Confronted By My Beliefs

When It's Right to Suffer Wrong

Confronted By My Beliefs

There I sat dumbfounded. Everything froze and then began to move in slow motion. Then, like in some surreal time warp, my mind raced to and fro. It had hit me like a curveball and sucked the wind right out of my sails. The unexpected unexpectedly grabbed the insides of my heart and began to strangle the intellectual jugular of my mind. EVERYTHING I ever believed or thought I believed was brought in front of my face and paraded itself before my eyes.

It was the fall of 1984 and I was an aspiring intellect at a well known Big Ten university. A college purveyor of ‘truth’ and intellectualism, I was on top of my world. I was at the pinnacle of my career as a young ‘professional’ student. Emboldened with the teachings of great professors I was going out into the world as secondary education teacher. If there was anyone in the world walking around with a chip on his shoulder, I surely could have been the poster child of chip holders. Filled with these ‘new’ philosophies, I would surely change the world. Child by child, student by student, I would teach and help facilitate a revolution of change into the heartland of the American mindset. How could I fail? I had the teachings of Nietzsche, Freud, Jung, and Maslow at the foundation of my pursuit. With Pink Floyd’s, ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ and the sexual revolution of the sixties pushing me forward into this mass matrix of society, how could I fail? The voices of feminists like Gloria Steinem and Marylyn French screamed down the corridors of my brain, reverberating and echoing their mantras on equal rights and the feminist movement. I had read so much of the feminist literature concerning the male patriarchs and the biases of this unequal system, that I was mad at all men, including myself. I was mad at all those who pushed their ‘ways’ and tried to make me into their image. I was mad at anyone in authority or anyone who was unrelenting in the quest to perpetuate an already too far gone and broken system. Armed with this vast array of knowledge, like an intellectual matador, I had the proverbial bull by the horns and nobody was going to get in my way. But then the bull came charging home!

“I am pregnant.” my girlfriend said with a shattered state of unbelief. So there I was staggered and speechless, and all I could do was try to reign at the moment. Vacillating between what I thought I believed and what I truly believed, I momentarily sat stagnant in the midst of a truth that I could not deny. My girlfriend had just told me she was pregnant with my child. There is the student union, my thoughts encompassed me with the reality of this truth. In her womb, MY baby was growing and in an instant, all that I ever believed or at least what I thought I believed came to a crashing halt. Like the apostle Peter, weeping bitterly when he was confronted with what he really believed. I too sat motionless in a sea of emotions as my past crowed before me. I don’t remember thinking how could this happen to me, but realizing that there was a baby in her womb and that baby was mine. I don’t remember feeling like a victim or even bitter. To me, the next step was obvious, we would get married and I would be the father of my child. But to my chagrin, the words my girlfriend spoke were carbon copies of all the things that I thought I believed. Pro-choice, women’s rights and the ERA spoke from her heart and when she said she wanted to have an abortion all I could hear her say was she wanted to kill my baby. Her lips moved, but I really could not hear what she was saying because I was finally confronted with what I believed and it did not match anything that I thought I believed. All the feminist rhetoric and political ideology that was born in the pursuit of logic and intellectualism could not withstand the assault of the confrontation of my beliefs. This wasn’t a mere piece of flesh in her womb, nor was it a ‘fetus’, a blob, or any other politically protected name the feminist movement hid behind. This was a growing living human being and not only that, it was MINE.

Frantic and trying to come to grips with reality. My words were firm and sure, let’s do the right thing. But her right thing and my right thing were two different things. Now that I knew what I truly believe, I would not go down without a fight. Knowing I could not hit her with an ‘in your face assault’ I tried to move stealthily and subtly. Hiding pamphlets advocating the birth of our child or statistics concerning abortion, I tried a myriad of plans to dissuade her from her foundation of feminist ideology. Soon she became aware of my subtle ways and became more openly repulsed by the idea of keeping the baby. The more I seemed to fight the more determined she became to stick to her course of action. She insisted it was her body and she could do with it what she wanted. With or without me, she was determined to get an abortion.

I don’t really remember saying much as we walked together to the off-campus abortion clinic. And though we walked together, we were both alone. Illusionary. Surreal. Dreamlike. Pretend. Make-believe. The memories of that day are faded and somewhat masked behind a pain that is very difficult to describe. Life as I knew it would never be the same. I was a changed man. And after the abortion, there was no doubt that she was a changed woman also. Her words expressed it and her emotions forever echoed from her conversations from that day on. Soon, our relationship began to spiral downward and out of control. Two very different worlds had collided and exploded in our faces. Like on some Hollywood picture screen, the inevitable course of sin had played itself out. Lust, sin, and then death.

I don’t know where she is today nor have I heard from her. I do admit, that I do think about her from time to time. How could I not? We shared this past and I do wonder how she is doing and whether or not she has recovered from that tragic moment in our lives. There is a saying that ‘time heals the wounds that no one can see’ and even though it’s been over twenty years, there are times when my past tries to reconvict me and put me on trial again for the murder of my unborn child, and I have to fight back with all that I have been taught in God’s Word. I have to resist, believe and know that God’s forgiveness is as far as the east is from the west. His mercy is everlasting and my life is now in His hands. But these are the scars and weights of sin that many of us carry with us into the future. The deep and hidden pains of ignorant decisions guided by nothing but the carnal knowledge that rises up to haunt us and try to stifle the new creature that God is creating in each of us.

And when this past tries to blur my future and cloud my mind, I look over at my beautiful wife who loves the Lord with all her heart and I hug my two precious daughters and love them with all the love that I can muster up from within me. I am a changed man. I am not the same and for that I am thankful. In these moments, I remember what I have learned and how that moment forever changed me. It was a very pivotal point in my life when I learned that talk really is cheap and it is easy to say you believe something, but in reality, you really won’t know what you believe until you are confronted with what you believe.

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