I always thought I was pro-life until I was sixteen and faced with an unwanted pregnancy. It was at that time that I realized I was mostly pro-my-own-life. After having my first abortion in high school, I became timidly pro-choice. It was not until my third abortion failed that God brought me back to Him and revealed what it truly meant to be pro-life.
My parents supported my abortion when I was a teenager and, again, when I was a freshman in college. They thought my life would be ruined if I had a child outside of marriage and at such a young age. I told myself that all my reasons for choosing abortion were good reasons and that I made the best choice at the time. I wanted to have children one day, but just not now. While I knew deep in my heart what I had done was immoral, I could not quite grasp the damage that destroying these beautiful creations had done to me.
I spent the years after my first abortion discussing the merits of the pro-choice stance on abortion. I talked about how I was personally against it, but that it was not right to take the choice away from someone who really needed it. I would even defend abortions and women who received them when I would hear disparaging remarks by saying, “You can’t know their situation. You can’t understand how terrifying it is to be faced with that decision.” I had no idea how destructive that fear could be or how deeply the effects of destroying another life would plague me.
The price of destroying life
See, though I had grown up in church, I had never been taught that we are all image bearers and, as such, every life created by our Father is a precious gift. Destroying His most prized creation always comes at a price. My heart was hardened toward others, and I missed out on the value of the life around me and within me. After I was married, I had five miscarriages. I never really mourned the loss of these priceless children. Instead, I became bitter towards a God who would allow me to suffer the pain of infertility. When I had a son with autism, I did not treasure his unique life, but rather bathed in my self-pity all while asking why God would do this to me.
Everything with our first child felt so hard. He did not do anything on time, and he always acted very different from his peers. I gave up on trying to raise him the “right way.” He was not “normal,” so we did not have to follow all the “normal” rules when teaching him about life and how we treat other people. I had no idea that God would use his special place on the autism spectrum to teach me the importance of loving all life — even lives I do not understand.
Only God can give true life
Years later, after spiraling into sin and rebellion, I became pregnant as the result of an affair. Already having three children with my husband, I could not keep this “pregnancy.” I would not even think of this “pregnancy” as a person. It was a menace sent to destroy my life. God was trying to teach me a lesson and punish me for my sin. I had to get rid of the thing.
Three weeks after my attempted abortion, an ultrasound showed me what God truly had for me: life. Not only was I dead inside from all of my rebellion, I had tried to destroy all of the life within me. Being confronted with the reality of this thriving little person inside of me showed me that God gives life. It was shortly after this time that I finally and fully submitted my own life to Christ. He did a mighty work in me when he saved my son from my selfish desires. He opened my eyes with His Word and He transformed my heart through His holy spirit.
The prodigal comes home
The fear I felt from having a child created from infidelity turned to joy upon his arrival. Not only has he been the perfect addition to our family, he remains a wonderful, daily reminder of God’s goodness and mercy. At this pivotal moment in my life when God showed His sovereignty, I was not only a wayward pro-lifer brought back, I was also a prodigal child returning home to my Father. I finally saw that His image-bearers are all valuable, no matter their circumstances.
It is with this love for all human life that I teach my four children, not only their own value, but the value of others. My oldest son’s autism does not make him any less valuable. He is still a precious creation of God and just as much a gift as my daughters. In the same vein, my youngest son being the result of a sinful act does not make him a “mistake,” but rather reinforces that all life is a gift from our Father.
Lauren Sachitano lives in Kingwood, TX. She is a wife, mother, and lover of coffee and naps. She and her husband attend Northeast Houston Baptist Church with their 4 children.