Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Fiction is powerful

I like reading books. I read a lot of them. Sometimes too many. I don't always remember every detail of every book I read because I have too much in real life to think about (unlike Chip, who can still keep all the Stephen King plotlines separate and repeat in detail), but I enjoy a good read.
A few years ago, an aunt got me "hooked" on Christian fiction by Karen Kingsbury (http://www.karenkingsbury.com/). She writes about tough topics (read: tear-jerking) a lot of the time, but it's good to have an excuse other than my pitiful life, right? :-)
Anyway, there's been a few series of her books dedicated to one family - the Baxters. I'm halfway through the "last" series. So...if any of you are behind me in reading, this post is about "Summer: Baxter family drama, Sunrise series #2". Read no further. Spoiler ahead. For the rest of you, I just finished writing this letter to the author:

I don't think I can even find the words I want to in order to thank you for Summer. I lost two babies to miscarriage in 1998, and it began a long process for me of healing through helping others who were hurting from similar losses. Through that process I have heard countless stories of the preciousness of life, but the one closest to my heart next to my own is the story of my aunt who gave birth to her precious baby girl, Kristy, over 25 years ago. Kristy with anencephaly. Kristy who changed many people's lives, through her very presence, and through the ministry of my aunt's story. (side note...Carol and Mimi and Diana and Pat and Cindy and Angie and Nicole and Renee and Missy and Kelly, and so many others whose stories touched me, along with those who wish to remain anonymous...all of you were in my thoughts and prayers during the reading of this book, too)
To be honest, when Ashley (the character in the book) started out praying for a miracle after her diagnosis, I was pretty annoyed. I know God is bigger than all of our problems, but I didn't want her miracle to happen. I wanted the pain. I wanted it so others could know that there was more to the pain. That complete joy of her few hours with Sarah. I also wanted it because I wanted people to know that you CAN live through something like that and come out with faith still in tact. That you CAN ask God the questions Ashley asked in the cemetary. That the miracles do happen, but not always in the way we want them to. Of course, it would be wonderful if parents could pray and the miracles you expect would happen, but when God has other plans for that baby than our earthly expectations, it's nice to know that it was all still a part of his wonderful (and scary!) plan for our lives. My faith journey wasn't as easy as Ashley's, but it's a different faith. Not a Santa-Claus faith anymore. And ten years later, although I still miss my babies and hurt that I haven't met them on earth, I feel blessed to have met the people I did and to know their stories and to have done my best to give others a place and a time to heal and remember and honor their babies.
I thank you for letting characters so close to your heart, and to your readers, go through something like this to help show that every life matters to God. A person's a person, no matter how small - we had that Dr. Seuss quote that was in your book on our "Walk to Remember" program every year. 2 cells, 8 cells, 4,000 cells. No matter how small.
Very powerful thing, fiction. I thank you for using it for good and the glory of God.

So I don't often spout my views on life because I'm not big on conflict, but I'm VERY VERY passionate about the fact that abortion kills life. I know. I didn't use my "right" and yet the life was still torn from me. I heard heartbeats. I saw toes and fingers. I felt LIFE. (see September 2007 posts for a picture)

A mother (A woman who conceives, gives birth to, or raises and nurtures a child is the definition I prefer http://www.thefreedictionary.com/mother, but you can find more that are politcally correct and sure to incite riot in those of us who "merely miscarried" if you search on your own) is a vessel, not someone with the RIGHT to destroy a baby for convenience - even if it is to spare the pain of having to deal with something - anything - that will be hard to deal with emotionally. I know you will all say, "what about in the case of medical necessity?" My answer - choose life whenever possible. I've heard that there aren't many truly medically necessary occasions, but I wouldn't want to be the one to choose between my child and my life. Most mothers I know would gladly give up their own life so that their child may live. If both are in danger, wouldn't a C-section be more prudent? I'd like to know more about the stats of the actual cases before I would say that an abortion is the only option and reason enough to make it legal and create all kinds of loopholes.
Killing a baby in the womb is not a RIGHT anyone has. It's not right for a boyfriend to stab his pregnant girlfriend and kill the baby. Why should it be ok for the girlfriend to choose that on her own? Who's rights are we protecting? A privilege, maybe. The privilege to kill without feeling entirely guilty because it's not illegal. Yeah, I suppose it's a privilege. But then maybe we could also have the privilege on the books of not having to obey the speed limit on the highway when you're late or in a hurry because it's more convenient. If the argument, "Whatever is best for you is the right decision" works for you...please consider other times that advice could be given and see if you would have the same answer: "It was best for me to drive home drunk because I didn't have a way to get back to my car the next day". "It felt best to me to go 50 in that school zone because I was late for a really important meeting (sorry about hitting your kid)." It was in my best interest to kill that guy - he was hurting my friend." (a side note...isn't it interesting that "Earl had to die" was pulled from radio play, but "Gunpowder and Lead" and it's clear 'pre-meditation' is played at least a few times a day?!? They're fun songs to listen to, but do they really inspire those kinds of actions and renegade justice? Who knows...I prefer to remain cautious and just listen to them in the privacy of my own home. I don't think Chip has anything to worry about...*smile). "It was really in my best interest to take Meth - I needed it to make it through the day." I could go on, but you're probably already not reading because you're mad at me.
Well, once every 10 years, I should probably make my opinion known. At least in this non-invasive forum that most people I know stopped reading long ago, anyway (thanks for being faithful Lana! Hope I didn't just make you a former reader!!).
Giving women the right to take lives out of their womb totally removes the right for me to grieve for, and love, and cherish my babies and to praise God for their brief existance, and for my friends to do the same. And I refuse to give THAT right away!


Lana Baker said...

You can't get rid of me!! That's what is so great about having a blog~you can say whatever you want and it's ok because it's your blog. Well, I have similar thoughts on the subject although not the first-hand experience. This is something very personal between God and the person involved.I personally would never exercise my right to choose to terminate a pregnancy but I also wouldn't stand in judgement of anyone else. That's not my job. I am so thankful that I have never had to consider it.A choice like that would be ever so agonizing! And I don't think once in ten years is anywhere near excessive. So keep on...
Take care my friend!

Linda Knight said...

Hey Katy... I've read this blog post before, but it struck me as especially powerful today because I'm working on a series of blogs (hopefully to become a book) about the role of stories in therapy. Would you mind if I quoted you (or linked to your post) in my blog? Linda