By Melissa Ohden
Editor’s note. The following appeared on Melissa’s blog. She is a pro-life speaker and author, who survived a ‘failed’ saline abortion. NRL News Today recently conducted a Q&A with Melissa about her new book, “You Carried Me: A Daughter’s Memoir.”
“Your current circumstances are part of your redemption story He is writing” — Evinda Lepins.
I don’t believe God originally wrote abortion into my life, as God is the Creator of life. But when it was introduced by man, or in my case, a woman, He rewrote the story of my life around it, to create the story of a life that is more intricate, more redemptive, more grace-filled, than anything anyone else could have planned or written.
“How do you know that you are not part of a book? That someone’s not reading your story right now?”—Jodi Picoult.
Everyone has a story. Everyone. But every story is different, and how we are called to use our story is also different.
We are not all called to share our stories publicly; we are not all called to write a book. What we are each called to do, however, is live out the story of our life as God has written it, and believe it or not, as we live out the story of our lives, others are reading it, right along with us.
What are they reading in the story of your life? The story that you’ve worked to edit or even create for yourself, or the story that God wrote for you?
Life. Unplanned. Unexpected.
“Nearly all the best things that came to me in life have been unexpected, unplanned by me”–Carl Sandberg.
The words unplanned and unexpected are often faced with fear and dread in our world, especially when it comes to pregnancy. But behind the unplanned lies great opportunity for unexpected joys and blessings. Yes, great challenges, also, but even greater potential for growth.
The most powerful blessings in my life have come in very unplanned, unexpected ways. I may not have experienced an unplanned pregnancy, but both of my daughters and the son that I miscarried have brought me the most unexpected of gifts—love, lessons about life and faith, and yes, the most unplanned of difficulties from time to time.
Facing our youngest daughter’s medical issues has been one of the most defining moments of our lives. I did not expect for her to face so much in her first year of life, and although it was hard, it was an unexpected blessing. She taught us so much more than we even knew before about God’s presence in the midst of suffering, His healing power, His purpose and plans for every life.
We were never promised that life would be easy. What we were promised is that God would never forsake us. And His promise is true.
I’ve lived out the unplanned, the unexpected in my life in many ways, and I understand how frightening the unknown in our lives can be. I want to encourage you, though, to take that first step out into the unplanned, the unexpected, and experience the amazing blessings that come from living out the story of your life, even when you can’t see the story in its’ entirety to know how it will end.
Life Comes Full Circle.
“The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it”—J. M. Barrie, The Little Minister.
The little girl who was supposed to die in an abortion grows up to be a woman that brings life and restoration to others.
While encouraging others to pray for the mothers, the fathers, the children who are being impacted by abortion, the baby who was prayed for, (along with all of the babies at risk of being aborted), over thirty years later comes face to face with a number of the very people who had prayed outside of St. Luke’s Hospital in Sioux City, Iowa, in 1977–the very year, the very hospital where she survived the failed abortion.
The very hospital where her life was supposed to end in the abortion, a place that signified death and suffering to her, is transformed thirty years later into a place that holds the most beautiful memories of her life, when she gives birth to her first daughter there, herself.
There are no coincidences. This is the story of my life.