Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Our Choice Was Life

Today marks the 40th Anniversary of Roe vs. Wade.  I know that there are few topics that derive as much heated debate and division than people's views on abortion.  It's a very emotional topic.

My heart bleeds for the millions of babies whose lives were ended so soon after they began.  My heart also bleeds for the mothers and the fathers who felt like they had no other options than to choose to end their babies' lives.

I thank God all the time for intervening in a time in our lives when we were not very close to Him, nor living in a way that we were seeking Him or serving Him in any way.  Being a new high school grad, barely 18, with plans to go away to Providence College...my "choice" to follow through with a surprise pregnancy could have gone in a very different path.  I know that it was God's intervention that helped us not to make, what could have been, the worst mistake of our lives.

We were ashamed and scared.  Would it have been easy to try and make it all go away?  Yes...and no.  While abortion may take away a "problem", it leaves emotional scars in its wake that women carry with them for the rest of their lives.

One day, several years ago, I shared my story of being newly pregnant, afraid and ashamed, and how we looked at the options we had thought through at the time, with a small group of women that met for coffee after Mass once a week.  I shared how we turned away from making a terrible mistake.  And how, years later, Jay and I both had separate spiritual experiences where God revealed to each of us that St. Michael had intervened to keep us from making that terrible mistake.

There is no coincidence that we had named our son, Michael.

One of the woman started to cry and said, "St. Michael didn't save my baby."  She shared her story that, as a young woman in college, she had found herself pregnant.  She and her boyfriend had panicked and, out of fear, chose to end the pregnancy.  She married that man a year or two later and had a daughter and a son.  But she carried the guilt for aborting her first child for 16 years, never telling anyone.

That day, we embraced her and loved her.  She went to Confession that day, and the guilt and the sadness that she carried all those years was gone.  The joy and the relief on her face was just amazing!  She even spoke about her feelings to her husband for the first time that day over what they had done and now, that first baby, though not with them, is a part of their lives.

I cannot tell you what an incredibly moving experience it was to be a part of that!

Surprise pregnancies are not easy.  Our choice was not easy.  It changed the course of our lives forever.

But, by the grace of God, our choice was life.  
The life you see right here!

And I am grateful for that every day!

God has brought so much good out of our "mistake"!