Sanctity of Life month Post #6 – Anna was my best friend in high school. Marie is her mom. I have fond memories of spending many of my teenage evenings eating cookie dough and watching movies in her living room. I remembered Marie to be a writer, I knew of her story and I was thrilled when she agreed to share it. You will not regret taking the time to read what she has to say. – Kim
How do you put value on something and determine its worth? I guess there are many things that come into play when I consider the value of something including where it came from, how it was made and who made it. One thing is obvious to me…shouldn’t there be a big difference between how we treat something that we have determined is priceless and something that we think has so little value that we just throw it away? There was an important time in my life when I was faced with these questions.
About thirty-three years ago, I was a young mother with two young children. For several years since the birth of my second child I was very sick and weak. After a kidney biopsy I was diagnosed with an untreatable kidney disease. I asked my doctors if I would be able to have more children, and they advised me that if I got my strength back I could.
My primary goal was to be healthy, so I did everything I could to get my strength back including following a special diet. More than a year later I did regain my strength, so I was hoping to have at least one more child. A few months later I became pregnant.
I went to my local doctor, and he confirmed that I was pregnant; however, he shocked me when he suggested that I should have an abortion because my health was at risk. I was stunned at his words and thought of his previous advice to me about having another child if my health improved. To be honest, even as I sat there listening to what he was saying about having an abortion, as far as I was concerned it wasn’t even an option.
Many years before, I gave a lot of thought to what value I place on human life. I believe that God, the creator of this world we live in, is the source of all life. Aborting my baby would be throwing away the life that God had created in me. How could I destroy something that I value so much?
In my heart of hearts I knew that I had made a choice to do all I could do to be a healthy mother. I had also made the choice to try to have another child. God had blessed me with the new life within me. So without any discussion I said to my doctor, “No, I won’t have an abortion.”
My local doctor sent me to a specialist for high risk pregnancies. I was shocked when my local doctor advised me to have an abortion, but even more shocked when the specialist advised me to do the same. This doctor told me that if my kidneys failed not only would I die, my baby could also die. But I said no to abortion again.
In the days ahead I had friends who were fearful for my life who advised me to have the abortion, due to “the health of the mother” argument. But I was unmoved. I prayed, “Lord, I don’t want to die or lose my baby…that thought scares me. But if you are so powerful that you created this world and all life within it, I can trust that you will care for me and my baby. But even more importantly, even if I get sick during this pregnancy, and my kidneys fail and I lose my life and possibly my baby’s life too…I will still trust you.”
I believe God gave me the faith to trust Him through that pregnancy. The church prayed faithfully and diligently for me and my baby too. On August 8, 1980 I gave birth without incident to Eli, a baby boy. I can’t imagine my life without my son Eli anymore that I could imagine my life without any of my children. Eli’s God-given life has had and will have a lifetime of impact. In fact, I just ran across a Christmas letter that Eli sent out to family and friends several years ago after he had finished college. He wrote, “My vision of God’s greatness and purposes that prevail over our world has grown so that God is able to show me how my desires were designed for his glory.”
Marie Steenlage is a single mom with 3 grown children and one grandchild. Her latest adventure is moving to Eau Claire, WI in October to work with 17 counties in North West Wisconsin for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.