As printed in National Right to Life News Today on March 7, 2013:
True confession: I’ve thrown up in airports, even in an airport parking lot, once, after leaving my family (as my daughter Olivia says) “yet again” for another speaking engagement or advocacy opportunity. It’s not a pretty thing, to throw up in a public place, particularly when you have a runny nose and tears streaming down your face from being upset.
And I’m not one of those “pretty” criers. I sob. And wail. And can’t catch a breath. And have a bright red nose and blotchy skin. I mentioned in Part 1 of this two-part series that making a sacrifice for the unborn, and specifically, the sacrifice of leaving my family, is not easy some days, and throwing up in the airport parking lot is a true sign of that.
Another true confession: I’ve lost friends and even had relationships with both friends and family members be forever changed as a result of being so highly involved in the pro-life movement. Just last week, I swear that I could hear the crickets chirping when I told a new acquaintance who I am and what I do. What first started out as a sincere interest on her part to get to know me has now turned into no further contact with me after my great “confession.” I could chalk it up to her being busy, but I know better. I’m sure many of you can relate.
I know in my heart that what I do is important, what each of us does is important, and God blesses me by often allowing me to see and hear the impact that being a pro-life speaker and advocate has on people and on the world. But, to be honest, there are days that I long to live a life with less sacrifice (as if there’s this level playing field where one sacrifice is “less” than another), one where I can’t feel the pain of that sacrifice so intensely.
I realize, though, that that’s what makes a sacrifice a sacrifice. For me, leaving those that I love is the greatest sacrifice that I can make. Yes, I make sacrifices with my time, our finances, and my plans for my life, but being away from my family is highest on the list of sacrificial giving for me.
Your greatest sacrifice on behalf of unborn children may be identical with mine or completely different. It may be sacrificing what extra piece of time or finances you have available.
Let me put it this way. We may be making different sacrifices, but by giving that which means the most to us or has the greatest cost, we are each making sacrifices equally.
And as Olivia reminded me recently, by making sacrifices together, by working side by side, one day we will be successful in ending abortion and improving the lives of women, men, and children in need.
As she was engaging in imaginary play before I was getting ready to leave “yet again,” Olivia told me, “Mommy, I’m going to go speak now, too, so that you don’t have to do it alone. Because if we work together, then we can get more done and abortion will be over quicker.”
Olivia’s up for making a sacrifice with her time, apparently, and so am I. So, who’s with us?