Quiet enfolds the home like a soft blanket holding the family in its warm embrace. Soft breathing emanates from every bedroom as the family sleeps and dreams.
A scream suddenly rips the blanket of silence, shattering the peaceful night. Without hesitation, the mother leaps out of bed and rushes to her child’s room. No need to sit up and wonder about the sound, a mother knows her children’s voices even in her sleep. In a heartbeat, she is cradling her child in her arms, pouring the love straight from her heart into him, hoping to cover him with her loving reassurance.
Nightmares may not be real threats, but the fear feels real to a child. Nightmares are not limited to our childhood years, and panic can seem just as real to an adult, especially when the nightmares are not in our dreams.
Our biggest fears often attack during the day as we worry about the future, especially during these uncertain times. People have lost their jobs. Companies have closed temporarily, maybe permanently. No paychecks mean savings accounts are being depleted in order to pay for the necessities of food and rent. How long will this last? What will we do if it continues much longer?
Now, throw an unexpected pregnancy into the list of worries. Every pregnancy brings changes into a woman’s and a family’s life, whether the pregnancy is joyfully anticipated or unexpectedly jolts the very foundation of the woman’s life. Imagine family members jumping up and down in excitement versus the ground trembling beneath a woman’s feet as an earthquake-sized panic tears apart her future plans while adding to the struggles of the current uncertainty. What will she do? Who can she turn to for help?
Sadly, abortion has been legalized for over forty-seven years. Women of child-bearing age have never known a time when abortion was not a legal and socially acceptable solution for what has become known as a problem pregnancy. As a result, the more commonly known remedy is provided by those who offer a “quick and easy” solution, followed by lifelong pain and regret. Abortion fights against the body’s natural protection systems as well as tearing a hole in the fiber of a woman’s nature.
An interesting reality of womanhood becomes evident when a woman realizes she is pregnant. Maybe not immediately when the pregnancy test reveals a positive result because she is sometimes in a fog of confusion and denial. However, when the truth of her pregnancy hits home, a woman’s initial reaction is to place her hand against her abdomen. She is not grabbing her stomach lest she become sick, although that can also be a symptom. No, her womanly instinct, her natural act of motherly protection, automatically reaches to cradle and protect the life within her. God’s design for motherhood is flawless.
Once a woman sees her preborn baby alive and moving on an ultrasound screen, she instinctively feels a rush of hope, sometimes mixed with fear and anxiety, but especially hope. Is my baby all right? How will I provide for him or her? What will I tell my parents or partner? Is that really my baby’s tiny heart beating? Ribbons of hope and worry will always be looped together to form the bow that ties God’s love to the natural temperament of motherhood, no matter how young or old our children are.
Hope is a fundamental part of motherhood. Hope is the flame that burns in a mother’s heart. Hope for the child’s health. Hope for a good future for him. Hope for a satisfying career for her. Hope that our children will be happy. Our children soon grow up, move away and build good lives of their own. But then the phone rings and a mother hears that tiny inflection in her child’s voice. Worry invades her heart, but hope conquers every fear so that she is able to do whatever she needs to do to help her child. Hope keeps a mother going, nourishing her for whatever battle she must endure to protect her child.
However, what happens if the panic and the fear drive her to accept that abortion will end the problem which she is being manipulated into seeing her pregnancy to be? The flame of hope is being suffocated by the lies that she is not already a mother, that her baby is not already alive, moving, growing and developing according to God’s plan.
Hope flickers and sputters within her heart, waiting for someone to breathe fresh air and love into her heart to show that she is also a child of God and that she is loved for who she is, not because she can be profitable for the abortion clinic. If she is offered true and loving assistance to remedy the underlying difficulties that have caused her to panic, she can recognize that the baby was never the real problem. She can then overcome whatever obstacles lie along the path to creating a good and happy life for both herself and her child.
Kindling that flame of hope in her heart illuminates the path she can now clearly see. But so often in uncertain times like today, it takes someone else to light the way for her so that she can distinguish between love and lies, between help and greed, between hope and despair. Which are we willing to offer to a woman and her preborn child? If she were our own daughter, would we nourish the flame of hope in her heart and assist her in becoming the strong woman we know her to be. Or would we extinguish her inner strength and convince her that she is too weak?
A flame of hope burns brightly in God’s heart as well. He hopes that we choose to help a woman in need, to rescue a child in danger, and to light flames of love and hope in all our hearts.