Tuesday, January 20, 2009

If I Had One Wish Today

If I were granted one wish today, I would wish that my conscience could allow me to be as jubilant about the inauguration of our 44th President as the media, pop stars, and college students so visibly are. But as it is, for me, a gray cloud looms over the otherwise exciting historical event.

Throughout the Presidential campaign, as a pro-life advocate, I occasionally expressed my frustration with people's ability to sweep under the rug Obama's unabashed intention to promote FOCA (the Freedom of Choice Act), which basically makes abortion "a fundamental right" [as in a Constitutional, inalienable right, according to Clarke Forsythe of Americans United for Life as quoted in World, January, 2009, p. 44].

In fact, in 2007 at a Planned Parenthood fundraiser, Obama promised, "The first thing I'd do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That's the first thing I'd do." The crowd was of course, exceedingly happy to hear that pledge.

Really, Mr. President? Unrestricted abortions mean that much to you, that FOCA would be the very first official thing you'd do--a priority over all that economic stuff we've been wringing our hands over?

It breaks my heart.

When the election ended, I had a "disquietude" in my spirit expressed by thoughts such as this:

"You [referring to myself] have been awfully vocal about pro-life during this campaign. But what have you ever really done in a practical way to support pregnant women or unplanned babies? Sure, you've thrown a few dollars here and there over the years, (very few) and stood on a street holding a sign, but have you ever sacrificed anything besides blog space for something you claim to care so much about?"

And that internal monologue, which I believe was actually a dialogue with God, prompted me to volunteer at our local crisis pregnancy center. I've been training since early December and am just about ready to begin volunteering there.

And I am scared silly.

I thought I had a pretty good layman's understanding of abortion, but I can tell you now that I was terribly uninformed about the various procedures being employed today and did not know that the "procedure" is much more physically taxing than I ever thought. Before this training, I believed that in the early stages, abortion was comparable to a tonsillectomy. I was wrong, on many levels. If my daughter told me today that she were pregnant, even if I did not have moral issues with the procedure, I would discourage her from abortion because I couldn't stand to think of her body bearing that ordeal.

Anyway, I feel this is the right thing for me to do because any gains for the unborn over the last few years are sure to be reversed under an administration which is so adamantly ... not pro-life.

It's time to get serious. So I guess Obama did inspire change in me after all, like so many others claim he has in them.

And may God forgive us for voting for our wallets instead of for our babies. And may God help me to be obedient, faithful, and most of all, compassionate to the young women I meet who, in our culture, could be so easily lured into an apparent quick fix to a monumental problem without ever knowing the potential for life-long devastating consequences.

78 comments:

Dawn said...

Amen and amen!!!

Kingdom Mama said...

All I can say is AMEN.

Melanie @ This Ain't New York said...

Wow, Linda.

I have several friends who've confided in me that they had abortions. None of them were glad they did it.

I've read Susan B. Anthony's view on this issue. Her thoughts are so enlightening- opposite of the current feminist view.

One of your best posts. Inspiring and honest. Thank you.

Becky said...

Oh Linda you wrote words straight from my heart. I am envious (in a good way) of the work you are going to do with these young women who need someone like you to come along side them and show them the value of their babies life and their own as well. I hope you have many opportunities to share Christ with them as well.

I probably won't watch the inauguration. Are they pre-empting American Idol?

Chel - An Abiding Branch said...

Wow girl! Great post and challenge...what ARE WE doing? Good question. A here and there approach will not cut it and save the lives of the innocent. My consistent prayer was that the change would light a fire under the "chosen frozen". I forget where I heard that, perhaps it was Ellie Lafaro of Spaghtetti for the Soul. Not sure but it stuck either way.
You defrosted and now it is our turn. - not to imply you were frozen but claiming with our lips and imparting no action is like well, we should get up and get moving. Yay Lid!!! (sorry it is so scattered and tattered for a comment but my blood is pumping)
Chel

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

Oh, sweet Lord.

Did you read my post tonight? Uncanny.

I am SO proud of you.

Aunt LoLo said...

Very well put. Since you are about to start work in a clinic, I'd love to see a few posts about your experiences there. and what you've learned in your studieson abortion.

