Life and death converge daily on Arlington Avenue, yet none of that street's busy travelers notice. No one seems to realize that within blocks vital choices are being made. • That street holds special significance for me concerning my own defining moment of decision. There, just two days before Mother's Day 2004, I almost murdered my youngest son. And there, he was saved by the grace of God. So was I.
I always had taken an extreme pro-life stance, championing the rights of the unborn right up until that second line materialized in the window of my own pregnancy test stick. But as a twice-divorced, 33-year-old single mother of two, I had not planned on becoming pregnant again.
Although I believed I was a Christian with a supportive family, I felt abandoned, hopeless. I saw no way out of the mess I had made for myself. It never occurred to me to turn to God for help. So, faithless, I made an appointment with the abortion clinic on Arlington Avenue.
murder of a baby is legally acceptable and fully accessible in Indiana only through the first trimester. Then it gets downright tricky and you generally have to drive out of state. It's strange how the abortion industry leads women to believe that a baby is somehow less of a person simply because there is less of a person—as if it becomes real only when it gets too big to hide.
The day before my scheduled abortion my heart was a lead weight inside my chest. I would have given about anything to be in someone else's shoes. It was then that I knew I wanted to be free to choose life instead of death. I just needed safe passage through the next few days, and it would be too late to get an abortion anyway. I thumbed through the Yellow Pages, searching for help. When I found a crisis pregnancy center on the same street as the abortion clinic, it was too coincidental to ignore. I dialed the number.
A kind voice answered. Liz is a volunteer who talks to women in trouble. Women like me, I thought. Throughout the conversation, I could feel her desire to help me come to the right decision. Her warmth and concern stretched out across the miles and phone lines between us. Liz went over some literature with me. I'm sure it's the same for everyone, yet it seemed to have been written just for me. The turning point came when she told me my baby already had fingerprints, those marks unique to each individual on earth. At the time, I was the police reporter for the local newspaper, so that struck me harder than anything else she could have said. Liz read Scriptures aloud that say God knit us together in a secret place (Psalm 139:13-16) and set us apart before we were born (Jeremiah1:5). She prayed for me. She prayed for my innocent baby.
I hovered by the phone, still unable to call the appointment off. If I canceled, I wouldn't be able to get another one before the time allotment was up. In misery I finally went to see my mother, who already knew about my pregnancy and had been praying for us incessantly. I remember asking her if it was ever right to do the wrong thing with the right intentions. Of course her answer was no. Still, I knew only one thing could render me completely unable to go through with the appointment: getting an ultrasound and seeing the indisputable evidence. But where could I go that would be open on a Thursday evening?
POINT CAME WHEN
SHE TOLD ME MY
UNIQUE TO EACH
INDIVIDUAL ON EARTH.
My sister's friend Joy knew of a place that might be able to help me. "Do you know of a crisis pregnancy center on Arlington Avenue? If you call someone named Liz, she might be able to get you in quickly," she said. Their ultrasound technician was not usually there that late in the day, but she was. "I'll be waiting on you," Liz promised.
My sister sped me to the center, where I saw my amazing son for the first time. His measurements showed I was a little further along than the staff at the clinic had believed. Misty-eyed, I saw that tiny person flipping around inside me like an acrobat. Suddenly, all I wanted was to keep him safe and healthy. His steady heartbeat was symphonic. Liz prayed with me, and her warm, kind voice brought tears to my eyes. It was the first time I had prayed in more than three years.
For the first time in my life, I decided to do what I knew was right and to trust God for the rest—to believe that He wouldn't bring us this far just to let us down. I dedicated my life and my home to Him. I still have problems like anyone else. I have since lost my job, and my health isn't the greatest. But somehow, moment-by-moment, we get through each day. No matter what happens, my hope is in Jesus Christ and I know it will all work out for good (Romans 8:28).
These days, I can't imagine life without Wyatt. He brings such joy to my world, and I thank God for the honor of being his mother. My whole life I went to great lengths to make guys I barely knew happy; now all I want is to see my littlest sweetheart smile. His perfect, impish face is all I need to see to have a good morning. I watch him sleeping peacefully in my arms, trusting me completely, and I am overwhelmed.
I often meditate on Wyatt's life and his purpose. He escaped death for a reason. Maybe that reason is to help save other babies. Maybe it's to help save mothers—like his own.
Kelly Walker Perry is a freelance writer. She lives in Fairland, Indiana, with her three children: Dylan, 15, Mikayla, 12, and Wyatt, 1. You may contact her by e-mail at email@example.com.