Don’t be Afraid to Speak Up!
“But, HOW did she die Mum?” I asked my mother yet again. She had brokenly shared with me that a young woman in our community, only a few years older than me had died. My mother didn’t want to say more but her reluctance only stimulated my curiosity. This family only had two children, a son and a daughter and now the daughter was gone.
My mother didn’t think I needed to know the reason for her death, but only to know that she had passed away. To say I was shocked is an understatement because I had sat next to her only a couple of weeks before at a Young Farmers and Country Girls’ dinner. She was laughing, jovial, chatting. Why? How?
I wasn’t about to be fobbed off. My parents were always protecting us and I thought this was just another case. “When will I be old enough to know anything Mum? I’m 15, I’m working and still you keep things from me.”
My mother hesitated, sighed, drew a deep breath and told me the reason for her reluctance was not to protect me but that she didn’t want to cause the grieving mother any more grief through gossip. I quickly promised I wouldn’t tell a soul. My mother’s eyes filled with tears and she almost choked as she told me, “She had an abortion and something went wrong.”
`“What’s an abortion?” I asked. And so my understanding was increased that day. As my mother wept she extracted another promise from me. “If you ever find yourself in a difficult situation, NO MATTER WHAT IT IS, will you please come and tell me? The pain of knowing you have done wrong is as nothing compared to the pain of losing you and knowing I could have helped you.” I promised.
I ached for my friend then and over the years because it need not have happened. I also ached for the baby. It was beyond my understanding why anyone would want to kill a little baby.
Two years later I was training as a Karitane nurse. My sister brought a friend of hers to me who was very pretty, very young and pregnant. Her boyfriend had procured a drug for her to take and she was anxious it. I spoke strongly against taking that drug, which had more unknowns than the baby growing within her. The drug could kill her but the baby wouldn’t. Somehow, even with very little knowledge of God, I told her things would work out. Heather and I promised we would help her as much as we could. Praise God, she listened, and didn’t take that drug. She kept her baby and ended up marrying the father. Together they found Christ and are so grateful they were spared from destroying their own little boy. All Glory to God!
The years rolled by and I extracted promises from my children just as my mother did from me. Both my daughters have been instrumental in saving lives of babies when their friends were persuaded that abortion was the only answer. Their friends were told that shame and ruin would follow them if they gave their babies life. Instead the very opposite has been the truth. Rather than guilt, they are innocent of murder and forever free from regret! Instead of shame, they have pride in their child and their role as a mother! Instead of ruin, they have built character, strength and courage into their lives. Why is it that in a panic we believe the lie instead of truth? Is it because one is instant and the other takes time?
I was blessed by the testimony of a woman who came to one of our Above Rubies retreats in Western Australia. The lady in question had never been on a camp like this before. On the very first night we had all brought our own meal as the kitchen was locked up until breakfast the next morning. We could only rinse our utensils and containers because dishwashing liquid and tea towels were all locked away. This lady said she had brought both liquid and tea towels. What a reaction this caused. Who would bring these items to a Ladies camp? She was immediately enveloped into everyone’s heart, and although she came on her own, she was now very popular.
She confessed she hadn’t had so much fun since she was in the ‘Home for Naughty Girls’. Her parents had sent her away during her ‘confinement’ because of the embarrassment of their daughter not being married. In this environment she had not felt different to the other girls as they were all in the same ‘boat’. This same feeling of acceptance and fun was felt at this camp, bringing back memories and swelling her heart with thankfulness.
She told us that she ended up keeping the baby against her mother’s wishes but her father had stood by her decision. She later married and had more children. The little girl she kept grew up and gave her heart to the Lord and then led her mother to the Lord. How we rejoiced with her. God is so good.
Don’t lose any opportunity to speak up on behalf of the unborn. We don’t know how many lives are saved by our words.
VAL STARES, Australian Director of Above Rubies
Canungra, Queensland, Australia