When the perinatologist suggested terminating Annie when I was 18 weeks and 6 days pregnant with “a baby who might never live and was guaranteed to have significant complications,” I immediately choked out a quiet but firm, “No, that won’t be an option for us.” Even though my audible answer was an automatic refusal, the silent reasoning that screamed in my head wasn’t convinced that it wasn’t at least an option to be considered.
Sure, I knew what was right, what was moral, what I should do and say. But I’ve learned that knowing the correct response doesn’t silence the fears. It was one of those times where I’m glad I decided what I’d do before I even got into the situation– you know the ones your parents made you role play as a teenager, the ones where you practice making the right decision in the light before it’s too hard to see the right answer hiding behind the dark.
It was a time where I felt like God’s promises weren’t matching up with what He was asking me to obey. Kind of like Abraham being asked to sacrifice Isaac. God had promised Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars…and then God told Abraham to kill his only son as a sacrifice. I’m sure Abraham was wondering how in the world God was going to make recompense of that situation to make good on His promise. But, as God always is, He was serious about asking Abraham to obey and He was also faithful in keeping His promise by providing an animal as sacrifice instead.
God asked me to obey Him that day (and in the few weeks’ window that followed where Arkansas law would still legally permit a termination) and trust that He is the giver and taker of life. I know that I would have never chosen to end Annie’s life while she was in the womb. But I can’t say that there weren’t days that it sounded like such an easy option. It seemed so easy to silence my fears on my own. To take measures into my own hands so I could know and prepare myself for the outcome. To be the one in control so at least I could be sure how it would all unfold. To give in to my fears of the what ifs of Annie’s life to come. To be swamped in post-op pictures of 5-day-old babies and convince myself that neither Annie or I should have to live through that.
And yes, I would’ve missed this:
But I also would’ve missed this:
I’m seeing that when God asks for my obedience, He knows I’m afraid. He knows I’m scoffing inside my head thinking there’s no way it’s all going to come together.
But I’m thankful that there is no fear in love, so that I can live each day unafraid of what it holds and what tomorrow will bring, because God is lovingly writing the story of my life and Annie’s life. I can trust Him when He asks me to obey, and I’ll put my hope in His promises that He always keeps.