Standing for Life

Standing for Life

Gaining God's Heart for the Unborn

by Leslie Ludy | July 1, 2011

“...it is not the will of your Father who is in Heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”  Matthew 18:14

“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.”  Psalm 139:13

In the fall of 2006, when Hudson was almost two, I became pregnant with our second child. Excitedly, we told our son he was going to be a big brother. We announced to friends and family that a new little Ludy was on the way. We tossed around ideas for baby names. We calculated the due date. Life rolled along, and we happily anticipated the new addition to our family.

And then one morning, our excitement came to a screeching halt. I woke up with several alarming symptoms, and I had the sickening suspicion that I had miscarried my baby. An emergency visit to the doctor confirmed my fear. The life that had been growing inside of me had abruptly ended. For the next twenty-four hours, I was in a daze of shock and disbelief.

I wasn’t quite sure how to process such a sudden, unexpected loss. I didn’t want to fall apart emotionally. I had a young son to raise, and a husband and ministry to tend to. I made up my mind to be strong, keep a stiff upper lip, and move on. After all, as the doctor reminded me, I could always get pregnant again. And the life that had been lost was only six weeks along in development, not even yet resembling a baby. I hadn’t felt the baby kick, heard the heartbeat, or seen the ultrasound. At this early stage in the pregnancy, it wasn’t really a devastating tragedy; it was just more of a disappointment. Or so I told myself.

But for some reason, there was a growing despair in my soul over losing the baby. Some nights I laid awake in bed, nearly suffocated from an inexplicable emotional pain. Many weeks went by, and I did my best to ignore the grief in my heart and simply keep moving forward with my life. I thought the best way to honor God through the situation was to accept what had happened with a resilient attitude and not let it slow me down. Yet the grief continued to amplify just under the surface of my emotions. Finally one day, I could not contain my sadness anymore. I laid across my bed and wept uncontrollably, grieving for the child I would never meet this side of heaven. It was the first time since the miscarriage I had even allowed myself to cry.

For weeks I’d been telling myself that what happened was “no big deal.” But now, I was coming face to face with the true reality of the situation. It was a big deal. In fact, it was a horrible tragedy. A little life – precious to God, formed in His image, shaped by His hand – had been suddenly snuffed out. I thought about the words of Scripture:

“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb.” (Psalm 139:13).

“...from my mother's womb you have been my God” (Psalm 22:10).

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you...” (Jer. 1:5).

To God, the baby that had perished was not just a barely-developed fetus or blob of cells and tissue. It was a priceless human child and a masterpiece of His creation. It had its very own heartbeat, its very own DNA, and its very own destiny – a destiny that had been abruptly cut short before it had a chance to be fulfilled.

God was weeping over the untimely death of this precious child. The best way to honor Him through this loss was not to shrug off the pain and move on, but to allow myself to feel what He felt and care as deeply as He cared.

Once I finally allowed myself to grieve for this little life – to see what God was seeing, to feel what He was feeling – everything changed. Since then, my life has never been the same.

Eric and I had a ceremony for our little lost child. We named the baby. We wrote letters saying goodbye. My heart was still sorrowful over what had happened, but God began to work a deep healing within my soul.

He also began to work something else within my soul – the ability to carry His burden for the weak and vulnerable; to weep over children being orphaned and enslaved; and to grieve over the countless unborn lives being snuffed out before having a chance to fulfill their God-given destinies.

Eric and I had been working in full-time Christian ministry for most of our married life. But in the midst of so much busyness, we’d begun to overlook the orphan, the needy, and the vulnerable. Through our own tragic loss, God awakened us to the cry of the 143 million orphans around the world. (The number has now increased to 163 million.) Our hearts were gripped by the cause of the 27 million human slaves in the world (a large majority being girls and young women imprisoned by the sex-trafficking industry). He burdened our hearts for the abused child soldiers in Uganda, the destitute and starving children in Liberia, and the persecuted street children in Brazil.

