". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Choose Love! Choose Life!

May 12, 2024

While there are millions of moms deserving of praise, since it is Mother’s Day, I’d like to write about my favorite one, mine. Like all children, I know my mom isn’t perfect, but like most children, if you asked me to describe my mom’s flaws, I couldn’t think of one.

After marrying my dad, my mom gave up a promising career as dean of students at a local community college to be a fulltime mom. My sister Marita’s birth was difficult, and doctors had to work hard to save both my sister’s life and my mom’s. After both their conditions stabilized, my dad introduced my sister to my mom saying, “We have been blessed with an angel.”

Marita has a rare genetic disorder that causes multiple physical and intellectual disabilities. Because her condition is genetic, shortly after she was born a doctor advised my parents to pursue pre-natal testing for future children. Any “problems” he said, would just be “taken care of.” My parents — who believe all life is sacred from the moment of fertilization and were completely in love with their new baby girl — found a new doctor.

Still, my parents proceeded with caution. My mom’s sudden platelet drop during labor almost ended her life, and the condition left my parents wondering if more biological children were part of God’s plan for their future. But, after briefly pursuing adoption, my mom’s health returned, and she soon became pregnant with my brother.

Once again, the pregnancy proved challenging, and while doctors were able to ensure a safe labor and delivery using steroids, after my brother’s birth, they advised my parents that it would be risky for my mom to become pregnant again.

So, my parents used natural family planning (NFP) to avoid pregnancy, but God had other plans. After four years when, thankfully, her health improved, my mom unexpectedly learned she was pregnant with me. As she recounts the story, she told my dad they were having another baby and asked, “Do you think I’ll be okay?” He responded, “Yes. All we have to do is trust.” Despite her history of pregnancy complications and fears for her health, my mom knew that killing her unborn baby — me — wasn’t the answer. Today, my husband, children, and I are beyond grateful for her courage.

My mom’s commitment to caring for unborn life was nothing short of heroic, but her respect for the dignity of every person didn’t start with a positive pregnancy test, and it didn’t end in the delivery room.

Every day of her life she has modeled upholding the dignity of others. Whether serving herself last at dinner, caring for my sister, washing and ironing clothes at all hours of the night, or taking a “break” by volunteering at the pregnancy resource center — my mom’s life has always revolved around those she loves and those who are in need. Perhaps the most beautiful thing about my mom is that as she lives a life of total sacrifice for others, she does so with joy.

My mom’s witness challenges the narrative that women need abortion to be happy, to preserve their health, and to prevent suffering. Her life presents the alternative path of pouring yourself out completely for others and finding your life filled in return. She could have chosen her career, her health, or eugenics, but my mom chose something different, something better. Love.

While my mom’s story is unique, her self-sacrificial love for her children, which reflects the sacrificial love Christ has for each of us, is the hallmark of motherhood. This Mother’s Day, let’s give thanks to every mom for the sacrifices she has made, both large and small.

To those moms who have lost a child though abortion, there is forgiveness, hope, and healing.

To all those who have lost a child through miscarriage or death, and to those hoping to one day be a mom, you are in my prayers.

And to those moms who are pregnant and considering an abortion, the future may look frightening, but there are people ready and willing to help. Be like my mom. Choose love! Choose life!

Mary Szoch is the Director of the Center for Human Dignity at Family Research Council.