A few days ago I heard from someone who has felt haunted by her decision some time ago to terminate the life of a child she was carrying because it had Downs Syndrome, heart, bowel, and other problems. She made her decision out of worry for the impact the demands of such a new child would have on her other very young children. She fretted about who would look after the child if anything were to happen to her or her partner. This lady outlined to me the unspeakable grief of living with her decision, and added that she still yearns for her baby, and thinks she always will. She believes in theory that issues of life and death should be left in God’s hands, but added that ” sometimes we find ourselves in desperate situations and end up making very desperate decisions”. I felt so inadequate in trying to offer any words of comfort or advice at all, but shared with her what I know of a loving God who is understanding and compassionate and would be aware of the desperate choice she made.I said that her decision was taken out of love and concern for the whole family and I wanted her to be at peace with what happened knowing why she took the decision and the realities of the situation at the time. She showed me how much she valued the gift of life and I prayed that her feelings of regret and yearning will lessen, as she radiates to others a sense of gracious love and peace that God will bestow on her.
Gracious and loving God though I try to put the past behind me and move on I seem to be haunted by it. Teach me that the past is done with and the future is open before me and you are ready to lead me into its blessings and opportunities. May I be ready to receive your gracious gift with thanks and be renewed in the promises of your love and acceptance. Amen.