Thursday, December 10, 2015

What Pro-Life Looks Like

Many times I have spoken and written about how my family, especially my parents, truly walked out their pro-life convictions by welcoming me and Lily both home during my unplanned pregnancy. God showered His grace and love on me through them.

I am blessed and thankful to have my family, all of them. They loved my daughter, even though she wasn't "planned." I know some families would view a child "like Lily" as a burden, even attempting to manipulate and push abortion as the best option. Never once did my family do that. Lily was loved, absolutely adored, from the moment her life was known. Now, that is not to say they didn't wish it was under better circumstances that were honoring to God, however, we are all forever thankful for how the Lord used Lily's life in our lives. And life is always a gift. No child is ever unplanned by God, unwanted by Him, or viewed as less than or as an inconvenience. A baby is not a sin.

I hear some people talk about how their families don't "count" their baby in Heaven, don't talk about them, include them, celebrate them on their birthday, etc. And it makes me realize just how blessed I am to have a family who does love, honor, miss, and count Lily. I spend too much time noticing how people don't measure up to how I want them to honor Lily and help me through my grief. It's true they might not always do or say what I wish they would... but the fact is, they cannot understand exactly what I feel or need because 1) they have never lost a child and 2) they aren't me... They love her in their own way.

My family walked out their pro-life convictions in Lily's life... but honestly what I'm finding is they did so even more in her death... Their love for her and understanding of the sanctity of life was even more pronounced in their depth of weeping when she was buried on that day in late March 2010 (I will never forget how my brother Adam cried in a way I have never seen), in how they celebrate her birthday with me each March 16th, in their sensitivity in how they try to understand best they can what I'm feeling and what I need, in always explaining when asked, that there was another grandchild that came before the baby Allen due next spring, in wanting to visit her "special spot" with me when we're in Virginia, in not being afraid to speak her name - not in a tense and awkwardly forced sort of way, but just normal, because she is a part of the family, in not making me feel like I should stop missing and loving Lily as other people try to make me feel, but entering into my pain and love with me, because they feel it as well, in being gracious and compassionate with me, even when I do get overly emotional and don't always make sense. Her absence is recognized because her value was first.

That, my friends, is what being pro-life looks like.

At Lily's burial service in March 2010

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