Friday, May 7, 2010

Precious Child

O My Soul:

It happened in High School study hall.

She leaned over and whispered, "guess what?"

Without missing a beat, I answered, "your pregnant." And you know what? I was right! I know! I was so hoping to be wrong but I had had this awful feeling in my gut for a few weeks not to mention that she was my girlfriend so I knew this was all in the realm of possibility.

I drove her home from school and we talked a bit. Then I went home.

My Roman Catholic mom had just tied a ribbon around the front yard maple tree. It was in remembrance of all the abortions since the Roe v Wade supreme court decision. She was also helping the Right to Life in our county by manning their crisis hot-line on Friday nights. (my girlfriend called that night but she didn't know she was talking to my mom and my mom didn't know it was my girlfriend.)

The abortion was my brilliant idea. I was scared to my core. It was the same kind of fear I wrote about in My Childhood Introduction to PTSD Part 2 post, but this was much worse. My dad didn't do it. My mom didn't do. My little brother did cause this mess. This pain was all me. Not only did I want to deny my 6th commandment sin like King David did, but I was also fully aware that I committing the 5th commandment sin of murder in the eyes of God. David's account is recorded in 2 Samuel 11.

My parents, at their worst behavior, never even hinted at my physical harm.

I was scared. I had many reasons to do what I did but at the core of it I was scared like I was never scared before. When I was younger I was easily excitable. But was magnitudes beyond an excitable personality. I can now see I had a bad case of depression that lasted throughout most of college. I had a low view of myself. No zest for learning. I excused any poor grades. My sin morphed into mental illness (self-diagnosed some twenty years later). However, toward the end of college I was doing much, much better. I was becoming excited about life for the first time in a long time.

I was catechized into the Lutheran church with Martin Luther's Small Catechism and read the Augsburg Confession. Sweet, sweet Gospel.

I was fine for quite awhile until around my 10 year High School reunion. Many memories returned. The pain. The fear. I was recently married but this was not cold feet, this was the deep accusation of murder and that I didn't deserve a family. I had also learned, about that time, that women will experience something like Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome about 7 years after an abortion. I was experiencing something similar and yet different. I was the aggressor in the abortion. I did not pray for the child or for his mother either.

So, I met with my pastor and received counsel from him about the abortion. I received private confession. He led me through a service ... a funeral service. He was fully vested. I wore a suit. I cried for the first time.

I also went to my High School reunion and had a good talk with and reconciled with my old girlfriend. She was happily married and had two children.

Why did I write this post now? I have been thinking a lot about my childhood lately. Especially the soul shaping events (and yes mostly the bad ones - but I have many good ones as well). But my reason has more to do with the calendar.

The abortion took place on May 8, 1985. My child would be about 24 years old. This is the time of year when I grieve.

Shortly after the abortion, I wrote a poem. I never wrote it down and I have forgotten most of it except this line:

Precious child, do not cry, your life was not of dreams.

Twenty five years later I still remember you. The pain seems to increase over the years. The pain reminds me of my need for a Savior. For that I'm thankful.

Thanks be to God that He sent Christ to atone for my sins. He is a gracious and merciful Savior at that. Sometimes the darkness is great but He who is the Light of the world is greater. I am forgiven in the midst of this burden. Again, thanks be to God.

Most recently, I read this blog post from Pastor Matt Harrison entitled Comfort to Women Who Have Had a Miscarriage. I entrust it to you for your reading.

And to you gentle readers:

I urge you to hope in Christ &
God bless you always.


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