Martha and I sat waiting for the doctor to come in. As he entered, I instantly read his body language and knew that the news was not good. He said Martha had large cell lymphoma and needed to undergo eight of the harshest rounds of chemotherapy he could give her. This news was a shock but even more so because we had just found out we were pregnant with our second child, and Martha was only 30. Optimistically, the doctor said, “I have never lost someone your age to this type of cancer before. We will beat this! Oh, and by the way, about that fetus… you will need to get an abortion right away. It will never survive the chemo, and it would just get in the way of the treatments you need to undergo.” We asked the obvious, “Does this treatment really demand a decision between the life of our child versus the life of Martha?” He assured us that Martha’s prognosis would be the same either way, but it will just get in the way of all that she needs in order to be treated effectively. He emphatically stated again, “You will need to schedule an abortion.” Naturally, we had a strong hesitation but, we were not going to be choosing an abortion. With resolve, we told him, “Doctor, you worry about cancer and let God worry about our child. Bring on the chemo.” He looked at me as though I were an idiot, rolled his eyes and said, “Fine, will get you scheduled for the first round of chemotherapy. “ And off we went into a long journey of cancer treatment.I am so often surprised at what little value the unborn are to our society, as though somehow that life is less important or less valuable, especially when they get in the way of one’s goals. This is the dichotomy with this whole abortion argument. It’s either a life created and given by God or it’s just a blob of tissue. I think one of the most difficult parts of this discussion is for those who know in their heart of hearts that it is a life created by God, yet, out of fear and selfishness, they still choose to abort or support abortion. Obviously, as human beings, most all struggle with taking the life of another person no matter their difference; even most on the pro-abortion side of the argument agree it is a hard thing to do. Why? Because we are created in the image of God, and it is in our soul to protect life. Therefore, in order to take a life or to use it for self-gain, one must first dehumanize that life or lessen its value in order to abuse it or dismiss it. That is why the pro-abortion agenda uses terms like “blob of tissue”. It provides a psychology distance to the child’s humanity in order to justify in one’s heart the abuse or killing of that person. Psalm 139 tells us that we were created in our mother’s womb. God knew us before our bodies were even formed. He numbered our days before even one of them came about. Deep inside of each one of us, we know the truth. The question is how far will we run from the truth to gratify or justify what we want rather than what God wants. As I have worked with many mothers trying to make a decision about their unborn baby, I find myself being heartbroken for them and for those who have chosen abortion and are now suffering the brutal consequences emotionally. The tragedy that happens in abortion is not just to the unborn child. The lifelong consequences of physical, psychological and emotional distress and consequences to the mother and all those involved in the decision is truly and literally devastating. Martha had been a counselor at the local Crisis Pregnancy Center for many years and had seen and knew the truth about abortion and its devastation. So for us, as the parents to our unborn child, no matter our life situation which included cancer, the decision to protect her life was not a difficult choice. But for so many who are fearful about bringing that pregnancy to term, it is an overwhelming decision that many feel they must make alone. There is so much need for mercy, compassion, and love to those deciding what to do when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. Equally, there is a great need for compassion, mercy, and help for those who have already decided on abortion and desire to get free from the pain and bondage that decision brings about. There are so many lies given to justify this horrible action. Unfortunately, so many believe those lies and find a way to explain away their decision to support it. Yet, no matter how much one wrestles with this decision, it is not a complicated issue for God. Scripture is clear that from the moment of conception there is life, and no human has the right to take another life. Our decision to not abort our child when faced with a medical emergency was rooted in our trust in God and that what He says in Scripture is true. It was our comfort in the pain, our anchor in the storm, our guide, our light, our map to direct our way when the situation seemed confusing. It led us towards truth. Martha went through eight rounds of horrific, near death chemotherapy. Amazingly, six months after she started treatment, she gave birth to a perfectly healthy, normal, beautiful little 3 lbs. 4 oz. baby girl whom we named Madison. The doctors could not explain how she survived the chemo and came out so normal. I have no problem explaining it. God did a miracle! We went home from the hospital in three days with no problems. Madison is 21 years old now, and one of the loves of my life. She is a bright and shining star in a dark world. She loves Jesus and is thankful for every breath she takes. Her birth was a designed gift from God. He knows our days from beginning to end. Just as He knew when Madison’s life would begin, He knew when Martha’s would end. Four months after Madison was born, the Lord took Martha home. No more suffering in pain and now completely healed. She is free in the presence of God. Even though I and so many miss Martha deeply, I do not regret our decision and feel honored and thankful to have been given the chance to make that decision. Proverbs 3:5 says “to trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” There is much I don’t understand, but one thing I know clearly is that God creates life and God takes life. It’s never in our hands to decide, and we can trust in Him.
Oh my what a beautiful story. I’m thankful you can testify to the glory of God what your decision did for that baby girl, your daughter. Keep telling the story!!!!! Amen!!!
I’ve had the privilege of meeting your Madison. Thank you for choosing life. She was a joy to have at my 2:7 table. We dont always know what tomorrow holds, but we know who holds tomorrow.
Martha was in a class I was teaching at DBC at the time of her diagnosis. I believe she had just run a marathon when this was happening. I didn’t know her well but was impressed with her joy and living life to the fullest. What an example of courage and conviction and trust in God.
Keep sharing her story. It is an inspiration.
Touched my heart to the deepest core. What an amazing testimony of faith. Faith beyond comprehension given to you by Jesus Christ who holds Martha in His Loving arms. Hugs to you, my friend and brother in Christ!