Many years ago, when I was in my early 20s, the Lord put a burden and a passion in my heart to see the ending of abortion in America. For years, I boldly expressed this passion. As a youth pastor, I knew that the present and coming generation had very little understanding of what actually took place - physically and spiritually - in the killing of the unborn. So I began to regularly present the horrors of abortion to my students, even having parents sign a waiver as I showed pictures to their kids of what actually takes place in the womb when the doctors are dismembering the child. I raised up a student initiative on the High School campus to fast once a week to see abortion come to an end. I stood outside our local courthouse once a month for years and prayed for God to reverse the tide and send revival to America. I went to prayer meetings built around the fire of this passion. And although there was no abortion clinic near my home, I once traveled hours away to stand outside of one and pray. I'll never forget that day. I loaded up a handful of students to go with me and we met up with another prayer team, we stood outside of the walls of that building, and we prayed. As we did, I watched two young teenage girls walk arm and arm into the clinic. My heart broke. I didn't yell at them. I didn't condemn them. I cried for them. I was moved with compassion for them knowing that the decision one or both of them were facing was one that was rooted in fear, rejection, and isolation. The image of those young ladies walking in together is forever burned in my mind. It wasn't just about the baby dying - it was about the people making that choice: What are they facing? Why are they afraid? What is their home life like? What is their economic situation? These were real questions that rolled in my mind as I watched these young ones walk into the chambers that would snuff out life.
But even while holding on to these questions, I also held onto my prayer at the same time: "God, end abortion." That didn't change. The passion was still present.
For such a passion to consistently sourge through someone, it is only natural that a secondary devotion will arise: a passion for the people facing this decision. When someone truly gets the heart of the Lord for the ending of abortion, the cry of their heart also resounds for the church to be the answer to the problem. So my prayers were never simply, "God, end abortion," - my prayers were, "God, send revival! God, let these women feel the power of life inside of them! God, help the men facing this fear and bring people to them to teach them to be fathers! God, heal what is sexually broken in this generation! God, have mercy on them and send people to rally around them! God, raise up adoption agencies and orphanages in our churches!" You see, another passion arises in the heart of those who stand against abortion and with those who face the choice: a passion for adoption. It's not enough for the church to end something - we are called to begin things. Ending abortion is God's heart, plain and simple. But so is the orphan. So is adoption. If you hold on to one in prayer you will inevitably find yourself holding on to the other. BOTH will be a passion in your heart because both are a passion of His.
Since that time years ago, I have continued to pray and rally around this issue. Recently in our city, the people declared, through the democratic process that our government is made to protect, that this town is a Sanctuary City for the Unborn. It was my privilege - yes, my duty - to do whatever I could to make this mission known. Now I stood before a congregation, no longer as a youth pastor but as a lead pastor, with a room full of adults and told them that we would be a house that promotes life. Where I once had a group of teenagers who could plainly see the horrors of abortion, now I was faced with the reality that, as adults, we see and grapple with the tributaries that flow into this issue. To take a stand for life in a congregation you lead is automatically seen as divisive and political. As I announced that this is who we are as a people, I watched as a couple got up and left. I didn't know if more would follow. Another couple didn't leave, but they never returned. It's the cost in today's polarized landscape. I found it's not enough for us in today's world to simply say: babies are ripped up with scissors, have their brains sucked out, and are drowned in water if they survive...today it's a political divide, so you'll be met with, "Yeah, but 400,000 children are in foster care and the church does nothing! Yeah, but poverty is so rampant and is part of the problem but the church is against socialized medicine!" It's a sad reality that the church today can't call what is horrible horrible without all of the opinions and divisions coming into play. I understand it is a complex issue for which there are no easy, quick answers - but that will never, ever change the fact that abortion stops a beating heart.
In 2019, my husband and I found out that we were pregnant with our first child. After 20 years of marriage and years of no birth control, we had thought it wasn't possible. I had prayed about adopting for 15 years, but the timing never seemed to be God's timing. I didn't know then that an autoimmune disorder had made it very difficult for me to conceive and even harder for me to carry to term. When we found out we were pregnant, and watched that little heartbeat on the sonogram, one of the first things my husband said was, "Let's adopt 5 more!" At just once glimpse of that heartbeat, the fathering gene had gone full force in him! But then tragedy struck and our baby girl was gone. The feeling of life leaving your body is one that I will never forget. The pain, the trauma, the blood...there are no words to describe it. As I laid in my bed a couple days later, I cried out to the Lord, "Why? Why did you take my baby?" The Lord quickly spoke to me, "Child, I don't take babies from the womb. The spirit of Pharaoh and the spirit of Herod do that."
The very spirits that I had warred against for years had ambushed my heart and left me feeling lifeless - and that is exactly what the spirits are doing to women who make this choice. They may not know it, feel it, or understand it, but these soul-sucking spirits are leaving them lifeless inside. Statistically, most websites you'll find say 95% of women are happy with their choice 5 years later. But they don't tell you that 42% of women have greater shame and negative feelings for up to 10 years afterwards. Low self-esteem, depression, and buried regret follow many women their entire lives. So, no - abortion doesn't solve the problem - it compounds it. It takes what is meant to be a heart overflowing with hope and rips it apart from the inside out. Now that I know personally what if feels like to watch that little heartbeat end, now that I have experienced this loss, now that I have come face to face with the very spirits I have been warring against for years, I have brighter fire to end their demonic grip on this nation. But does that resolve diminish my capacity of love for those gripped by poverty, shame, and fear? No. It only strengthens it.
I read many Christian posts yesterday that said that our prayers are in vain if we don't do something; that the church won't adopt, won't foster, won't really care for the moms...that they have warred against abortion without being the answer. I think that is a very harsh, sweeping, judgmental statement. I know many ministries and nonprofits that exist to save moms and babies alike. I know many people who adopt and foster and many more who want to. I pray that those who have fostered and adopted don't throw stones at those who have not, just as I pray that those who have not had abortions don't throw stones at those who have. Every believer CAN do something: give, vote, pray about what your family should do in response to the Court's decision. I know my family is. Last night after the decision was made by our Supreme Court, we asked the Lord what he would have us to in response to this. This is a prayer that every believer should be praying: do you want us to adopt, Lord? Do you want us to help someone else adopt? Do you want us to support an orphanage in our city? Do you want us to volunteer, serve, or give? I am confident that the church that has passionately prayed for the overturning of Roe vs Wade in America WILL in turn pray these prayers. For If you hold on to one in prayer, you will inevitably find yourself holding on to the other. BOTH will be a passion in your heart because both are a passion of His.