20“‘And you took your sons and daughters whom you bore to me and sacrificed them as food to the idols. Was your prostitution not enough?”
“Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is what matters, right? Am I not entitled to some freedom? But freedom, when it becomes an idol, and leads to acts of hatred towards the innocent, doesn’t promote freedom anymore. It becomes bondage and that bondage chains our soul to our actions in ways that aren’t so easily undone. The freedom we sought so desperately to protect is then lost in the bondage.
“It’s not a child,” she told herself as she stepped into the clinic. The front entrance was deserted that day. No one was there to protest her arrival. Thankfully she was able to enter peacefully and hopefully unnoticed by anyone she knew. She stepped to the receptionist’s desk. Her cold glance sent chills down Sarah’s spine.
“Can I help you?” She asked, just as coldly as the expression on her face.
“I’m here to, “Sarah was having trouble getting the words out, “I need to get an abortion.” She whispered the last few words, and then cleared her throat. She was numb through her core and felt so alone. She clutched her stomach, but nothing could save her from this moment. No one cared. No one wanted her and no one wanted her baby.
“Do you have an appointment?” She asked in a demanding tone.
“I called the other day. It’s Sarah.” She said as hushed as she could to not draw attention to herself.
“Fill this form out completely and it’s $450.00 up front. Can you pay today?” She looked sternly at Sarah waiting impatiently for an answer.
“Yes, I have the money. I can pay today.” Sarah took the clip board and sat down in the nearest chair. She began filling out her information as best and as quickly as she could. Cold chills went down her spine as she thought about how the receptionist treated her. Sarah wondered why that lady was so cold and harsh.
Her display of uneasiness was obvious and she refused to make eye contact with anyone for fear of another cold stare. She was so ashamed that she felt sick to her stomach. The morning sickness had been gone for over a month now. She was about 14 weeks pregnant and had felt some fluttering in her abdomen.
She held back the tears as she thought about how out of control her life had become since she had ran from her home, terrified for her life. She swallowed it back over and over, not wanting to display any type of emotions. Memories of people abandoning her and disconnecting from her made her dizzy. She did not care what happened to her. Life didn’t matter. She had lost her way and she could not pull herself together.
She took the clip board back to the receptionist and was told to sit down until someone called her back. She was noticeably shaking. Everything was so quiet that all she could focus on was the tiny flutters in her lower abdomen and wished for it to stop. She didn’t want to be reminded of the life being formed in her womb. She kept lying to herself, over and over in her mind that it was only a quick outpatient surgery to remove some tissue that didn’t belong in her body. It did not occur to her that this tiny life had a heartbeat. It deserved life, but not the one she had to offer. If there was a God, he could put this tiny life into a mother who wanted it.
Sarah wondered if the baby would look like Brad, the one who left her in a hotel room and never came back. She ached from the memories of him using her and then not caring about the consequences. He didn’t even know that he had created a life. She fell for the lies of a man one more time, and this was the payment she received for her trust.
Anger filled her once again against her creator. She was the one who had to pay for the sins of this man. He walked away and did not even know what he had done. Would he ever know?
“I’m justified in my actions because I cannot do this alone!” Her thoughts were screaming at her now. How could God allow this to happen? How could he let her be abused during her childhood to the point that she no longer felt human, and then when she tried to make a life for herself after she left home, things kept going wrong? She barely had enough food to eat and she was barely able to put any money in savings. The pregnancy counselor assured her that an abortion was her only option. She could not raise a baby on her own! After she had had enough time to relived most of the trials in her life, she heard someone call her name.
“Sarah?” The lady called from the doorway. “Right this way.” She was calm and relaxed and nicer than the receptionist. She showed Sarah into the room and closed the door behind her. “The procedure only takes about 20 minutes. I will be here with you the whole time. You need to take your clothing off from the waist down and put this gown on. I will step out for a few minutes.”
She handed Sarah the gown then stepped out and shut the door. The room smelled strange. It was not a normal hospital room. It had a dirty sock smell. The floors were old and warn and the walls were yellowed with age. She looked around the room. There wasn’t much in it. One wall had cabinets across it and a counter top with some jars of what looked like alcohol and cotton balls. There was a machine plugged into the wall. It was a large square shape and had a long tube protruding from it. She imagined that it was full of aborted fetuses from the day. She shuttered at the thought of it. Her imagination started getting to her and she had to look away. She sat down on the edge of the bed in time for a knock on the door. In came the nurse and the doctor with her.
“Lie down on the bed and scoot as far forward as you can,” said the doctor with as much feeling as if he were giving her driving instructions.
“Do I get any pain medication,” Sarah asked the nurse?
“No, there isn’t any, but it should not hurt very much. You should only feel some discomfort and pressure.” She said, trying to assure Sarah.
The doctor started taking instruments and using them to dilate her cervix so that he could put the suction tube in to remove the fetus.
Sarah was shaking even more now. She felt like she was freezing and so afraid. She was looking for someone with compassion, but she would not find any in this room. “If you don’t hold still, I will have to make this a two day procedure and you will have to pay $300.00 more tomorrow before I will finish it.” The doctor spouted out angrily.
He was very impatient to finish so he could move on. He must have been uncaring and detached because of what he was doing. Sarah could hardly keep herself together.
