A Lifetime of Love

My first Valentine’s Day as a married woman, at the ripe old age of 22, I had a major meltdown when stores began to close and no flowers appeared. It was a Saturday night in the days before supermarkets sold fresh (or what passes for fresh) flowers.  In desperation, my husband bought the next best thing:  a vase from Macy’s that would hold flowers the following Valentine’s Day when he would be older and wiser.

Thirty years later, I still love gifts of flowers (and I even got a bouquet a few days early this year, to mark the anniversary of our first date!).  But my idea of what counts as an expression of love has changed. For the better, I think.  My friend, Anne, says it best in her poem, Love, which is reprinted here with her permission.  (For more of her thoughts, check out www.anneethompson.com.)

Love

No more,
Do I carve big hearts in the sand.
Neither do I scribble our names entwined.
Nor do I keep your photo’ under my pillow.
Nor chant your name like a rhyme in my head.
I do not whisper about you with friends,
Nor blush when I hear your voice.
I do not loiter in the places you may pass,
Nor practice smiles for you before a mirror.

Yet still,
My heart thrills at the sound of your laughter,
And I watch the clock when your arrival is near.
I am content when I manage to please you,
And I watch your face when you drive or read.
I learn every wrinkle that creases your smile,
And I bend to your moods as they change.
For though time may mellow and age us,
My love for you remains
The same.

by Anne E Thompson

Thank you, Anne.  And thank you, Fred, for living love, instead of buying it.

A Gift That Keeps on Giving

This Christmas season as I scanned my Instagram feed, I came across a photo of my friend Abby’s son in front of a big tree in her workplace.  It warmed my heart to think of how her life has been changed for the better by a pregnancy decision more than five years ago.

When I first met Abby, she was attending a college in Massachusetts, and had come home to make a decision about an unexpected pregnancy.  It was a difficult decision.  Continuing with her pregnancy meant she might be the only pregnant student at her school.  It might mean lost opportunities.

Some women in her situation might have opted for abortion.  Many do.  In fact, the majority of women having abortions are in their 20s.

Shawn turned 5 this week.  But if Abby had opted for abortion, she would have missed the gift that he is, and so many other gifts his life continues to bring.  They say, “Hindsight is 20/20.” If you’re pondering a pregnancy decision right now, perhaps Abby’s hindsight can help you:

    shawn by tree My son Shawn is this huge, amazing, and brilliant miracle that has blessed my simple small life. He is here because Lighthouse gave me the strength to drive-on, despite my fears and doubts. Lighthouse was strong for me when I simply couldn’t do it alone.

     Shawn’s dad and I had not yet made anything of ourselves, when I found out I was pregnant, and that was probably the scariest part of all. Feeling like we’d never be able to support this child emotionally, spiritually, and financially – because as a couple, we weren’t close to being ready for a child. (And neither of us was individually stable in those areas.)

     I felt like if I had this baby I’d never become anything, and we’d always struggle.

     When I became pregnant, I was a cadet in an Army reserve officer training program (better known as ROTC) – which I believed I would absolutely have to drop out of to take care of this baby. Today I am in the process of submitting my promotion paperwork to Captain (my second promotion since graduating ROTC). Both my husband and I have wonderful and successful careers, and we are even homeowners. Never did I think I’d own my own home! 

     God works miracles in our lives when we stand up for what we know is right, and he will NOT let us fall (even when it feels like we are at times). Lighthouse was the strength and support I needed to get through the dark times, so that today I can have and enjoy my beautiful life and family! Because I have my amazing little miracle to go home to every day, I am eternally grateful to Lighthouse.     

 – Abby

P.S.  If you didn’t make the same choice as Abby, Lighthouse is here to help you grieve the gift you missed.  Please visit www.LifeAfterAbortion to learn more.