Love: Receiving Christ’s Gift of Rejoicing in the Truth

This is the eleventh post in the March series on To Love is to Live in Christ, a series reflecting on how we can receive Love (God), so that we might live and move and have our being in it. It is linked up to Jennifer Dukes Lee’s #TellHisStory and Holley Gerth’s Coffee for Your Heart:

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This post is based on 1 Corinthians 13:6 “does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth” and is a guest post by my very dear friend Emily Stephenson. I still look back in wonder at how God brought Em and I together six years ago, as we joined an online support group for expectant mothers. In the past two years particularly, God has blessed me incredibly, as I’ve joined Em in leaning in heavily into His Mighty arms, and as we’ve spurred each other on through His leading. Emily’s witness to and love for her Savior has had a powerful impact on my life, since the day the Lord brought us together, oceans apart, for which I will be eternally grateful. Thank you, Emily, for sharing these moving and powerful words.

We live in a fallen world that more often than I care to acknowledge, thinks only of themselves. Their wants, not needs. Their happiness above their neighbor’s. We turn a blind eye to suffering because it scares us, pops our picture perfect bubble that we must maintain, lest we lose control. Evil blinds us to reality.

The truth? We may make choices to stay ignorantly in control, but ultimately, our own choices, as well as the choices of others, are bound to be a dart directed right at the center of our inflated security.

That’s not to say, though, that our choices don’t have power, power to make the world a more beautiful place. We can make choices to put others first, speak a kind word into someone’s world of suffering. We have the choice to ‘choose’ life. God gave us the gift of choice, humanity’s issue is choosing rightly and wisely.

Yesterday, I read an article about a baby born at 19 weeks, brought into and then out of our world. It was a beautiful piece celebrating, valuing and mourning this precious life. Then sadly, today I read about the terrorist attacks in Belgium. Please know that it is not my intention to make light of the attacks in an way,  but aside from this horrendous event, I couldn’t deny myself further thought upon one of the things that bothered me greatly: the contrast between the comments of both articles. How could people be so cruel as to mention that this little life didn’t matter, that it was just a mass of cells, in essence, no big deal….but somewhere, along the line, we become human beings that become worth the comments of preservation, prayers of safe keeping, and that terrorists are hated for taking something so valuable: human life.

I make no apologies for being a devout believer in Christ and following His cause, but I can see that this alone would cause some to think I have no authority in the matter of speaking out regarding things like abortion, human life and when we begin to have value. So my faith aside, I tell you as an adoptee: my life means something, and it always has. Believe it or not, I have had plenty of people say to my face, throughout the years that I didn’t matter. The worst being, ‘it’s not like you’d have ever known if you didn’t exist’, as if they were perfectly proving their points regarding the right to destroy life and be at peace with it. Wait a minute, I am an adult, but with comments like that, am I still waiting for value to be assigned to me? Food for thought.

I was adopted from infancy.

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Emily and her Dad

It is a long miraculous story, perhaps for another time, but the point I want to convey this very moment, is that I was not conceived out of love, and by the world’s standards, my birth mother had every right to discard the ‘mass of cells’ that in the world’s eyes would hold her back. She had no responsibility to suffer for 9 months and some advised her that abortion would be best.

Best for who? Certainly not me, but I was blessed with a mother that chose life over comfort and convenience. She made the even more heart wrenching choice to give me away to those who could provide for me better at the time. Such sacrifice, such unselfish love!

I grew up, and while some may call it chance, I call it such an obvious gift from God, that I ‘accidently’ found her, while living 1500 miles away. Again, a story for another time, but I had the privilege of meeting my birth mom face to face. I still remember her saying to me, “Somehow, I just knew in my heart that getting rid of the pregnancy was wrong, and having you didn’t become a second thought. The hardest part was giving you away, but know that I would do the same thing all over again, because of how much I love(d) you.”

I always mattered. I have clung to Psalm 139 for most of my life, believing that I was ‘wonderfully’ made for a purpose while some argued against it, I know the truth, and that’s enough for me. The hardest part for me now is seeing beautiful, innocent lives being discarded as if it were no more than the crusts we didn’t want to eat from our bread. Tossed without a second thought. For some the second thoughts came after the deed was done and the nightmares of their choice haunt them. For them, my heart hurts, and I love them because they realize the value now. May God calm your grieving hearts, and give you courage. The ugly in our stories can be made so, so beautiful and my prayers are with you. You are loved.

I have since had 3 children of my own, and it has only made me more fully aware of the choice my birthmother made. Each of my children had different personalities in the womb that are true to who they are today! Such a surprise to me, but also, further confirming that all life should be valued from the very beginning.

My prayer is that God would restore our eyes to see truth, to see the value in life, no matter what stage. While we do have the freedom to make choices, we are not free from the consequences, so may God help us choose wisely.

I’ve had my share of struggles, suffering and deep pain, but one thing I still strongly believe through it all, is that life is a beautiful gift:

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John 8:32 (The Message)

31-32 Then Jesus turned to the Jews who had claimed to believe in him. “If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you.”

Will you join Emily and I in rejoicing in the beautiful truth that life, all life, is a beautiful gift? Will you weep in bended knee with us, praying for the Spirit of God to open the world’s eyes to this truth and to bring healing into the many lives of mothers and fathers, who are now mourning the loss of a life, they were told was just a mass of cells? May those mourning take comfort in knowing that this verse also applies to them and their children:

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3 thoughts on “Love: Receiving Christ’s Gift of Rejoicing in the Truth

  1. Anna and Emily,

    Such a beautiful post! All life is valuable and a precious gift. I pray this story reaches those who need to hear it most. Those questioning their circumstances, their worth, or whether their life is precious to God.

    Thank you so much, Anna, for visiting my blog and commenting. I’m thrilled to make a new friend!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

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    1. It is indeed, Lori. I’ll share your comment with Emily: I am sure it will bless her too.

      I was so touched by your story: God is SO good. Thank you for dropping by and encouraging.

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