Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A rant

Disclaimer: This is not a post to call out those who believe in a women's right to choose or start any arguments, but to share my personal experience of what it's like when my children in Heaven are viewed as less than by other Christians.

Every once in a while, I feel the need to rant. Most of the time my rants are only heard by my supportive and loving husband, but this particular chain of thoughts has been bubbling up inside of me for a long while and I think it's time to share (again, because this post is a repeat and because the anniversary of Roe V Wade was this week and people have been shouting about abortion on facebook.
I also feel the need to disclose upfront that this rant is about Christians and abortion- a very emotional topic.)

Because of the Gospel, Christians should be the most loving, supportive and biggest 'grieving with the grievers' there are, but unfortunately this is not always true. (And also because of the Gospel, there is grace, so so much grace... for me, for you.)

Most Christians will knock you over with their belief that all life begins at conception and that the sanctity of life extends to a baby in the womb. This is my belief as well.
But what (usually) doesn't knock you over is the support and love of those same Christians when your precious baby, the life inside of you, dies.

I am blown away by some (NOT all by any means) Christians who will go on and on and on and on about how abortion is wrong because murder is wrong. They will stand outside of abortion clinics and loudly protest, or on university campuses holding pictures of some mother's baby after abortion. They will lobby for laws against abortion and try to convince anyone and everyone to believe what they do about life at conception and the sanctity of the life inside a woman's womb.

But in my experience, after a loss during pregnancy some of these same Christians will tell you that 'it' was only a miscarriage, that there was probably something wrong with 'it' anyways. Or that it's better that it happened sooner rather than later. Or that it's better this way because at least we didn't know them yet. Or they will tell you that they hope it works out the next time.

Let me stop here and emphasize that when you call an unborn baby 'it' you are devaluing God's precious child. You are dehumanizing a real person when you refer to a loss during pregnancy as something that didn't work out.

I am not writing this rant to condemn. Really, I'm not. Yes, I want to call out sin as sin but what I want to impress is that we have a solemn opportunity when the tragedy of loss during pregnancy occurs to proclaim and demonstrate our belief in the sanctity of life beginning at conception.

How about instead of knocking someone over with a protest sign against abortion, we stand beside those who have lost their babies during pregnancy and validate their children's lives. What if we used our voices to support and love and console women whose babies' lives were only lived within their mothers' wombs instead of shouting words of condemnation.

I'm not saying that we shouldn't speak out against abortion (and this is a whole other topic and rant in and of itself), but condemning a woman for having an abortion (because we believe that life begins at conception) and then in the same context devaluing a human being's life by calling the baby 'it' and making a mother feel like their baby is less of a baby because they did not take a breath... well, that's a damn shame. (To add to this, grace. Grace. Grace. There is so much grace.)

If we really believe that life begins at conception and want to extend the sanctity of life to an unborn but real person, then we should grieve the loss of a child by miscarriage or stillbirth as no different than the loss of a person who dies after birth.

We, who have been loved and pursued and redeemed through no merit of our own by our Heavenly Father, should cover these women with love. We should validate and value the lives of their babies; babies who are loved not through merit but by the simple and incredible fact that they belong to their mothers and fathers. We must grieve with these mothers and fathers.

If our eyes have been opened by the Gospel then no dark corner of our hearts can go unchanged.

For me personally, if you want to make a huge difference in my day (or week or month) then refer to my son, Owen, as a person. Call him by his name and tell me that you think of him or that you wish he was here with us. He was a person (and he still is a person) though he did not take a single breath. I do not measure his life by the number of breaths he took, or the days he lived, or the growth chart on our doorway or birthday parties we planned. I do not grieve the person he could have potentially been. I grieve him, his absence and the heartbreaking fact that we are separated from each other. This is unfortunately not how most people see my son. They picture a pregnancy that didn't turn out, or a faceless nameless fetus that somehow disappeared when he died. It is a damn shame, and it breaks my heart....
Because his story is beautiful....


Justin Sembler said...

I love this "Rant". We don't know what to do with miscarriage before birth and the loss of a child after. We are way more willing to engage with those we don't know and call out sin, than to engage with those closest to us because we do not know what to say or where to begin when a child is lost. I love you guys.

Unknown said...

Ditto my husband

Unknown said...

Ditto my husband

Devon said...


Tesha said...

I loved this post the first time I read it and love it even more now. I wish we could make this required reading for Christians.

RyAnne said...

I loved this, would it be alright if I shared it on my blog so others could read it? Thank you for your honesty!

Stephanie said...

I love you, Ebe! Ever thought about sending this/something similar as a guest column to By Faith or another Christian publication? It's something every single one of us needs to read.

Ebe said...

Thank you so much! Your support and encouragement and love are God's grace to me, especially on days when I feel really low.

love you all,

Abby said...

Love this so much!

Beth said...

Yes yes yes! Sharing this along...

Lori said...

I'm always amazed at how Princess Kate is carrying the royal baby, but when I had a miscarriage, it wasn't given a second thought...well, compared to when I lost my son the day after he died.

NO one calls it the royal fetus, do they?

And, further, I am always amazed that there are so many women who have lost babies at various gestations, and still...have no issue with abortion—feel it's completely ok and a right. I don't get it.

But, there's much on this earth I don't get, and frankly, even if I did, I'd not like it.

Nottinghams said...

Our daughter, Resurrection, has taught me so much about being a mother. I only held her once. I never nursed her. I never diapered her. I never wipped her tears. I never told her "no". She teaches me daily about mothering.
Thank you Elizabeth for "ranting"