Life is a GIFT.

I want to take a minute and talk about the new abortion law in New York. First of all I want to make it clear, that I am absolutely pro-life. That does not mean I don’t care for the mother or family that might see it differently. In my mind and with with every pregnancy I had, my baby’s were as real to me inside my body as they were the moment each of them were born. I believe each life is sacred and a precious gift. I mean there are millions of different combinations on who one can be. There are so many things that have to align in order for life to be conceived, yet somehow it’s permitted to be treated so disposable. Life and the formation of it, is such a miracle. And above all, it’s a gift to the person that was conceived. ALL “man” in other words “people” are created equal, no matter how big, famous, small or innocent. Life is life and it’s a gift that should be taken seriously and cared for in the most tender of ways. It breaks my heart when so many little lives don’t even get a chance to experience this beautiful world. Just because someone made a “mistake” or all of a sudden the gift they have within them becomes an inconvenience. In my opinion, if you aren’t ready for a child and would go through the lengths of terminating a life, respect yourself enough to not allow conception to happen. In most cases it could be prevented, exceptions do apply and I absolutely understand.

I’m not here to condemn anyone or judge you for what you’ve done or what you might believe. I just want to share my heart with you. And my prayer is that, together we can somehow make a difference in this world.

I heard a story recently. A women was contemplating abortion and had convinced herself that, that was her only option. So one day while she was sitting at a restaurant, she decided to write a letter to her unborn baby. “Dear baby, I want you to know why I have to do this. I can’t give you the love or the life that you need. I’m not ready to be a mom, I know you’ll go to heaven because you’re innocent and I know you’ll be very happy there.” At the end of her letter when it got to the part where she was supposed to sign it, she didn’t know how to sign it. Who am I to this baby, she thought and after some time, she just scribbled Love, Me. Put the letter in her pocket and couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that she was a mom to this baby. Regardless of if it was planned or unplanned. And ultimately that was the turning point to her final decision and she chose life.

I guess we can’t assume that all women just automatically accept or even understand that they become a mom at the conception of their baby.

When I found out I was pregnant for the third time, I just about lost it.. I was in such a dark, low place in my life, that I didn’t want any of it. I wasn’t going to leave my children and abortion never crossed my mind but I had the worst attacks and thoughts I ever lived through. I prayed so hard that the Lord would take my baby (I didn’t know they were twins, until about half way through my pregnancy). But the Lord didn’t answer my prayer and I’m so thankful he didn’t. I can’t imagine life without my babies. They are truly the best thing that has ever happened to me, after marrying my husband and having my first two children of course!

Honestly though in that difficult and dark season of my life I was lost, confused and so broken and hurt. I couldn’t imagine pouring into another human being, when I was losing it with the ones I had. On the outside life looked great! No one would ever be able to tell what I was feeling and going through. I did the motions, I was a good wife and mother (for the most part) did my duty, dinner was always on the table and the kids were taken care of. I mean no one has marital and family struggles in the “Russian/ Christian” community right….?

It’s a lie you guys. EVERYONE struggles and goes through hard, dark seasons. Don’t ever think you’re the only one. Get help, reach out, don’t do life alone. We were created for each other, to do life as a community. I’m the first to say that I have so many issues and life isn’t perfect but I am not a quitter and that’s the only reason I can sit here and write about this now.

My life wasn’t turning out the way I expected. It wasn’t in my plans to have my first child at 19 and my second at 21 and now I was pregnant again at 22! I wasn’t ready, I had a lot going on and so many unmet expectations. Yes, our first two children were a mutual agreement between my husband and I to start a family, but I never felt like I was ready. I thought “oh why not, a baby can’t change things that much” but secretly I prayed that I would not be able to conceive. So you can imagine what I felt every time that I did. There were tears, many tears. Tears of joy but also of disappointment, as I watched my life take a different course then the one I had planned out and hoped for. It all seems so very silly now and I’m even ashamed to be opening up to this but if it will speak to even just one person, then it’s worth it.

Most of you know me as a people person. (If we know each other) The way we met is, I probably reached out to you and started a conversation. And that’s who I am, now. But I wasn’t always this way. I’m still very much an introvert, believe it or not. As a child I was very shy, I was actually the shyest person you would ever meet, all throughout growing up. In high school my husband says he only heard me mumble out two sentences, in the few years that we had known each other. I didn’t talk in groups, I was only comfortable with my family and my church (which consisted of mostly family members). I was terrified to allow someone know what I was thinking or to state my opinion about something. I honestly didn’t even have my own opinions in many things, my whole life was based off of people pleasing. And that transferred into my marriage. I wanted to please my husband so I would go with the flow.

Until my third pregnancy. And that is when I realized I can’t go on like this anymore. I needed help and I had no one to turn to. No friends, my poor husband didn’t know how to deal with me and I was too ashamed to go to my parents. But I’m so thankful to the Lord that I had him. I felt like Jacob, wrestling with the God and I told him “I will not let go until you answer me”. (Genesis 32:22-32) I continued to go to church, most of the time the word was spoken right to me. I would wear sunglasses so no one would see my swollen face, because what felt like for months, I just cried and cried. The Lord was faithful, he spoke to me, and lifted me out of the ashes. By the time I was ready to deliver my twins, I was a new person. I had a purpose in life, I had a reason to live, and I wanted each and every one of my children. I saw them in a whole different way. I finally had love for them and it wasn’t only out of “duty”. For the first time since my two older kids were born, I didn’t blame my husband for their existence. It seems odd now, but in the heat of anger you say the most ridiculous things and then start to believe them.

