Hope for Tomorrow

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What are You Doing Today?

What if each of us did just one thing each day for the cause of life?  Today, I am writing this blog.  Yesterday, I went to a Missouri Right to Life meeting.  Saturday, I went to a Missouri Right to Life planning meeting.  I try to remember to pray daily for the cause, but often forget.  But that's just me.  What have you done today?  How about yesterday?  What are you doing on a daily basis for the cause of the least among us?

Maybe a more important question is what CAN you do?  Many of us may feel like it's a hopeless cause.  Maybe you feel like the government is never going to change or that it's not even your place.  Maybe you feel like this is just another sign of the times.

At the planning/information meeting over the weekend, the MRL president shared a story that really touched my heart.  It went something like this...

There once was a man who lived on a piece of land.  On this land, there was a huge rock.  This rock was a thorn in his side.  He asked God what to do with it and God told him to push it.  So he went out the next morning and pushed.  It didn't move an inch (he didn't think it would), so he went about his day.  The next morning, he tried again.  Again, it didn't move.  He went the rest of the week, then another week, then the month, then for years, every morning, pushing the rock.  When the day came that the man grew old and died, he asked God, "Lord, why did the rock never move?  I didn't like it.  You told me to push it and I did.  Why didn't it move?"  God told the man, "I didn't ask you to move the rock.  I just asked you to push it."

This may be exactly what God is asking of us.  We hope not. We hope and pray that the rock does move, but until then, we need to be diligently pushing every day.

So what have you done today to push the rock?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Good Reasons for Abortion? (You'll need a Kleenex for this one!)

Is there a good reason for abortion?  A woman has been raped.  The parents can't financially support the baby.  The baby will have defects.  The mother is going to die anyway.  These are all considered "good" reasons by many in the pro-choice world.  This story addresses one of those reasons.  It is an incredible story.  Grab a kleenex and get ready for your heart to be touched by this story of a young woman's choice of life.  

When I was 15 years old I was very much in love with my boyfriend (now my husband…and we’re still very much in love!), and as teenagers who are not pure and have little faith sometimes do, we were having sex unprotected without a care of what may happen. I begged my mom to put me on birth control, but she just said, "You are too young for birth control".  I was not raised to love and fear the Lord.  I didn’t understand why she thought I was too young for sex when her actions said the complete opposite.  I was exposed to pornography, adult movies, allowed to date whoever I wanted, go where I wanted without supervision, and so on.

So as you may have guessed, my husband and I were having a good ole time in spite of anything my mom said!  About six months or so after we started having sex, I missed my period.  I waited a couple of months to buy a pregnancy test just thinking my cycle was off.  I thought, “I'm not pregnant, I'm only 15”.  For a while, my husband was the only one who knew that I had missed my period, and was probably pregnant, but he was in denial too.

I was very rebellious at this age.  I went and got my belly button pierced even though I knew I was probably pregnant.  I rode on roller coasters.  I had no idea of the dangers of being pregnant and doing those things.  I finally confided in a good friend, and she took me to buy a pregnancy test.  It was one of those "three in one" deals. I took the first one.  Positive.  I think my heart probably throbbed the hardest it ever had when I saw that!  I took the other two tests.  Positive.  Positive.  I called my husband crying and very scared.  He told me it would be alright.  He said everything would work out.  It was our secret for a while.  Then I started getting bigger.

My parents had never really talked to me about these things, so I had no idea I should have been getting prenatal care, and how important that was.  I lived in a very small town where everyone knew everyone.  I told a couple of other friends and then the gossiping started.  I just knew my parents were going to find out without me telling them.  My Dad already had his suspicions, because I was gaining weight, and puking every once in a while.  My Mom didn't think much of it.  I faked my period by just throwing the pads away.  I knew I had to tell my parents soon though because everyone else was finding out.

I want to include what happened with our families when we told them in this story so if you find yourself in a hard situation you can prepare for harsh reactions. 

My husband was home in Tennessee visiting his family when I knew the time had come for me to tell my parents, so I went at it alone.  I told my Dad first.  The awfulness that spewed out of his mouth was not something I was really prepared for, although I should have expected it.  

"You ruined your life!"  "I didn't move from the city for you to be a whore just like your aunts and get pregnant!"  "Now you'll have to work a factory job all your life!"  "Why isn't he here?  Was he too afraid to show up?"  "Is he leaving you?" 

