Thursday, May 07, 2009

Reading Group-Chapter 2

Chapter 2 of I'll Hold You In Heaven is titled " When Does Significance Begin?" Here we go!

God is always in our lives whether we choose to recognize it or not. We can't escape His presence-it's everywhere around us. It's in the sky. It's on the ground. It's the breeze blowing through the trees. He's everywhere and it's simply amazing. But what about our unborn children?

1) Do you believe that God is with each child in the womb? Do you believe he was with your baby (babies)?

Psalm 139 tells us that God is with us, even from the very beginning.

Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.

2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"

12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.

19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!

20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.

21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?

22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

A question that has been much debated is "when does life begin?" This question can get people pretty heated. Not too long ago a law was passed in the North Dakota house that pretty much gives the same rights to "all human beings from the beginning of their biological development, including the pre-born, partially born." Boy, oh, boy was there an uproar about it! People were screaming that it would only outlaw abortion and birth control.

2) In your opinion, when does life begin in the womb? Have you ever come across people who don't agree with your opinion? What do you think of this possible law in North Dakota or even nationally?

Life in the womb is amazing. From a single cell we grow and develop. We definitely are fearfully and wonderfully made but by no means perfect.

3) If your child(ren) left you before their birth, how far along were you in your pregnancy? If you child(ren) was born alive, how far along were you when you gave birth? How long were they with you on this earth?

The author shares the story of Mary visiting Elizabeth after being visited by the angel Gabriel. Elizabeth was already 6 months pregnant and upon hearing the voice of Mary the baby in Elizabeth's womb jumped inside her with joy. He shares this to solidify that a life-both physical and spiritual-is present from the beginning. Our babies have a lasting, eternal soul.

4) Do you believe your child(ren) is indeed in Heaven? Does this comfort you? What do you imagine your child(ren) is doing in God's Kingdom?

In the next section, the author spends time with those who have lost a child through abortion. Often, the parent of an aborted child feels like they aren't worthy of forgiveness or that God or their baby couldn't possibly forgive them for the act they committed. It's simply not true. God is very loving and forgiving. There is nothing we can do that God won't forgive us of if we only ask. In God's eyes, one sin is not greater than another. Sin is sin. A child in Heaven does not hold any ill will toward the parent who chose to abort them. Feelings like that simply do not exist in Heaven. I imagine what they feel is purely love.

5) If you've faced an abortion, have you feared God and your child(ren) wouldn't forgive you? Do you know God's loving forgiveness in your heart today? If not, what feelings have kept you from accepting Him? How has God worked in your life? (This last question can certainly be answered by anyone participating.)

6) Did you face any pressures or fears in choosing abortion?

Remember that God loves you very much. He longs to have a close and personal relationship with you. Trust in Him and His will for you today. People and this life may let you down but God's love never fails.

11 comments:

MommyIvy said...

1. Yes, I do believe he is with each child and that he was with mine.

2.I believe that life begins at the moment of conception. I have not come across anybody who didnt believe the same.

3. With my first loss I was only abt 6-8 weeks along. With my second I have no clue.

4. Yes, I do believe my children are in Heaven. I believe that my babies are up there skipping down the sidewalks of gold and being told stories by God.

5.I have never had an abortion, so I can not answer any of these.

6. N/A

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

I know I've said it before, but I love that you are doing this! I'm sure many are being blessed, comforted, and encouraged by it. Praying for all of you who are participating...for God's healing comfort...

Holly said...

1) Do you believe that God is with each child in the womb? Do you believe he was with your baby (babies)?

I believe that God is with each unborn child just like He is with each of us. I know God was watching over Carleigh her entire life and Jordan too.

2) In your opinion, when does life begin in the womb? Have you ever come across people who don't agree with your opinion? What do you think of this possible law in North Dakota or even nationally?

