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As a child filled with wonder, I held display models of tiny babies carved in images of wombs. With curiosity I tenderly placed them on the table of my parents booth. For several years they were responsible for representing Minnesota Christian’s Concerned with Life (MCCL) at the county fair. I became a part of it and familiarity with each stage of pregnancy grew with every touch, every stare, every moment of awe.

Photo credit Aron Gilson on Flickr

Photo credit Aron Gilson on Flickr

In addition to the plastic displays were a variety of brochures, literature and a video showing dead babies in trash cans. My young heart wasn’t sure how to process the grief I felt. At the same time, I was deeply impressed with simplistic understandings.

A baby begins very tiny in the womb. It grows and grows until it’s born. Some people don’t want to keep their babies, so they are pulled out and thrown away.

From the images I saw then, many were fully formed. Wholly discarded.

Over the years I would come to know more. I would hear stories of scared girls going into allies where they’d end a problem they didn’t believe they could deal with. I was shown how coat hangers were used and some died. At least, according to that movie, the one designed to educate us about the need for clinics.

Early on, I heard arguments of how abortion should be allowed because how horrible it would be to get attacked, raped and pregnant. And what about incest? Which is worse? I couldn’t say.

My heart sunk as I felt the pain and apparent hopelessness for anyone in this position. My mind wrestled with the beauty of life created and the horror of life dismembered. I asked myself, “What if?”

“What if I was raped and got pregnant? What if it was brutal and then I had to live day after day with the reminder growing inside me? What would I do?”

I knew I’d want to be rid of the problem. I knew it would make me sick in heart. But, I really didn’t think I could end innocent life. Could I?

Without going through an experience for ourselves, we can’t say for sure how we’ll respond, or that our response will be what we think they will be. But, our core beliefs will impact those decisions when the fire of trials come.

Our beliefs about the value of life and the sovereignty and goodness of our creator God impact how we live each day. In high pressure, intensely painful, circumstances the core of our beliefs becomes nearly transparent as our actions reveal the things we didn’t even know that we know.

Our doubts become more evident. Our lack of trust exposed.

In this case, and at this stage, my beliefs were formed with deep roots. For this I am thankful as it meant life for my son when rape did come.

But not everyone has this experience. And there are areas of my life where deep beliefs inform my heart with fear instead of faith.

I know how fear can cripple and I’m far too acquainted with feelings of hopelessness.

I know what it’s like to believe there are no other options and you’re backed into a corner, but God shows up and somehow the corner disappears.

I also know the trueness of hope found in Christ when everything else disappoints or destroys.

I wonder now; what if those scared girls had care and encouragement? Would they have gone through with an abortion? What if they knew the value they held in the eyes of their Creator? What if they knew their baby mattered too? What if they had hope for their future?

What if they felt the vastness of a God who loves them no matter what, no matter when and no matter where.

What if they knew there was hope for when life is painful, and confusing, and the walls of circumstances seem to close in?

What if more people showed the love & hope of Christ by being a living example and caring in the middle of it all?

As I look back and remember those figures I held, I realize my awe has grown. I’m awestruck for a God who sees life born and unborn, who values the miniature and the large and who cares for the pains and trials of every single human life.

In every what if question,  I’m thankful for answers which rest in a God who knows what is.

He is a God who tenderly holds every life in His hands .

with love,
Jolene

Thank you for joining me as I unravel my stories. I’d love to continue meeting you here and I’d love to hear from you in return. Let’s cultivate a life well-lived together. 

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