40 Years

December 8, 2021 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Family Focus

By Heather Allen –

I had never been to an abortion clinic before. But a frantic call came from a friend, whose girlfriend scheduled an abortion. He asked if we would wait with him at the clinic and pray that she would cancel her appointment. He clutched the hope for their future in a jewelry box in his nervous fingers. A small group gathered to hold out hope and support.

Determination set her brow as she walked toward the clinic door, but it was the anger in her eyes that gave me pause. She gripped her toddler’s hand and marched on. And I knew. I could say what I had already said. I could renew the promise to do as little as babysit or as much as adopt. My words would go unheard. So instead, I reached down, took her three-year-old’s tiny fingers in my hand, and followed her in. Her eyes met mine with surprise. She mumbled something about not wanting to leave her child alone in the waiting room. I nodded. I could not have known it would be the last time she would look me in the eyes.

Many joys died that day. A life was swallowed up in fifteen minutes in a sterile, straight-faced clinic. A child lost before ever having the chance to say “Momma,” smell a flower, make someone smile, or be held close. The shadows grew down the calculatedly cold hallway. There was no space to grieve loss.

So when the receptionist trailed me to my car I was surprised. I turned. Why was she was following? Did I leave my sweater? Did we leave a toy behind? It was not the time to talk with strangers.

“Who are you?” she called out.

“Huh?” I responded.

“What do you do for a living?” she asked.

“I am a stay at home mom,” I replied, completely lost as to why we were having a conversation.

“I watched you while you were in the waiting room. I have never seen anyone interact with a child like that before.” She stared at me quizzically.

“Oh,” was the only answer I could come up with.

Over the years, I have replayed the sadness, like a movie clip that I wish I could file away and never re-watch. I have thought about the receptionist, knowing her work routine was hammered out at a dark, soulless desk. While mine was worked out in my children’s learning, laughter and growth, birthing in me a prayerful urgency for patience, kindness, and a gently instructive tongue. If she saw anything in me that reflected beauty, it was simply the Lord. He takes women who know all their own shortcomings and allows them to be moms.

On college graduation day, I sat behind an empty row of chairs reserved for the classmates who would have taken their place alongside me had they lived. I am almost forty. Part of the first graduating class lacking members because abortion became legal the year of my birth. They did not receive diplomas, but most surely are round about Jesus in glory and much wiser than the most learned scholar.

I no longer grieve for the life that was taken that day. I am at rest knowing my friend’s baby was welcomed into the arms of Christ. My sadness is for the moms who will never carry their babies but will continually carry grief and remorse.

If this is you, Jesus offers forgiveness. “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 KJV). Repent, and don’t pick the shame up again. No matter the sin, His love is greater. God tells us children are an inheritance, and then He calls us child. There is no greater love.

About Heather Allen

Check out Heather Allen's blog at: http://www.theknottedapron.blogspot.com/
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5 Responses to “40 Years”
  1. Dawn Wilson says:

    This is a powerful, heart-gripping post. The joys of motherhood ~ yes, many will never embrace the beauty of what God desired to bring them, even if theirs was an unwanted pregnancy. God creates masterpieces from the ugliness of our lives. Thank you for painting a clear picture of what is at stake, Heather.

  2. Kathleen says:

    Heather, I sit with my hands on the keys of my computer not knowing what to say. The reality is that you have written of your experience so simply, yet so eloquently, there is little left to say.
    I too will replay the sadness of that room. I already have–it’s a picture in my mind. The young woman. The innocence of BOTH her children. The young man. The receptionist, whose wonder at your mothering spirit is…frightening. And you.
    I thought I knew the horror of abortion. I pray and I speak out and I pray more. But I’ve never been “inside” the experience. And I didn’t know. You’ve shown me how quiet the horror is, how sterile, how businesslike, how mundane. So much worse than I could ever have imagined.
    Thank you, Heather, for showing me the truth. Showing me I can do more. I must do more.
    And thank you for being such a witness of His love for ALL of His children.

  3. Yours was a response of love, the love of the one and only Son of God. Everyone involved will remember Jesus, displaying His compassion through you. May we all respond to humanity in Him!

  4. Cyn Rogalski says:

    Very moving read.
    My husband and I were discussing a similar subject the other day. Twenty years after Roe vs. Wade, colleges were complaining that enrollment was down.
    We are hearing so much news about more aggressive cancers and other health-related issues; is it possible the aborted children would have been the ones who would have come up with a cure for cancer? Or diabetes? God has a plan for each life, even if a life begins that is not on our agenda.

    We will never know, this side of heaven.

    • Life is so bittersweet – isn’t it? We mourn with those who mourn, we grieve for all the potential missed and the lives snuffed out. The heartache of abortion, of knowing a child was lost by choice….I’m not sure how these would-be moms go on if they don’t find Christ. And yet there are stories of hope, and women like you who are reaching out. I find courage in that.
      Thank you to all who wrote a comment. Together we can pray & we can be ready to show love. Blessings to all of you!

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