Friday, May 20, 2011

Life and the Joys in the Darkness

I am pro-life. I have been ever since I understood what it really meant. And I am pro-life no matter what.

I think we under-sell life. I know that we live it with callousness, unless we are flayed open somehow to really take in its miracle.

Last night, two friends posted some thoughts on Facebook, in seemingly unrelated stories.

The first posted that "Walking in the woods makes me wonder if it were not for the pain in my life making a contrast, I may of never grown eyes to see the smallest bits of glory all around me." I responded in kind, " You can't appreciate light without the shadows...I've certainly found it to be true..." I'm sure I read something like that somewhere and I'd like to give credit, but I cannot find it.

Then a second dear friend posted a link with her heart full: "Sharing this is an attempt to remove some of the clutter from my brain. I saw this article today and it broke my heart on so many levels.

Four years ago we faced a similar situation. We knew our son could be born with heart defects, seizure disorders, low muscle tone, eating difficulties, hearing loss and/or other medical complications. We knew we could have an infant for life and yet we chose differently." And then she linked THIS ARTICLE.

I cried. And cried. And mulled and mulled. Last night after reading the above article, I remembered THIS ARTICLE and sat and thought about the choices and the final consequences. On one hand, even though the mother defends her choice, you can hear her heart breaking. Whereas in the Devinck article, he celebrates and treasures the memories of his brother.

I posted a similar thought awhile back...and since that time, the family I spoke of has had that baby girl...and she is, in fact, rocking the bonus chromosome. And you want to know what? She is adored, loved deeply, celebrated, and she is already touching their lives richly.

I have been faced with the dilemma of life or abortion, and I was able to make the right choice. I chose, backed not with "lofty ideals", but with a knowledge that God doesn't mess up, he blesses. I am not sitting in ugly judgement of those who have chosen abortion, but in sadness at the deep pain that stays with them.

Do I wish that Elise's life was easier? Yes. Do I wish that my life was easier? Yes. Would I trade in the life that we have lived for an easy one? No.

In having Elise, living with the Down Syndrome, the Cardiac Failure, the myriad surgeries, the cancer and chemo, the sensory "freakiness", the ADHD, the impulsiveness, the stress, the worry, the "complications"...I have gotten to see the joy, the blessings, the beauty, and the peace in life. I have gotten to see people reach beyond themselves to give. I have gotten to see the magnitude of miraculous answered prayer. I have seen God say no. I have gotten to appreciate His wisdom. I have gotten a glimpse at the "Much-ness" of God, Himself.

So, I believe that the idea of having kids that are not "perfect" actually
underscores the truth in the first quote. In the darkness of not "a perfectly healthy baby", I have seen the blinding brightness of His Light. I treasure the stars that sparkle in the darkness. I am thankful for life.


  1. I'm glad you posted the second article. After the hot tears of anger and pain the first one gave me, I needed the refreshing tears of hope and joy that came as Oliver's mother pictured a one day meeting in Heaven.
    I heard the mother's heart break as she saw to the death of her child. You could hear that deep down she knew it was wrong and let others convince her otherwise. But then, her tone changed. She hooked up with this support group and they told her she had done the best thing for her child. In short, they lied until she felt courageous.
    I know too much to buy into that. I have seen too many doctors be wrong about prenatal assesments. I have been blessed by too many people living with birth defects. And, lets not forget the real reason I am so deeply troubled by this, I was once a baby with a birth defect and I dare anyone to tell me that the battles I fought made my life not worth living.

  2. You are a pillar of strength and beauty. I am blessed to have witnessed your journey in writing and can only imagine the light you shed to all around you in your daily walk. I am so blessed by your testimony of value of life not based on what each can offer society but by the value that the Lord places on each one of His creations! Thank you for inspiring me as a mother, as a woman, and sister in Christ. I am blessed by you!

  3. Great post and wow! Painful. I have a question for people who use the "walk a mile in her shoes" quote: Is it a mile when you stop and sit down after 2 steps? The full mile is referring to actually living with it. Their mile is cut short by abortion - our mile is living with a child with a disability. It is a matter of definition I guess. I have to keep thinking about this.