Dear 16 Year Old Me In The Abortion Clinic

Dear 16 year old me. It’s 28 years, almost to the day, from where you are sitting right now. I see you there. I see you in your white paper gown that you’ve struggled with all afternoon, trying to prevent it from opening and exposing your bare self. I see you sitting there, even in the gown, still bare. A part of me feels like you can hear me. Or, at least, you sense me. I can see it in your eyes. You’re looking around the room, searching for something, but you can’t find it. It’s me. You’re searching for your voice. I know you want to get up and run. I know you are afraid. I know you feel alone. I know you know what to do but you’re too afraid to do it.

I know deep down you don’t want to do this. I understand.

You are going to wake up soon and you will be in a tremendous amount of pain. You will physically hurt. You will hurt a lot. Oh, how I wish you could hear my voice right now. Because the physical pain pales in comparison to the heart and emotional pain you will carry with you.

I see you waking up. I see you crying. I see you holding your tummy. Yes. Yes, you did it. No. No, it isn’t there anymore. It’s gone.

I want so badly to hold you. I know no one is holding you. I know no one is going to hold you. I’m sorry you’re alone. I’m sorry you feel alone. But you’re not. I’m there. God’s there. You don’t know it… but we are.

You need to know that you’re going to have a very tough journey. You’re going to be very mad at yourself. The amount of shame will feel heavier than anything you’ve ever felt before. You will hurt in ways that you will never understand.

You will think about this day forever. You will find yourself rubbing your tummy, crying, wondering…

You will have triggers. You will have reminders. It will never go away.

Can you hear me? Why can’t you hear me? I want so badly for you to hear me.

You can’t see it now, you don’t want to… I know, but your life is going to get better. Though the memory of that day will never, ever, go away. You’re going to relive the day you spent in that white gown. You’re going to relive it often. It will always be a part of who you are.

But one day you will learn about grace and forgiveness. One day you will learn about true love. Hold onto that. Tuck that away in your heart, because there will be days when the hope of that moment will be all you have.

Tam, you need to know that I forgive you. And I will forgive you when you’re back in that gown next year, too. I understand why you’re doing this. You really believe you have no other option. Why can’t you hear me…

I will be here waiting for you, and you will soon see that forgiveness and redemption will hold your heart and you won’t be alone any longer. You will find that one day, the choice that you are making now, will somehow help another young girl not make the same decision. And though that doesn’t make what you’re about to do right, it will at least give those little ones a beautiful legacy.

But still, I wish you could hear me...

Own Your Now

You. You are amazing. You are needed. You are worthy. 

You were meant to be here, on this earth, at this time for a purpose. 

You have something amazing to offer your family, your community, this generation, this world. 

You will leave a legacy - and you get to write your legacy now. You were meant for this time to make a mark.

I am praying for you today. I am praying that you know your purpose, your passions, your strengths.

Be you - Not some version of you laced with versions of others. We don't need replica's... we need originals.  

Divorce, Abortion, The Church - Oh MY.

Divorce. If you haven't gone through it yourself, you know someone who has. 

I have friends going through a divorce right now and it's heartbreaking. The reason for it, the journey through it, the hurt, the unknowns. Fortunately, for many in the church there is help when walking the road to divorce and the path that follows it. So many resources, recovery groups and, for those fortunate enough to spare their marriage, there are marriage retreats and conferences.

Because this is what the church is. A place for broken people to heal. A place for hurts to heal. A place to feel safe. A place to find hope again.

In 2011 there were 877,000 divorces in the U.S.

Yah... did you just gasp and slow blink? I did when I came across this number. I wish divorce never happened... but it does, and I am so glad the church has opened its doors to help with the healing process.

Also in 2011, there were some 1.06 million abortions in the U.S. Equally heartbreaking. Heartbreaking for the babies lost, and for the many women who've aborted in secret and feel they've no one they can run to, no place to run to... including the church.

Why not the church? Because the church doesn't know what to do with this reality. They are not equipped. They are not educated. 

BUT, the church can be equipped and resourced. And over the next month or two I can't wait to share with you what Brent and I will be a part of. We are teaming up to change the narrative of abortion. This is not a fight against abortion... This is a stand for life. Abortion may always be an option, but our efforts will be to see life as the best option.

Stay tuned, friends. And please pray for us as we embrace this next journey to help, heal, and give hope to abortion-minded and post-abortive women.

Time... Are You Wasting It Or Investing It?

I have been reflecting a ton on raising our children lately - who are now 22 and 19 because I blinked and poof it was gone. But my mind has been wondering back to the moments that mattered most. I've not been looking back on regrets or dumb-mom moves, and there were plenty of those, but I've found that all my favorite memories have been surrounded by time. Simply that. Captured moments of time that showed them they were fiercely loved.

In a world where we are constantly trying to find more time to get things done - children should never be in the "get things done" category of life. 

It is much more complicated these days to raise kids than it was when mine were smaller. There are a few more gadgets that are beckoning, and for some... demanding, our time. We don't waste time with our children. We don't even spend time on our children. We invest our time together. Every minute you spend with your child is an investment, a deposit of love and guidance that will yield much value in their futures. 

Even small bits of time like - Walking by them and squeezing their hand. Asking them random questions? Even better, ask them a question about something they told you the day before. That fills their tanks! Ask them how their day was… And then listen to them. This means the world to kids. They may not show it to you – but trust me, their hearts react to it and they will hold onto it forever.

I loved asking my kids for help or advice. Little things like, "Hey, I was uncomfortable with how I responded to that person... How do you think I should have responded? What would you have done?" Their worth tanks filled up every time. This let them know they mattered and that their opinions were valuable. It also created great dialogue between us.

Children are adults who haven't happened yet. Children are the CEO's of tomorrow's future leaders. Children are future parents to your future grand-babies. Your time investment now has a great effect on your child's tomorrow... on their generations future.

Children + Time = What really matters.

“My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, ‘You’re tearing up the grass.’ ‘We’re not raising grass,’ Dad would reply. ‘We’re raising boys.’” –Harmon Killebrew