Have you ever gone to a routine Dr appointment where you expected to be given a clean bill of heath, but instead, your Dr sits you down to give you news that completely changes everything? Yeah, me either. But for a woman I know, that is exactly what happened. Pretty early in her pregnancy, she went in for a routine OBGYN visit, only to be told that not only did her baby have a serious deformity, but that it was serious enough where her life would be very long and very difficult if she chose to continue with her pregnancy.
I am sure the Dr spoke in gentle and calming tones, and I'm sure he offered her the proper support and went over her options with her thoroughly, but I doubt any of that did anything to calm her terror and her grief. It is one thing to know your child is sick. It is another to know that they will never get better. But that was the reality she was forced to face. If her baby lived, it would spend its entire life in and out of hospitals and rehab centers, getting surgery after surgery, chasing a quality of life that it would never know.
An impossible reality.
I have been thinking about her story a lot lately. I can't help but think that most of the people reading this blog do not find her situation as impossible as I do. I imagine that for most of you, hearing that news would have been the exact moment that you decided to end my life.
I am sure that this doesn't come as a huge spoiler to you, but she made a different decision than most of the women in our generation would have. Instead of choosing herself, she chose me. She made the decision that, no matter how difficult I made her life, she would love me and fight for me. And after fasting and prayer and the miraculous intervention of God, I was born significantly healthier than expected. And the few problems I had resolved themselves within my first year of life.
I remember sitting in the Dr's office with my own wife, nearly 25 years later, asking myself how difficult it would be to care for the baby I was supposed to be. I remember wondering, "What if my baby is seriously deformed? What if, even though God healed me, my children catch whatever gene's almost went wrong in me. What if my child is mentally disabled or impaired physically in some way?"
It feels wrong to even think about as a Christian, but we do. Don't lie to yourself. We wonder how hard it would be. We wonder weather we can handle the responsibility and the weight of spending the rest of our lives caring for someone who will never be able to care for themselves. We know that others have done it, and that they rarely regret it... but its still terrifying! I won't pretend it isn't... and yet... I would have made the exact same decision she made. Without question. Without hesitation. Without regret.
Normally I would not post something like this, because I dont really see a point in Christians adding their voice to political fights.... but abortion is not just a political fight. 29 years ago, a Dr suggested to my mother that it would be in her best interest to not allow me to live. Considering the facts at the time... was he wrong? No. Not really. It would have been in her best interest to not have a baby that would require expensive and time consuming treatment for the rest of her life. It would have saved her money, time, stress and relationships. He wasn't wrong... but I am so grateful that my mother let me live.
Really consider that last sentence. We live in an age where I have to honestly say that I am grateful that my mother let me live. Do you see how terrifying that is? That our society has literally taught the women of our generation that their lives are worth more than not only their children, but all of the lives they will impact if they live?
I think about the dozens of men and women of God I have raised to walk intimately with God. Would they have gotten there if she had chosen herself? I think about the hundreds of young people I have taught in small groups, discipleship groups and during my time as a youth leader. Would their love for Jesus exist if she had chosen herself? I think about the thousands of people whose entire lives have changed because of the books I have written and the worship I have demonstrated. Would they be who they are if she had chosen herself.... and I think about my children. Young women who are destined to do great things for Jesus... destinies that would be completely lost if she had chosen herself.
Was the Dr wrong in suggesting that it was in her best interest to choose herself? No. But he was absolutely wrong in believing that she had the right to.
This is not just about you. Will your life be better if you don't become a mother? Maybe. I can't answer that question for you. But will the world be better? I don't know about you, but I think that is something we should consider.