“No, not again! Not now!” I cried out in the bathroom. I’ll call Marisa. She’s always been strong. She has it together.
I reached for the phone and dialed her number. When she answered, I blurted, “The test is positive! I’m pregnant.” She’ll lift my spirits.
“Mary . . .” she began. “How in the world will you care for another baby?”
Then again, maybe not.
“What are you going to do?” Marisa squealed.
I thought, If I knew that, I wouldn’t have called you. Wasn’t I the one supposed to get some reassurances, some guidance, some support here?
“I . . . I don’t know, I thought–”
“Mary, what were you thinking?” she shot back. “You can’t possibly have another baby! You’re only twenty-one; you already have three children, and now number four is on its way? Your husband drinks too much, he works only when he wants to, you have a child with special needs, you guys don’t have enough money . . . !”
My mind swirled. I hung by a flimsy strand, all hope slipping. Okay! Tell me something I don’t know. Marisa’s right, whom am I kidding? I. Can’t. Go. On.
Then, she added, “Listen, I’ll help you. If you will get an abortion . . . I will help you pay for one.”
So, that’s it? The quick-fix solution to the problem . . . to end an innocent life?
“I . . . I’ll have to think about this,” I muttered. “Let me sleep on it and get back to you.”
Did that answer come out of me?
I placed the receiver down, heavy with conflicting emotions. My world came to a halt. My heart felt heavy. I cradled my belly, thinking: I can’t have another baby. But can I truly consider this the way out?
The girls slept in their room. Their father was—Lord only knows where. I sat alone in the dark, crossed-legged on the bed. My head ached. My stomach was tied in knots. Overcome with waves of hopelessness, memories churned to the one security blanket I had ever known: the home of my grandparents. And I realized I was sinking. Fast.
What happened to my anchor of faith? My hope? Isn’t God big enough to handle the mess in my life? I have to admit, I’ve been too busy for Him. Now that I need Him, does He still care? Then it occurred to me: If I can’t trust God now, then what’s the point of going on?
That instant I prayed like never before, and pored over my Bible. The Book of Psalms always comforted me, and that night before sleep overtook me, my “Ah hah” moment came after reading Psalm 139:13: For You created my innermost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I wasn’t about to take the life of my unborn child, believing that God gave that life to me.
Come morning. A new day. A fresh start. Resolute in my decision, faith sparked. God had always taken care of me before. I am determined to trust Him to carry me now. I believe, Lord. Help my unbelief. Give me the grace to endure…
I reached for the phone and dialed Marisa’s number.
“Thanks, but no thanks.”
“Mary, think about what—”
“No!” I shouted. “I’m going to walk on and trust God. You knew my convictions. I thought they were yours too.”
“Mary, I was only trying. . .”
“How?” I interrupted, pacing the floor. “By offering me an abortion? I came to you down and out for encouragement and prayer. I needed to hear ‘hope’ beyond my pain, but you didn’t—you wouldn’t—give me that!”
“Look, Mary, you’re still so young. I’ve been around longer than you. . .”
“You never had children,” I protested.
“I married a jerk once too. They don’t change.” Marisa went on to give one reason after another about how she was looking out for my best interest.
After long seconds of dead silence and nothing else to say, we hung up.
I thought of a lesson in Sunday school about Job who called his friends miserable comforters, even his wife told him to “curse God and die.” They were supposed to be his friends; yet, those comforters increased his trouble by condemning him.
Marisa and I parted ways. Our friendship ended that day.
Days, weeks, and months overlapped one another; my past troubles were behind me. With my heart overflowing and my eyes drowning in tears, I reached down to kiss my newborn. “Hello, Daniel Michael,” I whispered. “I’m your Mommy.”
Before long, my little curly-lock hair boy is running around with deep brown eyes touching my heart each time he looks up at me.
Next thing I knew I blinked, and the little boy is now a strapping young man and I am gazing up at him.
Note: I share this story not to condemn, criticize, judge, or belittle anyone who may have made a different decision for whatever reason. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life. I share my story because this was one time when I was strong enough to make the right decision for me. I believe that strength came as I prayed to my Heavenly Father. I may have my share of regrets in life, but not in giving birth to my one and only son thirty-two years ago.
© M.A. Perez 2014, All Rights Reserved
26 responses to “The Day the Earth Stood Still”
Mary this story was so beautiful and heartfelt. Look at your wonderful son. Thank god you had the sense and faith that day, every life is precious whether we are ready for them or not. Thank you for sharing such a pivitol part of your life.
Yes, and amen! I have a son, I have daughters, I have grand children – all are gifts from the Lord. I appreciate the comment, Kath 🙂
Thank you for sharing your story, Mary! It truly touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. You are a blessing.
Your encouragement means a great deal and always touches me, Skye. Blessings to you!
Mary, it took courage to write this personal memory of a time in which countless women can relate–me being one. I know from where you obtained the strength to share it with the world, from your faith in the Lord and your desire to en-courage all of us. Thank you.