Furthermore, He opened our eyes to an injustice no less grievous than all of these heart-wrenching dramas; an incomprehensible travesty happening not halfway across the world, but right down the street from us and in nearly every city across this nation – countless women being targeted, manipulated, deceived, and exploited by a cunning, money-hungry machine known as the abortion industry. And millions of innocent, helpless lives being ruthlessly snuffed out at the hands of abortionists, without the ability to defend themselves.

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As I grieved for the unborn baby I had lost, I began to catch a glimpse of God’s overwhelming, heartbreaking grief for the precious babies being deliberately aborted right down the street, and all around the world.

I had always been “pro-life,” but as God worked in my heart through this experience, the issue of abortion became far more than a box to check on my voting ballot once every few years. Now, I began to carry the very burden of God for the unborn, feeling at the deepest levels of my soul the inestimable value of each precious life created by His loving hand. From that point forward, it became one of my greatest life missions to stand for life, and to become a vessel in God’s hand to defend those who could not defend themselves. It was a passion that led to the adoption of our next two children and the decision to spend a large percentage of my time, energy, and ministry platform working on behalf of vulnerable lives around the world.

In Proverbs 31:8, God calls us to stand for those who cannot stand for themselves; and those who are being mercilessly killed without even a voice to cry out in protest: “Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die.”

Who are these speechless ones He is referring to? Who are these helpless victims appointed to die? The answer is more obvious than most of us realize.

In addition to the millions of orphans and vulnerable children all around this world, there are millions of threatened unborn babies all over America. And just like the orphaned and abandoned children, they are desperately calling out for advocates to rescue them.

In the United States alone, 23,000 babies were killed just this week at the hands of abortionists, and 1.2 million babies are murdered within their mother’s womb each year. One in four babies conceived in America is surgically aborted. What’s more, abortions outnumber live births in at least 14 U.S. metropolitan areas. And these horrifying numbers are only growing every year.

If we will not open our mouths for these helpless ones; if we will not take up the cause and fight for life, who will?

Abortion in America is not just a disturbing political issue. It is a silent genocide. It is a crisis of unfathomable, epidemic proportions. Many of us have wished for a worthy cause to give our lives to. We watch inspiring movies about heroes of history past, like William Wilberforce who poured out his life to end the slave trade in his day; and we long to be part of such a noble adventure.

But few of us realize the opportunity we have sitting right in front of us. We do not live in a time of peace and harmony. We live in an era where innocent lives are being slaughtered in mass quantities, and an entire generation of young women’s lives are being ruthlessly ripped apart through the deceit of evil men.

As Christian young women, we must gain the heart of God for the unborn. Many of us choose to steer clear of the abortion issue because it seems too political, too emotionally charged, and too confusing. We aren’t really sure what to do about it. We don’t feel like we can make much of difference anyway.

As a result, we do nothing. We shake our heads at the sadness of it, but we fail to fulfill God’s sacred call to open our mouths for the speechless and defend those helpless lives who are appointed to die tragic deaths.

I would like to challenge you to rise up; to stand for life; and to become God’s hands and feet to the weak and vulnerable lives that have no voice to cry for them and no advocate to fight for them.

We were chosen for such a time as this, and no matter how helpless you might feel, remember that the God of the universe stands for life – He is the Author of it. When we stand for life, we stand with our King. And the strength of heaven backs us up when we carry God’s burdens and fight God’s battles.

Here are Some Ways to Begin:

Choose Life

If you find yourself unexpectedly pregnant, don’t allow panic or confusion to blur the issue of life. No matter how desperate the crisis, God has a solution. He cares about the life growing inside of you, more than you can possibly imagine. And He cares about you, more than you can possibly imagine. The culture we live in is deceptive and cunning. Pro-choice organizations, such as Planned Parenthood, are not the wise, caring counsellors they claim to be. They do not have your best interests at heart – and they certainly do not have God’s interests at heart. They are not there to provide good, solid wisdom and a clear understanding of your options; they exist only to take your money and ruin your life.

If you have any uncertainty about choosing life when faced with a crisis pregnancy, I strongly exhort you to surround yourself with loving, supportive Christians who stand for life. Visit your local crisis pregnancy center, or visit www.optionline.org to speak with an online counsellor via phone or live chat. They will provide you with hope, encouragement, and options that honor the Author of life. And remember, God can take whatever the enemy means for evil in your life and turn it into something beautiful. All you must do is lay your life in His hands.

