A few years ago I changed my email address to afraidandbrave. I have continually found myself in places where I had no choice but to speak – even when I really didn't want to. Many friends have walked alongside me in the beginnings of my pilgrimage through fear and discomfort, and obedience. They've seen me struggle, fret, and cry through my fear. They've also seen my stubborn determination to do what I believe God has asked me to do rather than choose a comfortable – and stagnant – existence.
And Esther said, “If I perish, I perish.” (Esther 4:16)
And Moses stuttered. (Ex. 4:10-13) And God speaks. And God moves.
Beloved, “do not be afraid. Keep on speaking. Do not be silent.” (Acts 18:9)
When I was twelve years old I was chosen to give a speech before God and everybody at my sixth grade graduation. The day came. So did the butterflies. I walked up to the podium, speech in hand, looked out into the crowd, and had an all-out meltdown. My beloved teacher came alongside me, put her arm around me, and I started reading one word after the next until I finally made it to the bottom of the page.
I have always been afraid to speak. And I still am. But someone recently told me, “Butterflies are God's reminder that apart from Him we can do nothing.” (John 15:5) We need Him, and I will cling to His presence.
You'd think as a professional dancer who has taken to the stage thousands of times, I wouldn't be so horrified to open my mouth. But I am. Why?
Maybe it's because I worry about my shaky voice. Or maybe it's because I may look like a fool. Maybe someone will criticize me or hate me or hurt me. Maybe I was afraid I'd lose my job. It happens, right? The bottom line is that I can't care too much about these things because if I do then that means I value my own comfort more than the truth and more than saving the lives of innocent people, more than protecting women from the deep emotional wound that abortion leaves. It means I love myself more than others. And I must love others.
A few years ago Planned Parenthood decided to target a nearby minority community. Planned Parenthood kills approximately 350,000 innocent babies every year. They lie to women about the ease of abortion. They collect their money and send them out the back door. They harvest and sell baby parts. They cover for sex traffickers. Planned Parenthood is no small foe. A memorable line from the recent movie, Unplanned, says: “Congratulations. You've just made an enemy of one of the most powerful organizations on the planet.” They have the very gates of hell backing them up. The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But Jesus came that we might have life and that abundantly. It is plain as day where abortion comes from. This is a battle fought on our knees AND on our feet. And with our voices. So the fight was on. I spoke (trembling) in front of a hospital board of directors to plead with them to deny support to Planned Parenthood. Later I found myself face-to-face with the staff of Senator Barbara Boxer's office over the issue that babies feel pain in the womb. Radio personalities, churches, charities, pro-life groups have asked me to speak of my own devastating abortion story. A few months ago I testified terrifyingly before the Texas Senate to ask them to end taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood/abortion.
Every time it is scary. But it gets a little easier each time also. So press on, dear one! Be brave! Be bold! We can not be silent while the greatest massacre in all of history rages. We were made for such a time as this! (Esther 4:14)
“Open your mouth for the speechless; In the cause of all who are appointed to die.” (Proverbs 31:8) This is not a suggestion; this is God's directive.
Love. Obedience. Bravery.
These three are the same in this way:
And now anytime someone asks me to speak about my abortion or abortion in general, I say yes. Every time. Revelation 12:11 says that we will overcome the devil by the blood of the Lamb, the word of our testimony, and not loving our lives to death. Overcoming the devil and every one of his evil schemes, none of the least of which is the blight on human existence that is abortion, is something we must do. So I will speak and I will do my best to ignore my fear and “not love my life so much as to shrink from death” even if that death is my self-centered fear of social banishment, rejection, or looking like a fool.
Is it true? Then, say it...with grace and love.
The testimony of the Word is that the unborn are fearfully and wonderfully made; that even before they are born God ordains their purpose. Say it. (Ps. 139:13-16; Jer.1:5)
The testimony of science is that human life exists at the earliest stages of development, and that babies feel pain as early as 20 weeks. They have their own unique DNA. Say it.
The testimony of women is that they suffer post-traumatic stress as a result of their abortions. Say it.
When you speak up about a thing that others are afraid to speak about, you actually inspire them to speak also. Courage breeds more courage. It is contagious. Get after it, friend.
Rescue those being led away to death;
hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
If you say, “But we knew nothing about this.”
Does not He who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not He who guards you life know it?
Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?
Silence in the face of evil is evil itself.
God will not hold us guiltless.
Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.
Truth is on the side of life. Abortion is indefensible. What is your platform? What is your sphere of influence? Take to social media. Talk to your family and friends. Have this conversation. It is a matter of life and death.