Wednesday, January 25, 2017

"My Soul is Weary..."

Our youngest two daughters, now 11, and they still know they have things to do.
"My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word." 
Psalm 119:28 NIV

I sat on the couch the other night, casually scrolling through Facebook, surrounded by three kids, two dogs, and one husband.

I stumbled across a post by a friend and, reading a comment, I felt that all too familiar soul-wearying feeling. It was a sorrowful reminder of the world outside our living room walls. The world that views my child and maybe yours as "less than," "not normal," and an "inconvenience" to their very existence.

While many women recently marched for their rights, and I am a firm believer in standing up for what you believe in, I was saddened by what I read as some of their reasons for marching. Stealthily tucked away in their agenda was the notion that disability is an acceptable reason for eliminating the life of an unborn child. This idea of terminating these children who may need constant care or who "suffer" from lifelong disabilities, the notion that it is somehow the "hardest choice" but the "only choice" for them, this is the seed that has grown into every obstacle, every "no," every fight for services and inclusion that my son and my family has had to face.

Growing this notion in the name of self-preservation, these women have chosen not to give birth to a child. Instead, they have successfully breathed life into discrimination and hardship for every human being born, that is carefully crafted by God, but deemed less than perfect by the world.

I have a diverse group of friends with various opinions, beliefs, and stories. I like that. I welcome that. I enjoy that. God created an incredible world and filled it with interesting and amazing people, and my 17-year-old autistic son is one of them.

It does, however, take discipline when we choose to open our world to the world. We frequently have to walk the fine and delicate line of knowing when to speak and when to walk away.

So as I read those words, I sat there, for a second. 

Do I speak, or do I walk away?

I am no stranger to discrimination, to stares and comments. It was not the first time I have read comments from those I thought understood and realized they clearly don't. I sat there and read the words that indicated the value of my son's life and those like him, (you know the ones "who will never live a normal life", "who will have to be cared for their entire lives") the value of their lives was nonexistent their lives were acceptable to eliminate. ELIMINATE.

Their sentiments and feelings were clear:

"No woman should be forced to give birth to a baby that is not normal, be chained to a child she would have to care for his or her entire life."

"How dare anyone tell her what to do with her uterus, she has no desire to use it to grow a subpar human that will inconvenience her."

Do I speak or walk away?

It's your uterus, I get it. I actually have one of my own, and I've used it several times. I don't like to be told what to do either, but this isn't about me, or my uterus. It's really not even about yours.

It's about life; his life and her life.

I looked at my children, two preteen girls sitting with me on the couch completely immersed in their iPods. The other one (my 17-year-old son) sitting on the floor giggling, attempting to play with our two dogs. My husband is sitting there also, occasionally helping him roll across a giant exercise ball. He's laughing so hard at his daddy trying to help him that he has drawn his sister's attention away from their iPods, no easy feat.

The entire scene makes my heart smile.

As I read the comments of women who are choosing not to birth children but instead birth discrimination and devalue the very life that is laughing in front of me, I am drawn to the faces of the two young women sitting next to me. I see them watching their brother. I see it in their eyes, on their faces and I know, I know it is written on their hearts.

They know the value of life, of someone else's life, of his life.

My eyes filled with tears and my soul was refreshed and strengthened.

I know when the time comes they will march, not for themselves and their uteruses, but for their brother.

God our Father, I come to you pleading, open their eyes. God let them see, let them see what I see, let them see what his sister's see. God let them see what You see. We have too often sat silently by while life after life has been thrown away. Open our eyes, our hearts and when it is needed God open our mouths to speak. Amen


  1. As the meme says, "Because I am pro-choice does not mean I am Pro-abortion" - I'm sorry you had to read those quotes and I am glad that I did not come across them. It saddens me that some use a disability as a reason.

  2. WOW!!! I'm so glad I'm not alone! Thank you for being courageous enough to write this!