality of an absent father. My biological father had disappeared from the picture taking any accrued savings with him, and leaving her in debt with a three year old. She told me of trying to obtain government assistance, but being told she would need to quit her job and medical school and apply for welfare to be eligible for the assistance she desired. Feeling unable to do these things, or place her existing daughter in such circumstances, she made a decision. She felt up against the wall with no where to go, and no one to turn to for assistance. She made the decision, and she followed through with it. She had an abortion. Years later, as she told me her secret, the hurt she felt had not lessened with time, but had actually intensified. She admitted that every time she saw her then toddler son, she grieved for the son she had given up, and allowed to die. Her action had followed her, and tore at her on a daily basis. It even affected me. While it wasn’t her intention, her admission made me feel partially responsible, as if a baby had died so that I could live a better life.
- As I grew older and eventually learned of the power of Christ’s forgiveness, I wished this for my mom. I had watched her suffer the backlash of self-hatred and condemnation over her decision to abort for far too long. I discussed it with my pastor’s wife, and they gave me a book by Frank Peretti titled Tilly. I recall my mother was initially angered at me sharing her buried secret. But she read the book anyway. It didn’t magically transform her from a woman who hated herself to a joyous mom after she closed its pages, but it was a start. Over the next decade God would reveal to her that she could be forgiven. I know over time she received some peace over the horrible situation, but she was never completely healed. She once told me, “I know He forgave me, but I can’t forgive myself.” My mother lived with the regret of abortion until the day she died.
There are so many women who deal with this same loss. They are unaware of the truth and ramifications involved. They are lied to about the procedure, and how it will follow them always. You end up left with a baby gone, never able to live the life intended by God, and a shell of a woman remains, constantly weighted down by a grief that is difficult if not impossible to be healed from. I suppose if anyone could heal the wounds of abortion, it would be my Jesus, but such a sad state it is for all involved.
Today we remember children lost to this world, children who sit at the feet of Jesus now. I attended a remembrance ceremony and I was humbled before God, feeling so unworthy and incredibly blessed that I have not experienced loss personally. My heart broke for these mothers who have suffered, and I still can’t fathom such pain. While my heart, thoughts, and prayers are with those sweet women, I think of all women who have suffered the loss of a child, sadly, even if it was their own decision. It’s hard to think of abortion on a day like today, but I believe we should remember them all. May we not forget the ones who leave this world at the regrettable decision of their mother. May we also not forget the mothers who felt it necessary to make that kind of decision. I can promise you that they regret it every day. I can only pray that God can heal their hearts as He heals the hearts of mother’s whose children leave this world without their consent, but simply because the Father calls them home.
I would pray that women could see the truth of abortion and the lasting impact it will have on so many.
I will include a link to purchase the book Tilly for anyone who knows someone who might need it. I also found my mother’s copy and would love to share it with anyone who needs to read it. If you think sharing this post may help someone out there, then you have my blessing to share away. If anyone can be helped, or harm can be prevented by any word I write, then I smile, and I know my mom would smile too.
Buy Tilly here.
That is all