Happy Birthday to Me

Every year, writer Heather Renshaw celebrates the gift of life in a special way. We hope her entry encourages you to celebrate the gift of your life. 

Today I celebrate and thank God yet again for the miracle of my life. Today I am glad that I did not become a statistic. You see, today, more than any other, I am grateful for a young woman’s courageous “yes,”—her fiat—to choose life in the face of adversity.

Having now experienced the joys and struggles of five pregnancies, I cannot begin to imagine the agony, the pain, and the sacrificial courage it took to give a baby away—to never snuggle her neck, never kiss her toes, never breathe in her baby smell—all because this young woman knew she could not be the best steward of the gift of life God had given her.

Make no mistake—at any time, this young woman could have said, “This is too hard. I can’t do it,” “This is my body, and I want it back,” “This is just a blob of tissue,” or, “I feel alone and unloved,” . . . but she didn’t.

I believe she was able to persevere because she wasn’t alone in her courage. She had others—people who encouraged her, who supported her materially and spiritually, who prayed with and for her—so that she could, slowly but surely, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, month by month—choose life for the baby growing inside her.

That growing baby, if you haven’t guessed yet, was me. My birth mother could have aborted me at any time. My time in the womb was post-1973, after Roe v. Wade, after thousands—if not millions—of babies had already died.

I honestly don’t spend a whole lot of time dwelling on “what ifs;” that’s too much energy that needs to be expended elsewhere (did I mention that I have five children??). Yet, on this day, I still like to reflect on my circumstances and encourage others to consider their own lives.

Do you know that your life is a gift, a miracle? It is!

Do you thank God for *your* life and the lives of those around you? Take time today to do so!

Do you—really and truly—foster a culture of life in your words *and* your deeds? Please pray about this. Your affirming comment—your loving touch—could make all the difference in the world to someone today.

I invite you to go forth today, dear friends, being salt and light to those you meet, and encouraging our culture to become one that chooses life, no matter what.

And, while you’re at it, please enjoy my birthday. Because of a courageous young woman’s “fiat,” I know I will.

Heather Renshaw. Learn more about her here.

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