The Struggle

Last night I was trying to get an FM radio setup in the kitchen so that we could listen to some Christian tunes in the a.m. while getting ready for school – sort of a “pump you up” session before heading off into the great unknown, known as a huge, public high school.

It shouldn’t have been hard, but at each step – unplugging the radio from the wall across the house, required me to move the bed, to be able to plug the extension cord that the radio had been plugged into back into the wall, so that the other devices relying on power could operate during the night – like my white noise machine to cover up the slightly less white noise of my spouse – seemed to be more involved than necessary. Then trying to plug the radio into the kitchen outlet was a no-go. One of the prongs was bent and the newer kitchen outlets were having none of that.

Thankfully, an outlet just around the corner allowed for power while the radio sat on a counter. Oh, and the cord wasn’t going to act like a trip wire, either. So that was a good thing.

I was getting a little annoyed at how complex this seemingly simple maneuver was becoming. It seemed something was thwarting my every move. I was asking God why he wasn’t making this easier when it was something I was doing for him. I know, these are minor things, but at midnight, they start getting on your nerves.

God just said, pull through and you’ll be glad for the struggle. I must admit it was a difficult finding a good attitude, but with some literal gritting of my teeth, I managed not to mumble too much under my breath, etc.

Once the radio was operational, a wave of accomplishment and knowledge that something bigger than plugging in a radio had occurred. Some battling was going to be happening tomorrow in that kitchen – not between flesh and blood, but between principalities and powers.

The added hassles lent a sense of anticipation that would not have been there had the process been easy.

As always, Father knows best!

Oh, and some battles were won.

Choosing is what makes us human

A friend will be attending a ladies event at a church near a Native American reservation tomorrow. She is the speaker for the event, while the crafts are drying – what a great idea! Anyway, God asked that she speak on the topic of our identity. That got me to thinking

Why do the Native Americans and African Americans have such a hard time with their identity as a part of the United States?  And the answer that came to me is: Choice.

Neither had a choice in their being a part of this country. One group was overrun, the other group was brought here against their will.

The creature comforts we have now far outshine what was available to the Native Americans before white people showed up. And most people in the US are also more comfortable than many Africans. So one might think that, now that slavery is over, and now that Native Americans don’t have to live on reservations, everyone should be thrilled to be a part of the US. Yes, there is still a lot of prejudice against these two people groups. But even if they were treated fairly, I think they would still be hesitant to truly embrace their place as full heirs to what the US has to offer. Again, because they were not given the decency of choice.

My ancestors all had a choice in coming to the United States. Some ended up having very tough lives here. Others really thrived, but all felt like they belonged. Because they chose to belong.

I am not sure what needs to happen to help Native Americans and African Americans overcome the atrocities done to them. That is and will continue to be a complicated, long, slow but very important process for us all to be a part of.

But this issue got me thinking about a theological question that has bugged me in the past, and a question my teen daughter still struggles with: Why does God allow us to choose to do things that aren’t good for us? Specifically, why did God allow Adam and Eve to introduce sin into the world? Why couldn’t we all just be made perfect, unable to make bad choices?

I now understand more fully, it is because He knows that for us to truly want to belong in heaven, for us to truly feel respected, for us to truly cherish being a part of His family, we need to have a choice.

Animals don’t get to choose their destinies. We do.

God loves you and wants you to choose to love Him, too – to step into your full destiny as His child.

“Here I am. I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” Revelation 3:20

We’ve been lied to

Ok, so I spent a little time in research to find out whether or not legalizing abortions has kept women safer. Because, while I do not like the option of abortion, I do agree with several commentators on my Facebook page that people will get them regardless of whether they are legal or not. And I don’t want women unduly harmed.

Basically, I learned that it is true that a lower percentage of women die from abortions now. At least, that seems to be the case. It is difficult to track because now that abortion is legal, it is no longer listed as a cause of death on a woman’s death certificate, like it was when abortion was illegal.

However, because there are so many more women getting abortions now that it is legal, the percent of the population of women in the US dying from abortions is higher than it was before abortion was legal.

Also there is no difference in the amount of complications caused by abortion before or after legalization because 90% of abortions before legalization were performed by medical professionals. The “Back Alley Abortion” term comes from the fact that women entered the medical facility from the alley, to keep their identity secret.

So, legalizing abortion has not made abortion safer for women.

Like several other friends wrote on my Facebook page, we need to work together as women to support each other to keep each other from getting into situations that would lead to an abortion.

This is not about shaming anyone who has had an abortion. This is about working together to find health and healing for all women. Let’s not be lied to any longer!

Not healthy

I am truly tired of women’s health being equated to access to abortions. That is not women’s health. It is a quick fix to true women’s health problems such as abusive men, mental illness, drug abuse, lack of discipline to name a few.

Abortion just destroys “evidence” of the true problem and creates several new women’s health problems: possible physical complications from the abortion, depression, other PTSD-like symptoms, and so on.

Here is a link that compiles research on the psychological effects of abortion on women.)

I so appreciate that so many want to protect women. But allowing abortion is not protecting women – it is a lie that perpetuates harm against them. It makes it easier for men to prey on them, it makes it easier for women themselves to justify destructive behavior and it leaves emotional scars that we don’t seem willing to acknowledge.

True health is a lot harder and will take a lot more effort on all of our parts. Dealing with the “evidence” of unhealthy choices will also be more taxing. But isn’t that what we want our nation to be known for? Taking on the tough problems in the most compassionate, life-giving way possible, no matter the cost?

That’s what has made me proud to live here in the USA. I am guessing that is true of you, as well.