Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sanctity of Life

I work as a postpartum nurse and lactation consultant about 12 hours a week on average. I truly love my job. I love the medical field, providing comfort, teaching, critical thinking, and relationships. I've been doing couplet care for almost eight years now and still believe that I'm right where God has called me and is able to use me most.

Lately we've had a number of moms (of all ages) who have come into the ER in labor not knowing that they were even pregnant as well as moms who are addicted to street drugs. Though I try, my brain just can't seem to imagine that a woman can carry a child within her own body and be unaware of its existence. Nor can I imagine a woman knowingly giving her unborn baby an addictive poison. In both cases, these moms are harming their children with sometimes life threatening circumstances or at least life altering handicaps. They say that denial and addiction are stronger than common sense.

Our state/county is slow to act and these babies go home with their moms. As nurses this is unacceptable to us especially when we see how that mother acts angry towards her infant during the night refusing to feed it because she is "tired". Yet she somehow has the energy to go outside for "fresh air". Or as I witnessed last week a mother holding her baby girl for the first time and saying, "I've always hated infants. But I guess maybe you're kind of cute." We talk at the nurses' station about who we think that we will see in paper in a few months having been arrested for neglect or worse. They say family dynamics are complicated and they can receive assistance from community services if they need help.

But what does God say?

Psalm 139

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

These children are not unwanted by Him. They are created uniquely and beautifully. They are not accidents or problems. He values them individually and calls His church to reach out with His hands and His heart to them.

Mankind at the core is selfish and trying to position itself in God's place . "It's my body." "This is my life that will be ruined." "This is my baby. I don't want it, but no one else can have it." So children are aborted or kept in an unsafe, loveless home.

Being that it is sanctity of life week, I've been reading and seeing a lot about abortion in our country. Last week I even subjected myself to listening to an abortion doctor's interview on NPR to hear exactly where the abortionist is coming from. In this doctor's view she is the compassionate one saving the lives of mothers from unsafe medicine. Truly it all comes down to a person's view of God as the giver of life and all good things. It boils down to the fact that many believe that truth is unknowable or relative to the situation.

Because God is the Redeemer, I know that He has worked miracles in the lives of neglected children, mothers who have had abortions and even the doctors who perform them. He has used the pain and ugliness of this sin to call many to Himself. Our Redeemer does live.

Personally, I've been saddened and convicted that I need to not only be praying more, but I need to be acting as God leads. First, I need to be teaching my own children about the Truth of God's Word and the world at large. I need to be loving them in real ways that reflects their worth as God's own. I, also, need to be His hands to the unborn child as well as those infants and children whose life is not valued. For me this translates specifically into encouraging and nurturing that bonding relationship at work with reluctant mothers instead of shutting them down because of my own frustrations. I don't doubt that there is much more that God will convict me to do as well.

In closing, if you have time view this video, 99 Balloons, please do. It is a precious story of a family who chose life for their son and their journey of faith in letting him be healed by the Lord.

There is also a documentary called In the Womb which we rented through Netflix. It is an incredible feature on conception through birth with amazing 3D ultrasound footage.


mindi said...

That documentary is amazing - I love it.
I wanted to say that what you do is admirable, and you are truly making a difference in people's lives. As you said, you are right where God wants you to be, and that is an amazing feeling (that I don't have right now!)
I didn't realize our state let unfit mothers take their babies home with them?? That is too sad. I hope that changes soon.

Saralyn said...

Wow. Aptly put. Thank you.

Sarah said...

I was a social worker for child protective services. In MA babies who are born addicted do not go home with their mothers. They are placed with family when possible or in emergency foster care or even pre adoptive homes. One of the hardest things for me was seeing these babies (who could have been adopted into good homes) returned to their biological parents only to return to the system later on after being further neglected and abused.

Your point about God calling his people to open their hearts and hands to these children is an excellent one. It's amazing how life changing a good foster home can be for these kids. Unfortunatley, in my experience, good homes are few and far between.

Heather L. said...

I wish there was a way to rescue those babies!!! I'm glad you are there to provide a tiny bit of encouragement, and to pray silently for those mothers and babies. God truly hears and answers prayer.

Kevin & Amy said...

Great post--I'm glad God has people like you to witness to these women, although I know it's difficult because so many of them are closed to the Truth.

This week (SOL week) is always a hard one for me but I'm glad for it because it makes me dwell on the horrors of abortion and what it does and the little lives it takes. May we never forget and all work to do what we can.

Sniz said...

What a great, thought-provoking post. Thanks, Monica!

mom24 said...

Beautiful, beautiful post! I sooooo love that Psalm and I wish that everyone understood it. I can't imagine how difficult it can be to see what you do in your line of work. But you know that God holds these children in His hands also. Pray for them and respond in love to these moms - you can be obedient to the Lord in doing these things in the environment in which He has put you.
I am so glad that there are those like you out there for these moms!

Kathy in WA said...

Monica - thanks for the wonderful blog post. Dh wrote on (same title actually) after our pastor preached a wonderful sermon on the topic.

I can't imagine being in the trenches like that and seeing so many troubled moms. Bless you for loving those little ones!!