IN HONOR OF THE MARCH FOR LIFE TODAY, JANUARY 27th, I am reposting this.
Thirty three years ago, President Ronald Reagan designated January 22, 1984 as National Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.
Forty one years ago I was in bed, by doctors’ orders waiting for the birth of my child. Alone, scared, in poverty. Abortion had just become legal. Why in the world would I not go ahead and abort? I had just recently become a Christian and most certainly it would have been easier in that respect, right? I would not have to try to explain how I’m now a Christian, but also now pregnant and unmarried….to a small Missouri town.
I was entering my senior year of high school….the complications of a child would definitely affect that as well. And an abortion could have secretly taken me out of the horrific shame I was about to endure. Or so I thought.
As a new Christian, my faith was fragile. However, I knew I could not take the life of my child. I began praying that God would give me a father for my child. I told God I didn’t care if he loved me or not, as long as he loved my child and would help me raise him in Christ. I imagine God was smiling, thinking, “I think I can one up you on that.”
As the months went by, I got larger and larger, and the shame grew with my body. I wanted to finish high school, but every day I walked in the school, I fought back the tears because I knew I would endure the stares and the whispers.
My parents had recently divorced, my dad had disowned me over the situation, and my mother was trying to eek out a living for us as a retail clerk. But I continued to pray.
January came and I began bleeding so the doctor ordered me to bed. On a cold morning in February the pains began and Dustin was born shortly before noon. He was perfect, all 9 pounds and 3 ounces. Now I was even more scared. I actually had a child I could see, for whom I was responsible!
Somehow, only by God’s power, I finished high school. That was such a miracle, as 2 months after Dustin was born, he was hospitalized for a week and nearly died. And again at 6 months!
I continued to pray for a daddy for him, but I was in a small town, with a bad reputation. I knew I had to move. I also knew I would probably never be in ministry, which was my original dream when I became a Christian.
Through God’s provision I got a job in Joplin, Missouri with a Christian street counseling ministry called His Place. I was a secretary to the director. But honestly, I think it was more of a charity case situation that he put me on payroll.
There was a His Place counseling center in Joplin on Main Street. Once in a while, in the evening, I would go down there and I met some wonderful Christian people who worked there.
I met Tom, and it was love at first sight….between him and Dustin, who was now one year old. Tom was a student at Ozark Bible College (now Ozark Christian College), and he was just as poor as I was. But eventually, we became an item and somehow knew God would take care of us. I was living in a tiny little house on Jackson street in Joplin, making $65 a week and paying that much in rent. Those were the days!
I soon knew that God had brought us together and Tom loved, protected, played with and disciplined Dustin in every way. He would bring over sack lunches from the college on weekends, so we didn’t have to buy food, as there was very little money. He sold pop bottles to buy milk for Dustin. He taught Dustin about God. But he also seemed to love me. This was confusing to me. My dad had disowned me, guys had used me, but this man…he loved me. He loved both of us.
So, we got married. It just seemed natural to make ourselves a family. We knew we wanted to have another baby soon, so there wouldn’t be a huge age difference, so 3 months later we announced another child on the way. Jed was born in Hawaii a week before our first anniversary. Tom had wanted to go into the ministry and we had moved there soon after we were married. He served a church on the North Shore. He lovingly adopted Dustin there also.
I would be lying if I said that this has all been easy. There have been many tough times. There have been seasons of desperation and doubt. Life was rough in those first few years especially, but God fulfilled my hopes and dreams of a father, husband and even now…nine grandchildren. Oh yes, I always have to add….we simply don’t get to see them enough and that is another rough season.
But we have always trusted God and He has always cared for us. There are days we lean in hard on Him. We know our Savior, Jesus, has taken it all for us. And we will continue to trust.
Only God could receive the glory for taking a little girl, a baby and a hopeless situation and infusing hope, redeeming it. His hope, His future, His plans. Funny, there are days my faith is still fragile, and especially during those times, I go to Him. God, the Creator of life, Who gives life, still loves me and continues to work in my life. He takes hopeless situations and gives them hope.