While I was pregnant with our middle child, one of my friends from college was also pregnant. It was really exciting to be going through the miraculous process of bringing new life into the world along with someone. I imagined our kids playing at the park together, walking each other through the giddiness of puppy love in high school, and getting into plenty of mischief all along the way, while my friend and I laughed and cried through bottles of wine as we chartered the unknown territory of motherhood together. But then the unimaginable happened–she lost her baby.
Her and her husband were told at their 13 week appointment that their baby had severe cystic hygroma and had a 0% chance of living. My friend was given two options: 1. Continue with the pregnancy and either die with the baby, or never be able to have children again because of complications or 2. Terminate the pregnancy and live. They are God-fearing pro-life people, and were absolutely destroyed by this news. She would have happily given her life for her baby, but even that would not have been enough to give the child life. But she had a chance to live. So with the heaviest of hearts, they chose to terminate the pregnancy.
They did not tell anyone other than their parents about the termination until a month ago, allowing everyone else to jump to the conclusion of miscarriage. But deep down in the quiet of my spirit, I knew the truth. I never brought it up because that would have been more than intrusive. I didn’t know them very well at the time; I knew they were Christians but also knew that they had liberal political views. I didn’t know if they were pro-life or pro-choice. But none of that was my business, even though God saw fit to trust me with their secret; my business was to love my friends. I saw how destroyed they were over the loss of their daughter. More importantly–I felt how desperate God was to comfort them.
Every day after they lost their baby, I prayed for God to give them peace, to bless them with more children that they could enjoy in this life, and to help guide me through the tricky waters of encouraging them. Mostly, I kept my distance. I knew that in my pregnant state that my existence alone was a finger picking the scab on a very deep wound. I was content with loving them from afar, but God had a much greater plan.
Despite my husband and I being convinced we were having a boy, on October 8, 2012, I gave birth to another little girl. We decided to name her after our friend’s baby, Kinlie, so that her legacy would live on. Our friends were touched by this gesture, and said that it was a big step in their healing. After losing Kinlie, God blessed them with two wonderful boys. They were able to find their happiness again, and we became very close friends.
But they never lost a nagging sense of guilt over not telling us that Kinlie was terminated because they knew we had pro-life views. They finally told us about the abortion a month ago, asking for forgiveness but prepared to lose us as friends because of it. It was in that moment that we had the honor of being used by God to touch someone else, as we extended His grace and love to them one more time and spoke the forgiveness they so desperately needed.
I never in a million years would have thought that God would use abortion, which is something that I feel so strongly about, to bring me and this girl that I barely knew from college together, connecting us forever through our girls. But it could not have happened without the perfect love of God, which has the power to wipe away every tear from every eye and forgive every sin. I will always fight politically to end abortion, except for medical cases like my friend’s, but I pray to God every day that I never allow my political views to distract me from loving the woman in front of me. People come before politics. Otherwise, the politics have no meaning.
Through the most unspeakable tragedy, God did the impossible. Even though Kinlie never breathed her first breath, our kids still get to grow up together, because Arya Kinlie will forever carry her legacy. We will meet Kinlie in Heaven and spend eternity with her. I gained a life long friend, who I will always hold in a special place in my heart.
So my question to you, my friend, is this: how can you help the person God is putting in your path today?
If you would like to hear this story from my friend’s point of view, check out these posts from her blog. She’s an incredible writer on top of being a beautiful person, so do yourself a favor and follow her.