Last month I attended a girl’s lunch hosted by The Busy Budgeting Mama for local Charlotte moms and mom-bloggers. It was such a blessing to connect and fellowship with other Christian moms from my new hometown.
But I think the real reason I felt compelled to attend this mom gathering was because God wanted me to meet Rachel. She blogs at Being Made Beautiful, and I hope you add her to your Bloglovin feed because you won’t regret it.
Rachel is a mom in the trenches of motherhood, if there ever was such a mama. She’s given birth to five beautiful children in 6 1/2 years, including a son who has Down Syndrome. Rachel is a pastor’s wife, an adventure-seeker, and one of my favorite people to follow on Instagram (she always has encouragement and beauty to share).
Rachel reminds me so much of my own Mom. Not long ago my Mom was a pastor’s wife and mother to five close-in-age little children. My Dad and Rachel’s husband attended the same Evangelical seminary that led them both into ministry in the PCA (Presbyterian Church in America) denomination. (My Dad was a PCA pastor and church planter for over a decade before his conversion to Catholicism.)
And just as my Mom’s example has given me courage to be open to life and to live with reckless abandon to God’s providence, even when I feel scared by the everyday craziness of life with lots of little ones…Rachel’s life and her blog give me a similar courage and perspective on life.
Last week she wrote a blog post that I want all of my readers to read. It’s so important. And so good. Thank you, Rachel, for writing this post, and for allowing me to share it here today.
* Photo taken by Mandy of House of Rose
“I don’t feel like a bad person. I don’t feel sad. I feel in awe of the fact that I can make a baby. I can make a life,” Letts says at the end of the video. “I knew what I was going to do was right, because it was right for me, and no one else.”-Emily Letts
I know a huge reason that many Mommy bloggers do not speak about the topic of abortion is because the intense pain it causes some who have had an abortion in the past. After all, one in three women in the US has had an abortion. That is a lot of women carrying the weight of this choice. It is those women for whom I actually feel compelled to write, instead of remaining silent. If these women are hurting because of an abortion from their past don’t we need to be talking about it in a loving, grace filled, forgiving manner in order to help prevent other women from taking the same path of pain and regret?
Mother’s are the ones who need to speak to other women because we are the ones who can paint a truthful future for these mothers questioning having an abortion. We all have stories of the circumstances of how we got pregnant, some prettier than others. We need to hear from these Mothers that their children are worth it. We need to hear from the single Mom that is struggling to make ends meet, that it was worth it. We need to hear from the super career mom that works sixty hours a week that it was worth it. We need to hear from the teenager whose whole life was turned upside down that it was worth it. We need to hear from the Mom with severe health problems that it was worth it. We need to hear from the Mom who bravely gave her child to another woman who longed to be a Mother that it was worth it. We need to hear from the Mother of four already young children, one with special needs that it was worth it. That one, that is my story to tell…
The night I took my pregnancy test revealing that I was pregnant with my fifth child was not a joyous night. My husband was putting our boys to bed and I went into the bathroom to confirm my suspicions. I did not have to wait long for the positive sign to show up and when it did my heart sank. I felt sick to my stomach, not excited and happy like you should be. I felt overwhelmed and regretful. Dave came into the bedroom and saw my face and knew immediately that we were pregnant. He asked when the due date was and it was right in the middle of his final exams and semester of seminary. He was not thrilled either. It was not what I wanted, we were facing a move in a year or less, a new job for my husband, I already felt very incapable to care for my current four children. I had three in diapers or pull ups at the time. I was feeling constantly behind with my son with special need’s therapy homework and feeling like a failure when it came to raising him. I was having to run the house the majority of the time on my own with my husband working and going to school. The idea of trying to sell a house with a new born was terrible. I just honestly did not want this baby. Over the next few weeks we chose not to tell anyone, I didn’t want anyone to judge us for having another kid while we were poor. We were receiving help to stay afloat through a number of sources. I thought people would think we were crazy.
My husband would call me from work and ask how I was feeling, if I was anymore excited and the answer for weeks was no. I was not giddy, excited or anticipatory, I was honestly depressed. When we finally told our family and friends we tried to put on a happy face but inside I was still not happy. The truth came out talking to my big sister on the phone. I said, “Natalie I can really see for the first time why woman have abortions. If my convictions weren’t so strong that all life is valuable I would have been seriously tempted.” Writing those words now sting deeply and bring tears to my eyes because I so regretted the conception of my child. At the time I began to pray more and more and asked others close to me to pray for my heart and slowly it began to change. I would see a friend snuggling and nursing her new born or I would have a sweet moment with one of my other children and realize that I was going to get to have that again with another little human soul. I began to embrace the hardship that would come with an “inconvenient” due date. I read and meditated on scriptures that spoke truth to me about the child I was bearing until love started to grow. I began to be excited and no longer ashamed. Slowly over a few weeks, love took root in my heart for this child. I began to to see that this baby was worth it.
The product of that love was born on May 11, 2013, it was not easy, but it was right. You see because right is not found within ourselves like Emily Letts seems to think. “Right” does not change with our feelings or circumstances. Right is always right, right is the same for all people. Right is life. I think what was so hard for me to hear from Emily is that she realized that she had created life, that she had created a baby but that because she felt it was right for her she could end its life. This was not a woman who believed that her fetus was just a ball of cells, she claimed to be in awe of the child she created. Oh Emily, you do not know what awe is. Awe is seeing your baby take his first beautiful breath of air and cry out for the first time as you push her out of your body. Awe is when you hear his little voice call you Mama for the first time. Awe is when pack her lunch crying over her PB&J for the first day for school. Awe is when he scores the tie breaker goal and is the team hero. Awe is when you help her pin on her prom corsage. Awe is when you help him pick out a diamond for his bride. Emily life is what is awe striking not taking life away.
Over the last few weeks I have learned of Mothers and Fathers that have had to let their children go from this life, two precious boys caught up in a tornado, a young newly engaged man killed in a car accident, a little red headed toddler struck by a truck and a baby born only to live a few minutes because his genetics did not let him survive. It pains me even more to think about dear Emily when I think about the Mothers of these children because oh how they wish and pray to have their children back in their arms, they understood the true awe of making a baby, of making a life. This is why we, as mothers have to be the ones to speak about abortion. We have to be the ones who try to help them see that it is worth it. That they are worth it.
P.S. from Steph:
Please do share Rachel’s words with others who need to hear it. And be sure to go read my favorite Rachel post over at her blog. It’s called: “Being Pro-Life is Hard“