It went on and on.  I burst into tears, and waited for my Mom to come home.  I honestly don't remember what she said other than a few curse words.  Then she said "Well, we'll have to get you into a doctor".  Then, to my disbelief, she said, "Why didn't you just tell me you were having sex?".  Umm…I think begging for birth control should have been a clue.  I'm sorry to be expressing so much anger in this post, but it is still very hard for me to remember and deal with.

My husband was still pretty much in denial (he was only 19) until we went for our ultrasound, and he saw our baby.  His heart melted!  He took very good care of me all through my pregnancy.  At six months we took a trip to Tennessee to tell his family.  His sweet Nanny was the nicest person to me that we told!  I was too scared to go inside, because I had never met her.  So I waited outside while he and his Dad went and told her.  She said "Well why do you have that poor thing sitting outside?".  She really took to me, and we are still very close to this day!

Then we had to go tell his stepmom...She did not react well at all.  She had been trying to have a baby for around 9 years only to lose one, and still not be pregnant (she now has two sons though).  When we told her and showed her our ultrasound pictures, she said they were beautiful, and went in the kitchen and started slamming things. Her family also told us that we had ruined our lives, and asked what we were going to do about it.  They recommended abortion.  We came back from the visit not sure what we were going to do financially, for living arrangements, and so on.  

Through it all, my husband was very good to me.  He brought me lunch, rubbed my back, you name it, he did it!  I decided to start working part time after school.  I worked until I was around 8 months along.  I was also in band doing activities that were way too strenuous.  My husband asked me not to, but I was stubborn.

I knew something else was bothering him, and he finally told me my parents insurance said they would not pay for the prenatal care and delivery, but would pay for me to have an abortion.  Now abortion had run through my mind when I found out I was pregnant, but that was something I just could never do!  That was the "easy" way out.  Even though I hadn’t yet found the Lord, I still looked at abortion as murder.  

So we went on with the pregnancy scraping things together for the baby.  I finally went into labor!  It was a HARD labor.  I labored for over thirty hours puking, shaking; it was traumatizing!  Neither one of us thought it would be that way.  Neither one of us had a clue about child birth either!  My husband joked, "If they showed your labor in sex-ed class, no one would want to be having sex!"  Finally the doctors decided to do a C-section, and our first precious baby girl, Victoria Mae, was born!  

She was perfect!  She looked just like her Daddy!  She even lifted her head up on the first day!  Everything was going great until the second day when she started acting sick.  Because it was wintertime and we were afraid we couldn’t make it to the big hospital in the snow, we went to a small hospital close by.  They did an x-ray on her heart and said there was a hole in it. They told us the hole would need to be fixed at a bigger hospital, but that things didn't look very good. It had snowed that night and everything was icy, so a helicopter couldn't come and get her.  We had to wait for an ambulance.

It took hours for them to come.  By the time they arrived, she was dying.  They told us to touch her hand and say goodbye.  They said it was important that we do that because it might be the last time we got to see her.  We touched her hand told her how much we loved her and we would see her again. She was then rushed to the children's hospital. We just kept thinking, “She will be ok.  Nothing bad happens to us.  We made it this far.”  

Finally, the doctor came out and said, “I’m sorry.  It was just too late.  We did all we could.  She died..."  I screamed.  My husband fell to his knees.  It was the most pain either of us had ever felt.  They brought her to us and I lost control.  I rocked her and asked everyone to please wake her up. I kept begging the doctor to fix her. My husband finally said to me, “Please Ashley, don't say anymore or they will take you from me.”  (Everyone, but him was wanting to put me in a mental ward)

So I didn't say another word, but the silent tears didn’t stop.  I was pretty numb for a few days. I would think I heard her crying, but it was just my hope that she was still there.  We had her viewing and funeral.  There aren’t words to describe the pain of seeing a baby in a casket.  I am ashamed and very sorry to say that I cursed God.  I was very, very angry.  No one told me about God and how he could heal the situation; they just expected me to control myself. We buried our precious baby, and went on with our lives.  

It hurts every day.  I tell you this story because through all of that pain that we went through, neither of us would ever turned back time.  Had we seen the pain coming, we still would not have aborted her. Three days was a lifetime of memories with her. We are now married and have been together for 9 years and we have a beautiful, precious 18 month old baby girl who we love and adore and thank God for every day!  She was born healthy, and has done so much for us!  Really, God did so much for us!  He protected our first baby from many mistakes we made, allowed us to see her, and gave us the fruit of our womb! I pray if you are trying to decide whether or not to have an abortion, you DON'T! Once you hold that precious baby in your arms all the problems will disappear everything will be okay! God is watching, and will take care of you!  

