We Are Slaves No More — Part 1

“I’m pregnant.” These words provoke either sheer delight or absolute terror. Sometimes a mix of both. They are words that have caused me to weep before the Lord in recent days. As I prepare for Undaunted and seek God’s face on His opinion of women, my heart has become more and more — what’s the word? — disturbed, burdened, awakened, even explosive with the call that we, as women, must rise up to defend our image of God. We must raise the bar on ourselves so that our daughters and sons might have better role models. Fasten your seat belt, this could get uncomfortable.

I could, and will, talk about the social blight of male promiscuity. I could, and will, talk about the responsibility of men to be protectors and providers instead of predators.

But today, I want to ask you, just how willing are you, as a woman, to protect and defend yourself, your fellow sisters, and the next generation? I see three topics where we are so politically-charged and biblically off-base that women have become more oppressive to women than the men.

Topic One:  Let’s talk about abortion. Some prominent female authors I greatly admire speak of God and the beauty of women and yet they promote and campaign for women to have the “right” to their own body. I understand this completely.

It is the woman who is “trapped” by a baby. The woman whose body must “suffer” the contortion of physical changes in pregnancy. It is a woman who must “sacrifice” her dreams and goals because she has been “caught” in the act. It is the woman who often lives in poverty trying to care for children in single parent homes.  We have to do something to “empower women globally” is the cry of pro-choicers.


However, instead of empowering women, have we have created generations of cowards? We have so lost our identity in God, so lost our personal responsibility to “above all else guard [our] heart” that we have actually fueled a hellish deception that women are victims and shouldn’t be penalized by sex.

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Life or Death

On my Facebook page  I posted a video link of Gianna Jensen. She has an amazing story of surviving an abortion. Literally. She is an aborted baby that survived.

What I love is her boldness. I love her willingness to pull back the curtain of denial and political ambiguity and let us see the real issue: the strong killing the weak. Of course I know this is a loaded gun. But I have myself walked through the abortion clinic doors. I, too, am a survivor, but my child is not. So I am not at all willing to look the other way about this life and death issue.

What about deformities?
What about rape?
What about the mother’s needs?

What about them? If you were the innocent, helpless baby in the womb, you would be praying that someone, somewhere would come up with another solution than your death.

There are always, always, always options.

Abortion is our issue. It’s not out there. Or “their decision.”  When unborn babies have no value, then what guarantees your value?  And a culture that embraces death only begets more death.

The death of Christ is the only death that ever brought forth new life. Every child sacrificed in clinics today is a kind of death in the parents, in their community and ultimately in our country.
Is the blood of Christ strong enough to wash away this sin?

Thank God, yes it is.

But we don’t sit idly or comfortably or neutrally by and do nothing. You have a voice. Use it for life.

When Life and Death Collide

Within a week there have been two infant deaths in my world. One unsaved woman delivered a still born at eight months. Another woman, a strong believer, was carrying triplets, and one baby died. In the process, all three babies were delivered by C-section. The two surviving babies are in critical condition.

And often the first question is, “How could something like this happen?”  More piercing questions sound like, “How could GOD let something like this happen?”

Really gut-wrenching, honest questions sound like, “How can this be good in any way?”

If we are not careful, these are the horrible moments when we throw around spiritual band-aids because we don’t know what to say:

“At least you have another child.”
“At least you didn’t have to fill-in-the-blank…”
“God must be teaching you something…”
“God works all things together…”

If we are not careful, because we are so uncomfortable with pain, agony, and despair, we will make all manner of attempts to fix, tidy, gloss over, and cover the gaping hole in those broken hearts.

And if we are not careful, we will miss the aroma of Christ. I told my friend who is truly broken-hearted over our friend’s loss, “God is good, and He is here.” He is right here. In the middle of this mystery. And misery. He knows exactly how it feels to lose a child.

The Bible says to mourn with those who mourn. And to trust that God is doing the same.  I remember delivering Judah when we found out he had died at 16 weeks. He was so small, he fit in our hand. To some it seemed odd because he was so little. But he was our son, is our son.

Sure we got a gamut of responses — the gossip, the “glad it didn’t happen to me”, the “you can always have another baby”, even the God comments that cut like knives rather than soothe like a balm. But the sweetest gifts I received during that time were friends and family who would simply weep with us. That’s all. It hurt and that was okay.

The help and healing came from those who had nothing to offer but their tears. These precious few didn’t come to my bedside needing me to make them feel better, needing me to explain anything or defend God. They just came to journey with me and pray for me, when I was too weak to pray myself.  My friend Nan says, “When you grieve together the love goes deeper still.”

Oddly enough, yesterday, the same day we heard about the death of the triplet, my sweet friend Amanda gave birth to her baby boy. And so we live. Life and death side by side. And somehow we are comforted because we stake our whole existence on one belief: God is good and He is here.

The Seasons of Loss

God is teaching me a lot about loss right now. Right here at Christmas, when the focus is on getting — getting gifts, getting decorations up, getting together with loved ones — I am living through different kinds of loss. Charis losing her front tooth. Losing my time. Losing a dog. Tucked into each of these losses are good lessons, but they are bittersweet.

Charis is now officially without two front teeth. I must be getting sentimental in my old age, but it marked more than being able to sing the “All I want for Christmas” song. She is growing up. The baby of her is almost gone. I looked at her and thought, “Childhood is passing so quickly.” And there is a spiritual picture in losing teeth — moving away from baby things to maturity, from temporary to permanent, from milk to solid foods. I am forced to ask: Am I investing in the days I have with her? I found myself praying, “Lord, help me to relish the moments. Help me to savor her as she lets go of childlike things, and to not miss these vanishing days.”

