NEW LIFE, NEW YORK, & A NEW PERSPECTIVE
One morning, my life changed forever. And I knew it would never be the same again.
I got the news that our family was expanding. That my lovely wife was pregnant. That new life had begun.
A flurry of emotions rushed through me. I was overly excited, anxious, happy, nervous, at peace, and scared. Like most prospective fathers, I was simply overwhelmed at the miracle of life that had begun inside my beautiful wife.
In the weeks that followed, we utilized pregnancy apps, books, and websites to track the progress and growth of our new child. We were awestruck at the incredible intricacies of development, even in the earliest stages of life.
At the moment of conception, the child’s sex and all inherited genetic characteristics (eye color, hair color, body type, etc.) are determined. Instantly. Within the first week, the embryo continues to grow. The neural tube is developed, where the baby’s brain, spinal cord and backbone ultimately forms.
The next week, a heartbeat can be detected. The building blocks of the internal organs like the lungs, intestines and bladder as well as bones, muscles, kidneys and reproductive organs all begin to take shape. At this point, the woman is only 5 weeks pregnant, and the baby has only been growing for 3 weeks. But already, the intricacies of this new life are incredible.
By week 6, the baby’s heartbeat is strong and regular. Brain waves can be detected in the baby’s tiny brain, which is growing at more than 100,000 cells per minute. The eyes, nose, mouth, and ears begin to form. And the baby is already moving within the womb. After nearly a month of growth, the baby is still small enough to fit on the tip of your finger.
The next few weeks include tremendous brain development as well as the formation of eyelids, fingers, toes, bones, and kidneys. By Week 11, the baby is beginning to breathe as the lungs continue to progress. Before the end of the first trimester, the baby develops reflexes, responds to stimuli, and can curl fingers and toes. All of the baby’s essential organs and systems are formed. And at just 13 weeks, the baby can stick his/her thumb in his/her mouth. The detailed development is astounding.
All of these realities are true of a child in the womb by the end of the first trimester. Life is clearly well under way. Certainly, new life is truly a miracle. A miracle granted only by the Author of life.
The morning I found out my bride was pregnant, I knew my life would never be the same. Because my life would forever be impacted by this new life.
Tuesdays are milestone days for us. When Tuesday comes around, we enter into a new week of the pregnancy. We celebrate that our new child continues to thrive in the womb and that we are one week closer to holding our precious little one in our arms.
One Tuesday, my wife and I celebrated being 11 weeks pregnant. That same Tuesday, the state of New York also celebrated. They erupted in raucous applause. They cheered frantically.
But while we were celebrating life, the New York Senate passed a bill that celebrates death. While we look forward to new life, New York champions the right to terminate. While we look forward to the day my wife will give birth, New York looks forward to seeing abortion available even further into a pregnancy.
In an eerie vote that took place on the 46thanniversary of the infamous Supreme Court landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, the state of New York passed a bill called the Reproductive Health Act. In reality, the name in no way reflects the content of the bill. The legislation removes any protections from unborn children at any stage of pregnancy in the state of New York. In other words, thanks to the language of the bill, a woman may now abort an unborn baby at any point, even right up until the time of birth.
The emotional weight of that reality is difficult to express in written words. But perhaps the more atrocious observation is the open celebration of this heinous bill. That despite God’s common grace and general revelation telling us that these children are indeed alive in the womb, they kill them. And that even though they know the reality of what they are doing, they not only continue to do it, but they give approval and encouragement to others to do it as well (Romans 1:32).
When I contemplated the latest development in a seemingly endless downward spiral of morality in our country, I reacted differently than I had previously. I used to get angry with the preposterously nonsensical arguments of those who push for the murder of innocent children in the womb. I used to wonder in disbelief how someone could champion for women’s rights while simultaneously killing a defenseless young female, depriving her of her right to live. I used to get frustrated at the lack of progress made at derailing the death train known as abortion.
But our pregnancy has given me a new perspective.
Because in the few weeks that my wife and I have had this new life inside of her, we have never once referred to the fetus as lump of cells. It’s our child.
We have never once considered the growing baby inside of her to be merely a part of her body. It’s our child.
We have never once been concerned with our rights or our privileges or what we want to do. Because we are far more concerned about the baby. About our child.
And we never had to make a conscious decision to do so. Because this new life inside of her – this new life is our child. This new life is a gift from God. This new life is precious. This new life has been entrusted to us. And I can’t articulate with words the amount of joy that it brings me to think about everything that comes with it.
I don’t know if this new life is a boy or a girl. I don’t know if this new life will be an athlete or a musician. I don’t know if this new life will be serious or whimsical. I don’t know much about what will come with this new life inside of my amazing wife. But I do know that I love this new life. I love this baby. I love this child. And I love this child even now, while it is still in the womb.
Now, when I think about the travesty of abortion, I still battle anger. I still battle frustration. I still battle bewilderment. But I have a new perspective that I just couldn’t truly appreciate before.
Now, my heart hurts. My heart hurts more than I ever knew it could. My heart hurts as I think about the terrible reality of abortion. My heart hurts to think about the parents who aren’t experiencing the flurry of positive emotions that my wife and I are sharing during this time. My heart hurts for those parents who don’t love their children enough to even let them live.
My heart hurts for the mother who is told repeatedly that life isn’t worth it. Who lives in a country where she is presented with the option to abort instead of loved through her difficult situation.
And my heart breaks for that unborn child. For the eyes that will never open. For the mouth that will never smile. For the heart that will stop beating. For the life that will never be lived.
I have always detested the idea of abortion. I have always stood firmly on the biblical conviction that life is a gift from God. That life begins in the womb.
But with the beginning of new life, by God’s grace I have been given a new perspective. And with it, a new heart. A heart for the tiny victims. And a heart for those broken people in New York.