I'm That Girl Who Chose Life
Sooo . . . I’m 22, and I’m a single mom, and I used to be “that girl who got pregnant.” After my crazy conversion story of scheduling an abortion, choosing life, choosing God, and choosing healing, I thought some of you might like an update as well as some insight on being pro-life. So, here it goes:
Yes, I chose life, and I gave birth to the most perfect little girl, AvaMarie Rose, on October 23, 2012 (right in the heart of “Respect Life Month” how perfect). She entered the world at 9:56 pm, weighing 6.8 lbs. and measuring 20 inches. She was, and still is, perfect in every way. I never knew how much I could love someone. It totally gives perspective on just how much God loves us.
I have been blessed with this beautiful girl, AvaMarie Rose, and I couldn’t be more in love. She is a constant reminder of how great God’s love is and how precious life is. “Ava” is a variation of Eve which means “life” and “Marie” is a variation of “Mary.” So, it is pretty apparent why I chose to combine those to create her name. It is the perfect representation of her story. She represents a choice of life, and I could not have done so without God’s perfect love, and without Mary’s perfect example of how to say “yes” to life. Mary had an “unplanned” pregnancy too; she had a choice as well. AvaMarie’s middle name, Rose, is after my own middle name, but it is also a beautiful representation of how beauty comes from imperfection, like a thorn bush producing roses.
This experience has given me so many countless blessings. Now that AvaMarie is already 7 months old, I have had some time to reflect on everything. First, I need to thank every person who prayed for me. I can’t tell you how much I felt your prayers covering me and protecting me throughout my entire journey. Because of your prayers and the support of my family and community, I was able to give birth to AvaMarie in October, graduate cum laude with my Bachelor’s in December, attend the FOCUS SEEK conference (with AvaMarie) in January, start working my job at the Pregnancy Resource Center in February, and now start pursuing my Master’s in School Counseling this June. Thank you. . .from the bottom of my heart.
Second, after going through this journey and now working at a Pregnancy Resource Center, I would like to give a little insight into the pro-life movement. Protecting and defending life is an all-encompassing call. It is not just about the babies, it is about their mothers, their fathers, and their families. Yes, people need to speak for the unborn when they don't have a voice, but if that is the primary focus, we are completely missing the mark.
I only realized this after going through my unplanned pregnancy.
Keep in mind, the mother is the one who ultimately decides the fate of her child, so if we aren't pursuing the healing, and genuine interest of her life, then we are utterly failing.
When we only focus on saving the life of the baby, we fail to acknowledge something very important, and that is that the mother's life needs to be saved, too. Did we already forget that the very women who find themselves in unplanned pregnancies and who are considering abortion are very broken, afraid, and alone? They need some serious, genuine love and healing. Quite frankly, when there is all this hollering for the babies, the woman in the crisis thinks she is forgotten. She thinks everyone just cares about the baby; no one cares about her.
She is desperately crying out, "No one cares about how traumatically my life has changed, no one cares about my future, no one cares about my dreams, and no one cares about helping me!"
We CANNOT forget about the mothers, fathers, and families of the unborn. They matter, too. They are the ones making decisions.
So how exactly can you be genuinely pro-life? I will speak on behalf of the mother, specifically, here.
I made a list of simple suggestions/ideas from the girl "who has been there" and as someone who works with these girls every day as an advisor at a Pregnancy Resource Center.
I know this seems entirely "mother focused" but imagine if we coupled these actions with the pro-life discussion about the baby. Women would stop getting abortions because they would know they are supported and loved!!! They would realize that choosing life is just as much about them as it is about the baby.
I've seen and experienced the FEAR of being judged and unloved as the primary factor in abortion. These tips would hopefully eliminate that fear.
If we are to fight for the unborn, we are to fight for the mothers just as much!
I’m so thankful for all of those who fought for me. By saving me, you also saved my daughter, and we are eternally grateful.
Read more ponderings about the Pro-Life Movement, Catholicism, and Motherhood at Raquel’s Blog: Story of a Rose
I'm That Girl Who Chose Life
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Since the pontificates of Pope Paul VI and John Paul II, the Roman Catholic Church has been commissioned to engage and embrace the world with God's message of love once more with ‘new methods, new ardor and new expression.’ It has come to be phrased, 'the new evangelization.'
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