(this post was contributed by Jillian.)
I came to college with a mission. I was a Jesus-lovin’, baby-savin’, praise-music-beltin’ Mother Teresa in training. Of course, I was naïve and a little silly, but my intention was to share the joy that had blossomed in my heart with a world that desperately needs it. Though I’ve matured and mellowed, I still want to do just that. But, you know, a little less… jangly.
About 30 seconds into freshman year, I found the college’s pro-life club and signed up. By my sophomore year, I was the president. I think that this is due more to accidents of circumstance than my administrative ability, but it was a position that I relished and a cause that I cared about deeply. My now-husband and I spent our free time together doing pro-life work, performing praise and worship music for college events, and playing intramural sports. I got good grades, I didn’t have a drink until I was 21, and I served as an officer of various honor societies, clubs and councils.
And then, I got pregnant.
I stared into my future with dread. I imagined myself looking forward to a life of shattered dreams. My wonderful life, my successes, and a promising future were seemingly ruined by one stupid decision. There was never, ever a possibility that we would abort. But the pain and fear of young lives crippled were very, very real. We were cornered, and I was doomed.
The first thing I realized as the fog lifted on those first few weeks was how arrogant I’d been. I had no idea what a cataclysmic event an unplanned pregnancy can be, even under relatively happy circumstances(e.g. a healthy, committed relationship, family support, a college education). I knew that it was often panic which drives mothers and fathers to the terrible “relief” of abortion, but experiencing an unplanned pregnancy showed me how much empathy I’d been lacking and how essential pro-mother programs (like the Pregnant on Campus Initiative) are.
Next, I got to experience firsthand just how real, how human, how precious the unborn child is. Feeling my son grow within me caused me overwhelming joy. It also brought profound sorrow when I reflected on the legally sanctioned, actively promoted practice of violently destroying these wonderful creatures within their mothers’ own wombs. This strengthened my resolve to see this barbaric crime exposed for what it is and utterly eradicated.
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