Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Faith: Found and Kept (part 2)

(This post is second in my "Faith: Found and Kept" series.  "Faith: Found and Kept" can be found here.)

During college, I, like most young adults, was in the midst of discerning my beliefs and values.  It's a time, for many, of trial by fire.  Or at least trial by error.  I knew I was pro-life.  I knew I was for helping the hungry and homeless.  I knew I supported my friends going on mission trips to dig wells in Nicaragua (though I never went -- I wish I had).  I knew I was opposed to political regimes imprisoning people under false pretenses, especially innocent people. And I knew I was for people getting the health care they needed to live their lives to the fullest, despite their socioeconomic status.  So I was happy to be part of a community that so actively supported events that raised money and awareness to remedy these problems.  Well, most of them.

Image: maya picture /
When I became pregnant with my first child, "pro-life" became more than a label.  It became very real to me.  How any woman who has carried a child in her womb can deny that a fetus is a baby is a human being -- well, it's beyond me.  Something clicked for me.  Part of it was no doubt the effect of the tickle of tiny feet from within my skin.  But part of it, I think, was that I didn't feel ready.  Yes, I was married and wanted to be a mom, but the truth was, motherhood came sooner than we had planned.  We were caught off-guard.  We were not on financially stable ground yet.  We were not prepared.  And this lead me to empathize with those women in tough spots, who "choose" abortion because they are afraid and unprepared.  I was blessed with a loving husband and a strong support system.  I knew I was among the fortunate.  And so, while I gained a greater realization for the depth of the desperation a woman might feel, I also gained a more solid grasp on what a precious and magnificent gift a child is, and how amazing it is to be part of a miracle.  I knew wanted to help save these lives, both those of the children in the womb, and those of the mothers who were considering making the worst choice of their lives.

As the pro-life cause grew into a passion within me, I came to search for ways to get involved through my church.  But the most I could find was an annual tithe to a local Crisis Pregnancy Center.  There were no groups from our church who went to any of the pro-life marches (though groups went to protest the School of the Americas).  There were no drives to supply the local CPC (though there were regular collections of toiletries for AIDS patients and their families).  There were no Natural Family Planning teachers or support contacts (though there were always letters to write on the behalf of political prisoners).  And there were no speakers who would come speak out about the Sanctity of Life, though about once a year someone would come speak about health care for the poor.

I took this as a call to be the seed and to invite others to join ME in praying at the abortion sites and writing our legislators, in collecting funds for CPCs and goods for moms in tight spots.

No one took me up on my invitation to join me at the 40 Days for Life vigil.  But that year in 2008, there was a full house at the church hosted information session about health care reform.  I was there.  But at that point, it was in hope that my growing suspicions had been wrong.  I was hoping with a lonely ache that the church I had grown to love was not pro-choice.

To be continued...

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