Monday, October 17, 2011

40 Days for Life

Today is day 20 in the 40 Days for Life campaign.  If you haven't heard about 40 Days for Life, be sure to read more about it on the link below.  My question for you is this.  What are you doing?  If you've been involved in 40 Days for Life this year, what have you done?  I'd love to hear your stories.  So far, 299 babies have been saved from abortions.  This is an incredible number!  Just think of the impact!  So what are you doing to help?  If you haven't heard of 40 Days for Life before now, what will you do?  You have 20 days left.  I urge you to get involved.  I know many are afraid that there is nothing they can do to help, but there is!  Don't you see?  In just 20 days, almost 300 lives have been saved!  So what will you do?

This is a story of one of the lives that was saved that touched my heart.

As two volunteers began praying at the 40 Days for Life
vigil were praying, a woman drove up and started yelling
at them.

"You're not helping anything," she screamed. "These
women need someone to care for them, not harass them."

One of the volunteers tried to explain the vigil, but
the woman wasn’t interested. She just shouted some more
-- and drove off.

That was a bit unsettling, but the pair continued
to pray -- specifically for the young woman they
were watching. She was sitting with her mother in
a parked car.

Neither woman got out of the car. About 20 minutes
later, they started the engine and headed towards
the exit.

One of the volunteers walked in their direction and
asked them if they needed help.

The young woman said she had arrived for an abortion.
"But because of you on the sidewalk, I'm not going
to go through with it."

What a testimony to this volunteer's commitment to
stick with it even in the face of persecution!

This was just a group of two.  Not 50, not 25, not even 10.  Two people praying on a sidewalk changed this young woman's mind.  And their prayers changed her heart.

My brother-in-law decided to make a visual statement on his Facebook account to bring the issue of abortion to people's mind daily.  He is changing his profile picture every day.  This may seem like a small thing, but I know that I am reminded daily when I see his new picture to pray for protection for the unborn.  Here is what his album of profile pictures looks like.  I love this constant reminder.

I will remind you of the quote from "180", "Everyone needed to rise up...Where was the world?  Where was everybody?"  Let's not let that be said of us 70 years from now.  Let's be the ones that rise up!

So please share.  What have you done in the past 20 days to make a difference?  Or what will you do in the next 20?  Now is a great time to make a difference.  Grab a friend, pray outside an abortion clinic, pray at home, do something big, do something small.  Just do something!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Protect Life Act Vote

I received the following email today.  Please consider forwarding the following message to your representative.  There is a link at the bottom that will allow you to compose your message easily using the suggested text, adding your own text if desired, and just filling out your information so it finds your representative for you.  Please urge your representatives to vote for life!

October 12, 2011
Dear Friend,

According to a rule approved by the House Rules Committee, the Protect Life Act, H.R. 358, is set to be considered by the House of Representatives on Thursday, October 13. After approval of the rule, there will be one hour of debate, with one motion to recommit the bill to committee.

If you have not yet done so, please click on the link below to send your Representative this suggested message: 

“During floor consideration, please vote for the Protect Life Act, H.R. 358, and oppose any motion to weaken the bill. This bill will amend the health care reform law to preserve longstanding federal policies on abortion and conscience rights.”

(You will also be able to send a message to your two U.S. Senators, urging support and co-sponsorship of the companion bill in the Senate, S. 877.)

If you have already sent an e-mail message, please consider phoning your Representative’s office with the above message. Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at: 202-224-3121, and ask for your Representative’s office.
The health care reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), was signed into law in 2010. The Protect Life Act will bring PPACA into line with policies on abortion and conscience rights existing in other federal health programs.

Thank you for all you do in support of life!

Michael Taylor
Executive Director

Click the link below to log in and send your message: 
You have received this message because you have subscribed to a mailing list of National Committee for a Human Life Amendment. If you do not wish to receive periodic emails from this source, please click below to unsubscribe.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

God Provides Healing After Abortion

I received this story from Ann over at As They Rise Up It is a beautiful story she shares in hopes that others don't make the same mistake she made.  

I was young when I got married, only 19, and within 6 months of getting married I was pregnant.  I was very excited to be having a baby and to be a Mom.  There were many in my life that were not excited, they said I was too young, that I was ruining my life and that my husband and I couldn't afford to have a baby.  I held on to my convictions and had my baby, he is now grown up  and has his own baby, and I am so glad that I didn't listen to the negative voices when I was pregnant.