Birthdays, though wonderful, are a kind of loss to me. They mark a passage of time. I always do an evaluation of where my life is to date. What am I doing with my time? Am I moving forward in my life goals and dreams? Have I allowed another year to be sucked away by distractions and excuses? Now more than ever, I am seeing that my time is a gift. My energy and health are gifts. But they are like seeds that can only be sown in certain seasons. I don’t want to lose the seeds to neglect.

We had to put Pearl, our Great Dane, down. She was nine years old, which is old age for these gentle giants. But age didn’t ease the how, why, and when questions, the second-guessing, the wishful thinking. When your dog weighs 150+ lbs, your options are very limited. But her frailty didn’t lessen the bitter decision.  Finally, one day when Salem and I were both trying to lift Pearl up to help her outside and failing miserably, Charis’ voice hit home. “Mom, it’s just time. It’s time to put her down,” she said quietly. Just like that, I realized that my avoiding the moment wouldn’t stop the moment. The loss was inescapable.

We all went together as a family, by choice. We cried and prayed before we took her to the vet. We thanked the Lord for the years, for the great dog that she was. And again Charis’ voice cut through the fog. “Lord, it is just time to let Pearl go. Help us let her go. We love her. And we let her go back to You. Amen.”

The peace that transcends understanding flooded into my weeping heart. After it was over — the vet, the tears, Pearl’s last breaths escaping her body — I asked the Lord to show me the sweet of this bitter moment. And the sweet was in the weeping. We all came home and lay on our bed together and wept. It was the realness of the loss, the realness of the emotion, the realness of death that we needed to experience and be comforted in.

What makes gain so real, so beautiful, is when it laid up against loss. My heart knows joy better when it has known grief. A hungry belly appreciates a meal more than a well fed one. A father letting his son go off to war knows better than anyone the joy of his son’s return. Let God soften and comfort your heart in losses. He is an ever-present help in time of need.

Death Begets Death

Normally, we try to look at one real question on Wednesdays. Today, I’m not answering just one question. I’m answering ten! I know this is a loaded topic…BUT one worth talking about since it affects 1 out of 5 women. I was approached by a high school student with these questions and thought I would share my answers.

1. Do you believe abortion is morally correct?

2. In what circumstances do you believe abortion is socially acceptable?

3. In your opinion, is the third trimester too late to perform an abortion?

4. Do you believe abortion can cause depression or mental side effects?
Absolutely. In addition, it can cause nightmares, rage attacks, self-hatred leading to eating disorders, cutting, addictions to drugs and alcohol. Anything to numb the pain. It also causes long- lasting trauma to relationships, something people rarely discuss. This breach in conscience prevents future trusting relationships, especially with men.

5. What do you believe causes the women to have abortion as an option?
Fear. Fear of being alone, of being stuck with baby, of being “fat”, of being found out, of losing their life, of being a bad mother.

6. As an estimate, how many people do you know who have had an abortion?
I know personally 20+ but have counseled more than a 100 women.

7. Under the circumstances, what age is most common related to abortions?
17-25 is my guess.  Middle school girls think having a baby is “cool” and often decide to parent rather than release for adoption. Most occur around end of high school or in college when a woman feels like “she has her whole life ahead of her.”  Funny that the mother’s life has greater value than the life of her unborn baby.

8. Do you believe that the male has a substantial part in the decision process of an abortion?
Ahhhh, tough question. Yes, I do morally now. But when faced with that, I moved forward regardless of his decision.

9. Do you believe that the parents of the female play an important role in the decision process of abortion?
Many many abortions happen with the push of over active parents. They are more concerned with reputation than the value of life and the value of hardship in character building for their child. And many girls also have abortions out of fear of their parents finding out. They are trying to hide the evidence, as it were.

10. Can previous abortions cause emotional problems in future relationships and the start of a family?
I mentioned this but absolutely… Many women I have counseled with “withheld” this secret for fear of rejection from their husbands. So they are grieving in silence. It causes sexual disconnect and all kinds of trauma around having children in the future. “I killed one baby how can I welcome this one,” is the mentality.

Also there is a HUGE medical issue of damage done during the procedure where STDs are spread, damage to the cervix and tearing of the uterus.  Abortion is one of the riskiest medical procedures ever and it has NO medical oversight or accountability.  It absolutely affects the ability to bear children in the future.

A few more comments if I may?
I had an abortion at the age of 18. It was one of the most painful things I had ever lived through, physically, emotional and spiritually.  No one ever told me the truth about any of those things prior to the procedure. But more information is not the answer necessarily.  At that time, we made sure it was never called a baby, so when I found that out, I was doubly horrified. Today, we know it is a baby and call it a baby, but we so undervalue the intrinsic worth of a human being, it causes perhaps more harm. Mom has no value so baby has no value. And so even after abortion, mom continues to suffer from lack of value and worth which often leads to more sex, dirtier partners, more pregnancies, more abortions, etc.

I debated a woman from Planned Parenthood once and challenged her point that she was “empowering women.”  Empowering women is not accomplished by killing women and men, even if they are in fetus stage. Empowering women is to teach them about actions and consequences; sex leads to babies. But also about the overwhelming energy given to a woman when she is taught how to harness her passions and focus them on good and long-term results.  Parenting and adoption is incredibly hard. But they are choices that lead to life and hope and possibilty.

Abortion is quick and final. No life, no hope, no possibility.

Healing is my final point. I know many women who have tried many things to wash away the guilt of the blood on their hands. It has been my experience that only the blood of Jesus has the power to do that. I am not a church lady. But my life was radically transformed when I realized that even though I was a murderer, God still loved me.  It was a long arduous road to recover my heart, but one I am thankful for beyond measure.