When Does Life Start?


Photo by Andreas Wohlfahrt on Pexels.com

January has been the month of celebrating the importance of human life.

Various articles, memes, posts, and videos have shown that life matters. We’ve heard it from every angle. The over-arching theme is that human lives are significant.

All life should be equally important.

This is what the Bible says about life in Psalm 139:

“For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.”

Given that, perhaps you can understand my passion when I read this article quoting our new president about life and abortion and detailing the censoring of said articles. (You can read it for yourself here.)

And when I saw the following quote by Rep. James E. Clyburn (D – S.C. I decided I had to speak out. It was time to tell part of my story.

“Today marks the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which gave women the right to control their own bodies.”

Rep. James E. Clyburn

Right to control? How about the responsibility to control our bodies?

“…each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable…” I Thes. 4:4

Women, including myself, have the responsibility to control our bodies. Once we’ve made a choice (that’s the part of “pro-choice” I agree with) to engage in sexual relations, we have now relinquished our rights if that union has created a child. At that point, we have the responsibility to protect that child. Because that child has the right to be born and live the life ordained by their Creator.

  • As soon as an egg is fertilized by sperm, the gender of the child is decided.
  • Within three weeks, a baby’s heartbeat can be heard.
  • At six weeks, fingers and toes are developing.
  • After only two months, a baby’s form can be clearly seen – head, eyes, legs, arms, fingers, toes and internal organs are visible.
  • You can see photos for yourself here.

Some proponents of abortion argue that rape is a reason for choosing abortion, but even if the woman had no choice in the creation of the child, that fact does not remove the rights of that child to life.

Believe me, I understand the challenges unplanned pregnancy brings.

At twenty-five, I was going through a messy divorce because my husband decided he couldn’t give up an adulterous relationship. As a mother of two very young children, I chose, in that season of heartache and poor judgment, to become sexually involved with a dear friend. In spite of using necessary precautions, I found myself pregnant.

It wasn’t the first time.

I had married my husband five years earlier because I became pregnant after a night during which I was unable to prevent his advances. We married in spite of my miscarrying the baby. (I saw that baby who was only a few weeks old.) So when my friend insisted we marry when my divorce was final, I panicked. I wouldn’t be forced into another marriage. He was a kind man, but in a bad place both in his budding career and in his emotional state. My mindset wasn’t any better.

I didn’t see any way that as a single parent with no current source of income, I could carry and raise a new baby along with my two and four-year-old. But I had made a choice to become involved sexually, and that meant I had a responsibility to this child.

I prayed. God could take this little one home to heaven and “spare” me the challenge of carrying and raising him. Or, I could carry him despite the ramifications of what it would mean to my life, my future career, and my reputation. I could give him up. Somewhere was a family longing for a child who would be blessed by this baby.

In the end, I kept my baby boy. It’s a longer story than I have space for here, but I will never regret my decision to carry and keep my child. He is a grown, married man with two children of his own now. How much I could have missed!

I, as well as people I know, were told that the life carried was nothing more than a blob of tissue. I can imagine their heartache. Whether they knew what they were doing or didn’t, God as grace, forgiveness, comfort, and healing for all of us.

I know from my own experience as well as research that the “blob” statement isn’t true. It’s a lie that believing in live means we don’t have choices. We make a choice when we partner in creating a life by our sexual action. We can also choose to protect a life, rescue a life, or adopt a life.

But, we can’t make a true choice if we don’t have all the facts first.

Like these facts about trafficking, another “lives matter” issue:

  • 300,000 – Children in the U.S., at least, prostituted annually (ndaa.org)
  • 12 – The average age that a trafficked victim is first used for commercial sex (DHS)
  • 2,700 – Child sex-trafficking victims rescued by the FBI in the U.S. the past 10 years (FBI Innocence Lost Initiative)
  • 3 – Florida’s rank in the number of calls received by the national human trafficking hotline (Polaris Project)
  • 83% – Of sex trafficking victims identified in the United States were U.S. citizens according to a study of U.S. Department of Justice human trafficking task force cases. (Office of the Attorney General of Florida)
  • 52 – Approximate number of local child sex-trafficking victims rescued in 2015 (FBI Innocence Lost Initiative)
  • Less than 250 – Shelter beds for commercially sexually exploited children in the U.S. (ECPAT-USA)

Are you as shocked as I was when I read those statistics?

How can we be appalled at this and accept that 2,363 children die by abortion (2016 statistics) each day?

That is, if life matters.

Maybe we should think about what that means.

I believe all life matters. I believe what God says, that it begins at conception—for that is the way he planned it. And I also believe that we are spiritual as well at physical beings so as Dabney Hedegard states:

“…life doesn’t really begin until I meet my Maker.”

