About 2 months ago, my son, Blake, was assigned to give a persuasive speech in his eighth grade English class. He chose the topic of “pro-life” because he thought that would be an easy one. You see, he has grown up in a home where life has always been valued. Where every pregnant couple he has ever known, has been overjoyed by the gift of life that lies within them. Not to mention, the fact that I, his mom, was currently 13 weeks pregnant and our whole family was ecstatic about it.
Now, that he is in Middle School, he is confronted with views that differ from the ones my husband and I have tried to instill. So, when he read his speech to me, I was a bit disappointed to hear how “safe” it sounded. He gave facts and statistics about fetal development and abortion, but nothing profound that would cause anyone to re-think their own view. It was a fast read, informative speech at best. No one would truly feel persuaded by a speech that lacked emotion nor attach themselves to a life that hardly seemed real.
Blake then shared with me that some of his friends and classmates are “Pro-Choice” and they feel that it’s really unfair to say that a woman can’t choose what happens to her own body. He said he didn’t want to offend anyone with his speech.
I won’t forget the look on his face when I told him, “Actually, I’m pro-choice too.”
Looking into his wide eyes and open mouth, I continued, “I believe a guy and a girl have the CHOICE to have sex with one another. God then has the CHOICE whether or not he wants a life to be created. When a couple finds out that they are pregnant, they need to accept the fact that the CHOICES have already been made.”
With much contemplation, he nodded in agreement to my explaination. Although this topic seemed to be chosen by Blake at random – it was not random to God. I gave Blake the 10week old ultra-sound picture of our baby-in-the-making and said, “I’m sure your supposed to use this”.
To no surprise, Blake fought me on it. “Then I’m going to have to tell my whole class who that baby is and that my mom is pregnant.” I know he’s a teenager, but I also knew Blake wasn’t embarrassed about the pregnancy, he just hates having all the attention on him.
After attempting a persuasive speech of my own…which included thought provoking phrases like, …this really is not about YOU and no matter what, you’re going to be uncomfortable – you might as well be effective and uncomfortable. In the end, he finally agreed to give it a try when I suggested that passing around a picture might take up some of the 2 -4 minute time requirement. (After all, he is 14)
We practiced over and over until he felt somewhat confident. I even cropped out my identity from the ultra sound picture before printing it out for him. This way, his classmates might think he just googled it.
I told Blake during that week how proud I was of him for stepping out of his comfort zone and standing up for something he really believes. There just may be a girl in that class who finds herself in high school with a very difficult choice to make. Perhaps she’ll remember back on the picture of our baby and a life will be saved.
Still clinging onto his fear of public speaking, Blake never volunteered and finally was one of the last to be chosen at the end of the week. He got in the car after school and said, “It was amazing, one of the best in the class.” He even gave the baby’s picture credit for his forth coming “A”. He said that no one else had visuals and that the class was really taken by the photo and were amazed that they could see an actual baby.
One boy asked Blake if the ultra sound was of him as a fetus. “No”, Blake replied and then continued, “It’s the baby that is inside my mom right now.”
Little did we all know, that only a few short hours later, I would miscarry and this baby would no longer be. So, perhaps, this speech, and that picture, was our baby’s purpose. A moment in time to be used by God.
As sad as losing a baby can be, my family and I have a peace about this. Like I said, “I’m pro-choice too.” God has made the CHOICE to take our baby. I trust He has a reason for that. And some CHOICES we just need to accept.