“Before you read this, I am first begging you to put your politics, your presumptions about another political party, and any name-calling away for a few minutes. It’s 2020, and this may be the only chance you get permission to do that, so I really think you should happily take me up on this offer.
I’m going to tell the hard truths of the first bit of my unplanned pregnancy. In fact, the past few years I’ve seen way too much generalization of this issue, and I think there is some dangerous oversimplification of unplanned pregnancy happening online.
Why is this important? Well, our words, our shares, and our actions online matter — from a picture you post to a sarcastic comment on a news article.
Now I want to tell you about my honest journey with an unplanned pregnancy.
Let’s waste no time. The moment I heard, I was devastated. I’m not going to be that person who tells you from a pedestal ‘the moment those two lines appeared, I grew the heck up and fell into blissful happiness over my baby.’ I also couldn’t tell you that because I didn’t find out from a test with lines. I found out in a hospital on Super Bowl Sunday.
I thought I had appendicitis. Nope. I had a baby. And I was so happy about this and ready to pull up my bootstraps and be a mama?!
Nope. Hard no. Not at all.
I was pro-life, I was in church, and I hated abortion. It was something ‘I would never consider.’ Yet here I was, mind absolutely racing and silently ‘considering my options.’
Now, for me, if there was ever an ‘ideal unplanned pregnancy’ situation to be pregnant in, I was in it! I had a family who would help, a partner who wanted to stay and support, and financial stability from both these sources. AND still, when I found out, the thought crossed my mind.
Let me say that even more clearly — during that moment of being told I was pregnant at 18, the thought of abortion crossed my mind as a solution to the perceived problem I saw, which was my baby.
I know now it is very, very simple to say you would never consider something until it’s your reality. But when reality actually hits, things get real REAL quick. Your dream of what you think you would do goes right out the door. Your body goes on autopilot as fear kicks in, whispers of insecurities SCREAM loudly over any reason, and every option (even the ones you hated) can become an option floating around in your head.
I am thankful every day I chose life for my baby, but I know how easy it was to consider another way, as I sat there with fear filling my heart and mind. At 18, I was broken. I will humbly admit if my circumstances were different, I have no clue what my choice would have been – having my beautiful boy was all God, and I am thankful every day.
Just thinking back to those moments has been an area of such intense guilt for me and I still struggle with it, but I do know I have been forgiven by Him. Why is it so hard to deal with still? Because every day when people talk abortion online, I see people share huge over exaggerations of their feelings on the act by saying, ‘If I was in that situation, I would never even consider this’ or if they did have similar circumstances to mine, they say ‘I was in that position and that evil NEVER crossed my mind.’
Which leaves someone like me left wondering a decade later, ‘Well… why did I? Am a horrible human? Am I evil?’
My Savior tells me the answer is NO. But I was scared, unsure, young, and a little selfish still. I mean, even in the amazingly, ideal circumstances I had, I was still unsure I could actually do this. I struggle with that guilt for just thinking about abortion when I see people share certain articles meant to encourage the pro-life movement. I just can’t imagine what it’s like to be a woman who has had an abortion she regrets OR who is pregnant, considering abortion having to see this all play out online today.
If you are pro-life, I know you’re angry, I know you’re mad, I know you despise this act and those who promote it proudly. But we have to be careful about how we approach this. We have to consider how our actions impact those at the crossroads of having an abortion or struggling with the guilt of one. We have to want Jesus’ healing and help for them MORE than we want to display pride in our own actions, clever name-calling, and sharp generalizations.
With a never-ending choir of ‘I never,’ ‘I would never,’ ‘Those people are so evil,’ etc., the people who you should want to reach are going to feel so beatdown, broken, helpless, and even somewhat ashamed to talk to someone else.
Why would they run with open arms TOWARDS the people and religion who seem to think so little of people like them? It’s sad, but maybe they won’t. They may believe the lie some people are promoting that they are too ‘dirty,’ too broken, or too evil for our God.
That’s why I’m begging you:
Please don’t demonize women for being scared in their circumstances. We have to speak in a way that judges them less and leads them to lay their hurt at Jesus’ feet more. Please just humble yourself and stop using your pride in your own choices as a self-righteous weapon to tell someone how good of a Christian you are because you ‘never did or considered that.’ I am not telling you to support abortion, but I am telling you to make sure you are using your tongue to imply the act of abortion is evil. Not the woman who did it, considered it, or just thought about it.
If you continue to walk proudly over people’s struggles, you aren’t just giving yourself a pat on the back. You are pushing people away in the wrong direction because of their shame or past sins. You are telling every woman of Christ who has done or considered the same they are somehow LESS THAN all these other women who ‘never even thought about that evil.’
Let me be clear, I also believe in life at the start, but I know my life and my actions aren’t the measuring stick for everyone else. It is wrong of me to think everyone is at the same place as me in their walk with Christ. By knowing this, I understand I have to carefully consider how to reach someone no matter where they are in their walk because I’m not here to tell just someone how good I’ve been. I’m here to tell others how good HE is, and anything I am is a product of His reckless love for me!!
No matter if you have never had an abortion or never even consider one, we are all still sinners. Your actions on this earth will NEVER be enough for God. Only He is ENOUGH. Let’s stop telling people how good we’ve been, and start telling them how good HE is!!
If you read all this, thank you! I know this is such a delicate issue, but we need humbleness to approach it and to really impact hearts. Just because I didn’t have an abortion, it doesn’t give me a pass to be prideful about it over those who have. I love my sweet son, but he isn’t a trophy. I’m not going to make a blanket statement calling anyone evil over this, because I have surrendered so many other sins that are just as bad.
For Christians, I think this analogy by Candace Cameron Bure is so fitting as we move forward in 2020 on this:
‘A little girl’s looking at a white sheep as it ate green grass and she thought how nice and white the sheep looked as it ate the green grass. And then it began to snow, and she thought how dirty the sheep looked against the white snow. It was the same sheep, but it was a different background. So, when we compare our sin to the standard of the world, we all come up reasonably clean. But when we compare our sin to the snow-white righteousness of God’s law, we’ll see that we are filthy dirty.'”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Courtney Abernathy. Follow her journey on Instagram here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more stories from Courtney here:
‘She’s very vocal….’ A woman in Walmart made me cry over a comment she made about my toddler. The shame crashed down all over me.’: Mom feels guilt for misjudging stranger after noticing her comment about her daughter
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