How Can I Serve You Today?

(Kpc, Stephanie–Stephanie Pauline)

Frequently I see signs around here that say “Pray to end abortion,” and every time my reaction was the same: I wish it were that easy. I believe those people’s hearts are likely in the right place, but if praying was what we needed to end abortion then it would have ended eons ago. I assume the people who make those signs are likely against elective abortions, but not necessarily medically necessary abortions to save the mother when her life is in jeopardy and neither mother nor baby will survive without medical intervention. I don’t think people decide to get an abortion because they think killing babies is fun…or at least I hope that isn’t why people do it. I think people do it out of fear. They are afraid of the responsibility that comes with nurturing a new life. They are afraid of how they will make ends meet with another mouth to feed and little ability to work while caring for the little one. They are afraid of what people will think if they are carrying this child without a ring on their fingers. They are afraid of not knowing how to love a child who might be perceived by others as different or less than.

These are not cruel, uncaring, mothers, rather they are girls who are lost and hurting and doing the best they can with what they have. They are already hurt and scared, and praying is great but isn’t the best way to fix it. I believe we are to be the hands and feet of Christ. God does not need us to be his voice—he has that front covered, and he does it without imposing judgment and shame on hurting people. He extends his grace and mercy to those women who have been raped, those teens who didn’t wait until marriage, those couples who just found out their child is different, those girls who don’t feel ready to be a parent, those women who think their family is already full. These people don’t need us to imply that they are doing it wrong—if they saw another way, I have no doubt they would take it in an instant. What these people need is someone to love them. Someone who respond I know you aren’t when they say they’re okay. Someone who will listen to their hurts, their fears, their pain, and their desperation and lovingly remind them of their desires, their joys, and their worth…but even that is not much better than prayer alone. These mothers have very real and tangible needs. She can’t afford childcare, much less diapers and formula while she is in school. She doesn’t know how to enter the world of therapies and IEPs for her child who will have disabilities. She is worried that this child will look like the man who hurt her but will grow up without a father. She is about to be evicted with the child she already has and doesn’t want to bring another child into the hopelessness she feels. So yes, if you feel compelled, pray, but if you really want to make a difference, put down your sign-making, and direct your efforts towards getting to know the mothers you are shaming. Put your resources towards helping that mom feel ready for a baby. Connect her with an adoption agency. Let her know she is loved. Help her see her worth.

I love learning. I hate school—mostly because I hate proving that I learned and I hate being told what is worth learning and what is not…I wish we could agree on a better way. I love to soak in knowledge like a sponge, but school drains me. Today I learned the word akathisia. It basically means feeling the need to be in motion. I am not wiggly, I am akathisic…and yesterday afternoon I was echolalic…someone said good morning to me, and I said good morning back…but it was like 6:20ish…but it was nice outside so it kind of seemed like morning…

Also, this morning I saw “sleep” on my to do list and crossed it off, ’cause I at least tried to do that last night…then a couple minutes ago I realized that by “sleep” I meant take notes on the topic of sleep that I am supposed to be learning about for therapeutics…yeah, haven’t finished (or started) that yet…

People have told me I consume to much sugar…I disagree…I will admit that it would have been amazing second year when I was occasionally eating more calories in skittles than real food if I could have found a better way to deal with stress, but clearly my body knows how to process sugar: I am still smaller than I’d like to be, and I had to use what I had available…I have a LOT less sugar now than I did then…a lot of it is that I have a much more limited access to it now and therefore must be much more conservative in what I use it for in order to have enough to make it through the day, but also, while I have not numbed out to the world, I do have a lot less intense emotions (well, less intense anxiety anyway) so my need is not quite as high…and due to circumstances out of my control I lost the dignity of choice except when I go to the store, and it is really hard to be separate and unequal…

At the end of the day, I still very much believe that if I feel a need then I will give myself whatever I have at my disposal to meet that need…so yesterday when I was fighting the deep loneliness that comes from continuously overhearing friends having fun without being able to see them, or seeing them having fun without being able to join in, and was nearing the end of my rope I tried to have more fun by myself.

I might have the attention span of a guppy, but I can usually entertain myself for a long time with minimal resources…first I had a beach party while watching (listening to) Mary-Kate and Ashley’s Beach Party, which is not one of their better episodes, but it features the vacation song that I like…then I had a pool party in front of the fire minus the pool or the amazing smell of chlorine (pool party is a great Mary-Kate and Ashley episode)…then I had a picnic…all the while trying to sit still enough to actually keep going with my frenemy dipiro (that is, my textbook)

…I don’t want much: just my friends…for that matter, some days I’d even be satisfied with pictures of my friends just to feel less alone. This extravert is sometimes gets frustrated with isolation. I can’t wait to graduate and run free no longer a caged animal. I want to taste the freedom now. I feel impatient…not going to tell you about all the things that have been written for months on my computer…but let’s just put it at, graduation cannot come soon enough for me.

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