I firmly believe that life begins at the moment of conception. I have never come across anyone IRL but over the internet I have. You seem to find more people w/ differing opinions over the net. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. I think this possibly law is a sticky situation. I think it does have the possibility of outlawing abortion and birth control. Lots of women depend on birth control for reasons other than birth control and it wouldn't be fair to them. You could really start a good debate on this topic and I could go on but I'll stop there.

3) If your child(ren) left you before their birth, how far along were you in your pregnancy? If you child(ren) was born alive, how far along were you when you gave birth? How long were they with you on this earth?

Carleigh was with me pretty much up until she was born at 37 weeks. She passed sometime between 2am and her birth at 3:49am. For Jordan I am not clear on exactly how far along I was because the memories of that time are blurred. I would say I was around 12 weeks.

4) Do you believe your child(ren) is indeed in Heaven? Does this comfort you? What do you imagine your child(ren) is doing in God's Kingdom?

I absolutely believe my children are in Heaven with all of my heart. It gives me great comfort to know they are in such a wonderful place. I imagine they are there together worshiping God and having fellowship with other believers in Christ. I like to think that Jordan was there to welcome Carleigh when she first went to Heaven.

5) If you've faced an abortion, have you feared God and your child(ren) wouldn't forgive you? Do you know God's loving forgiveness in your heart today? If not, what feelings have kept you from accepting Him? How has God worked in your life? (This last question can certainly be answered by anyone participating.)

I've never feared that God wouldn't forgive me because I always knew that nothing we do is beyond the forgiveness of our loving God. I know Jordan does not hold it against me because there are no such feelings in Heaven-only those that are good. I have definitely felt God's forgiveness. Even more so when I went through post-abortive counseling not long after Kyndra was born. It really helped to further my healing and grow closer to Him. God put a love in my heart for the women's center that helped me. So now I choose to give back and help them. When God gave me the opportunity to give my testimony at their fundraising banquent I took the opportunity. It was hard to share an experience that had brought me so much shame but I know it helped others understand.

6) Did you face any pressures or fears in choosing abortion?

No one pressured me. It was my own fear that took hold and made me believe I had no other choice. But I also wasn't given options by the clinic I went to. I wasn't told of what was going to happen. I wasn't allowed to see Jordan on the ultrasound. If I had been given all the information I know for sure I would've walked out of there and never looked back.

stitchndeb said...

1) Want to hear something crazy? Before I read this book, my answer was no! And I didn’t know until August 2007 that God was with ME. Is that crazy or just sad?

2) Conception. Yes, I have read things written by kooks on CafeMom that don’t agree but they sound so silly. About the N.D. law, I think it would be hard to ban the normal sources of birth control that prevent pregnancy.

3) I knew when I conceived because I only had sex that one time, so at the time of my abortion I was 80 days pregnant.

4) Yes, I think my baby is in Heaven. It comforts me only slightly because I really miss her (I assume it was a girl) and sometimes I want to die too so I could be with her. I never gave it much thought what she might be doing there because mainly I’ve been dwelling on what she’s missing HERE. Before I went to counseling, every time I experienced something fun or enjoyed food or a movie or a song, I used to feel incredible guilt knowing she couldn’t experience the same thing. (My pastor once commented “If this steak tastes great here, imagine what steak is like in heaven!” so ever since he said that, I’ve been thinking my baby’s doing a lot of eating.)

5) Up until I started counseling, I always thought my baby would never forgive me and I’d be going straight to hell for it because I thought God wouldn’t forgive me either. But my counselor had me write a letter to God and to my baby and then had me write to myself as God and also my baby, and there’s just no way not to believe that they couldn’t forgive me. God has worked in my life by actually giving me what I’ve longed for all along, a husband and family. I just took a really bad detour to get it.

