Friday, April 22, 2011

I Could Have Been an Abortion Statistic

Mom was visiting my husband and me from Hawaii where she and Dad had lived for the past few years. She was “on the mainland” getting some medical tests. As she paced the living room near the fireplace I could see her getting agitated.
“Marijo, there is something in the past that you will NEVER forgive me for….”

I quickly thought back to the several years Tom and I had lived together before we married. We were smoking marijuana and drinking way too much, I suspected that she and Dad had “disowned” me during those years. The still, small voice of the Holy Spirit interrupted those thoughts with a single sentence, no, Dick isn’t your father
I mentally shook my head. I’d seen my birth certificate complete with Marion and Richard filled in for parents. Yet, in the several years since my being born again I had come to know the voice of the Lord, this was the Lord speaking.

I walked across the room and took Mom’s arms in my hands drawing her close to me. “Mom, Dad isn’t my Dad.”

“Ohhh, I just knew you knew, I knew you’ve known all along!!!” her voice came out in a very painful wail.

“No, I never had any idea until about 3 seconds ago when the Lord whispered this to my heart.”

“Oh, can you ever forgive me, can you ever?”

“Oh, Mom, yes, I forgive you!”

She was crying, talking and letting all the guilt and hurt pour out. It was that night the Lord Jesus began a healing within my Mom that was most incredible.

She sobbed out her story of a bad choice while Dad was in Africa in World War II as I held her close to me. We prayed. We later called my sister so Mom could ask her forgiveness. Mom had a smile on her face as the weight she’d carried for over 30 years was taken off her shoulders. She had recently come to the Lord in a salvation experience and His Holy Spirit was doing a further, deeper work in setting her free.

She was scheduled to fly home the next morning. Dad had told her never to say anything about this, to “let sleeping dogs lie…” I wanted to let him know what had happened and that it was the Lord who told me and not Mom.

I usually typed letters because I had polio as a toddler leaving my right hand weak. When I wrote much of anything at all longhand my hand got tired, cramped and was achy. It was later in the evening and I couldn’t type. Mom was leaving early and Tom had morning classes to go to. The typing would have kept them both awake. I didn’t work until the afternoon and could stay up so I began to write longhand.

The missive I began started with my earliest memory in life, the day my younger sister came home from the hospital as a newborn when I was 2 years and 4 months old. I relived all those special times I could remember about Dad being just the best Daddy a girl could have. From the times we “danced” in the living room with my feet on his shoes, hum, maybe that’s why I always stepped on the man’s toes even today when attempting to dance…. On to the time in the hammock when he sat and I was looking at the animals in the clouds above, to later years when he drew pictures explaining how lightening worked and how corn grew and produced.
He took my sister and me fishing, taught us to use a screw driver and hammer, taught us to paint furniture without leaving brush strokes. He read to us… His life and actions affirmed our value and worth as children in his life.

We were blessed in that both of our parents had time for us and treated us as people. They listened to our hearts and actually thought what we had to say was important. They disciplined us and helped us to grow. We learned how to work doing chores, gardening, sewing, and basic life skills. My hubby would say that perhaps we flunked housekeeping, but that’s another story.

Pretty soon I realized I had written, longhand, SIX pages. The thought came to me that maybe the Lord had healed my “polio paw”. Well, the next time I tried to do more than chart at the hospital for my RN duties I found out that the hand still ached and got tired – I had a special grace for that letter to Dad.
I got a letter very soon by return mail which I then read over and over. My stoic, German Dad poured out his heart in that letter. It was one of the very few letters I had ever gotten from him. Part of it said “I thought every child should have a Daddy. I had a father but never had a Daddy. If I wasn’t to be your Daddy I didn’t know who would. It was a most beautiful day in April when you were born, you were the most beautiful girl baby I had ever seen and from that day on you were my little girl.”
Tears ran down my face with the reading of this letter. He went on to say that he and Mom had issues but that it was definitely not the fault of us girls and he wanted me to know that.

At this point my Dad had not come to Jesus but that did happen not too long after. The Lord Jesus began a healing in the family with this one event that evening in the small duplex where we lived. So many things began to make sense. If Colette, my sister, took lessons then they wanted me to take lessons. They never wanted to spend more on one of us than the other. I didn’t want to take music lessons but now this was making sense. They never wanted me to feel “less than” or like I was any less their daughter than Colette was.

