Satisfaction cannot be found in what you achieve or what you receive but in who you believe.
If you haven't heard yet, actress Michelle Williams recently won a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series. The big news was not her award but rather her acceptance speech. She credits her success as an actress to being able to choose to have an abortion. She stated, “I wouldn’t have been able to do this without employing a woman’s right to choose.”
I want to take a moment explore the implications of her speech and how we have reacted to her speech in the Pro-life community.
This has sparked a diverse reaction from both the Pro-life and Pro-choice camps. What has been most notable to me is to watch the Pro-life reaction. The reactions have been both harsh and gracious. Michelle's speech is an opportunity for us to practice speaking the truth in love.
Equal Rights Institute observing the reactions from the Pro-life movement commented,
"My basic take is that she seems very culpable for promoting abortion to such a wide audience. It was also probably not the smartest move for her given that Ricky Gervais had already reminded everyone in the room that nobody cares about their political opinions. I'm pleasantly surprised that the original NBC video linked below has so many more dislikes than likes. Having said that, her extremism is bringing out the extremism in our camp. A lot of people have said some really hateful things. This is not good."
Abby Johnson also was wrestling with the trade that Michelle made for success. Abby related her award from Planned Parenthood to Michelle's Golden Globe. Abby understands what it means to trade motherhood for "success." She also understands what it means to be loved by the Pro-life community into truth. She wished Ms. Williams the best, "So today, I pray for Michelle Williams. I pray that she one day re-negotiates her trades. And I pray that when she comes to grips with her consequences, if that day comes, that she falls apart right into place. I pray that she finds God in her brokenness and that He makes her whole again."
Abby's and ERI's responses are positive examples of how we should respond in the Pro-life movement. Our response should not be outrage but outreach. When we approach those we disagree with, are we coming at them with condemnation or along side them with compassion?
1. WOMEN DON'T NEED TO SACRIFICE MOTHERHOOD FOR TRUE SUCCESS.
Once again we see another industry asking women to be more like men. The entertainment industry has done more damage to womanhood in our society than any other industry. Women finally found their voice in the #metoo movement but now it's time for the #mothertoo movement. Women should be able to be both a successful individual and a mother in our society. Michelle accepted more than her award, she accepted the status quo of male expectations. We all know that choosing to be a parent is saying "no" to something else in our life. But it doesn't mean that we have to neglect everything else. We can achieve goals while helping our kids reach theirs!
2. SUCCESS DOES NOT SATISFY
This golden globe award represents more than a successful role in her career, it represents a hole in her soul. Michelle (like all of us) was born with a hole in her soul. We all feel it, we all ask the same question: Does what I am doing with my life matter?
It is interesting because many Pro-lifers have pointed out, the very thing that she sacrificed, her child, is the very thing that could have brought her life purpose. I have talked to "unplanned" mothers who have found a life of purpose and meaning with the birth of their child. Being a mother is the most rewarding role that Michelle could have ever chosen.
3. THERE IS MORE TO LIFE THAN MOTHERHOOD
Would the baby she aborted bring more satisfaction than her golden globe? Of course.
I wonder, would being a mother to the child she aborted be the answer for Michelle to feel satisfied. She is already mother to Matilda (daughter of Heath Ledger) and is pregnant with Hamilton director Thomas Kail's baby. She knows what it means to be a mother, why wasn't it enough?
She knows the joy of motherhood but my best guess (I don't know her personally, this is conjecture), motherhood was not enough.
I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind. -Ecclesiastes 1:14
Parenthood will never be enough to satisfy our deepest longings. We need more than a temporal relationship to fill the bottomless pit of our soul. We need Jesus Christ. As individuals we know that awards are flattering, as parents we know parenting can be rewarding but as Christians we know that relationship with Jesus Christ is redeeming. Jesus Christ is the only one that can give us purpose and quench our deepest thirst. Because we have a infinite thirst, we need an infinite God.
Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” -John 4:13-14
Jesus said these words to a women who had tried five marriages and a domestic partnership to fill the hole she felt in her soul. Jesus knew that if she continued to try to chase temporal relationships to satisfy her, she would always be unfulfilled. Only a relationship with Jesus changes our desires and perspectives!
You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved! -Ephesians 2:2-5
Remember, we use to be those who "followed the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature." What Michelle Williams needs from the Pro-life community is not condemnation but hope for her soul. She needs to know that her abortion was wrong but there is forgiveness for her sin. She doesn't need to legitimize her sin by pointing to her accomplishments, she needs to confess her sin to receive his atonement. She needs to know there is a community that will not excuse her sin but welcome her with open arms. If she read the responses on social media from the Pro-life community, would she consider it a safe place?
There is more to life than awards, and yes, even more to life than parenting. Satisfaction=Jesus!