In the end, Jesus is the way, truth, and life. It is with him that we will spend eternity if we choose to believe him. Every sacrificed baby will be there in heaven with Jesus. Every rescued life has a chance to live now and forever. Our true life will begin when we meet Jesus in heaven.

God puts it this way:

“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life…” Deuteronomy 30:19-20

On this last day of January, the life awareness month, will you choose life?

Today is also the last day to get my novel, Dangerous Ground, which deals with sex trafficking, for FREE as the Kindle version. But every copy, whether digital or print, that is purchased will be supporting organizations like A21 and Bridging Freedom that are fighting to end sex trafficking and give aid to victims. All the proceeds of the book will be donated so you can know that you are contributing to saving a life by buying a book for you and/or a friend. While today is the last day for FREE, the annual proceeds from Dangerous Ground will always be donated no matter when you purchase it. Please pass the word.

Will You Join Me?


cropped-laura-half-moon-bay-008Just a quick post to give some news and invite you to join me for my first radio interview which will air at www.savvybusinessradio.com on Thursday December 6th. You can also listen at any of these other places:

We’ll be talking about my latest book, Dangerous Ground, and the sad truth about human trafficking. While Dangerous Ground is a novel, the story discloses the horrors about sex trafficking, a problem that is prolific here in the States as well as the rest of the world.

Half the proceeds of this book are being donated to three organizations which fight trafficking and rescue those in captivity or at risk.

A21 is an Australian based organization. (No, I didn’t choose it because of my Aussie husband. But how cool is it that our church supports them?) An interesting fact about the book is that the founder of A-21 first became attracted to this crime when she saw some photos in public of missing children. One young girl in particular, named Sophie, caught her attention and wouldn’t let her rest.

When writing Dangerous Ground, I named one of the abducted girls Sophia. It wasn’t until after the book was written, and I decided to learn more about A-21 that I found out the story. Those are the “coincidences” that I believe God orchestrates.

Another group is San Francisco based Not for Sale.

I knew nothing about human trafficking in the US until my husband and I stumbled on their store in Half Moon Bay, CA while on an anniversary trip. A store front boasting Not for Sale intrigued us. I read their book which shared horrendous stories of trafficked individuals four years before I wrote Dangerous Ground, but I believe it planted the seed.

Bridging Freedom locally (Sarasota, FL) offers a place of refuge for children trafficked to live while they heal and transition back into life. They opened their doors after a number of years and many prayers this past May.

Each group targets some different areas of trafficking. All of which are crucial.

Please join me in finding out more on Thursday’s interview and purchase Dangerous Ground to help fight this atrocity.

The Writing Journey


Me at my desk

It’s been nearly three years since the idea for my next book, Dangerous Ground, began rattling around in my head. Bits and pieces flew at me on the road, in my sleep, in the shower and, well, just about everywhere.

It’s quite a journey to write a book.

Surprisingly, the idea originated with a writer’s group prompt. A local organization held a contest for a few weeks during which time they posted a picture in the newspaper and asked for short stories based on the photo. (The original is posted below.)

I’m not good at short stories, but I forged ahead with the prompt for our next meeting. What happened next? The beginning of a story unfolded.

No short story, either.

The picture inspired a scene which connected to a book on human trafficking I’d read a few years previously and turned into an idea for a novel. Of course that was only the beginning.

Three years later, a book is born.

It’s like waiting for a baby. Only longer. And the labor, rather than being a few hours to a couple of days lasts much longer.

So here I am in the final stages of that labor. I’m polishing words, sentences and formatting while the cover is being designed.

One exciting aspect about Dangerous Ground is that I will be donating at least half the proceeds to three organizations that fight human trafficking and help those who have been rescued. One is international, one is national and one is located near my home in Florida. In my years of research, I found that each one of these organizations has the same heart motivation, but targets a distinct need.

If you’re interested in checking out the organizations click on the links below:

http://www.a21.org/content/who-we-are/gnihwo?permcode=gnihwo&site=true

https://www.notforsalecampaign.org/

https://www.bridgingfreedom.org/

So every person who buys the book will also be helping an important cause.

I love that.

Look for your chance to be a part of changing the world one book at a time beginning in August. Release date coming soon!

Here’s a teaser:

Sierra tried to pull her eyes open. Through blurring slits, she saw the black car with its door open. She didn’t want to go in the big car, but her legs wouldn’t work when she tried to kick them to say no. Then the seat belt buckle hit her face. A trickle of something wet rolled down her cheek. The last thing she remembered was her body pressing against the seat as the car sped off.

 

 
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