We have now celebrated our first fourth of July without the tyranny of Roe over our heads. Our first time singing, “God shed His grace on thee” without the bloody backdrop and terrible weight on our national conscience of the federally permitted murder of the unborn.
I was stunned the morning the news came out. It seemed hardly possible, although countless individuals had been working and praying toward this goal for almost 50 years.
My mind travelled back…
I remember taking our three young children to the National March for Life. We made signs beforehand. Joshua– then about four years old– wanted his sign to say “Stop This Wickedness.” So, it did. It snowed heavily as we marched around the National Mall, and I was so touched to see people kneeling on the steps of the Supreme Court building to pray and intercede for the unborn. I remember Steve being upset that there was zero media coverage of the massive crowd of people marching. I remember protestors in small clusters along the march route, one group smirking and singing to the tune of Jesus Loves the Little Children— “Jesus should have been aborted, Mary wanted a career.” Yeah. Evil on full display.
I remember many years of participating in our local Stride for Life in Virginia. Our kids remember it too, and we have all the t-shirts to prove it. We raised money, we worked hard to help motivate our church folks to get involved.
I remember a beautiful lady I met through ComfortCare Women’s Health, when we were together helping with the Stride. She had long gray hair, and thoughtful, tender eyes. She told me about how, many years prior, she had been expecting a child and was totally overwhelmed by her life circumstances. She went in for an abortion and the doctor himself told her, “You don’t have to do this.” He enabled her to change her mind. In a whisper she choked out to me, “Now I have my grown son.”
I remember Steve getting emails from Dean Welty of the Valley Family Forum, who worked tirelessly, year after year, to see pro-life and family-friendly policies enacted in our land. Never giving up, never backing down, but empowering churches and people to make a difference and make their voices heard in tangible ways. As Steve went on some of the trips and attended some of the meetings, his appreciation for Dean and many others grew as his horizons were broadened.
I remember our traumatic miscarriage in 2010. Losing that baby was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. We were able to hold his tiny little body in our hands for a few brief moments. The sudden termination of that pregnancy at 18 weeks gestation was a shock to my whole system. I felt the loss for months (physically) and years (emotionally). My mind can hardly comprehend what a woman goes through when she chooses to end the life of her child and have that little body torn out of hers. I cannot comprehend the fact that our government would allow such suffering (for both mother and child) in the name of liberty, freedom, choice, compassion, what-have-you.
I remember reading George Grant’s book, Third Time Around. I learned that Christians have been about the life-saving business since the first century A.D.; for example, early Christians used to rescue abandoned babies from the infanticide wall outside the cities.
I remember the beautiful morning of April 3, 2019, when we got on a bus with our crew to attend the first annual Virginia March for Life. I loved the signs that said, “I am the pro-life generation.” We picked some of those signs up for our kids to hold. They are now the pro-life generation in a bigger way than we ever dreamed.
I remember, earlier this year, that pro-life groups were asking specific prayer for a case being heard by the Supreme Court. We prayed several mornings for this request. I think it must have been Dobbs.
With all this and so much more in our collective memory, June 24th was a day for celebration at the highest level possible (on such short notice). We pulled a quick celebration together with Grandma and Grandpa– ice cream, balloons, sparklers, fireworks (which alas we found out cannot be purchased in Illinois, so we had to settle for some dumb smoke bombs. The kids said the smoke bombs seemed more like a protest but oh well). Grandpa shared some of his thoughts, remembering back to when Roe was first decided, and how the people of this country have never collectively said they want legalized abortions.
As I looked around at my eight children that evening, I could hardly believe that God was allowing us all to be together to commemorate such a day. I want them to remember. I want them to carry on the fight, now at a much more local, closer-to-home level. What a gift we have been given by our merciful God. Onward! ♥
Photo credits: Ethan Hall and Helen Aardsma.