Judgment or love?
By Lisa Tweed
Recently I had the privilege of working with a young lady who was making an adoption plan. She had found herself in a relationship that was not sustainable and it became clear to her that parenting was not the best option for her. It was soon discovered the birthfather had misled her, lied to her, and had manipulated the situation.
As I spoke to him over the phone the lies became clear and his original story unraveled. I had two thoughts; the first was to react in anger and call him out on all of his wrongdoings. My sweet client, whom I love dearly, had been violated. She had been lied to and my heart broke for her. I knew the hard conversation I now needed to have with my client, and I was angry for her.
The second thought I had was a check from God. In my desire to react in anger, God reminded me that I needed to be very careful. The birthfather I was speaking to on the phone was an image-bearer of God as well. And I had a choice as a representative of Christ: react in anger, or extend grace, forgiveness, understanding, and love. I knew that if I reacted in anger and judgment that any chance I had to show the love of Christ would be lost. And if I reacted with love, the door would be opened to share how God can work in the midst of our mistakes.
So, I chose God’s way. I told the birthfather how I understood how he had found himself in this situation because life is hard. We all make mistakes! He had selfishly encouraged my client to have an abortion, and the guilt from this had been consuming him. He was relieved to know my client had chosen life. As the birthfather repeatedly apologized for his part in this story, I reminded him of something we all, myself included, tend to forget: God knew about this situation before the birthfather was even born. He knew that he would find himself here. God is a God of restoration, though. God stands ready to forgive us when we ask. And, even though we make mistakes, God doesn’t. God can take anything and turn it into something good.
The birthfather and I met in person and he signed pre-birth surrenders for adoption. The fact that this birthfather was relieved my client didn’t have an abortion, was willing to honor my client’s adoption plan for this child, and the fact that he repeatedly asked if my client is handling this alright spoke volumes about his character.
His original reaction to encourage abortion was one of self-preservation. Abortion is often the first thought someone has when they find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy. We have been made to believe that abortion is the only solution to an unplanned pregnancy. We’re told it prevents us from bearing the shame of our mistakes. We’re told it prevents us from being responsible for the consequences of our actions. It seems like an easy answer
At Covenant Care, adoption is our answer to abortion! Just like the birthfather in this story, the ramifications of abortion can consume you. He knew that making the baby pay for his poor choices was wrong. Being a part of an adoption plan has allowed him to take control of his situation. It has allowed him to be responsible for his choices while honoring and valuing the life of his child. The adoption plan that these birthparents are making honors God and the life He created. The courage it takes to be a birthparent will never be lost on anyone at Covenant Care.
As Christians, we all have a responsibility to extend grace, love, and forgiveness to those around us. Judgment is often our first reaction, but love should be. I am so incredibly thankful that God meets me with love, grace, mercy, and godly discipline. I pray that as I continue to serve this community, I never forget the grace and forgiveness that God has poured out over me repeatedly. His grace to me allows me to pour the same grace and forgiveness out over those I serve, even those who hurt me. God doesn’t ask us to judge people, He asks us to love them.
If you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and believe you cannot parent your child, we would love to talk with you! Abortion is not the answer! We are prepared to walk with you through this time in your life and help you make choices that honor God, you, and your baby.
If you have had an abortion and are struggling with the consequences of that choice, please reach out to us and we can connect you with post-abortion help. God stands ready to meet you where you are, and we would love to serve you and help you find healing.
Lisa received her M.A. in Human Services Counseling in Marriage and Family from Liberty University and joined Covenant Care in 2016. She serves birthmothers in the Savannah and Coastal Georgia area. Lisa brings her perspective as a wife, mother and birthmother to her work at Covenant Care. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone or text at 912-401-4840.