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May 07, 2018 1435 0 Lynné Arehart
Encounter

The Grace of a Smile

I cannot help but to have my heart go out to all those who have suffered from the trauma of abortion. I can only hope that they know how much they are loved and how precious they are in their Father’s eyes. Sadly, statistics show that as soon as a mother finds out her baby will have a birth defect, it is far more likely that she will decide to end her baby’s life than to guard and keep it.

I was eleven weeks pregnant with my fourth child when I found out that Cora had Down Syndrome. It pains me to say that I was heartbroken. At the news of her prognosis, it was as if that most intimate mystery of motherhood—that bond between the mother and the child in her womb—felt instantaneously severed. I was grieving. In a way, there was a death of my IDeA of what every mother dreams of: that first glimpse of your perfect little baby. The awe-inspiring beauty stops your breath and wipes away all the pain you endured during labor. I could no longer envision that joy for myself and my husband—that amazing moment that we had come to expect after having three other children. I felt like a failure. I convinced myself that I had failed to produce a “normal” child.

When I look back on those times, I almost feel ashamed to admit that I had such feelings of sadness. However, because I experienced that pain I can now empathize and I can suffer with those who are struggling with an unwelcome prenatal diagnosis. God has entered that shame and healed it, transformed it into a source of compassion for those who struggle with feelings like this. I urge moms and dads who are struggling to be patient and trusting enough to let their preconceived notions of normal, beautiful or perfect to be renewed, humbled and redeemed. For anyone experiencing these feelings right now, I assure you that you are never alone. God has chosen you! your present pain will become a cause for rejoicing. Any life is worth any struggle. I cannot imagine our family without this smile. I am so proud and honored that God chose me to give life to this beautiful child.

Lynné Arehart

is a wife and mother of five. She has found family life to be a greater calling, blessing, challenge and adventure than she could have ever imagined. In early 2012, Arehart felt strongly called to homeschooling and has been doing so ever since. Last year she and her husband Adam moved their family from Philadelphia to College Station, Texas, to serve and support Saint mary’s Catholic Center at Texas A&m university.

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