I never realized people actually had abortions before this.
To say I was naive is an understatement. I was 16, maybe 17. Old enough to drive, but I was only a passenger.
A silent passenger.
When a friend told me she was pregnant and she was going to see what it “took” to have an abortion, I agreed to tag along with her and our other friend. Three young girls headed toward an experience that would open our eyes to things we didn't know and weren't equipped to understand.
I remember getting lost on the way there because none of us were familiar with that end of town.
I remember thinking this isn't right, but not really knowing why.
I remember thinking that I didn't want people to think I was the one that needed “services” from the facility as we walked across the parking lot toward the main door.
Buzz the door…………sign in…………sit…………wait.
The screaming silence was enough to deafen even the smallest of ears – and so it did…….
The “how it all works” speech we got (I presume from a nurse though I cannot recall) was very matter-of-fact. It was like health class, only this wasn't class. This was real life. This was my friend searching for an answer, this was me silent while she was told the pros of aborting her fetus and the minimal after-surgery effects.
I remember looking around at this room. A doctor's office with a cause. Cold, unwelcoming and lifeless. I remember thinking this is a moment I won't forget. This is a place I don't to which I never wanted to return. One day I would, for different reasons.
From my view, the view of a child, this wasn't a safe place to find answers. This was a glossy cover of something that wasn't meant to be happening. There was something wrong about the whole idea, but my mind couldn't figure it out.
Most nobly, they sent her home to think about it for a few days, but the appointment for the abortion was scheduled.
Well, what do you think?
She asked my opinion, those words rang my ears for months. What did I think? I didn't know what to think. I smoked the last of the cigarettes I had and mumbled something about it being legal at her age and being glad we were gone. Other than that, I didn't say much on the 45-minute ride home.
I thought my silence would indicate my discomfort with this whole nonsense.
I thought my silence was screaming, but the other two didn't notice.
I knew abortion didn't seem right, even after the health class lesson we had at Planned Parenthood. I had no idea what a travesty we'd witnessed in the sake of planning one's parenthood. I could not shake the feeling that something was wrong. The three of us, barely old enough to drive, trying to make a decision that would forever change lives.
I didn't understand when life began.
I didn't understand that just because something is legal doesn't mean it ought to be and more importantly, doesn't mean it is morally or Biblical sound.
The three of us lost a little innocence that day when we entered those doors.
More was lost later that week.
Sadly, so was a life.
The next time I saw her, she didn't look any different. Was she ever pregnant at all? It almost didn't seem real. Yet it was very real and something was different between her and me.
You see, I failed her and my spirit knew it. I didn't know then why I felt so strongly that something was wrong, but now I see it was the Holy Spirit in me.
More importantly, I failed the life she was carrying.
I failed to speak up no matter how little I knew. None of us knew. None of us had the right words, the right research, even the right Biblical answer. But silence was still the wrong option. Yet I sat, silent.
I remember looking at her and wondering what brought her to her decision. Oh I knew that John* would not have wanted to be a father again. I knew her mom would flip out. I knew she didn't have money. I knew all of that, but my spirit knew far more than I could put into words. Yet I didn't even try.
I failed to say that this problem wasn't a problem and that maybe there were other options. Like maybe adoption or maybe John would want to help.
I was silent and all I knew how to do was be there. I thought by supporting her I was doing right. She was in need and I was there for her.
Sadly, I was ill-equipped to handle this situation. I didn't know that passively agreeing was the same as condoning. I didn't realize that by not stepping up, I was sinning for failing to try to share some truth.
But in my silent support, I failed to give voice to the baby she was carrying.
I have asked the Lord to forgive me for my silence. I've prayed that Bessy* has healed from this and asked forgiveness herself.
I was only a teenager, so some might say my silence was justified because I didn't know any better. The failure in that is even as a teen, had I known how to hear from God and listen to the Holy Spirit inside, I may not have sat silent.
Had I understood where life began and what the Bible said about life, I may not have sat silent. No matter how much we shelter them, often our children end up in situations far above “age-appropriate.” We need to be sure they are equipped to hear the Holy Spirit so he can lead, guide, and direct their words and actions.
I can count many times when I sat silent, not speaking up for Truth. Afraid I'd not say the right thing, sound stupid, be judged or condemned. Now I see that silence is often a cop-out. We can stand up for Truth, help others see Truth and even help them find healing by using our words. I'm learning now that worrying about this flesh is not so important after all. Who cares if they condemn me? Who cares if the words don't come out right. When we are speaking out at the prompting of the Holy Spirit the words will not return void. They are seeds are we planting in someone's heart.
Our words must come softly and always with love, and come they must, even through fear and trembling. We cannot sit silently while the people we love are deceived and destroy themselves.
Find out how to forgive yourself, forgive others, and accept forgiveness from God in Restoring the Lost Petal.