Thursday, August 27, 2015

I am a Liar

A letter to my fellow Sisters in Christ:

I've been reflecting a lot.
I lie awake at night for probably a good hour after my husband has begun snoring trying to figure out the solution to my problems and the world's problems.
Lately, that has been this whole Planned Parenthood scandal.  How can I believe so adamantly that life begins at conception, that a beating heart and all major organs functioning at 8 weeks is so clearly a *baby,* that when a woman becomes pregnant she is "pregnant with child," and yet so many in our world say, 'eh, if that clump of cells is an inconvenience, unwanted, threat to the mother, has a birth defect, or hey, the mom just doesn't want to be an incubator, then terminate the pregnancy. Abort. Don't take away our healthcare! Our rights! Our choices!'
I cannot wrap my mind around that thinking.  I just can't.

I talked for hours into the wee morning with a girlfriend who aborted her baby last year.  She has never felt 'victimized' by my opinion that to abort is murder.  She has never been offended.  In fact, she herself knows what she did and believes the child within her was indeed 'a life.'  She will say it was a baby, but can't let herself say she is/was a mother.  I won't push her on this.  She said that she knows in aborting her child she was killing her child, yet scrolled through all the reasons that she believed it best.
Sometimes listening and grieving with someone is best.
She knew she was trying to justify her actions, but she also knew that there was no justification good enough...she was distraught.  And hurting.  And in her mind, the best way to cope with that has been to acknowledge what she did, and cling to any justification she can conjure up.
I've noticed a lot in my postings both on my Facebook wall and those on the Planned Parenthood site that the argument 'it isn't a life' is extremely rare.  We know far more these days with modern technology then back in the 1970s of Roe v Wade.  To me, that was the argument all along.  If the clump of cells within you is a life, abortion should be illegal, because it is murder.  If it isn't a life, then it really isn't a big deal what you do with your own body, since another body isn't at risk.  To watch these last several weeks as the pro-choice/pro-life debate rages, I've been utterly shocked that the argument 'it isn't a life' is hard to find.  Instead, it is a matter of women not wanting to be incubators, people already born should matter more than people not born, and in this, this, and this scenario, it should be allowed, and, what someone else chooses to do is none of someone else's business.
I brought this up the other day.  I had response after response after response on Planned Parenthood's FB page to one of my comments all offering excuses for the slaughter of the preborn children.  Then I said, "not a single one of you is stating it isn't a life.  Instead, you are justifying your reasons for murder."
Few people changed their tune and said, 'oh wait, but it isn't a life.'  Instead, they continued giving justifications for murder.

But you know....this is where I recognized myself.  Let me explain.
If you have an abortion and begin to feel great shame and guilt over your choice, what is easier?  To say, "I was wrong" or to say "I am a murderer"???

Are we wanting every mother and every father who has made the choice to terminate what they have produced to say, "I'm a murderer?"

We make decisions every day to do what is right or to do what is wrong.  Lots of times, it is black and white.  Sometimes not.  Sometimes we do something wrong but justify it for ourselves, like when we say "I'm sorry for doing ______________, BUT you did.....which caused me to x,y,z, etc."  That isn't apologizing.  That is blame shifting.  That is wanting to do what you need to do to feel you did what you needed to do to be in the right, and then leaving the other person to realize you actually had nothing to apologize for because it is their fault in the first place.  Yikes.
We don't want to admit we are wrong.
I don't want to admit I'm wrong.
When I lie, I don't want to say "I'm a liar."
In school, when I looked at that person's paper and copied that one answer, sure, I cheated.  But I didn't want to say "I'm a cheater."
When we have sex outside of marriage with someone we love, or don't love, we might say "I wish we had waited," but we won't say "I'm sexually immoral."
When a husband or wife cheats, they might say, "honey, I had an affair, and it won't ever happen again,"  but he/she doesn't want to say "I'm an adulterer."
We like to make things seem as if we are repentant, without actually being repentant.
I'm no exception.
Somewhere, we lost our backbones and stopped taking responsibility.  We have become a culture that does whatever to whomever as long as 'happiness' is the goal.  In an effort to never feel stuck in any category, we've done away with labels and lost that we are all sinners.
All of us.
We are broken.  Completely broken.
Either we are too weak to admit that we are terribly wrong, or we are apathetic.  We just don't care.

And I don't know if we care to know if we are weak or apathetic.

I think we are running around as if it doesn't matter.
But it does.
How we treat others, what we say, what we matters.
How can I say, "you are murdering millions of children!" and expect those in the world to accept the label "murderer" but I am unwilling to accept the label, 'liar.'
Christians, we need to be showing the world how to mourn our sins.  We need to show the world how to repent.  Being forgiven does not mean sinful apathy.  We are only forgiven because Jesus went to the cross, and was beaten, mocked, crucified, for YOU! For ME.  Because I am a wretched, sinful, despicable human being.  The world wants to talk of a loving, gracious God that doesn't care what we personally do day in and day out.  You know what?  God's love and grace mean absolutely nothing without His justice and holiness and hate toward sin.  What big deal is it if He loves me for being a lovable person?

No, His love is a big deal because He loves me even though I'm unlovable.

His grace is a big deal because apart from Christ, His justice would devour me.

It does matter what we do.  It matters how we act.  It matters if we are repentant.  If we aren't repentant of our own sins, then what kind of example are we showing the world?

If we, the forgiven, those who claim to live life for Christ, are not acknowledging how utterly worthless we are apart from Christ and we aren't wholly repentant and completely dependent on Christ to save us from our lying, cheating, murderous selves, how can we expect the world to say, "what great wrong we have done to the children within our wombs!"?

May God move us to seeing ourselves clearly so that we can then be emptied and used as loving, compassionate vessels of His in this world.