DayleShockley said...

Great post. I couldn't agree with you more. I'm not happy about this election... don't even plan to watch it. So much will be lost in the next four years. That is how I see it. Time will tell.

Best of luck on your volunteer efforts. I volunteered for several years at a crisis pregnancy center. It was both rewarding and exasperating, but at least it's better than doing nothing to help women make more informed and better choices. If girls/women only knew how invasive and how dangerous the abortion procedures are, and if they were told of the scientific link between abortion and breast cancer, I'm convinced the number of abortions would drop dramatically.

Sorry to take up so much space here. Great post.

Blessings....

Tammy said...

You will so blessed in your new journey at the center. I started volunteering almost three years,I was just going to answer the phone :)

Well,God had other plans and what wonderful plans they were. I'm now the program coordinator for our abortion recovery and I have see God work in many of the lives that walk through our doors.

A couple of weeks ago I went to a little boy's birthday whose life was going to be taken by abortion.If you have time you can see pictures of him at this great event on my blog: http://notminebutgodsstory.blogspot.com/2009/01/one-life-at-time.html

You've made a great choice!

In His Grace,
Tammy

lmerie said...

Great Post and it is exciting that something good was inspired by a set of principles so at the extreme opposite of those of us here today! I have prayed that he will not reverse it - that there will be a stirring of "maybe I should not do this."

LuAnn said...

Great post - Amen - you've said it all perfectly

Ally said...

Amen, Amen! I believe it is our call as believers to not only be pro-life but also to follow through that life and support adoption. I know that not everyone is called to adopt but... there are other ways to support adoption. Thank you for sharing your heart.

Dena said...

Amen Linda!

One of my daughters said they are canceling classes today so all students can watch the inauguration. She said the excitement level around campus is unbelieveable, and her comment was I don't get it mom. I just don't get it." Neither do I.

Makes me glad I'll be out shopping all day.

Tightening the Corset Again said...

Thank you for speaking up! I feel like we're not getting change - we're watching the moral fiber of our country erode. I have never had an abortion but a close friend did when I was very young (15) and the physical and emotional pain she suffered was traumatic to watch. If you study the Old Testament and realize that the sins that God punished Israel for are prevalent in this country, it will drive you to your knees. And for that reason, I am glad that we're where we are... I'm certain that more people are praying about the state of our nation because of the "change" that's sweeping our land than would have been otherwise. We finally have enough fear for our beliefs that we're willing to humble ourselves and pray. I'll be interested to see how things go for you at the Crisis Pregnancy Center. What an awesome opportunity!

love and hugs,
heather

DidiLyn said...

Linda, you really have no idea how your post touched me today. I am so tired of the celebration surrounding this president...like people can't see what is happening. I just cried about it to Rod last night when he came home. Thank you for writing this, for working at the PRC and for sharing this heart with me.

Susan D said...

Thank you for you honesty and courage. God will honor your obedience and faith as you walk this journey. Blessings, Susan

sara said...

Wow, Linda what a great post and a challenge to my heart too. I think I will be mulling this one over for a while...what is God calling me to do....

Tammy said...

You have said exactly what is on my heart about this new President. I do not have the privilege of having to occasionally care for individuals who have chosen abortion and something at the office goes "wrong" and they need immediate surgery.

God help us!

The Quiet One said...

"And that is what we call inspiration!" ;o)

Mocha with Linda said...

Wow. Great, great words.

Can we inaugurate you instead?

Susanne said...

Thank you for a courageous and convicting post, Linda. "have I really sacrificed anything...for something I claim to care so much about?" That is the bottom line isn't it?

Brooke said...

My prayer is that these promises were merely empty words to get elected...

My ADHD Me said...

Amen.

And what a great thing you are doing by volunteering! Be proud!!

Julie said...

Linda, The day the election was finalized I was deeply troubled in my heart.... It's not what I wanted..... I too wonder what kind of evil is going to come as a result of this change.

I have lived through President Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush.... wow that's alot of Presidents...am I old?

Anyways there were some characters in the midst of them all. Clinton was for abortion as well. I remember the fears that crept in when he became president. I remember Nixon's "Watergate"... what a mess...