People ask me all the time “how in the world did you manage, having so many kids so close?” My oldest had just turned four years old, a few weeks before the twins were born. My only response is that I was ready, the Lord did such a work in me, that I soaked up every sleepless moment and embraced each new day, I had with my precious children. There were many hard days believe me, but the Lords grace was enough to cover all of them and they didn’t faze me very much.

On the outside in my life in that moment, nothing really changed. My husband and I were still barely talking, I still didn’t receive the emotional connection that I had been longing for. I was living the same life but I was a new person. Transformed and renewed, I had finally found my identity in Christ and accepted the story of my life. I embraced every part of it, including each one of my kiddos and that’s when I truly began to live.

There wasn’t a three step formula or a rule book I had to follow. It was just me not seeing any other way out. My husband wouldn’t let me go, I was pregnant again and the Lord didn’t take my babies, so my only option was to turn to him. I took his word and proclaimed it over my life daily. I renewed my mind with truth, and spent every day in prayer and worship, to take attention off of myself and place it on him.

I do have to add that before I got pregnant I was already going through a very dark emotional season. I asked my husband to leave (I was done, I felt like I couldn’t go on pretending any longer) but he refused. So I went to the Lord and told him that I’ve tried everything and we still aren’t “happy”. The Lord said “You haven’t tried fasting”…. that was true.  So I fasted and prayed/worshiped for hours, (literally) every day after my husband would leave for work. We didn’t own a TV, I had no social media, I didn’t work, I didn’t have a car and I barely had any friends, so as you can tell I didn’t have very many distractions, it was just me and the Lord. It’s like I was living in the dessert of a season but in that, I found the true living water. I feel like that desert season really paved the way for the months ahead, when I found out I was pregnant. Even though I wasn’t ready and was still in a low place, I was fertile ground for the Lord to do his work. And he did!

All that back story just to say, that I am convicted not to jump on the abortion law and state my opinion so verbally all over social media. Not because I agree with it but because I hurt for the woman who finds herself in that dark and lonely place. I mean in order to make the decision to abort your baby you really have to see no other way out, no hope, only fear.

Without the Lord and his comfort and strength, how can we expect these women to make better choices? Do they have anyone to support them? The man who got them pregnant is he a part of their life? I think it all starts waaaaay before abortion. It starts with the decay of morals, healthy families and exercising self control. Not many people are taught what’s right anymore or not as many are willing to live up to their convictions.

That leads me to asking myself questions like, what am I doing to help prevent this from happening, to someone in my community? How many girls have I reached out to, to be the support that they need? Am I willing to take into my home the unwanted baby, that I want to save from abortion? It’s so easy just to condemn people for their bad decisions and desensitization. To point fingers and sign petitions and I’m not saying we shouldn’t do some of those things but I am calling out to the children of God to ask themselves, what can I do to actually save a life?

Matt Chandler put it into words so well..

“As the church, we must not say of abortion, “this is murder,” without saying to the pregnant woman, “we will serve you.” If we are doing the former without the latter, we aren’t truly understanding the Gospel. We must listen, love, foster, adopt, give money, babysit, donate supplies, mentor young women, and support in whatever ways God has equipped us.

I also agree with this caption by a friend of mine.

“Being a Christian and pro-life, means you are ready to support and stand besides the girl/woman who is pregnant, scared and ashamed. Whether she is from the “world” or from your church! No shaming, no guilt! Just love and support for the mother and the little blessing she is carrying. That’s what pro-life means to me. We can post anti abortion posts all day, but let’s take the next step and be a part of the solution! We are the church, this is what we are called for! “

I’m sorry to burst your bubble but just talking bout these things on the internet isn’t going to change anything, it hasn’t in the past, so what makes us think it will today? Only love can change things. Love came down years ago in the form of Jesus and showed us how to live. Even he didn’t condemn the sinner but said "All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!" (John 8:7). Acting kindly and loving the lost person isn’t agreeing with them. We know through Jesus’ example that only love can change hearts and lives. This world needs more empathy, people like us stepping back and trying to understand the people we don’t agree with. And being there with unconditional love, to help those that need it most.

I would also encourage you to read all the facts from legitimate resources, before believing everything you see on the internet. As scary as it all sounds, there are still conditions to the laws and not just any women can go in and abort her baby at any given time. Which is a very good thing but none the less still very sad, that so many still have that option now.

If you know someone who’s had an abortion and hasn’t healed from it, I would just say love on them and get them the help that they need. Be the hands and heart of Jesus, I don’t believe that any persona is left untouched after a decision like that. And they don’t need any more condemnation than they had already given themselves. Our decree is to love and allow the Lord to do the work of healing hearts and lives.

I hope this encouraged you to not feel alone but to reach out and get help if you need it. As well as not to condemn those that are making poor decisions in their life. It’s so difficult at times to not say anything but to just show love. I would sure love to hear more reports on that! I want to see our nation healed and that will only happen through LOVE and GOD is love.

Blessing to you and your family. May the Lord strengthen and pour wisdom, over each one of us to do the right thing.