My story is similar to yours. The person who counseled me to seek an abortion, however, was the physician who confirmed my pregnancy, telling me the lie that what I carried within my womb was no more than physical matter without emotions, feelings, a soul, and if I acted quickly I could be free of the “inconvenience” of pregnancy and “get on with my college education.”
It took a few days for it all to sink in, but once I realized that the doctor was telling me to kill my first child, I was outraged, frightened, bewildered as I wondered how could a doctor do that? Don’t they make a vow to save life?
That “physical matter” is now in his mid-twenties. He’s pursuing his engineering degree, has a lovely girlfriend and has always been a tremendous blessing to my husband and me. We have been married for twenty-six years.
I’m left wondering about your husband. Did he change?
Again, thank you for sharing. I’m sure hearts are being touched through your posts.
I resonate what you said about no condemnation or hurt meant.
Love to your readers,
Pamela, I appreciate you commenting and sharing your story. I certainty admire your strength and applaud the decision you made. I rejoice in the wonderful news of your son.
My “friend” was an active member in the church that I attended for a while, and she led the youth group there. Go figure. As for my “husband,” he became my ex after 15 years of marriage. Although he did seek help for his alcoholism, it did not last. He relapsed and it was back to square one. I do cover a lot of chapters about that time period being married to him in my memoir.
I pray my readers know that I do not condemn anyone if their decision was different from mine … or yours. I know that God loves them just as much and extends His forgiveness and grace to the “whosoever will” turn to Him.
**Update: My son shared with me a message he received from one of his friends after reading this post:
“Wow! What an amazing story that your mom wrote about her decision to bring you into this world. I’m really glad she did and thankful that we are friends. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine how much impact our decisions actually have on the world around us, even though we seem to be such insignificant creatures at times. One ‘little’ decision and you would not even exist. Incredible!” – John
Home Run!!! Over the fences on this one! Your son Daniel is my favorite Nephew! Not too long ago, I had the privilege to see what a very well fine young man he has become!
Thank you, Ruben 🙂
I am friends with your son Daniel, and I see what a great man you have raised. He’s funny, smart and will make a fantastic Father and Husband one day. I am so glad you made your choice based on what The Lord spoke to you. I have two handsome boys, and couldn’t imagine a life without them. As I read your story, I sobbed, and sobbed. Your life wasn’t easy, but you did it. I am so excited for the day when you will get to hold Daniel’s first child. When that day comes, I know you will be rejoicing with The Father for legacy you gave a chance to grow. I really would like to encourage you to write a book about your life. You’re a great writer! And an awesome Mother.
Alexandria, thank you so much. Tears stream down my face taking in your words … God bless you and your family. Hugs!
Thank you for sharing such a deep and personal story of love and faith. I admire your strength and courage not only in choosing to be strong and love life and the gift of it in having your son, in sharing this story as well. Thank you for sharing in such a deep heart felt and beautiful way… For what it is worth I love who you are, it is a beautiful gift you share. My mother had me when she was 15 during the height of the right to choose movement and debate. For some reason I know my mother struggled in a way with the choice she had as many encouraged her to have an abortion feeling she was too young and having me would ruin her life. I am most grateful that my mother chose to have and love me. Thank you for being a beautiful soul and making such a courageous loving choice! From a son a father and a fellow beautiful soul thank you for being you! 🙂 Joe
Joe, I am truly humbled by your words, so much so, that I cannot stop crying. It wasn’t an easy time in my life for so many reasons. I’m sure your mother was motivated by love, finding the courage needed contrary to popular belief. I don’t doubt her love ignited each time she held you and gazed into your eyes. I’ve come to believe, in our struggles we find strength and thereby grow. Your words have touched my heart, and I thank you, sir. God bless you.
I hope and believe they were tears of joy… You are a beautiful and strong woman one I truly admire. 🙂
Thank you, Joe 🙂
I know too many women who live with the regret. It’s heartbreaking. Beautiful story of your moment of strength, Mary, and I love that you give the credit to our loving Father. Blessings to you and your handsome son! 🙂
Thank you, Rebeca!
Wonderful and encouraging. I admire and respect your willingness to be vulnerable to help others. I am so happy that you don’t have to live with the regret that ultimately would have come from an abortion. May this story be the means of saving the lives of babies and the regret of mothers!
Thank you, Mona. At that time of my life, it wasn’t an easy choice by any means. I am so glad that God loves us the way we are but refuses to leave us that way. Only He can make a way when there isn’t one.
A very touching story that hit too close to home for me. Thank God you were wise in your decision making.
Amen to that, Janie.
What a beautiful testimony of strength and faith! And your handsome son is a living example of trusting God! Thank you for sharing that with us!
Thank you, Debi!
I wish everyone facing this situation had the strength to carry on and have the baby. I can’t judge others because I don’t walk in their shoes, but I can feel for them and hope for a better outcome.
So true, Sandra. We dare not judge! Everyone has their own crosses to bear and find themselves at the crossroads of life. Believe me, my outcome could have gone either way. In my case, I thank God He granted me the strength with my decision.
Mary: Beautiful story……
Love you, Josie!