Then will His Name be hallowed.  Then will His fame grow.  Then will we see clearly who we are, and all the more awestruck by Who He is.

Friday, July 19, 2013


Are you pro-life, or just pro-birth?  Pro-life, or anti-abortion?  Let me explain what I mean:

Zane and I are in the process of adopting 2 children from the country of Lesotho.  Our pastor gave us 2 books, Orphan Justice and Adopted for Life.  These books are both incredible, and go far beyond recommended material for just adoptive parents.  I would recommend them to any christian.  They are both thought-provoking, scriptural, and...grace-filled.  In spite of my heart for orphans and adoption, both have taught me and shown me ways that I'm still...falling short.  

But this particular chapter, in Orphan Justice, by Johnny Carr, really has me upset, sorrowful, and repentant.  As a church, we claim to be pro-life, but I dare say we don't act the part.  No, we definitely do not want unborn babies killed.  We can all agree on that.  But, what does the pregnant mother see?  She sees posters screaming at her that she is a killer, she sees judgement, condemnation, and an unwillingness to hear her side of the story.  She is stoned by me, while Jesus is right there writing in the sand with His finger saying, 'let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.' (John 8)  And when that mother chooses life and gives her child up for adoption, where is the church in taking care of that child?  Where are we when she needs support, and love, and care?  When she chooses life, and raises her child alone, are we coming alongside her, helping her, loving her, asking her what she needs?  How many children will be born this month alone that go into the foster system because their mother chose life?  How many children who go into the foster system will stay there, because we are not taking adoption and caring for orphans seriously?  How many children are sitting in a wobbly high-chair, covered in flies, sitting over a bucket that will hold their excrement for the day, not knowing the power of love, and we see them as a statistic in a third-world orphanage instead of a child, made in the image of God.  

Johnny Carr says in his book that 'man made orphanages for children.  God made the family for children.'  Do we *get* that?  Here is what I've been struggling through in this book:

"When we speak up against abortion but fail to also actively encourage adoption, foster care, and supporting children in poverty, we present a one-sided view of the issue.  In our pursuit of stopping the abortion movement, we have often lost the bigger picture of building a culture of life. Mike Huckabee put it well when he said:
'In today's debates, the issue is often obscured by the debate about abortion, which centers on the right of a pregnant woman to choose the disposition of her unborn child without any interference or input from the father, the family, or the federal government. But the culture of life is so much more. I'm not anti-abortion, I'm pro-life, and there's a fundamental difference. I'm not against something. I'm for something. I'm for the idea that your life and every other life has equal value, and every life should be treated with dignity and respect and honor.' 
"What are we doing for the babies who are being born into the world? Is it enough that they have the chance to see the light of day and breathe in oxygen? What about the children who are starving every single day, dying of curable medical conditions, living in cramped and unsanitary orphanages, or stuck in the foster care system waiting for a family?  Each child matters deeply to our God, but too often, not to us....for every one verse in Scripture about the evil of murder, there are at least ten or twenty verses about taking care of the weak, needy and vulnerable... 
"Many children who are waiting to be adopted were likely born into the world after a difficult decision by their birth mother--a decision that we, the church, supported.  So now we need to continue our pro-life stance by actually giving these children a loving family...
"If God's people do not step in to offer hope and help, I fear for these children's futures. I fear for their lives. So should you."

Monday, December 17, 2012

Plans Unknown

I am amazed by how our God works!  To say He works in mysterious ways...seems like an understatement when you can look back and actually see where and how He was working.  Ways that you never would have seen coming.  That you couldn't have planned.  I am amazed, in awe, and cannot wait to see what else the Lord has in store for us!

So, by now you know that I have longed to adopt, for years and years, but you might not know that the time for us to turn in our just WEEKS away!  We started fundraising in November for our Application Fee, knowing that once we raised the money we would submit our application.  What we didn't realize is that it would only take 3 weeks to raise that money (and praise the Lord we are now on our way to raising money for our future Home Study, after Baby Seals #2 is born this May)!  Which put us in the busyness of Christmas, us packing to move, finalizing things for buying our first we decided we will submit it in January.  Let's back track for just a moment:

Back in 2004, the ministry I was involved in on campus, The House, was sending out 7 mission trips during spring break.  One of those was to New York.  That is where I wanted to go.  I love the city and wanted to serve the homeless there.  My mom, however, after looking over the locations, told me she thought I should go to Romania to work in the orphanages and with street children (I would have kept my daughter IN the country and not shipped her across the ocean, but the Lord was quietly working in her heart without her even knowing it).  She told me, 'I bet God can teach you a lot through a trip like that.'  I bet she had no idea, nor could she imagine, what would happen while in Romania.  My first day in the baby orphanage, while holding a baby, I knew...I just knew...I was supposed to adopt.  God had called me to adopt.  No idea when, or where, but that seed was planted, one of His callings on my life was now known to me, and my heart has been exploding since.

Fast forward to 2011, I'm pregnant with my first child, and I want to buy EVERY. SINGLE. BEANIE that I see.  But that could get pretty expensive, fast!  I decided I'd learn how to crochet.  Make some beanies for other women in my life having children, make several for my unborn child, and then start selling some to bring in a little extra cash.  Only God knew that about 20+ months later, I would be crocheting beanies to raise money for our adoption.

I know the Lord has planned my days.  I know He knit me together in my mother's womb, and I know He knows me better than I will ever know myself.  Still, I stand amazed in His presence when I look back through my life and see how one thing leads to another through no direction of my own but by His gentle guiding, calling, and grace.  I look forward to see what He uses next from my past to bring hope to our family's future!

If you would like to order a beanie from us (visit me on my facebook page, Moments Sealed), or just make a donation towards the Seals' Adoption Fund, please click the donation button to the top right of this page :)