I could wallpaper my home with the baby shower invitations and birth announcements I’ve received over the last few years. It seems as though I’m in a constant rotation of holding new babies, delivering meals to sleepy parents, and buying impractical but irresistible baby outfits.
This constant rotation is one I am more than okay with, though. Holding a newborn child never gets old to me. The miracle of new life whispers that every human exists on purpose, and shouts of the truth that we were made by a Creator.
But when I held baby Jordan for the first time, it was different. I was still awestruck at his beauty—the tiny, perfect features and the resemblance to his mama—but there was something more that gripped my heart that day as I held him close.
Jordan was almost aborted. Six times, actually.
A fierce battle
His mother, Genine, is a beautiful and strong woman. She has a light that shines from deep within when she speaks, and when she looks at Jordan, her love for him is unmistakable.
But I remember so clearly when I first met her, when the news of her pregnancy was still fresh. The strain of a life interrupted was visible on her face. I’d never before seen such a war waged within a person. The struggle between what we want and between what is right—the struggle every person faces—played out before me in a way I won’t soon forget.
She was gracious and appreciative of our help, but also adamant that abortion was her only option. “I know this is wrong,” she said, “but I just can’t be a mom right now. There’s no way I can graduate. I just can’t do this by myself.”
The air was thick with the tension of a choice. A struggle. A war.
So when I offered her the opportunity to receive a free ultrasound on our mobile unit, I was surprised when she agreed to come.
The moment when Jordan’s image appeared on the ultrasound screen—accompanied by the rhythmic blip of his heartbeat—is one that will forever be etched in my memory. Not so much because of Jordan, although he was fascinating to watch. It was because of Genine’s face. It had changed.
A mixture of awe and wonder registered in her eyes, followed quickly by sadness. She was silent. Torn. Again, the struggle. The war.
In the days that followed, Genine and I exchanged many texts and phone calls, and I’d soon learn that she made six separate appointments at an abortion center. She drove to the abortion center six times. And by God’s grace, Genine left that place—six times.
For many, abortion is more of an abstract concept—it doesn’t have a face. We are burdened by its existence, and we may speak out against it, but we don’t see it. We aren’t affected by it. But as I held tiny, perfect Jordan, the dark reality of abortion broke my heart all over again. Here in my arms was a boy who almost wasn’t. By God’s grace, he was saved.
Think, however, of all the little Jordans who are lost every day. And think of all the mothers who are fighting these internal, unseen battles.
The battle we can’t ignore
Many Saturdays I have stood outside the abortion center in Greensboro, North Carolina, to pray with others for the women who enter its doors. I watch as, one by one, clients are escorted from the building—no longer pregnant, but still visibly conflicted. Still torn.
The CDC reported that in 2015, more than 630,000 abortions were performed in the United States. That’s more than 1,700 unborn children whose lives were ended every single day. That means more than 1,700 mothers and 1,700 fathers were left to face the aftermath of their decision every day.
In his book Knowing God, J. I. Packer makes the argument that those who know God have great energy for God. He says, “While their God is being defied or disregarded, they cannot rest; they feel they must do something; the dishonor done to God’s name goads them into action”(2).
Until we make this personal—until we insert ourselves into the lives of these women, show up to intercede for the unborn, and refuse to rest while our God’s name is being profaned with every “procedure”—until then, we will not see an end to abortion.
A battle made personal
A few months after Jordan was born, I received a text from Genine. It was a picture. She was in her cap and gown, a fresh college graduate. “Graduated with honors,” she said. “I did exactly what you said I could do.”
Genine’s story—her internal struggle—is the story of many women who are faced with an unplanned pregnancy. But too often, these same women believe the lie that abortion is their only option, that they are trapped. How many stories could turn out differently if these women were taken by the hand, offered practical support, and told, “Yes, you can do this, and we will help you”?
My prayer is that this loving response would be the battle cry among Christians as we wage war against abortion. That we, as the Church, would be unable to rest as long as abortion exists in our cities. That because we love God, we would love the women and men facing an unplanned pregnancy and the unborn children they carry. That we would look these women in the eyes and make it personal—because there truly is no other appropriate response for the believer in Christ.