Prays Together: In Memory of the Unborn
By Jim Newman
As I was driving through the countryside in New Jersey one day I passed by a small church with a little cemetery alongside of it. As I got closer, I noticed a particular gravestone on the side of a grassy hill. It was close enough to the road that I was able to read the writing on it. It said, “In Memory of the Unborn.” I wonder, are you aware of anyone you know that might have lost an unborn child, for any reason? Perhaps you are that person.
The year was 1991. My wife, Jean, and I were expecting our first child. Like most couples, we were pretty excited. We were living in Italy at the time and, since we were planning to leave for the States in June, we decided to wait until we returned to New Jersey to have our first prenatal visit. When we got back we scheduled an appointment for the following Friday. Upon viewing the ultrasound, the doctor recommended that we come back on Monday so that we could discuss the pregnancy with the doctor in the OB/GYN group who was a friend of ours.
We had a feeling that something might be wrong and those fears were confirmed at that appointment. Although our unborn baby should have been about 14 weeks along, he informed us that the baby had died at around 7 or 8 weeks gestation but there had been no miscarriage. Jean was then scheduled to go to the hospital to have a medical procedure called a D&C (often used to terminate an unwanted pregnancy).
Grieving the loss of our unborn child was difficult enough, but It didn’t help that the room where Jean went for recovery after the procedure was located in the obstetrics wing of the hospital where other women were either in labor or had already given birth. When it was time to head home, the young man who was pushing Jean in the wheelchair asked us, “Where’s the baby?” He didn’t realize what had happened and we didn’t know how to answer. We had just lost our baby.
Some of our friends understood what we were going through and others hadn’t even heard what had happened. But we were hurting, and struggling to understand why this had happened. One of the things which we learned through our experience was that losing an unborn child produces grief just like we experience when we lose a loved one of any age. We also need to be aware that those who may have terminated an unwanted pregnancy also go through a time of grieving, especially when they come to the realization that have lost their child. We need to learn how to communicate love to them and seek to bring comfort in their sorrow.
Why not take some time today to prayerfully remember the unborn who have died? I would also encourage you to reach out in love to any young women you may know who are facing a crisis pregnancy. They need to know that there is hope and help for them in their difficult situation. For those who may have terminated their pregnancy and are grieving their loss, they need to know that God still loves them and offers his grace and forgiveness. He brings healing and hope for a new beginning. And one more thing. As we remember the unborn, let’s also remember the One who was born and later died on the Cross for the transgressions of us all. The Bible tells us that “He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” He understands our situation and He is more than able to help us in our time of need.
Jim Newman is pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Exeter. He may be reached by calling 559-592-2367 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prays Together is a rotating column between the pastors of the First Presbyterian Church of Exeter, Church of Christ of Exeter, Nazarene Church of Exeter, Church of God of Exeter, the New Life Assembly of God and Rocky Hill Community Church as well as the Lemon Cove Presbyterian Church.
This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Foothills Sun-Gazette newspaper.