6) Yes, definitely. My older brothers and sister were good at everything and popular and my parents loved the attention, so my pregnancy made them panic, like “what will the neighbors think.” I also was born with some health problems, and my parents were telling me they didn’t think I could physically handle being pregnant. Then the doctor (who knew our whole famous family) who confirmed my pregnancy told me I could die having the baby. My parents also stressed to me that I was supposed to start college in the fall. I said I wanted to have the baby and they said, ‘No, you want to get a degree and a good job.” The icing on the cake: they asked my then-15-year-old sister what SHE thought I should do, and she said either put it up for adoption or get rid of it because she said I could barely take care of myself let alone a baby. My parents were very cold to me for a week before I decided to go through with the abortion. I belonged to two youth groups, one of them knew I was pregnant and they never stepped in for me (they said they couldn’t do anything for me because I was a minor).

stitchndeb said...

P.S. Holly, are you making the discussion questions or do you have a guide with them in it, and also can I ask you (or anyone else who's doing the book with us who has had an abortion), is reading the book and answering these questions triggering any anxiety and grief for you? I feel like I'm alone feeling this. I let my counselor know I'm reading this book so that he's aware to watch out for me and can talk to me about my feelings if I need to.

Holly said...

stitchndeb~ I am actually reading the book and coming up with questions along the way. I hope I am doing an ok job! If I'm not PLEASE let me know. I really haven't had a lot of negative feelings toward my abortion since God stepped in and I got counseling. Don't get me wrong, the hurt and grief will always be there but a lot of healing has taken place. I'm glad you let your counselor know that you're reading the book. What in particular are you feeling anxious about? Maybe I can help? Also, I was wondering how long you have been in counseling. When I went it was for 10 weeks and we had a memorial service at the end for Jordan.

Jake and Stephanie Perrin said...

1) Do you believe that God is with each child in the womb? Do you believe he was with your baby (babies)? Yes i do believe that God is with our children. I believe that god is preparing our children to come into this world he has created.

2) In your opinion, when does life begin in the womb? Have you ever come across people who don't agree with your opinion? What do you think of this possible law in North Dakota or even nationally?
I believe that life starts at Coneception.


3) If your child(ren) left you before their birth, how far along were you in your pregnancy? If you child(ren) was born alive, how far along were you when you gave birth? How long were they with you on this earth?
I lost twins when i was 16 weeks pregnant, and i lost another baby at 8 weeks pregnancy. K so something kinda interesting. When i miscarried the twins i didnt want to find out the sex of the babies. One had died at like 9 weeks and i miscarried the other one at 16 weeks. so i took a quiz on facebook the other day that was, what will the sex of your first baby be.. guess what it said.. TWIN BOYS!! Interesting to me..




4) Do you believe your child(ren) is indeed in Heaven? Does this comfort you? What do you imagine your child(ren) is doing in God's Kingdom?
Yes i believe they are in heaven waiting for me and my family. I know one day i will see those 3 babies one day.


5) If you've faced an abortion, have you feared God and your child(ren) wouldn't forgive you? Do you know God's loving forgiveness in your heart today? If not, what feelings have kept you from accepting Him? N/A

6) Did you face any pressures or fears in choosing abortion?
N/A

Celia said...

1) Do you believe that God is with each child in the womb? Do you believe he was with your baby (babies)?

Yes, He is with Noah just as he is with me. He is with everyone through the Holy Spirit.

2) In your opinion, when does life begin in the womb? Have you ever come across people who don't agree with your opinion? What do you think of this possible law in North Dakota or even nationally?

Yes, definitely life begins at conception. I have not ever encountered anyone who believes differently. Also, I am not aware of the ND law.

3) If your child(ren) left you before their birth, how far along were you in your pregnancy? If you child(ren) was born alive, how far along were you when you gave birth? How long were they with you on this earth?

With my abortion, I was probably around 8 weeks or so (more or less). Noah is still with me and due to be delivered on May 13th. When I deliver him I will be 40 weeks and 4 days.

4) Do you believe your child(ren) is indeed in Heaven? Does this comfort you? What do you imagine your child(ren) is doing in God's Kingdom?

Absolutely my child is in heaven as will Noah be once he passes. It brings me great comfort and joy to know that my children have entered the kingdom of heaven & are rejoicing with the angels.

