Author’s Note: This is one of the posts I have rewritten and republished. (First posted in 2011) Again, it’s one that wouldn’t let me go – even when I considered deleting it – because it’s old and in today’s marketplace we’re told new works better. I’m hoping the same holds true for renewed.
I used to cringe inwardly when I heard speakers or read about authors who said they loved the people who would hear them or read their words without knowing them. I’d chide them silently with a “Yeah, right. You love perfect strangers. Ha!”
Now, I know how they feel.
Does it seem strange to you that a woman who wanted children and cannot have them loves you enough to say it publicaly? This is from me, but it is first from God. Let me tell you how it happened.
Her news couldn’t have come at a worse time. At least that was my take on it. I admit to wondering what in the world God was up to.
I already knew because she was craving a food she usually hated. But really? Now?
She was in a crisis pregnancy, which for her, and so many others meant no money, no man, and fear. As we sat together she told me that she’d chosen abortion more than once in the past. More than six times.
My husband and I had just finished testing at the infertility clinic with no answers or babies. See why the timing seemed way off to me – even cruel? I wanted to shout at her, “How could you?” Instead my heart overflowed with love for her and I asked in a whisper, “How are you?” She wept for her children in my arms. I joined her.
Our hearts were broken for opposite reasons, but for those moments we were simply two grieving women. Different hurts, different hearts, bound in sorrow.
She wasn’t the first, and I knew she wouldn’t be the last. For some reason, God kept putting women with her pain in my life.
On a walk that afternoon, the gravel road was deserted, the sky was gray, and a misty rain fell. I have a habit of talking out loud to God when I can. Standing in the middle of the road, soaking wet, I started a conversation with Him.
“Lord, I love her. And I know that it comes from You. I love all of the women You’ve put in my life who have had abortions. And I’m still really sad about not being able to have children –my dream is dying – but because of You, I truly care for them.”
Suddenly, the love I felt for the post-abortive women I knew got bigger and then it burst all over my heart.
I didn’t hear an audible voice. Instead the Voice known to my heart said, “Yes. So do I.”
And there was a realization in my soul. He wanted me to love more. Deeper. Riskier. I’d known it was coming for awhile. Like since I was fourteen and my friend went out of state for an illegal abortion.
I stomped my foot in an ankle-deep gray puddle, soaking my new white Reboks. “I know. But are you kidding me? Now? When You just said no to babies for us? Me loving them makes no sense. I’m not sure the women who know me believe me. Strangers certainly won’t. Really God – this is illogical.”
Yes, I said that to God. Even though I knew (and know) He is perfect – always, and isn’t into bargaining or bossing. I wanted to convince Him to pick someone else because I did not want to go where He was taking me. And, knowinng me, it’s likely I was hoping for a little more time to pity me. Because infertility hurts.
Even though I said those words to God, lightening didn’t strike and the earth didn’t open and swallow me.
The next words that washed across my heart weren’t mine. Again.
“It didn’t make sense for me to send my perfect and sinless Son to die for your sins 2,000 years before you were born either, but I did.”
I surrendered. Not in a wave the white flag I lose kind of way. It was an I love God more than anything kind of response. Not because I’m great, but because He is.
Immediately, peace flooded my soul.
“When and how, Lord?”
The only thing I heard was the rain, the songs of the birds, and a loud car in the distance.
Waiting for an answer would be good. I took my foot out of the puddle (in the intensity of our conversation, I’d forgotten to move it), and went home full of love for you. That love has grown and remains steadfast today. Friends are often surprised by how protective I am of you. Of the way I rush to your defense in conversations on the subject of abortion.
I want to wrap my arms around all of you and whisper healing truth into your lives.
It took awhile for God to reveal His plan for me. When He gave me an idea for a novel about a woman like me and a woman like you, I told Him it was a great idea and I hoped He’d find another author. He didn’t and Rain Dance was born.
For reasons I can’t fully understand, Rain Dance is part of my purpose on this earth. It is also my love letter to you. I wrote each page with you in mind, and I prayed earnestly for you. Because I longed for (and still do) God to use it to bless you.
If you choose to read it, know that while it is not the inspired Word of God and in no way compares to it, at all. However, the God of the Word gave me the idea, the courage, and the talent to get our stories on the pages.
And again, so is the love He planted in my heart for you. It’s His gift to you and to me.
Since the book came out, I’ve met hundreds of you face to face. I cannot tell you what a privilege it is. You are beautiful, intelligent, and talented, women. I love you more than before. Many of you have told me your stories – thank you for the privilege. It’s an honor to know you.
I close this open letter to you with these truths: abortion is part of your personal history, but by no means all of it and it does NOT define you. You are loved by God who knows and forgives all of our sins. Jesus is the Son of John 3:16. We only need to believe and ask.
I know it doesn’t make human sense, but it makes perfect God sense.
Until Next Time,