Last night we celebrated the birth of our oldest son, Chris. He turned 28. He's amazing! He's smart, funny, quick witted, loves Jesus, his wife and his family. He works hard. He gets down at times, but he gets back up. He's not a quitter. It has been a joy and honor to raise him (imperfectly at times) love him and watch him grow into a super tall and loving guy! He's kind of a freak of nature, not sure how he got to be 6'4", but it comes in really handy at times.
As our kids are all now married, the plans for their birthday celebrations fall onto their spouses and we just hang back. When we were invited to join them for Chris's 28th birthday dinner, we jumped at the opportunity to celebrate his life.
I am a little more emotional this year as I see him closing in on 30, married and working hard. You see, when I found out I was pregnant with him, I was kind of a wreck. I didn't have my life together. I was single and partying non stop.
But in the midst of that there was one thing that kept me going...VOLLEYBALL. I was good, really good. Granted, today I can't jump 2 inches off the ground, but in my hay-day, I could get up there.
Volleyball was everything. Finding out I was pregnant halfway through the sophomore year of my college volleyball season, with a full ride scholarship offer from another University, sent me into shock.
I didn't know what to do. The school looking to bring me on thought I could swing it, get back in shape, do school, motherhood and play volleyball all while moving away from home. I just didn't see that happening. It was all so overwhelming.
The other advice I was given was to abort. Abort my baby, abort Chris. I remember that voice as if it were yesterday. "You have so much going for you, you should have an abortion." But the thing was, it wasn't just one voice. It was several voices. Several voices telling me to end the life of my beautiful child so that I could play two more years of volleyball. To them it seemed like an easy exchange.
Yet, there was a voice that was buried in my heart that said, "You can do this, I will give you the strength." It wasn't as loud as the other voices. But it was still and small and I wanted to hear more of it.
I remember sitting and telling my parents that I was pregnant. I remember their hearts aching for me, because they knew what my lifestyle was like. I remember my Dad, with love in his heart, suggesting adoption as an option, but I also remember my parents both saying that no matter what they would be there for me, they would support me. And that's what they did.
As a single mom for the first 2.5 years of Chris's life, I was anything but single. I was loved and supported by my family, my parents and my community. That love is what amplified the voice of truth when the voice of the lie seemed so loud.
As someone that always considered myself Pro-Life, even at 19 years of age... I recognize there is a challenge when you are faced with that choice in real life, when you are alone, broke, and people are telling you what you should do, when it is all still legal and accepted.
My point is this: May we be the kind of people that walk alongside others to amplify God's truth into the darkness, truth that is hard to hear in desperation. Sometimes the choice that people would make might be different if they simply felt loved and supported. Maybe it's not enough to simply say 'Choose life", maybe we need to BE LIFE and DO LIFE alongside the hurting.
So as I celebrated the fact that my son turned 28 last night, it was much more than that for me. It was a lifetime of being thankful that He is alive, that he "made it out" (that's an inside joke, but so very true), that he was loved and supported by so many people all throughout his life.
And the most amazing words I heard from my Dad, who was an advocate for all life especially life of the unborn; my Dad, who looked at a broken messed up 19 year old, not imagining how on earth I could parent and care for a human being, let alone, myself was the day that he said to me "Mia, I am so glad that you didn't give him up for adoption. I am so glad you kept him. I love him so much."
Little did my Dad know, I could not have done it without him. Chris, my son, his little boy, was the apple of his eye. Grandpa was the first daddy that he had, until Bob, my husband and his Father, walked into our lives.
So, to my son, Chris, Happy Birthday, I am so glad that you are alive. I am so glad that you made it out!! I simply cannot imagine a world without you ever having been in it. You changed my life.
A collection of writings from a life based on the truth that about midnight anything can happen.
As an imperfect servant of the Lord, I often feel I am fumbling my way through life, looking upward for guidance and outward to love. So, I write about it, to break up the noise in my head.