Deception came early… and stayed long. Sandy felt unloved by her father. She went to church with friends, but always wondered: Is God really here for me? In college, it was easier to turn away from faith toward alcohol and drugs. Once out of college, she believed sexual intimacy would fill her emptiness.
Sandy moved further away from God and the father of lies settled in. The floodgate of emotions burst when she heard the words, “Your test is positive.” For perhaps the first time, Sandy knew real fear, shame, and loneliness. Her father would be so angry! He’d never been there for her before, so why would he be there now?
Before the door of the abortion clinic, Sandy paused only long enough to name her baby. I’m sorry, but I can’t be your mother. There is nothing else I can do. Now the deceiver sang his own praise.
Sandy moved back home, but did not confide in her parents. The whole experience, Sandy believed, was finished. But, the difficult relationship with her father had not changed. Sandy spent as much time out of the house as possible… and met her husband.
Satan continued to play his game of deception with the goal of stealing all confidence from Sandy. The first years of her marriage to a loving man were made difficult by hissing sounds. “You can’t be a good wife.” In caring so little for herself, Sandy resisted the love of her husband. She resisted the love of God. But God, unseen yet faithful, was present and involved.
Sandy and her husband had kept their distance from church, but when their son was born, they realized their need of a church family. Shortly after their son was baptized, Sandy finished adult instruction and was baptized as well. A daughter was born two years later. She, too, was carried to the baptismal font. Something was changing in Sandy. She wanted her children brought up in the Kingdom of God. The deceiver moaned, but kept a talon in the door of Sandy’s life.
It was difficult for Sandy to look at her children and not be reminded of her first baby. The hissing continued. “You weren’t a good mother then. You can’t be a good mother now.” Mother’s Day was a day of mourning for Sandy. The burden of guilt and sadness weighed heavy. Most pressing of all was Sandy’s question, “Am I right with God?”
The question was answered by a bold, but caring pastor. In Christ, you are a new creation. There was prayer. Honesty. Trust. A listening ear and gentle nudging with the Father’s Word. Oh, Jesus, my Savior, I lay it all before You. With confession, the weight was lifted (Psalm 32:3-5). With each day of healing, the hissing subsided.
Sandy had not been able to explain the sense of sorrow that overwhelmed her during the month of May. Why did joy elude her during the season of new life? God was faithful to help Sandy realize that May would have been her first child’s birth month. With each bit of painful truth also came a bit of freedom.
There’s so much more to Sandy’s story, but here’s what she wants us to know. God is faithful. His compassions never fail. They are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). With His life-changing Word, God used the mom who didn’t think she could be a good mother to mentor a Christian daughter. Sandy was open and honest about her past. And, when her daughter did not reject her, Sandy’s confidence grew. Mother and daughter reminded each other of Jesus’ merciful and abiding love. Together, they cried… and laughed. With each laugh, satan moved farther from their door.
I am privileged to be included in the lives of both of these women. I have witnessed the deceiver overpowered by God’s Word at work in both mother and daughter. Today, Sandy’s daughter is a deaconess. She is a deaconess with a deep passion to help post abortive women. Why? Because God is faithful.
In setting Sandy free (Isaiah 61:1), God covered both mother and daughter with a robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10). The deceiver has no hold on them.
(First published in LifeDate, Fall 2010
Lutherans For Life)