There’s an old Gospel song, by Bill Gaither, titled “Because He Lives.” But I’d like to take a different spin on it, and dedicate it to every unborn child who has come into the world. For there are many unborn babies who need saving. Babies like my son who was almost never born, and to whom I dedicate my rendition of this song.
Because he lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because he lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know he has a future
And life is worth the living,
Just because my baby lives!
The original version, speaking of the Lord, says “because I know He (the Lord) holds the future.” And that “life is worth the living just because HE lives.” And it is. HE is the one who makes life truly worthwhile.
But to me it’s also worth living because one of those unborn babies lives!
It was September 1979 when I found myself pregnant with him. The last quarter of what had been the roughest year of my life. A year of getting abandoned by my husband, because he’d “found another.” Of moving back to my parents’ home in Michigan, because I had nowhere to go. Of even considering suicide.
But I had a baby to raise, 6 months old then. Our beautiful daughter, who from the day of her birth has been a bright ray of sunshine in our lives. And I just couldn’t walk out on her. Her father had already abandoned us both. She had no one else, and neither did I.
So in many ways my song could also say, “Because she lived, I faced tomorrow. Because she lived, life was worth living.” I had nothing else to live for. But I chose to live because of her life. And then, I discovered myself pregnant again. For my husband and I were back together again. Together, under the same roof — yet not truly united. Unity for us came much later. But that’s a story for another time.
And faced with the dilemma of what to do, I nearly chose death. Death for my unborn son.
I came to adulthood in late 1970’s. An era of faulty teaching in our schools. Which had convinced me that it wasn’t really a baby in my womb. Just a bunch of tissue, called a fetus.
You’ll ask, perhaps, how after already having a child, I could have believed that. But the stuff we feed our minds has strong power over them. Which is why supervision of our children’s education is so important.
How could I have believed either of these beautiful lives was not a baby?
But by this time, Mario and I were back together. At least physically. We lived in the same house, slept in the same bed. But a gulf lay between us. A deep gully of mistrust, pain, and confusion. Rebuilding trust takes time. A lot of time, patience, and hard work. (But that’s a post for another time.)
But driven by overwhelming lack of trust, I was ready to call for the appointment to abort my baby.
How could I bring a child into such a marriage? Such a family? The specter of “what if” laid a heavy shadow on my life and heart. What if he betrayed me again? What if he left again? I was in no condition (emotionally, financially, or otherwise) to raise the child I already had on my own, let alone another. I was young (19), wounded, and confused. An abortion seemed the smart and sensible thing to do. The only thing.
In the meantime, an aunt convinced me I was nuts. “You can’t do that,” she said. “You’d be killing your baby. And you’d regret it for the rest of your life.” When I argued that it wasn’t even a baby, she snorted, “Hog wash! It may not look like one yet, but it is! If it were just a bunch of tissue as they say, you could just ignore it. But it’s a baby that you can not ignore.”
So when I hear this song, I also think of my baby son — who almost wasn’t. And the following line, in particular, holds great meaning for me.
How sweet to hold a newborn baby, And feel the pride and joy he gives.
And still today, when I see my son, I think of that. The pride, the joy. And the sweetness of holding him in my arms. And because he lives, I can face tomorrow. Without having to regret what I almost did. Without having to face the heavy remorse it would have brought.
So I’d like to write An Open Letter to the Mom in similar conditions, or even worse.
I would never dream of judging you. I’ve never gone to hold up signs at an abortion clinic. Yes, I believe abortion is wrong. It takes a life which God gave, so only he has the right to take that life. But I also believe it is a grave error, leaving lifelong scars on the mother’s heart, mind, and body.
But I don’t think picketing is the answer. I’d rather sit down with you and share my story. Show you these pictures. Even have you meet my son. I’d like to cry with you, pray with you, and offer you a place to stay if needed.
If you’re considering abortion, perhaps it’s because you feel hopeless. At the end of your rope, with nothing left to live for.
But there is hope. This song I’ve quoted tells of One who died to give us hope. And who promises to walk with us in all life’s trials. To carry us in his arms when we feel we can’t go on. I know. Because he’s done it for me. And I know he’ll do it for you.
No, I don’t judge you. But I implore to reconsider. Think about that baby. Try to imagine what he or she will look like. What he or she could grow to become. What a difference that one life could make in your own life and family. And possibly even to the world at large.
And I would tell her: “Choose life. It’s worth the living, and worth the giving.”
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I would tell her that I don’t want her to have to sing the following much sadder song:
Because he’s gone, I can’t face tomorrow.
Because he’s gone, All fear is mine.
Because I know he’ll never have a future,
And life isn’t worth the living just because my baby’s gone.
You may think, “It’s easy for you to look back and see the regret you would have felt. Now that everything’s turned out. But my situation is truly hopeless.”
And you’d be right. It is easy for me now. Because I look at my son, and see the fine man he has become. And I look at his five beautiful children, and see how special and wonderful they are.
But I felt hopeless then. Confused and alone. Now I’m simply thankful that my husband came to his senses, and realized that I would never betray him. Like the married woman he’d chosen was doing to her husband.
And now, with a heart full of gratitude…
- I sing Bill Gaither’s song to my Lord: Life is worth living because of you.
- And I also sing my version to my son: “Because you live, I can face tomorrow with joy, with peace, and a heart overflowing with gratitude for the beautiful life that is yours.”
- And also to my Mario, the love of my life, who gave his all to heal my broken my heart and rebuild our marriage on the strong foundation of Eternal Love.
And I would have her meet my wonderful son.
He who almost wasn’t. But is. And now lives a life worth living.
Life is worth the living. Please choose life. Yes, life has it’s hard times. Dark moments come. But nothing, either good or bad, lasts forever on this earth. The storm clouds pass, and the sun returns.
And if you call on the Lord, he will show you rays of hope. There are many who want to help Moms in your condition. Please search for them. Because like me, they simply want to open their hearts and homes to you. To offer you a life worth living, and help your child to have one too.
CHOOSE LIFE. IT TRULY IS WORTH CHOOSING.
[Linked to: Grace & Truth Linky, a weekly Christian Link-up!]
Disclaimer: The information in this article is offered as personal advice and testimony, not professional counseling. If you find yourself in a difficult situation, don’t hesitate to seek professional counseling and pastoral care.