I felt the same way with Obama... I've been studying with my kids in our home school.."The Mystery of History" and the different kings that served Israel. There were some guys who did some really evil things... Ahab & Jezebel for one, Manasseh another. Though it was an intense time for Israel who had walked away from God AGAIN.... God did some amazing things. He never stopped pursuing them with His love.

We must move and go where He calls us, doing what He asks us to do.

Thanks for sharing your heart. This post was beautiful!

12-arrows said...

we are not watching, my kids are not participating at their local elementary school either. We are home today enjoying a fun-filled day of whatever they want. My heart is breaking for our country, our families, our heritage, our Christian beliefs. Many think we are not involving ourselves because of his heritage, on the contrary its because of all he stands for that we disagree with. Thank you for stepping up to the plate and giving it to us! I agree whole heartidly and applaud you. Oh and our church is working with Planned Parenthood, amazing miracle that it is, to touch the lives of women/girls who choose to not go through with abortions. Exciting and I am praying more women choose not too than do it!

Beverlydru said...

I too will be pondering whether I am to volunteer. I want to. Thank you for challenging me to do more.
Thank you for linking up to my post!

samurai said...

An excellent post Linda... there are a number of issues that i am concerned for... this one is easily near the very top.

May God have mercy on our country.

Greg C said...

I like you a lot. Because you are not afraid to take a stand on what you believe in. I felt the same way that you did and heard the same arguments for O. The sad truth is that people will find out too late that he is full of hot air. He is already saying that the changes wont' come overnight and people are going to have to change for change to happen and it will reqeire a lot of scarifice. Well Duh. No kidding. Of course HE won't have to do any sacrificing.

Mommy, the Human Napkin said...

I just need to say AMEN, SISTER! I, too, am troubled by Obama's support of abortion. It truly is heartbreaking what women will put their bodies through to avoid having a baby. I pray that he won't get his wish to pass the Freedom of Choice Act, but even if he does, I pray that women everywhere will educate other women and speak out against abortion. It's murder. Period.

Great post, Linda!

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

Yay for you for "putting your money where your mouth is" so to speak...we all could use a big dose of that.

I'm linking to this today...

Thanks Linda!

Alexia said...

It's nice to hear you speaking out about these issues...too many people just sweep it under the rug. I'm not excited today either because I'm not looking forward to all the ways we, as a nation, will be slapping God in the face.

annie's eyes said...

I love your heart, Linda. God alone is our Source. Change in all its glory is really just that. Something different. Why does it represent something better to many? Lord, have mercy on us and our country, and bless and turn our new President's heart toward You. Beautifully written and inspired. Love you, Annette

Stacy said...

I love this post. You're right...those of us who reacted so strongly to Obama's views on abortion...what were we doing prior to the election and what have we been doing since that would reflect our desires to save the lives of unborn children. Are we all talk and no action?

Very convicting. Thank you so much for speaking truth.

Chatty Kelly said...

yay for you! You will be such a help to scared & confused teens and young women who see only one way "out." Keep up the good work. Or should I say, Keep up the GOD work!

Mrs.Naz@BecomingMe said...

Wow Linda. I have no words after reading the profound ones you wrote here.

Nel said...

Amen Linda! You said it well.

Smelling Coffee said...

Linda~ My heart is feeling the same way today. And I really like what Julie (a comment above) had to say about all of it.

More than ever before, God is calling His people to stand up in many ways, and as we see our society decline, we must arise. As it gets darker, we will shine brighter. We must rise and shine in the days ahead. You are doing just that.

May He call each of us to rise and shine - and may each of us obediently answer "yes!" Then, the next 4 years will be worth something far more than we can imagine. (I'm repeating this over and over to myself today, especially!)

fransmomma said...

good stuff, girl! i won't expound because i know i'd only be 'preaching to the choir' so to speak. but i WILL say that i really really hope tonights festivities, for lack of a better word, dont affect AI!! i'd much rather watch horrible singers (and a few good ones) than the inauguration!!

skoots1mom said...

