The first signs of pregnancy often come at a time when one is least expecting – or hoping – for a baby. Seta recalls visiting a doctor while on vacation abroad. When he told her she was pregnant, Seta exclaimed “No!” At forty years old, with three children in the home and a husband who provided for the family but didn’t help with their care or discipline, Seta’s hands were already full to capacity. Adding one more child to the mix seemed like a disaster in the making. Seta had a little help from neighbours, but in that foreign country with no family or relatives nearby, she was largely on her own in caring for the family… and she felt old, overwhelmed and incredibly alone.
Several years earlier, Seta faced a similar situation: she became pregnant just after a move into a new country. In that culture, abortion was a covert but fully acceptable response to the situation, and Seta and her husband decided upon this route. This time around, her husband was once again quite indifferent, so Seta booked an appointment with an abortionist in a neighbouring country.
The day she intended to purchase flights to the abortion clinic, Seta picked up her Bible for daily devotions. She flipped it open, asking “what is God saying to me today? What would God say to me regarding the purchase of tickets for an abortion?” The book opened to Matthew 10:29 & 30:
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Seta says that moment changed her entire outlook on the pregnancy. This was God telling her He would care for her throughout the pregnancy and after. “If God didn’t want to give me the child, He wouldn’t have,” she recalled. “He is the one taking care of this child.” Her fear abated and she felt a peace and resolution about the situation. She canceled the abortion appointment that day and didn’t look back.
The pregnancy was as difficult as the previous two were and bed rest was a must. Months later, a baby boy arrived. Caring for a baby and three other children was a challenge of the first order, yet today Seta and her son reflect on the abiding grace and “intimately sovereign” care of God. As a visiting priest put it, “what God gives, God takes care of.”
Next week’s post follows the experience of Seta’s son as an “unexpected” child – you can find it here.