5) If you've faced an abortion, have you feared God and your child(ren) wouldn't forgive you? Do you know God's loving forgiveness in your heart today? If not, what feelings have kept you from accepting Him? How has God worked in your life? (This last question can certainly be answered by anyone participating.)

I had my abortion before I knew and accepted Christ. I am not sure I ever thought about whether or not my baby would forgive me & I KNOW I never considered whether or not God forgave me. Now, years later and being a Christian I know that I am forgiven and look forward to the day that I hold my baby in my arms and meet him for the first time.

6) Did you face any pressures or fears in choosing abortion?

My mother kind of forced the decision on me, though really it was more that she convinced me. We both played a part in that and I accept full responsibility for it. I might not have chosen it but I will never really know for sure.

Also, totally OT....How did you find out about that traffic thing Holly? How did you know I was your "top member"? Just wondering!

stitchndeb said...

Holly, sorry I'm late getting back to you. No, the questions are just fine. I'm pleasantly surprised that you aren't getting them from a guide, LOL. I think you're doing a great job thinking of them! You asked what I'm feeling anxious about -- two things: in light of the new things I've learned from the book, I'm worried what does my baby think of me now (and worse, maybe she doesn't think of me at all). To be honest, I'm very close to making myself sick worrying about that!!! And the second thing, I feel a new sense of guilt/shame. If it really comes down to MY choice and the weight is all on MY shoulders in the end (like Celia was saying), what can I do? I can't go back in time and do the right thing. I thought God forgave me but I'm feeling guilty all over again. I wanted her!!! I also wanted people to stop being mad at me!! If everyone really thinks it was my choice in the end, I'm feeling a lot of disgust and hate for myself. Lastly, you asked about my counseling, I've been going since 8/07 but it was due to suicidal thoughts/depression, and I really didn't open up about my abortion till four months later but we don't make it the main focus except for this past January ("anniversary syndrome"). ~Debbie

Holly said...

Debbie~ Thanks! I truly believe that your baby does not think ill of you. There are no negative feelings in Heaven. No sorrow, no anger. Only joy! I cannot say for sure whether she thinks of you or not. Time in Heaven is not like time on Earth so by the time you get there it will be like a blink of an eye for her. Her focus is on worshiping God. Please don't make yourself sick with worry!

You may doubt God's forgiveness for you but know that He will never revoke it. That guilt you are feeling is Satan working on you. God doesn't want you to have all those negative feelings. He wants you to be happy and to follow Him. Don't worry about what other people think of you. I know that's not easy to do but the only opinion that matters is God's. I recommend the bible study Forgiven & Set Free. It's a very good study for post-abortive women.

Andi Soergel said...

1) I most definitely believe God is with each child in the womb. I know He was with Haven.
2) I believe life begins at conception. I haven't come across many people who disagree with this, they just think the mother has the choice, so it doesn't matter.
I think this possible law would be great and would go a long way in protecting the unborn!
3) One Monday evening 32 weeks into my pregnancy my husband and I were watching tv together in our living room. Haven kicked the biggest, hardest kick I had ever felt. We laughed about it and waited for some more, but they never came. I went to bed thinking my little guy had tired himself out, but knowing in the back of my mind that he could die at any time. In the morning and all throughout the night he was still. After I got up, I called the dr. and I went in for an ultrasound. I was willing him to kick or roll around so I could cancel that appointment, call the dr.'s office and say that he was fine. But I knew in my heart he was gone. The ultrasound confirmed it. I carried my Haven for 3 more days until Friday, when he was born still via c-section.
4) I do believe Haven is with Jesus! It's the greatest comfort I could ever have! I don't know what Heaven is like, but I know that he is whole and he is in the presence of our God. That's enough for me to know!
5) I have not faced an abortion, but I most certainly know God's forgiveness. I am so thankful that God gave His son as a sacrifice for me!

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