“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.” (Psalm 139:14)
Fences are good…as long as you’re on one side of them.
Good fences, as poet Robert Frost quoted, “make good neighbors.”* They discourage trespassing, keep livestock enclosed, and even protect us from ourselves.
Fences, however, were never meant for sitting.
Yesterday, I had the privilege of speaking to a church congregation in our community. It was humbling and honoring to stand up before more than a hundred people, sharing updates about the ministry at our local Christian clinic for women experiencing unplanned pregnancy.
My short comments came during the church’s emphasis this month on the sanctity of life. Afterward, I marveled at the incremental changes in my heart that led me to this point. I’m not an outspoken political advocate, and I’ve rarely participated in rallies or marches. But somewhere along the way, God radically engaged me in supporting the value of life.
Nearly 50 years ago, the Roe v. Wade decision came at a time when women’s rights were being championed in the media and the classroom. Abortion was cast as an inalienable right for women. There was no emphasis on what abortion actually involved—the death of a child. It merely represented the end of a pregnancy.
So, for a number of years in my youth, I sat on the fence about this issue. It didn’t involve me personally, and I had bought into the platform that women needed—nay, deserved—to have their lives unencumbered by pregnancy or bringing children into this world. Abortion was “okay for others,” I thought. I stayed on the sidelines.
There was a nagging presence in my heart, though, that wouldn’t go away. The Holy Spirit was at work, unbeknownst to me.
Maybe it began with seeing extraordinary images of life before birth…the beautiful, somewhat transparent faces of children from photos taken in utero. As technology developed, especially through ultrasound imaging, we could suddenly see that embryos are more than blobs of tissue. They have fingers, toes, and heartbeats. They are human beings, exactly what we were before birth.
God’s word had a profound impact on me as well. The entire Bible is a testimony of His role as Creator of life, most directly in Psalm 139:13—“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.”
God showed me most clearly, through my own experience with infertility, how His gift of life begins at conception. I was blessed to watch and hear my daughter’s heartbeat at less than six weeks into her life through an ultrasound image. And she was no bigger than a black-eyed pea!
My husband and I were also blessed to adopt our son from a country where abortion is one of the primary means of birth control. I can never thank his biological mother enough for choosing life and deciding to let him be adopted.
I don’t remember when I hopped off the fence about abortion. But when I did, there was utter peace and joy in knowing I was where God wanted me to be. There was no going back.
Friend, are you sitting on a fence? Are you trying to straddle the line between what the world demands and what God commands?
Consider whatever it is in your own life that lingers as a “sitting fence”—especially one that troubles you. Ask God to show you how to respond, how to choose His way versus the world’s way.
While you’re at it, consider stepping out in faith to advocate His love for His unborn children.
Support your local Christian pregnancy resource center with donations and volunteerism. Speak to others about the value of life and the humanity of the unborn. Share God’s forgiveness with those who have chosen abortion in the past, and speak about His grace to them. When opponents attack, return their barbed words with kindness and soft answers…pray for them, too. Support organizations that promote pro-life programs and legislation.
When it’s time to get off the fence, you’ll know. The Holy Spirit cannot be resisted. He will show you His truth and lead you into His kingdom work.
Pray—for God to transform your heart and the hearts of others, to see His glorious gift of life and His purposes for the beauty of motherhood.
Gracious Lord, Father of all mankind, how we praise You for knitting us together and breathing Your life into us. Please open our eyes to see Your love for life as its Creator. Give us grace to speak clearly about the inestimable value of the lives of the unborn, and show us how to be Your servants in this world to advocate for them. Grant us also Your mercy and forgiveness for responding to those in opposition. Change the hearts and minds of the world, even as You transform our own hearts. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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© Copyright 2022 Nancy C. Williams, Lightbourne Creative (text and photography)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.