Psalm 146 1-5
"Praise the Lord!
Let all that I am praise the Lord.
I will praise the Lord as long as I live. I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.
Don’t put your confidence in powerful people;there is no help for you there.
When they breathe their last, they return to the earth,
and all their plans die with them.
But joyful are those who have the God of Israel[a] as their helper,whose hope is in the Lord their God."

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

Well said my friend. Disquietude, what a wonderfully descriptive word, it really captures the mood with in my heart. I am trying to be objective and watch this transition from the perspective of how far we have come as a nation, however I feel very unsettled in my heart at what is possibly to come in the very near future.

We all need to be on our knees for our nation and our new president and all the new leaders of our country for God to reveal the truth to them so they will govern wisely and govern well.

Blessing
Robin

Sandra in Phx said...

Thanks for posting this. I too am astounded by the excitement surrounded by this new President...I just don't get it. I am saddened that our country is so willing to give it all up...

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

Linda,
I am so glad you wrote this today. Thank you for sharing your heart.
I have been volunteering at a local crisis pregnancy center for a year and a half and it has literally changed my life! I just wrote about it on Sunday

http://miraculouschaos.blogspot.com/2009/01/he-didnt-carefully-knit-them-together.html

I often feel SO inadequate there, but I know that is where God can use me the most - in my inadequacies his strength shows up!

Happy Mama said...

I am with you Linda on everything you said. And even though I am a college student I am still rather depressed today and I certainly have no reasons to cheer.
I just read that porn industry is asking the government for a bailout.
If this is going to happen, I am moving to back to Europe. Anybody with me? ;-)

Teri~Facedown said...

I used to volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center back in my early twenties. My main place of service was on a peer group, we went into youth groups and schools and taught about sexual abstinence. It was so rewarding.

I too have had a very hard time with the rockstar mania around this whole day. It is interesting how people are so moved by greed that they would put all of their hope in this one man. It is truly scary to see some of the different comments I have throughout the day. "The sun is shining brighter." "Hope has come." Makes me throw up a little in my mouth. He is a man. He is mortal.

With that said, I will pray for him. I will give honor to whom honor is due. But I will not support his policies or ideals, I just can't.

Sorry to be so heavy, but my heart is not light right now.

Denise said...

Wonderful post! During the campaign I had a conversation with a fellow Christian about the candidates and their stances. When we got to the topic of abortion, her comment to me was "our decision to vote for or against Obama cannot be based upon this concern alone" -- "it is a personal decision and we cannot legislate a personal decision." Really?! I am still dumbfounded.

Thank you for your honesty.

Joanna said...

Well said! Thanks for having the courage for saying it like it is.

Sitesx6 said...

Way to go Linda!

Way to DO SOMETHING.....anything at all, but SOMETHING!

I am so excited to hear about your journey at the Pregnancy Crisis Center.

I am on the prayer team for our local Pregnancy Crisis Center. I LOVE that! I can see me doing what you are doing, after my kids get older. For now, I'm enjoying praying for the women and babies that come through our center.

Blessings! God will use you in BIG ways, I have no doubt.
Kelly (in Michigan):)

Barb said...

I have exactly the same reservations about him. His pro choice stance is very difficult to swallow. So I've decided to pray for him, that his eyes will be opened.

Mom To Six said...

Linda,

I can't even tell you how my stomach churned this morning as I watched his speech and what he stands for.

I pray God change his views in a big way. It's really scary what we're heading into with this man at the helm.

Blessings,

Ohilda

Esthermay said...

Could NOT be in MORE agreement with you, Linda!

I'm committing Psalm 2:1-4 to memory today:

Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One. "Let us break their chains," they say, "and throw off their fetters." The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.

Evil may seen to reign, but God is still on the throne!!!!!!

~esthermay

Pam from alertandorientedx4 said...

TSAB, I tell you. I posted about the same thing today....sheesh!
P.S. This is one of your best posts, ever!

Robin said...

I agree with every word you said. Amen and Amen.
God help us.

Jill said...

You rock. This is exactly what I've been feeling. Unfortunatley it's not just the Life Issue that have me concerned but that alone is enough to make my stomache upset.
While I'm thrilled with the peaceful transfer of power and the freedom we have to choose a president. I am fearful of what the future holds.
Holding firm to God's power and His ability alone to determine the future.