If you are close to someone who is considering abortion, get on your knees and fight on behalf of this priceless unborn life. Lovingly exhort your friend to choose life.

Offer to go with her to visit your local crisis pregnancy center. Be her advocate – and be an advocate for the life within her. Your influence and prayers can mean the difference between life and death.

For more information about crisis pregnancy centers nationwide, simply visitwww.heartbeatinternational.orgwww.care-net.org, or www.heartlink.org. If you or someone you love is hurting from a past abortion, these organizations can also provide a Christ-centered path toward emotional and spiritual hope and healing. Their services are free and confidential.

Note: if you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and are struggling with questions about choosing life, please feel free to email our setapartgirl office for additional resources and encouragement.

Open Your Eyes

Become aquatinted with the battle for unborn lives. Take some time to listen to Eric’s amazing sermon entitled The Auschwitz Within. Visit Life Project USA at their website www.lifeprojectusa.com, and watch the powerful trailer for their new film on life. Watch the gripping DVD entitled Blood Money, which exposes the deception behind the abortion industry and the strategic exploitation of young women to fill the greedy pockets of abortionists. Visit their site at www.bloodmoneyfilm.com. These resources are eye-opening without being grotesque, and will fuel your passion to fight on behalf of the defenseless lives being ruined through the business of abortion. I also encourage you to read Frank Peretti’s book, Prophet, and Francine River’s book, Atonement Child, for a powerful glimpse of the spiritual battle for life.

Pray

Don’t underestimate the power of prayer. Several of our Ellerslie students have regularly gone to the local Planned Parenthood (abortion center), not to picket or demonstrate, but to simply stand spiritually against the evil through persistent prayer. I recently heard the incredible testimony of a woman who ran several abortion clinics for many years. Through a series of Divinely-appointed circumstances, she became convicted of her sin, gave her life to Jesus Christ, and did a complete about-face both spiritually and practically. She now fights on behalf of the unborn and exposes the evil agenda of the abortion industry. Such stories remind us that the faithful prayers of the saints can lead to mighty victories – one life at a time.

Stand

Volunteer at your local pregnancy center or support them financially. Become involved with a ministry that supports unwed mothers, such as www.birthmothers.org. Reach out to single mothers in your community. Provide practical and spiritual help for families who have chosen to stand for life through adoption or foster care. Become a spiritual mentor for teens and young women in your church or community. Talk to them about issues of life, and ask them pointed questions about how they are handling their sexuality. Point them toward Truth. Be someone they can turn to for answers in a crisis situation.

Take a stand against Planned Parenthood. Visit the website Expose Planned Parenthood for specific ways that you can help expose and defund these enemies of life. Also, be aware that Planned Parenthood evangelists often walk the streets of college towns or hang out in public areas such as airports to solicit support and promote their ideals. They cleverly hide their abortion agenda behind lofty proclamations about “protecting women.” Do not be fooled by their lies. Speak up for what you believe. And if you see them deceiving a young girl, look for an opportunity to share Truth with her. At the very least, pray that she would protected from their dangerous manipulation.

These ideas are merely a starting point. If you make yourself available to become a voice for the voiceless, God will guide you in what steps to take. He cares more about these precious lives than we ever could. And His eyes are searching to and fro throughout the earth, looking for someone to care as He does. Are you willing to take on His burden?*

“That innocent blood be not shed in thy land…” (Deut. 19:10 KJV).

Summary of Resources and Links Mentioned in This Article:

Awakening to the issue of abortion:

Eric Ludy’s Sermon The Auschwitz Within
www.ellerslie.com/Eric_Ludy_Sermons/Entries/2011/1/16_The_Auschwitz_Within

Life Project
www.lifeprojectusa.com

Blood Money Film
www.bloodmoneyfilm.com

Pro-Life Help and Resources
www.heartbeatinternational.org
www.care-net.org
www.heartlink.org
www.optionline.org
www.birthmothers.org

Taking Political Action
www.exposeplannedparenthood.net