Today has been one of the those days. Not the bad kind of one of those days. The kind where I am so aware of God’s sovereignty that it touches me in the core of my being. One of those days where His plan and personal involvement in my life is so stinkin’ obvious. One of those days where there is a theme.
Today’s theme is: I love every one of my creations and call him or her beautiful.
I’m shaking and tears are streaming as I write because I am so overwhelmed feeling, seeing, hearing, and knowing all of this today.
First, I went to peacefully protest and pray outside of the late term abortion clinic (Southwestern Womens Options) in Albuquerque. I feel this is something God wants me to do at least monthly, since reading Emily’s story on Facebook and going to the clinic in January. I was sick nearly all of February, so I didn’t get to go. I was committed to going today, despite a crazy morning of things not going smoothly to arrive at the time I wanted.
I had planned on being there for an hour to see if I can handle it and what God reveals in my heart and mind while there. I got there “late” and that irked me because I had to leave at 10:45 to be at my doctor’s appointment. I worried that He wouldn’t use me in such a short time.
Oh, how arrogant I am.
Minutes after I arrived and took my place on the sidewalk, head down, praying while bundled up against the chill and wind, a woman and man walked out. She was obviously pregnant. She waddled a bit and looked so sad. She stopped and looked around her. Then she walked over to the nearest prayer warrior. They spoke.
The tears started flowing down my face.
He handed her a few items. He patted her on the back. He squeezed her arm gently. She waddled back to her car, where the man was in the driver’s seat and had her door open, waiting.
They drove off.
It’s Wednesday, so the women we see coming and going from the clinic are most likely there for late term abortions and the baby is most likely already dead. It’s a three day process, so by Wednesday, they have already had the first injection to kill the baby. And now they are there to start dialation.
I wept silently, praying for her.
I walked over to the protester and asked what they talked about. He confirmed my fear: she had already started the abortion, so the baby was already dead. She was sad. She regrets doing it. She “had something bad happen to her”.
I know she means something bad other than having a doctor who has sworn to protect life kill a living child inside her. I know that. But I prayed that she realize that Womens Options isn’t really helpful and doesn’t offer beautiful options. It also seems she wants others to know that she has a justifiable reason for killing her child. I pray that she know the truth and find healing.
And that others learn the same.
She probably meant she had been raped. I don’t know. I do know that it seems she feels she didn’t have options. Except the one offered at that horrible place.
The gentleman explained to me that he offered her a rosary, a pamphlet, and a book of verses. That he told her that God always forgives through Christ, when we have a relationship with him. The pamphlet describes the post abortion services available to her for help.
I just stood there crying as he told me all of this. He is a pro. He does this all the time, but I’m a newbie. I was shocked that a woman actually talked to a protester. And encouraged. Still, I was heartbroken.
He smiled at me with a wise and experienced smile, gently saying, “We just have to keep praying for her.”
We introduced ourselves then and he said, “It’s an honor to pray with you, Mindy.”
So, I prayed. And prayed. And prayed.
I left for my doctor’s appointment sad that my time there was so short, but with solid conviction that I am supposed to go more now. And with the knowledge that I have to be more prepared. I need to be ready with help for any woman who might actually talk to me. Now I know that it could happen. God could actually use me in that way, not only in being a witness for Him, planting seeds I am unaware of really.
I wondered about the three cars still parked in the patient parking lot. They were all out of state license plates. I wondered how many were there because the baby was diagnosed with a disability that the mother feared. Pregnant with a baby that is “different”. Choosing to kill a life that is just as wonderfully made as any other.
Thinking of Maybe Baby. Thinking of all the campers I have served in the last twenty years, wide ranges of disabilities, all beautiful children, capable of so much. Children who changed my life. For good. In so many ways.
After I checked in for my doctor’s appointment. I switched gears to a meeting I had with a counselor from camp after that. Wondering what God had planned for my time with her. Forty minutes later, I was called up to the desk again to hear that my appointment was actually at the office all the way across town. That the registration clerk had messed up. They rescheduled me for three hours later.
As I waited for the counselor, I checked Facebook. And I learned that today is Spread the Word to End the Word day. A campaign to help people realize that using the word retarded as a put down, as a deragatory slang, as a way of saying someone is stupid or unable to make sense, needs to stop. We need to stop it. So, I posted a photo with a letter R slashed by my mouth on Instagram.
And I again thought of the babies dying down the street who may have disabilities and whose mother believed the lie that they weren’t worth loving. Or giving in love to a waiting family.
Then I met with the beautiful, sweet, lovely co-ed. And God made it obvious why my appointment was messed up and I was close to campus instead of all the way across town. He had a plan for this meeting. For her. For me. For His glory.
This adorable young woman is living her life for those with special needs. She started an inclusive gymnastics program. She works at camp. She just founded an inclusive social club on campus. And she’s nineteen.
We shared our hearts with one another and it was fantastic. She asked me to mentor her and I was humbled. And so grateful my appointment was screwed up.
When I went back to wait for my “new” appointment, I sat in the UNM lobby. Minutes later, a group of six young adults with special needs sat at the table next to me with their mentors. They chatted. They laughed. They made great plans.
I wanted to weep.
Again, my mind floated down the street. To women who choose death over life because they fear different.
Different looked beautiful, productive, and wonderful at the table next to mine. Each life fearfully and wonderfully made.
Next, I spoke to my friend, Jean. We made plans to go see The Drop Box this evening. I have been waiting for this movie for years. A movie that proves loving babies who are different is so so worth it. So so possible.
Lee Jong-rak, a pastor in South Korea, made a warmed drop box in the wall of his home, where mothers in can place their babies unnoticed. Babies that are typically abandoned because they are different and the mother doesn’t want them. Babies with physical disabilities, great and small. Babies that he then adopts and loves fiercely.
It’s happening right now, across the world.
So, two mamas, one an adoptive mama and one a soon to be an adoptive mama will watch this movie with their daughters tonight. Weeping, probably. Jean and her daughter, Ruth, will have an extra layer to the experience, though.
Ruth is adopted from South Korea. And she has a disability. A disability that kept her birth mother from keeping her.
And made mothering her possible for Jean.
Today, I see the beauty in God’s creation of all babies. I see His Hand on each one. I see that He gave them each life, for a purpose.
And I see our world forgetting that. Choosing to not believe it. And instead destroying different.
I’m grateful for Grace and Truth in my life. I’m grateful for those who embrace life. I am encouraged by those who love different. I am humbled that He brought me to healing, truth, and forgiveness from when I didn’t love life.
Today, God’s sovereignty in this specific day and in my life is so stinkin’ beautiful, it’s a bit overwhelming. The theme of choosing life, accepting different, and loving fiercely is painted all over my day.
And I see it everywhere I look.
Go see The Drop Box (click link to find a location near you) tonight or tomorrow night! It’s only playing for three nights and part of the proceeds to go an orphan relief fund.
How about this day, huh?