When you think Pro-Life, do you think about saving babies from abortions? Or do you think about protecting people’s rights as they near the end of their Life? If you do, you are right. But the Pro-Life movement isn’t limited to protecting the unborn and those nearing the end of Life. Being Pro-Life is about loving people and loving Life in every stage. There was a time when I loved neither people nor Life.
On the outside, I looked like a straight-A student who was on the varsity team since freshman year. I am part of a large, loving, Christian family. My parents are great, and so are my eight siblings. We have a unique bond that most families probably don’t even know is possible. I love them dearly. And if I hadn’t had their love and support, I wouldn’t be here today.
I haven’t exactly had an easy life, and I, like several of my friends, have struggled with suicidal thoughts—fortunately, I never acted upon those thoughts. But I know some people who have. Being Pro-Life is about loving people in all stages of Life, including yourself. All Lives matter. Being Pro-Life is being pro-people: loving, serving, helping, and protecting even those who may never be able to offer something in return.
I remember a particular night a few weeks into my year-long stay at Mercy Ministries, a transformational home that helps young women who are hurting. I had just finished writing some of life’s hurt on a tiny piece of paper. The memories and the pain flooded me. My roommate was off doing her nightly chores and I had the room to myself. I cried. I cried harder than I knew possible, an ugly cry. Broken sounds escaped my skewed face as I pounded my fist against my chest crying aloud to God, “I gave my Life to You, it’s Yours, so I won’t take it, but please… Please stop my heart from beating. Stop letting me take air into my lungs. Stop my heart, God; I don’t want to feel any more.” I begged Him. At first, I was rocking back and forth on my bed, but I ended up lying on the carpet on my back. I switched between punching the ground and punching my chest, hoping my heart would stop beating at any minute.
There may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning. Mercy was a long night for me, fortunately, I was not alone. I met the Healer in my darkest hour, and now I walk as a child of the day and experience joy. Having gone through some seriously dark nights, I honestly believe nights are necessary for healing.
How many times have you gone to sleep feeling ill and woken up the next day feeling fine? But the night can be scary; darkness distorts reality and can be terrifying. Had the Father not been so close to me, I would not have survived some of the nights. The night is often a fight, a painful fight. Pain is often necessary for proper healing—especially if the wounds have not been tended to and they have healed incorrectly. Broken bones that heal incorrectly have to be broken again and reset so they can properly heal.
If you are going through a particularly dark time that only seems to be getting darker, endure a little longer. Dusk turns into night before the dawn comes. The night will pass. If you allow the Light in, joy will fill your Life. I still have nights, but I have longer days.
Nights are necessary and so are people. Eventually, my roommate came back from her chores and saw my pain. She didn’t say anything to me at first. She just hugged me. Her hug helped me get through the night. We need to build the Pro-Life community to be community that will readily gather around any person, no matter what they are experiencing, and offer love and support.
Be encouraged; God is not a God of partiality. He does not favor me over you. The days are waiting for you! All you have to do is reach out. I know, reaching out is scary. But you are loved by so many. The Pro-Life community is one that loves all people no matter their walk. Your Life matters. Pro-Life includes people in every stage of Life: fertilization, birth, childhood, and adulthood. Wherever you are, you are loved. You don’t have to be alone in your pain. Be courageous, reach out.