Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Sanctity of Life
When I became pregnant with my first child, I wasn't prepared for the morning sickness that came with the pregnancy. I was sick all day, every day. I was very nauseous, and wasn't able to function very well. I was a student in college, and had classes to attend. I had a jobbing teaching at the missionary training center. I also had church responsibilities. It was very difficult for me to be nauseous and fulfill all of my responsibilities.
I couldn't keep up the pace, so resigned myself that I had to quit my job. I still had classes to attend, so I would take food along and eat during class to try to keep from getting sick. It was all I could do to finish the semester. A Japanese family lived in the basement apartment below us, and often would burn garlic while cooking. I would actually start to cry when I smelled that smell because I knew that it would make me vomit.
I remember praying to God and telling Him that if He would only bless me to feel better, I would be able to do many important things. I would be better able to serve others. I thought my rationalization was good. I couldn't understand why I couldn't be pregnant and feel good at the same time. Although I prayed for help to feel better, I didn't overcome the morning sickness. In fact, I was sick with every one of my babies. But now as I look back on that time, I realize that the lessons I learned from being sick were invaluable. I learned better to sympathize with others who suffer. I knew what it felt like to be sick for months. I learned what kinds of service to offer others who have long term illness. Today as I pondered on that experience in my life, another lesson came to my mind.
While I was that young mother importuning God to help me feel better, I was very inward looking. Today as I thought back on that experience, I thought of that baby that I carried. She is now a Junior in college, and is a bright, beautiful, energetic 21 year old young woman. What I did for those 9+ months was more than endure a pregnancy and morning sickness. What I did during those months was create a human life. I thought back then that serving others was surely a noble desire, and that surely God would agree and take away my illness. But now as I look at my grown daughter, I realize that creating a human life, and nurturing it and teaching that child right from wrong is the greatest of all human endeavors. It came home to me that women in general underestimate their worth. They underestimate the value of motherhood. They under value the opportunity to create life.
There are those who will argue that their body is their own, and they should have the right to choose whether or not to carry a baby. Anyone who would willfully abort a human life does not realize that once you create that life, no matter how small, you are under sacred obligation to nurture it and help it to live. A pregnant woman's body is no longer simply her own. She is a host for another life. This might seem a burden to some, but for me, it is a great honor. Would that the people of this planet would hold in higher esteem the value of mothers and the value of the opportunity to give life.