Editor’s Note: While we know that our readers come from many faith backgrounds, we hope that everyone will be encouraged by this honest conversation on loss and failure as we fight for life. Note that like all Live Action News articles, the views expressed are solely those of their respective authors.
Personally speaking, I think the hardest part of being a pro-lifer is the individual conversations I have. And not with abortion advocates, campaigners on the opposite side, or Planned Parenthood employees. I’m talking about the conversations with women who are considering abortion. I haven’t had a lot of these conversations, because I don’t go out in front of abortion clinics. I’ve had only a limited experience at a crisis pregnancy center. But a few women have come across my path anyway.
I’m a Christian, and I thank God for these opportunities. In one of them, I’ve been able to rejoice with a young woman who will soon be giving birth to her first daughter. Despite the opposition of her family and the lackluster support of her boyfriend, she has stood strong – realizing that her baby needs her and that she became a mom at the instant her baby girl was created. I am so proud of this young woman, and it’s been a privilege to be a very small part of her journey to give life to her daughter.
But in two other situations, I’ve had my heart broken. Anyone who knows me knows I’m not the crying type. But I’ve wept over these two babies. One, I’ve always felt a measure of guilt for. I didn’t say the right words. The mom canceled her first abortion, only to reschedule and have it anyway. The second baby was lost very recently. For hours and days, a young woman and I e-mailed back and forth about her situation. She was courageous in discussing her thoughts, emotions, and the details with me. I honestly grew to view her as a friend, someone I would undoubtedly give a hug to if we ever met face-to-face.
Yet, after canceling her first abortion, this young woman also rescheduled. She believed that her baby was a boy, and she gave him a name I’ve always loved. Now, of course, that name is claimed, and I’ll never consider it for any son of mine. Tears come to my eyes as I imagine what could have been and what was lost in just a few moments of time that can never be reversed.
But no matter the results, my friends, it was still 200% worth trying to save this baby. To my human eyes, it appears that I failed badly. But I am confident that there is much more than I can see. The only failure that counts against us is the failure to try at all. And it was never about me failing or succeeding. It is only ever about each precious child we try to save. If we hold ourselves to a standard of success, measured in human, tangible terms, we will likely quit. And we can never allow ourselves to do that.
I have allowed myself to grieve for this boy who will never be born. My grandma died just days before he did, and I’ve asked God to let her hold him and rock him and comfort him. I believe he is in Heaven, hearing my grandma tell him what a sweet boy he is. I believe he is playing with my little sister, whom my mom miscarried. My husband’s big brother – also miscarried – is probably teaching him how to throw a ball and catch. There is still such beauty in his life, though he will never be in this world.
No matter what hardships, roadblocks, or failures we face on our road to life, we must pick our feet back up, dust ourselves off, and keep trying. This battle is not lost, even when one more precious soul makes his journey home.
Perhaps you also are at a place where you feel like quitting. Maybe you’ve seen one too many losses and felt them personally. Maybe you’ve held yourself responsible for not saying just the right thing or not doing exactly what needed to be done. Stop. Stop blaming yourself. Stop focusing on what you think of as a failure. Be grateful that you had a chance to speak up for a precious little one. Be thankful that you were granted the strength to try. And then, get up and try again tomorrow.
Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’ –Mary Anne Radmacher
Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all. –Dale Carnegie
I try to avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward. –Charlotte Bronte
You know, it’s easy to stop. It’s easy to say, “I’ve done enough. I’ve done more than ‘most people'” (whatever that means). I know because I’ve said that before. I’ve had an overwhelming desire to just quit and be done with this whole mess. But life is messy. It always will be. And it is more than worth it to stay involved, to keep raising our hands and saying, “Call on me.” We have no business quitting. Lives are dropping by the wayside each day. We see it happening. And we cannot allow ourselves to close our eyes, turn our heads, and close our hearts and hands.
Earlier this year – actually on the last family trip we took with my grandma – I wrote down a poem as I was thinking about abortion and life. Now I know that it was for the little baby boy who died yesterday. It’s how I’ll always see him until I meet him one day.
I heard an angel cry the night the birds went silent
All the mountain flowers died while my soul screamed out, ‘Why?!’
This – this child small, he’ll never see the light of day
Never out in laughter call; Ah – to the feet of death he falls
One tear brims, running down, as no grave will hold this babe
Crumpled lies the newborn gown, emptiness and no cradle found
Yet – one day – this son will rise; Victory and Life will claim him
He will wonder at the skies, finding he will live who had died
My heart knows you fought the fight, as I know you willed to live
Weep, my son, at this your night; you will find joy at morning’s light
There is One above the grave, He Who makes all things new
Wait just awhile and be brave, for He is strong enough to save
And that is exactly what we all are waiting for – no matter what our religion or beliefs. We are waiting for all these precious, innocent children to be saved. But while we wait, my friends, let us work. Rise again – rise from your ashes and mourning and failures. Rise again, smile at the night, and try again tomorrow.