I had a plethora of nudging's over the last month or so regarding things to blog about, to discuss on my public Instagram account, but I ignored each one. Minnesota doesn't have many months where the sun tans your skin and brings sweat to your brow, and I've been away from technology and covered in dirt. I love being outside and I've discovered that I may love gardening more than writing, surprisingly enough. This morning though, I'm feeling as if I have allowed myself to be distracted by pleasure and have been ignoring my calling. There is some guilt today but I'm praying to use it for motivation and not to become downtrodden. Because you see, if I had written every time I was nudged to write, a lot of the big feelings that I'm having right now would make a lot of sense. It would be a build up to what I want to talk about today, and not be a sudden tidal wave, as I fear it has now evolved into.
If you follow me on Instagram, you know I had a tiny freak out and announced a hiatus. I was feeling very overwhelmed by all the noise. The Supreme Court here in the US overturned the Roe v. Wade, a largely divisive decision that is going to see civil unrest and hate escalate in an already increasingly divided political landscape:
"Alito's 78-page opinion, which has a 30-page appendix, seemingly leaves no authority uncited as support for the proposition that there is no inherent right to privacy or personal autonomy in various provisions of the Constitution."
Meaning, the "right to privacy", as alluded to in the 14th Amendment of The Constitution (No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property...) is no longer recognized as a protection for Americans, particularly a woman who may be seeking an abortion. I worry that this decision will lead to an erosion in a plethora of personal protections. I do also fear that we may see IVF become illegal, or women being jailed for miscarriages, but I digress.
Between the Pro-Life supporters posting things like, Abortion is murder!!!!! and the politically correct leftists deciding it was a great day to police women, Watch your language cis-women!!!! I wanted to pull my hair out. So much hate in this world, and I could just see the devil playing this all to his advantage.
Some things about me:
I was a young, unwed mother when I had my first child at 21 years old. I remember going to get an ultrasound, terrified, and seeing my 12-week daughter swimming around in my uterus. I couldn't feel her in there yet, but there she was! Her little head and two arms and two legs. The pregnancy wasn't planned, and I had never really thought about becoming a mother, but I couldn't deny what I saw: that was a baby inside me. My baby. It breaks my heart that there are people who have had abortions that late in the game, that it is legal in certain states to get abortions even further along than that. It breaks my heart that our society is so broken that it feels like a better choice to terminate the pregnancy, than to trust that they themselves and their child will be protected.
Some other things about me:
I am a CSA survivor. I have been raped and assaulted more than once. I, myself, was born to an unwed mother. I grew up without a father. After the age of 14, I did not live with a biological parent or relative. I am currently still nursing my fifth child, an 18-month-old little girl. My womanhood has defined much of my life. I am not going to police my language and erase my experience. My experience is valid, and it shouldn't make anyone else feel minimized or marginalized. My womanhood has been weaponized against me since the first time I was brought into a shower at 6 years old and raped by my mother's husband at the time. And it's these very experiences that make me understand that pregnancy can happen at any time and that shouting (at a possible rape, CSA survivor, who may even be a minor) that they are Murderers!!!! isn't going to help a single thing. Furthermore, telling women to how to tell their stories is just attacking them even more. And I'm tired of being told how to speak about my life as a woman.
(I feel like I'm going to have a lot of different groups upset with me after this, but it feels imperative for me to continue on.)
The rest of this post is heavily influenced by my Christian beliefs.
First, I want to call attention to this passage in The Book of Romans:
As it is written:
“There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” “Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit”; “The poison of asps is under their lips”; “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; Destruction and misery are in their ways; And the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:10-18)
We discussed this passage a few weeks ago at my church and it touched me deeply. When sin comes up, often times, it makes many feel ashamed or as if they need to deny the idea of sin altogether. I, on the other hand, absolutely love and respect this reminder. I've done a lot of foolish things, made many mistakes in my life. Yet we all make mistakes, we all fall short, none of us are perfect! How freeing is that?! Furthermore, even our worst mistakes, our greatest sin, does not define us. Our sin nature is an unfortunate reality of being a person, one we all share, and luckily, because of Jesus, we have grace to begin again and again and again.
In his essay, Christian Activism: Is It Biblical?, Dave Hunt writes,
"Scripture, then, from Genesis to Revelation, offers neither example nor doctrinal teaching to support the idea that Christians ought to engage in political/social activism, lobbying, the takeover methods of Coalition on Revival—or that Christians in public office could or should influence society to adopt biblical standards of conduct. Don't forget, any change would have to be effected through a corrupt political system involving an ungodly majority above and below. Romans 13 tells us to obey rulers, and 1 Timothy 2 to pray for them—not to attempt to change them by coercion. It is not only foolish but counterproductive to attempt to persuade the unsaved to live like Christians. They can't do it—and if they could it would only blind them the more to their sin and need of a Savior."
I often cringe when the political is brought up in a Christian setting, especially this idea that there are certain political parties or candidates that one should be aligning with or supporting.
Why do I bring up sin and Christian activism? Well, imagine the worst thing you've ever done, your greatest sin, your greatest shame, being shouted about all over the place. Calling women who have made the extremely difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy a 'murderer', either directly or passively, isn't going to win a single person to Jesus. And as the church, isn't that the ultimate goal?
Seeing Christians celebrate this political victory makes my intuitive alarm go nuts: THIS IS NOT A VICTORY; IT IS A CALLING. CHRISTIANS: WILL YOU RISE? Because now that Christian's have gotten their way politically, the rest of society, the unbelievers, are going to be watching their every move, every word and will we be Jesus with Skin On or are we going to turn people away from salvation?
I wrote this in my journal last night:
You may feel like celebrating, but I think it's crucial you understand that now is not a time to celebrate, it is a time to rise because you are being called. You are being watched like you have never been watched before. Every word you speak, action you take, from here on out, is going to reflect His church. This is a heavy burden, but one you asked for. Now that you've won, what will you do with this victory? How will you take this victory and multiply His kingdom? There are over 400,ooo children in foster care in the United States at any given time, over 12 million children living in poverty, over 10 million women without health insurance, there have been over 200 school shootings in the US, 1 in 5 women in our country have been raped, I could go on and on. It's important now to decide how are we, as a church, going to rise up and take care of these women and children? There is already so much to be done in our society, so much pain and godlessness, and if we carry on business as usual, with no action as to how to combat the very serious societal issues that make a woman feel as if abortion is her only option, we have put a single Band-Aid on a gaping wound. If Christians do nothing, that's what they'll think about our God, too: that He's nothing. The only way to truly stop abortions is to create a society and environment that cares and protects its women and children. Can you rise? Or who really won here? I hope this doesn't become a victory that ultimately serves the deceiver, one where Christians are hated, and therefore Christ is hated, because we didn't rise to the calling.
I am terrified that unbelievers will curse God because the Christians did nothing, did not rise to the occasion. Paul writes,
"For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” as it is written." -Romans 2:24
Maybe I sound naive, or cruel, but I don't think that people truly thought that Roe v. Wade would be overturned, and therefore, never thought about what would come after. And that after means a lot of work, a lot of Love and a lot of grace to be given to this fallen world by His church. I'm terrified that ultimately this decision is just going to push more people away from Jesus. I hope I'm wrong.
I do have a lot more to say but I'm feeling incredibly fatigued. I think it's best I end with scripture.
"Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." -James 1:27