But my story doesn't end there.  My husband, who had been in the service when we met and married, got out of the service and was unwilling to look for steady work, he drank a lot and was just generally immature.  We ended up getting divorced and I went to live with my Mom for a while.  I was also young and woefully immature but not willing to admit it at the time.  I spent some time on welfare, I tried to go to college and succeeded for a few semesters but I was way to immature for the workload, so I got a job earning a little over minimum wage and had my daycare supplemented by a workfare program (a division of the welfare program to encourage moms to go back to work). 

I met a terrific man, a few yrs younger than me at work and we began to date.  He liked my son, my son liked him, I liked him, we moved in together when he graduated from college much to his catholic fathers chagrin.  His family loved me though, and his mom insisted that my son refer to them as Nana and Poppy instead of Mr ___ and Mrs____.   Things were going fantastic, my boyfriend proposed to me and I accepted and we began planning the wedding.  My future mother-in-law was very supportive of me in all I needed to do.  She would babysit my son at a moments notice, she loaned me her car when mine was broken down, and I know she spent oodles of money on us that I am still unaware of, she was forever buying clothes for my son and gifts for us.

Then I got pregnant. This was a total surprise, when I got pregnant I was TWO kinds of birth control.  At first I denied it to myself.  I was working a high stress job taking care of profoundly retarded adults at the time and it was exhausting.  I attributed the nausea and tiredness to that.  Then I finally had to admit that something was up.  I shared my suspicions with no one not even my boyfriend, looking back I think that was my first mistake.  I went to the doctor and got a pregnancy test.

I still remember the day I got the results.  I was loading one of my clients onto the van in their wheelchair and my coworker brought the cordless phone out to me.  As I stood on the ramp suspended in air I got the news that would change my life forever.  The test was positive.  She said I would need to make an appointment for followup with the OB, and I replied that I was going to need an abortion. 

At the time my son was just getting ready to start kindergarten and I was finally for the first time in 5 years going to be free of daycare payments.  As I looked down the road in front of me I couldn't imagine being able to take time off of work for maternity leave, my employers had groused when I  had jury duty as if I was trying to cheat the system somehow.  I knew we couldn't make our bills on just my boyfriends paycheck and I didn't see any other way out.  The nurse on the phone informed me that my insurance would pay for the abortion, her attitude was the same as if I had asked to have a wart removed.

I went home that evening and broke the news to my boyfriend who didn't argue with my choice.  He wasn't enthusiastic but he didn't try to change my mind.  We both chose not to tell our parents about the situation.  I knew his parents disagreed on the issue, his father being pro- life and his mother being pro-choice.  I made the appointment, arranged for the time off, and my boyfriend drove me there.  I had agreed to go to a clinic that used only local anesthetic because it was closer than the one that used a general anesthetic, turned out it was right down the street from my work!  Oops!

It was the single most painful procedure I have ever had done, both emotionally and physically.  I bled heavily and cramped for days.  I was despondent and distant.  I know now that the emotional pain I was suffering should have been talked out with someone but I didn't know then and I was ashamed to talk to anyone.  I did talk to my Mom about it but I don't remember what she said.  My boyfriend and I ended up separating and called off the wedding, probably due to the emotional baggage we were both carrying because of the choice we had made.

Almost 15 years later I became a Christian, I now had remarried, I had 2 wonderful daughters and I hadn't thought about my abortion in years.  I was at a Homeschool Moms luncheon and someone was speaking about the pain women carry because of abortion.  It was a providential moment, I turned to a friend of mine and confessed to her that I had had one.  I said I didn't think I was carrying pain, only the shame that God allowed to keep me from ever making the same mistake again.  It was then that God began to open my eyes to the healing that I could experience.

I was in a Bible Study at the time studying a book called Intimate Issues and the next chapter after the luncheon dealt with abortion.  I sat on my bed with tears streaming down my face as I did my homework.  My husband comforted me and prayed for me.  My bible study group comforted me and prayed for me and I found healing in God's word.  I don't remember the verses that touched me and sadly I didn't record them in my journal at the time.  I did record a 4 page letter to God  confessing and asking forgiveness, offering forgiveness to the father of my child, and others who were involved including the medical professionals.  I had always felt that my baby had been a girl and I named her, Emily, and released her to God's care until I see her in heaven.  

I still think about her.  Not so often as I used to, she would be 19 this year if she had been born, only 5 years older than my older daughter.  Looking back it is hard to imagine that 5 years changed so much!  When I chose to abort my child I was struggling to pay bills and couldn't imagine having one more responsibility, 5 years later I was remarried (to a new man) and having our first child together.  He loves my son and considers him his own son to my joy.    And a few years after that we had another beautiful little girl. 

