The hall was empty as people began to enter quietly and gaze at the Bosendorfer piano, the only instrument on the simple stage. The richness of the walnut wood on the walls and platform gave the whole room special warmth. The lights came up in the west doorway, and a beautiful young lady in a ball gown entered and bowed. As the crisp, melodic phrases of Mozart danced off of her fingertips, my heart swelled with pride and a sense of the presence of an awesome God who created this child, choosing her as his own before the foundations of the world and giving her life in my womb.
I remember finding out that I was going to be a mother for the very first time. Just finishing my student teaching at a Christian college and being unmarried, I felt alone, helpless, embarrassed, and terribly frightened. Clay and I hoped to one day marry, but this certainly wasn’t part of the plan we had for ourselves at the time.
As the weeks went by, I began to consider all my options. I had no money, no job, no health insurance, and no church family in which to confide. My best friends didn’t even know the lifestyle I had chosen to live and I thought they would never understand. Worst of all, I dreaded telling my parents, who were also Christians, knowing it would break their hearts. I remember thinking that no one had to know; I could end the pregnancy and start my life all over again. In desperation, I called the local hospital to ask the cost of an abortion. I spent many hours crying, holding my tummy, and both loving and hating that little one inside of me.
Finally, I called a pastor who’d led a Bible study I had attended one summer and asked if I could speak with him. I poured out my story; the tears of repentance began to flow as he very gently talked to me about God’s forgiveness and the fact that this child was a gift from Him. I left his office, knowing there was a plan for both of our lives.
As the early days of December went by, the desire to mother this child, a tiny little person I had already pictured as a daughter, began to take over. Secretly, I called her “Mollie” and pictured her as having dark brown hair like her father and freckles like me. I saw myself dressing her in pink and walking her in a buggy to the park near where I lived. Clay and I began to plan a simple wedding, hoping and believing that things would all work out for the best.
Christmas came and went with me going home, not having the courage to face my mom and dad in person. I finally called them and they were wonderful, encouraging me and telling me how much they loved me. But Clay faced another sort of response. While some in his family were supportive, there were those who absolutely insisted that we abort our child. After endless hours of talking with them and wanting them to support our decision, we finally decided that we had to do the right thing, trusting that they would one day understand. And of course, all it took was one look at an adorable baby a few months later to change their hearts!
Sometimes I am in complete awe of all that the Lord has done in our lives, at the grace he has poured out to us. I remember once standing along the Pacific Ocean and imagining how much water there was. That is how I see God’s grace….infinite, beyond measure, something that cannot be contained or even held briefly in my hand. In the thirty-seven years since my daughter was born, God has so graciously given me the love and companionship of a wonderful man, my best friend and confident, my brother in Christ and my lover. He has given me the gift of being a homeschooling mom to six of the most amazing children. He has blessed me with the precious treasure of fourteen grandchildren who are also homeschooled! And he has given me the precious friendship of an incredibly gifted and beloved daughter who is the delight of my life! He has lavished me with all of this, in spite of my rebellion. But the greatest gift he has given to me has been the gift of eternal life, the promise that while I am yet a sinner, Christ loved me and gave himself for me.
According to recent research, 250,000 women who profess to be evangelical Christians choose to abort their children each year. That means that in the forty years since Roe v. Wade became law, ten million women in our churches have chosen abortion as their only option! How many others are struggling for the same reasons I experienced: guilt, shame, fear, and loneliness? How many feel the pressure to end the lives of their babies? I know of the depth of God’s grace to those who have strayed from his righteousness. I love to tell the story of how God, having a plan for my life and for my daughter’s life as well, chose us, sought us, and bought us both with a great price, the life of his only begotten Son, that we might have eternal life with him.
I often think of those mothers who are carrying babies that they didn’t plan and that they don’t want. They may be married or unmarried, but they are in a time of crisis. They may be Christians, or they may be so far from Jesus that they cannot even begin to comprehend the wonder of his mercy. They need us to come alongside and encourage them, physically and spiritually, sharing the same joy I have found in God’s amazing grace!
“My only comfort in life and death is that I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with His precious blood, and has set me free from all the power of the devil. He also preserves me in such a way that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; indeed all things must work together for my salvation. Therefore, by His Holy Spirit he also assures me of eternal life and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live for Him.” ~ Heidelberg Catechism, 1563
Karen Allen Campbell is a 28-year veteran of homeschooling, the mom of six children, grandmother of 14, and has been married to her husband, Clay, for 38 years. Karen loves baking and cooking for the whole gang when they are home and is actively involved in her local Toastmasters Club. In fact, citing Lucy Ricardo as her inspiration, she once won the District Humorous Speaking Contest for her tale of the homeschooling mom who mummified a chicken! They live on the Illinois prairie where Karen blogs and podcasts about relationship homeschooling at www.thatmom.com.
© 2013 by Home Educating Family Association. All rights reserved. Used with permission. Originally published in 2012 Issue 4 of Home Educating Family Magazine, the publication with the most meaningful discussions taking place in the homeschooling community today. Visit hedua.com to read back issues and for more articles, product reviews, and media
Publication date: January 14, 2014