Rachel said...

Linda, what a wonderful challenge! We need to put our money and time and hands where our mouths are!

I too have reservations. The night he was elected God led me to pray for a Damascus Road experience for him while in office. I'm still praying that and will continue to do so until it happens or another man moves in.

carol ~ i throw like a girl said...

Oh, Linda! I am so proud of you. You are doing something much braver than flying on an airplane. I'll be praying for you! Big Hugs!

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

I didn't think I'd EVER get to the bottom of all these encouraging comments!

Linda, you have *spoken* words that many of us have been thinking, and we must be on our faces before God.

God can and does change the heart of kings in this world; He always has. We just need to humble ourselves and PRAY for real CHANGE in our president.

Thank you for bringing this up today...and so timely too. Did you know this is Sanctity of Life week? I gave my testimony in Sunday School this past Sunday and mentioned this topic (because my opinions on it are SO different now) and had no idea that our worship service was going to be honoring the emphasis.

I think God may be saying something here. :-)

Edwina at The Picket Fence said...

I know how you are feeling today, I posted a blog on our new President today. We just have to give him over to God and let God find a way to change his heart. May God forever find favor on us all.

Darnelle said...

Amen, Sister. To every last word... Amen.

Darnelle

A Stone Gatherer said...

So sad, so very sad!!!! I had the FightFOCA website on my blog today! We need to take a stand against the blatant disregard for human life created in the image of God, amongst other great sins that are about to happen!

Anonymous said...

Linda, Are you familiar with the Sunday Parade newspaper magazine? This past Sunday's carried the letter our new president wrote to his 2 daughters. I won't quote too much, but he speaks to them about what he wants not only for them, but for every child in this nation. When I read "every child", I want to say to him, "Truly? Please mean the words you say. Value all life, especially the unborn." He also says to them, "Right the wrongs you see and work to give others the chances you've had."

You can read it if you wish, at Parade.com .

God bless you as you love on and minister to every young woman you meet up with, and my prayer will be that they choose LIFE.

Paula (SweetPea) said...

This is awesome. How wonderful that you are putting action to your heart's desire. We just recently had a crisis pregnancy center open in our small town...maybe six months ago. It's on my mind and often wonder what I can do for the center.

Ang baylis said...

Amen, Amen and AMEN!
I stand in total agreement. Praying for our new President and Praying for you!

Love,
Angie xoxo

Leebird said...

As an adopted child who could have been aborted, my prayer for Obama today is, "Lord, may Obama's heart and mind be in tune with Your heart so our country will be blessed with Your favor and our people will be at peace."

Beverly said...

I agree with you and have been sad, tense all day. I am not excited about the new pres and his anti life views!!

Garden Girl said...

Amen! I used to be a weekend houseparent for unwed mothers for a local home. It was amazing, frightening and heartening all at the same time. Such babies having babies!
God is STILL on THE throne and HE is the one who moves presidents in and out of the White House to accomplish in His people what He wants to accomplish. We need to pray and watch the hand of God move in ways we will be astounded at!Who knows, Mr Obama may come to know the Lord! Wouldn't THAT rock the world!

Mel said...

Linda awesome...FOCA is evil, that being said you are standing in the gap in a visable heartfelt way for those who cannot speak for themselves!! My prayer is that we support nonjudgementally those who are in a crisis pregnancy no matter the circumstances and don't walk away and support adoption in a huge way...

The Bayou Belles and Their Beau said...

Amen and Amen!

Jeanette said...

I agree with you and so many of your readers.

As an Illinoisian I saw first hand what his plans for the unborn are. Partial birth abortion and if the abortion doesn't take, just leave the baby unattended in a room to die on its own. The voters said NO to partial birth abortion but this is what we have to "look forward to".

I am praying that God would change his heart and that he would surround himself with wise council.

Yes, change is coming but is it change we can afford at the expense of life?

Tammy said...

