I wrote a post a few days ago entitled “Every Life Matters.”
In it I shared my passion for the pro life movement and my firm belief that life begins at conception.
I believe everything I said but it left me with an unsettled feeling that I couldn’t shake. Something just didn’t sit well in my heart.
Was it fear of how others would label me? Discomfort at placing myself so entirely in an unpopular camp? The Spirit’s promptings of the airs of self righteousness that trickled through my words?
Those things for sure, but there was more.
I finally realized, it felt unfinished and unsettling because it was.
This was only half of the story.
I firmly believe that life begins at conception and that from the very first second that life should be protected, advocated for and fought for.
But I also believe that being pro life means advocating for, protecting and fighting for the lives of women, not just babies.
It means not ignoring the stories of the women who feel abortion is their only option, and allowing those stories to drive us to hard questions.
It means advocating for real, viable solutions and accessible support for women struggling with mental health issues.
It means supporting local pregnancy centers in their goal to give women support emotionally, physically and spiritually whether or not they choose to carry out their pregnancy to term.
It means crossing social, economic and racial barriers to reach the hearts of women living out realities I don’t understand or cannot identify with personally.
It means fighting for laws that will offer protection and healing for vulnerable women.
It means grieving with them.
It means listening to their stories and not offering unsolicited advice or uneducated options.
It means offering truth, grace and support to women who have chosen abortion in the past or are choosing abortion now.
It means choosing words and actions that bestow dignity and value on women who are considering abortion.
It means raising young men of integrity who will treat the women in their lives with respect, dignity and honor.
It means surrounding our daughters with both men and women who will protect, empower and validate them to live out their fullest potential.
It means supporting struggling mothers, getting involved in foster care, providing permanency for children who need to leave their first families.
It means grace.
Grace that humbly admits I have few answers to the difficult situations women find themselves in leading up to this decision.
Grace that acknowledges we live in an imperfect, marred world where sin and darkness berate, abuse and destroy.
Grace that sees my own brokenness, fragility and sin.
Grace that covers, forgives and redeems.
Pro Life meets Grace when Jesus enters the scene.
Jesus offers us life abundant, regardless of the wreckage of our lives.
He infuses hope, courage, resiliency and beauty into our mess.
As a Jesus follower, and a pro life advocate, this is the message I want to carry.