Sarah did her best to hold still as he shoved the suction tube through her cervix and into her uterus. She felt so much pressure and discomfort. She wanted to scream for him to stop.
Then he did. It was over and she knew it. She knew she could not change her mind. It was done. The child that had been safely growing inside of her was now discarded from his home for the sake of freedom. His tiny body was broken into pieces and placed into a bag with other tiny lives that had been ended that day. She had not thought of it like that before now. She could not even cry. The emotional pain ran so deep that she could not utter a sound. Nor could anyone except God hear the silent scream of her baby.
The nurse touched her hand, “Sarah, it is over. Please get dressed and here is a pad you will need for the blood loss. We have to put you in another room for 30 minutes to monitor you to make sure you aren’t going to hemorrhage. After that, you are free to go.”
“Go where?” Sarah thought. “Where can I go from here? There is nothing left. “The pain was overwhelming. The cramping was nothing compared to the heartache she felt. She stepped out of the room feeling quite dizzy and held onto the door like a crutch to help her through. As the nurse walked her down the hallway, she grasped ahold of the wall, making her way slowly.
She ended up in a large room with a lot of cots lined against the walls and only a few feet apart. There were only 3 other girls in the room lying on cots, separated from each other. None of them moved when she came in. No one talked. For a second, she wondered if they were okay, then she decided that she really didn’t care. She only cared about her misery. She only cared that no one told her how empty she would feel nor how alone she would feel.
Her body was empty. The tiny movement had stopped and she knew that she had made a decision that she would regret for the rest of her life. She thought she would feel relieved after it was over. She didn’t feel any relief at all. She had exchanged her own baby’s life for her freedom and she didn’t feel so free after all. There would be no new start for her. Now all she could think about was the baby that had died this day.
Sarah did not know that she was not alone that day. She did not know that she had a savior with her every step of the way. He shed tears where she could not. He felt pain when all she felt was numb. A savior standing so close to the door of her heart, knocking, yet not a sound was heard by Sarah. When Jesus was scourged, God took his wrath out on his own son to pay the price for the life that was destroyed that day. (Isaiah 53:10, “Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and to cause him to suffer.”) The vengeance God felt towards the sins of the human race was all projected onto Jesus, and he hoped that someday, Sarah would be able to grasp that nothing could separate her from his love. (Romans 8:39) neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Her healer was standing next to her while she lay lifeless on the cot. He wanted so badly to help her to understand that he took everything she was feeling on himself. He wanted her to comprehend that when he said, “Father, forgive them for they do not know not what they are doing,” that he meant it for her on this day. (Luke 23:34)
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Sarah’s thoughts began to drift back to when she was younger. She thought of the counselor who had tried to convince her that God loved her, in spite of how her own father treated her. She had a hard time believing that God would allow her father to be so cruel to her and yet want her to believe his word. She didn’t grasp the concept of free will and choices when she was so young. She only wanted someone to love her. Her heart now ached for that little girl she longed to comfort. Her heart ached for the child she would never get to comfort because she had ended his life before he was allowed to see the light of day.
“I am stupid,” she scribbled on paper. Why not? Her dad had said it so many times that she was starting to believe it. It had penetrated her very being and was intertwining itself into the fibers of her soul. She would soon start to play out these words in her actions at school, around her friends, and in her personal life.
She had become tired of trying to deny it. It was after all, her father who said it. Her father, who had once been a hero in her eyes, was becoming the villain of her nightmares.
The counselor looked down at her writing. “Is this how you feel about yourself?”
She nodded with tears streaming down her face. The counselor then asked, “Who calls you stupid?”
The sobs were almost uncontrollable now. She formed the words on her lips but they would not escape due to the fear in her heart. Her father was respected and well known in the community. He let the family know that no one was to talk badly about their home life.
“Can you write it down?”
She gathered herself the best that a ten year old could, “How can I tell you if you are just going to tell my dad?”
“I am bound by an oath that I will not tell or I could lose my job.” She answered, hoping this would convince her.
“My dad calls me stupid.” She blurted out in pain. Emotional pain had turned to physical. Her young body was feeling warn out for trying so hard to please someone who would never be happy with her because he was not happy with himself.
“Dear God, how can I help this child when it’s the father who needs counseling?” She screamed from within.
“Sarah,” she said aloud, “You know that you aren’t stupid. Your dad doesn’t realize that his words are hurting you. The Bible tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. It tells us that God formed us in our mother’s womb.”
Sarah looked up at her and asked, “If my dad, who I can see, doesn’t love me, how am I supposed to believe that an invisible God loves me?” (1 John 4:20) “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.”
“Sarah, I need to check you before you can go.” The voice startled her as she looked up. It was a different lady standing over her than the one who had been with her during the procedure. She helped Sarah to her feet. “How are you feeling,” she asked.
Sarah nodded her head, but no words came out.
“It’s normal to feel some discomfort, but if you start feeling like you are losing too much blood, go straight to the hospital.”
Sarah nodded again.
After she checked Sarah’s vital signs, she led her to the exit. Sarah stepped out onto the sidewalk behind the building and slowly walked to her car. The sun was shining, but she didn’t feel it. The cold hardness she felt was not going to be easy to shake.