Saturday, July 14, 2012

Faith and Disability

Faith and Disability. Two things very heavy on my heart, but I have pushed writing this for the blog hop till the very last minute because I think its one of the hardest things to talk about. To talk about my faith is easy- I believe very deeply in the one true God. But to talk, or write in this case, to an audience who may not have any understanding and therefore not just sound like an insane Jesus freak, is a tricky thing to do.

My faith is who I am. Every choice I make is founded in the Bible. We live in a culture that likes the idea of oneness and unity and acceptance- coexist is it called?... as in the whole "Your God is right for you, and mine is right for me". But Christians believe in one true God, so we are not liked very much. We are viewed as pushy, self righteous, arrogant, closed-minded. I am very open-minded and love studying other religions. I am more likely to pick your mind if you believe differently then I do then to tear you down. I can understand why people believe certain things, even if I do not believe them myself. However, it is not possible for me to believe in one God- one way to salvation, if I also believe or agree that everyone is right in their vast beliefs. There is a difference between standing firm in your beliefs and shoving your beliefs down others throats. If you do not firmly believe what you do, then really, you don't believe. 

I am anti-abortion to the core, but yet when I hear people using God as the reason not to abort, I cringe. Because I am aware not everyone believes in God. You simply cannot argue with someone that something is wrong because God says it is, when they do not believe there is a God. Its not logical. Its arrogant and pushy and a tad ignorant. Not that you can't state your beliefs, you just can't base your whole argument around it. 

I have been told I am a bad person for not aborting Fiona. That I am selfish and cruel and ignorant. Its always a struggle for me to approach opposition when it comes to Fiona's life, both emotionally and physically. Because the second I bring God into the conversation, it seems all validation of what I have to say gets thrown out the door. But yet God is such a big important part of my life- no He is my life and my reason for everything, so its unavoidable to bring Him up.

John 15:19 says, " If you are of the world, the world will love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, the world hates you".  

This is really hard for me. Not because I want everyone to like me, but because the value of every life is such an important message I want to spread. There are certain logical questions that I simply cannot answer other then "God says so". This frankly doesn't fly in the secular world, which something like over 75% of the world is. 

A lot of what I credit to God, others call a fluke. Fiona was originally diagnosed with TGA- transposition of the great arteries, on top of an AV complete. A heart condition with a much greater morality rate then AV and would require immediate surgery after birth. For two months, I sat through echo after echo as they held out their medical books next to the ultrasound that was an identical replica of the TGA ultrasounds in their books. Then one day around 7 or 8 months pregnant, that text-book diagnosis of TGA just "disappeared". Doctors said it cant just disappear, it must have never been there to begin with, yet I could tell they were all stunned. They would never admit that there was a possibility that the over 300 hundred people we had praying for Fiona made a difference. 

 My faith in God answered, in one breath, the ever mysterious question, "Why?"... because its His will. I cannot even being to tell of all the good things that have come from Fiona having Down syndrome. Good for me, good for her, good for our family, good for complete strangers. Hearts softened, eyes opened, priorities aligned, friendships mended, friendships made. Some accuse me of being weak, having to use God as my crutch to get through difficult things in life... they don't understand how freeing being carried by His strength can be. And I think this is where we start getting in gray areas is that many other religions offer this same strength in their God. It can be easy to say its all the same or its all good. Except I believe in the God who says its not all the same and to "Beware of false prophets. They come in sheep's clothing but inwardly they are ferocious wolves" Matt 7:15

My faith has everything to do with why I value those with disabilities. It has everything to do why I continued my pregnancy with Fiona and why I will fight for the right to life for every unborn child (in a loving, non picket line way, of course). I truly am amazed by those who claim to be atheist and fight for the rights of the disabled. If there is no God, then what point is there to be anything but selfish? If there is no God, then what value does any life have, let a lone one that is less then par in the eyes of the world? 

I tried to stay away from as much churchy terminology as I could for you readers who are not Christians. I do wonder how my views would be if I was not raised in a Christian home. If my faith would be as strong or if I would even believe at all. I am not one to take things at face value- I frequently wrestle with the things that don't fully make sense- that's why its faith, it requires some blind following. But the more I pursue God, the more it all is clear to me. I cannot live without Him. I would not be here without Him. He doesn't just bring me happiness, He fills me with joy. 


  1. While I am in the ranks of faith without a belief in a single entity (but not an atheist so that gives room for any possibility :) and I appreciated your heartfelt, soulful post and the giving of space to other ways of thinking/ living.

  2. I can express how I felt while I was reading this. All I can say is my head was nodding up and down throughout. You expressed much of how I feel and can't verbalize. My daughter has actually made my faith stronger. But yes, when I try to tell people they often shut down. Thank you for being so eloquent.

  3. So beautifully said on a topic that is so touchy and hard to write about...for the record, I could not agree with you more on so many thoughts. The peace God gives me at the end of the day is amazing. I cannot believe you have been told you are a bad person for not aborting, that is really harsh. We are often accused as Christians of being judgmental and harsh but that comment seems to come across in that tone. Maybe I have not experienced that type of comment be ause I did not have that choice, finding out about Kristen after she was born. But, I often remind whoever is asking that I would have not done anything different even if I had known. Thanks for putting your true feelings out there. Your honesty is refreshing and point so eloquently made.

  4. Love this, so well written and really resonated with how I feel as well :-)

  5. A wonderful post, Shannon! I have different beliefs, but an appreciation for all, and you have stated yours beautifully. It makes me so sad that people would say you're a bad person for not terminating. Ridiculous. I just hope one day they regret their words.


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