It was humorous how I was tall just like my girl cousins on Dad’s side of the family that I was not a blood relative to. My sister was 4’11 ¾” tall and the shortest one by about 8 inches. My Dad’s mom was only 4’8”.  Our Lord helped me to fit in well as I was actually shorter than all my other girl cousins. Little things we noticed spoke to our hearts over the years.
The family healing began. Mom was being made freer in Jesus and I think Dad was relieved and freed also. I never stopped thinking that he was my Daddy unless I was giving a medical history and remembered that oops, I could no longer give that side of the family for my history.
I prayed for my “bio father” that he would come to know Jesus and maybe I would meet him some day, in heaven.

God is so good to put broken pieces of hearts back together many years after the fact. I might not have been planned by my Mom and Dad but I was in God’s heart. God didn’t choose the circumstances of my conception but he definitely chose me. All those parts that make me uniquely “Marijo”, God thought up before I ever was. I was and am special to Him, unique. I praise Him for the scriptures about this and especially the following:

Jeremiah 1:4-5  

4 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying:  “ Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” 

God loved us all and the healing He began in our family that night was just a tiny example of His love. I am sure glad that Mom didn’t choose abortion.

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.


lioneagle said...

Hi Marijo -

I thoroughly enjoyed this piece. It was a joy to know of the healing that happened in your family and that you were so deeply loved by your parents.

This is a heart warming testimony of the love of our Father GOD and how He plans all for us, his children.

Yes, that Jeremiah scripture is so fitting for this.

Marijo (Mary Jo) Phelps said...

I hope all who read this and think they were a "mistake" or unwanted will KNOW that in God's eyes they are special, right on time, prefect for His plan (although He didn't choose the circumstances surrounding their conception) HE thought them up - their personality and all those special traits which make them a unique individual, created in God's image and LOVED by their Father! AMEN

Heidi Rucki said...

Marijo, Been so caught up with my website and some family issues, haven't done much writing or reading. Thanks for alerting me to this wonderful piece. You have captured what could have been a tearing apart of a family and that, for the grace of God and beloved family members, saved everyone into the beautiful light. Your beautiful loving father and your repentent and wonderfully honest mother made everything right and remarkable. Their present, ultimately was you and what a gift you are. I have always believed that honesty is the only way to go except maybe silence about something painful or unnecessary - in this case the end result of brutal honesty was nothing short of an incredible life and an inspiring story. As I've mentioned to you many other times, Marijo, thank you for writing.

Marijo (Mary Jo) Phelps said...

Thanks so very much for your love and encouragement (i didn't ever know your last name so it threw me a bit until I clicked on your name and found your site again - I knew "Old Gray Mare" and Heidi but not Rucki.

There are several others posted here on this too which make the story even fuller.... a poem to thank my Mom for having me (she was an RN and even back then could have had an abortion and Dad wouldn't have ever known....)

I am now talking to 2 cousins and my mom's baby brother and my wonderful aunt about this - the brother knew all along I wasn't "premie" as he'd overhears his folks talking... he kept the secret all these years (except his wife knew) This has opened up so much (good) for the remaining family - I am blessed by what the lord is doing through it all and hopefully, someone will read it and NOT abort! I have posted it on WWBS (Teresa Ortiz moderates that site) and Faith writers!

Glad you came by - my blog has opened up the floodgates!

Sending you a huge hug!


Esther J said...

Marijo, I could have been aborted also. My Mom and Dad decided to quit after having 12 healthy babies. There was a beautiful photo, etc, in the newspaper. Ooops! After 4 years along came brother #8. Then in 2 years I was born. Would you believe all 14 of us grew up to be happy, healthy and strong adults on the farm? I'm surely glad you weren't aborted!

I'm helping to make abortion illegal by participating in the "40 Days for Life" program. My feeling is that it won't take very long now.

Marijo (Mary Jo) Phelps said...

Mick was on of eleven kids and I thought that was a lot - man fourteen! I didn't know that - I sure am glad they had #14!!!

Judy said...

Love, i don't know of a better word to describe the heart of the man called your father. Thank You Lord for the gift you have given Marijo. To be able to convey her thoughts in a way that touches the world for You. Love ya Kiddo !!

Marijo (Mary Jo) Phelps said...

Thanks so much Judy for your friendship and continuing support! Dad was the greatest and he and Mom did a super job with us girls!