My life changed one Sunday at church. I was accused of being an accomplice to murder. And it was true.
It was during a time when my daughter had just finished her first year of college. But then she got pregnant. She was just getting started. It was the wrong time for a baby. I hadn’t thought of myself as pro-choice, until then. This wasn’t what I wanted for her. This chapter wasn’t in our story.
Rather than take my daughter to visit our local faith-based Christian pregnancy resource center, I listened to all the reasons my daughter gave that she couldn’t have this baby. And then on Sunday, I went to church like I always did. I prayed but knew if I prayed with conviction about this unplanned pregnancy, I might feel swayed to do something different.
Planned Parenthood assures you that taking two abortion pills is easy. That’s wrong. It hurts physically, and the emotional part heals far more slowly. I wouldn’t know, but my daughter does.
Eventually she found her way back to college. We never talked about the abortion — until a visiting pastor stepped up to the pulpit and called my daughter a murderer and I was her accomplice. There was no misunderstanding his message, after all, it was Sanctity of Human Life Sunday — when Christians honor the life of the unborn — a life that I had helped sacrifice. Yes, I felt convicted, but also, I was a bit angry at this man calling women he’d never met, murderers. He didn’t know our stories, nor did he offer the kind of useful help many of these young women needed. But he did get my attention.
The following week I signed up for volunteer training at our Care Net Crisis Pregnancy Center. My daughter supported my decision and also went through the counseling program offered through her small group at church.
Within a few years, I had shared my story at every church in the region that would welcome me. If I was an accomplice to murder, there were others like me. My message was simple —God forgives, and healing is available. I explained how Care Net offers guidance and assistance to young moms-to-be. There are free resources like formula, diapers, and baby clothes, along with parenting classes too. It’s a way to save lives and build relationships with families-in-need. It’s right where the church needs to be. Volunteers are always needed and so is the financial support.
Abortion rates may be declining, but when there are still over 800,000 induced abortions each year, we need to offer more support to our local crisis pregnancy resource centers. Sanctity of Human Life Sunday helps us remember those we need to be serving — the unborn and the mothers who are desperate for encouragement, support, and love. It’s a mission field in our own communities. I share this so that other moms, dads, daughters, and sons can know they aren’t alone, and together we can heal, restore, and help others who share our experience.
Karen Farris saw the need to help underserved kids while serving in a youth ministry that gave her the opportunity to visit rural schools on the Olympic Peninsula. She now volunteers her time grant writing to bring resources to kids in need. She also shares stories of faith in action for those needing a dose of hope on her weekly blog, Friday Tidings.www.fridaytidings.com