I'm late getting in on this, but AMEN!!!!
The girls and I watched yesterday morning, truly for learning purposes, and it was so easy to be swept up in the excitement of it all by the pomp and circumstance...and there's no denying, they are a pleasingly beautiful family.
But I couldn't completely join in with the throngs of Obama jubilee knowing he has the power of the unborn partly in his hands and they are NOT safe whatsoever. As a father of sweet little girls, he is so blinded.
Our pastor of our very large church on Sunday led us in prayer for the country and specifically for Obama...that somehow he would have an ear to hear God. I know that seems implausible but nothing is impossible with God and I know you agree that it is our duty to pray for our leaders- and when they go against the Bible, pray even harder!

Thank you for this honest, in your face, and truthful post.
And God bless you as you work in the pregnancy crisis center, and may He use you greatly, dear Linda!

Melli said...

I am a pro-lifer and have always been a pro-lifer. My infant daughter and I marched on Washington in the Pro-Life Marches 31 years ago - and I am still there in heart today. But with that said, I did also VOTE for Obama. Why? Because I believe that aside from that issue, he is the best man for the job. The nation and the world have much to gain from him being leader of our nation. You act like "giving" people the choice is all his fault - and that taking it AWAY would solve the problem. Obama is not responsible for the choices that people make. But he feels he is responsible for upholding our constitution and our "rights" -- There are other "rights" that I personally don't believe we should have, as well as the right to abortion. I don't believe we should have the right to speak profanity anywhere and everywhere we please. I don't believe we should have the right to publish pornography. I don't believe we should have the right to SING about killing people... cops or otherwise. But no one has BASHED a president for not taking away our Freedom of Speach. Yes, I believe abortion is WRONG. I believe it with every fiber of my being. But I also believe that people who judge this man on that ONE issue are equally wrong. The blame for all those abortions lays individually on the people women who seek them. Obama is NOT responsible for THEIR walk with God.

Jerralea said...

Thank you, Linda, for having the courage to say what you did! I'm afraid too many of us voted for our wallets ...

Anyway, God bless you and I will be praying for your efforts at the pregnancy center!

JyLnC said...

Congratulations on becoming involved in helping to make abortions rare by volunteering at a Crisis Pregnancy center. That is the way to handle the situation if you didn't vote for Barack based on your opposition to his views on a woman's right to privacy.

Uncommon Blonde said...

While your post was great, the comments that followed are what really inspired me! Yesterday it felt like everyone was cheering and I was alone thinking "really?" but it's nice to know that others are standing in the gap and praying with me for our nation and our new president because we need lots of prayer to see the change we truly need.

Ruth said...

A big AMEN to what you wrote. That is the one stand that I had reservations about & voted for McCain, even though I had the feeling because of all the Hollywood, & Oprah & other celebrety backing he had, that he would win the election. After going to College in a segregated South, in the 1950s, part of me was happy that a black mnan was elected, but because of the abortion veiw, I was unhappy that that he won.

honeypiehorse said...

This is a great post. I don't know where I stand on the issue but I do generally believe in the right to choose. And it's not like we have a social net for unwanted babies. On the other hand since I had kids I can't even think about it. But what's great about this is that you actually took steps to solve a problem you care about and make a difference. If there were more people like you maybe pregnant women wouldn't have to make this terrible choice.

Carol said...

Wow. One of your best posts ever. I am so excited and proud for you. I know you'll be wonderful.

Joanne@ Blessed... said...

Fantastical...a word I just made up because 'wow' just seemed inadequate.

You spoke the words of my heart.

dana said...

I feel so lucky for having "found" your blog. At first I was howling with laughter at your funny posts--appreciating the lighter side of life. Then, I came upon this one and the amazing comments. I only wish I would have seen this on Tues.. I was (and still am) sick at heart about the path our Nation chose in Nov.. As someone said, our citizens voted with their wallets--some of them just voted because they were "recruited" (but that's another story)--, their hatred over the first Bush victory, their love for movie stars--I could get really bitter here! :) Some blog this morning referred to the new Pres and his wife as our King and Queen. OMG!!! I don't think she is alone in that feeling--and that's the really sad thing.
Anyway, I did not watch the "most expensive inauguration" (an example of Change!!yeh, right)---I left the house and tried to not think about what is in store for us.
I am so impressed about your volunteer commitment. You have probably given lots of us the inspiration needed to follow in your path.
Dana