On the Brink
Jan 16, 2022 | by The Fellowship
As a young girl, I loved to play with dolls and remember always wanting to be a mother. After graduating from high school, I went to Western Michigan University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in teaching. Before long, I met my husband, and we were married.
You might describe me at that age as a “free spirit” and an observant and critical thinker. (And, probably, I still am.) I was aware some 50 years ago of the inequality of opportunities for women -- and you might say I was a woman's libber. Believing that I had the right to choose what went on with my body also included abortion!
My first job was teaching girls’ high school physical education and health. My husband, passionate about golf, was a struggling Assistant Golf Pro at the local country club. He worked long hours in the summer and in winter, he had to find different work. This varied from working in retail at a big and tall shop one winter, managing the Grand Rapids Ski Club another winter, and even working on the assembly line in a yellow cab factory a different year. I tell you this because it was me who had a regular paycheck. It worried him that he could not support us on his own.
When we found out I was pregnant with our first child, he froze! Immediately, he told me to call Planned Parenthood and get an appointment for an abortion. Yes, I had always felt this was my right! He was my husband, and I always tried to honor his wishes. Mentally, though, I struggled!
Something deep inside kept telling me this was not what God would want. I was raised a Christian and as a child, my family went to church together. At this time in my life, though, I did not have a church family or attend services anywhere. I was so confused!
But I honored my husband and called Planned Parenthood, making an appointment for an abortion. But still I was in turmoil. How could I kill our baby? We were married. This was our child.
The day before the abortion appointment, I found the courage to tell my husband that I just could not go through with killing our baby. He expected me to go to Planned Parenthood alone, but I told him If he wanted me to get an abortion -- he would have to go with me and sit in the room holding my hand as the doctor killed our baby. After a long silence, he said: “I cannot do it either!” I called and cancelled the appointment.
I embraced our pregnancy with joy. My husband and I went to LaMaze birthing classes. We practiced the technique until it was automatic. I had a natural childbirth with no anesthesia. It was very hard work -- but I had absolutely no pain!
The most beautiful part of the birthing experience was when I felt our daughter slide out of my body. I had a rush of spiritual awareness, a bonding and connection with each of my female ancestors -- my mother, grandmothers, great grandmothers and on who had birthed their children before me. I breathed in and said to myself, “Aaahh! This is what life is all about! Thank you, God, for this gift of life!”
That whole experience made me realize how much I longed for a closer connection to God! I found a church, and my husband and I began a fresh journey with God. In time, we were blessed with another daughter and worshiped together as a family. We also prayed together. Both of our girls invited Jesus into their hearts as Savior and Lord.
It scares me every time I think about how close we came to not having our amazing first-born daughter in our lives. I had never shared this story with her, not wishing her to think she was unwanted. And I was ashamed! But just this Christmas, I did share it with her. She remarked, “I always wondering why you went to ‘Right to Life’ marches and prayer vigils.” Now she understands!
My husband was the best father to our girls! God provided business opportunities and he was able to develop skills to support our family beyond golf. Life was not always easy, and finances were tough at times. It is hard work to be good, loving parents, but we discovered family is a most wonderful gift from God. When our girls left to marry and start their own families, my husband said, “If I had known how much fun our children were going to be, we would have had some more!”
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.