Since then we have tried to have more children, I had a miscarriage in 2004 and have not gotten pregnant since.  I don't feel punished, I feel more like God is saying He has other things for me to do, but the longing in my heart for more children is strong and I often wonder how different my life would have been if I chosen life instead.  I wonder what she would have looked like and what her likes and dislikes would have been.  I also wonder what her father thinks about it, if he thinks about it and if he regrets it as much as I do. 

Many people in my life don't know this about me.  I am not secretive about it but people can be judgmental and critical without hearing the whole story.  I am not ashamed to share my story and when the time is right I do, which is why I am writing this now.  Emily Dickinson wrote this poem:

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

That is why I share my story.  To help one life from being broken and lost.

If you are reading this and you have made the choice to have an abortion please know that God loves you unconditionally.  You can still lean on him for support and love and healing.  If you are considering an abortion I beg you to please consider all your options.  Talk to loved ones and let them know your pain and stress, they may be more willing to help than you think.  If you have no loved ones to talk to, try your pastor, or any pastor for that matter.  A pastor worth his bible will not pass judgment on you, he will help you through the most difficult decision you will ever make.  He may even have resources you are unaware of. Jessica, the author of this blog, most likely has resources she can refer you to as well.   If all else fails contact me through my blog at and let me talk to you and offer support and resources.  Please don't feel that your only option is abortion. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A New Song

The following story is one shared by a fellow blogger, Sarah Mae.  I found Sarah Mae through a friend who was recommending her book 31 Days to Clean.  That book so touched my heart and I was (and am still) convinced that Sarah Mae has an intense, living relationship with Christ.  When I found out that Sarah Mae had an abortion, I was eager to read her story because, clearly, she has found healing.  I hope this story touches you as much as it touched me.  
I was 16 years old. I was given a new name and then was drugged…I didn’t like the IV. My dad held my hand but I started to get really fidgety. They upped my drug dosage. I was wheeled away. I was so cold, but they gave me a blanket. I counted backwards from 100…99…98…
The end.
The end of my first baby’s life.
Read the rest of the story on Sarah Mae's Blog.  

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Story of an Only Child

This story was shared with me today and I took some time to write it up.  I pray it touches your heart.  

When I was 16 years old, I was very close to my cousin.  She had been with her boyfriend since her freshman year and was entering her senior year of high school.  Her father had allowed her boyfriend to live with her and they got pregnant.  I struggled with the whole thing because I had just started my walk with Christ.  It was hard for me to know that she was pregnant and even harder to know she was considering an abortion.  At the time, I thought it was her choice.  I found out differently later, then, I was mortified to know that she was considering ending the life of her child.  And even more upset when she actually went through with it. 

Because of her pregnancy, abortion became an open subject in my family.  I found out that my aunt had also had an abortion and worse yet, I found out that my mom had had one when she was 19.  This was the hardest blow of all.  I had longed for a sibling since I was a child and to know that the only one I have is in heaven is rough.  I also found out from my grandmother that my mom had been advised to abort me as well.  I am obviously thrilled that she didn’t, but it’s a struggle knowing that I was the one given life instead of my sibling. 

My mom is very casual about her abortion and doesn’t seem to know what an impact it had on me.  I still struggle with the knowledge of it.  I look forward to meeting my sibling, my cousin, and my cousins child when I get to heaven, but it’s difficult knowing that my mom, my aunt, and my cousin chose to end life instead of give life. 

My reason for sharing is that I want you to know that an abortion doesn’t just impact you and the baby’s father.  It impacts everyone down the line.  You are ending the life of your future children’s siblings.  The life of a cousin.  The life of a niece or nephew.  Your decision to end life impacts many people around you.  It will hurt your children and other family members from that point on. 

I still fight with being mad about my family member’s choices.  I recently talked with my cousin.  It’s now been 11 years since her abortion.  I found out that it was her father who told her to have the abortion and she felt she had to respect his decision and do what he’d told her to do since she was living under his roof.   She thinks about the abortion every day and prays she didn’t ruin her body and that one day, she’ll be able to carry another child.  I used to respect my uncle, but now he has also lost my respect.  Even more though, I’m sad that my cousin didn’t feel like she could reach out to me or someone else to offer her support.  We also talked recently about how normally, she can get through the pain when she hears people talk about it, but recently, she was watching a show where they performed an abortion and she just lost it.  It breaks my heart to know that she will always live with that pain.