My heart has cried out time and time again to write this blog, but in my hesitancy to discuss controversial topics on social media, I’ve kept my thoughts to myself. Since the final presidential debate last weekend, though, there’s one issue I simply can’t stay silent on any longer.
Almost everyone who knows me personally or follows me on social media is aware that I battle Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic terminal illness that primarily destroys the lungs and digestive system over time. It was discovered when I was 3 months old, but it had stamped a life expectancy of grade school on me before I was even born. My parents were told I would live a life plagued with suffering as I struggled to breathe, and that it would be nearly impossible for me to stay healthy as my malnourished body failed to thrive. They were told I would never reach the caliber of life that I deserved, and to enjoy every moment with me because I would be fortunate to live to the age of 8.
Living with CF for over three decades has certainly not been easy. Every day brings a new set of challenges, whether it be the acute awareness of every breath, incessant stomach pain, coughing up blood, migraines borne of oxygen depravation, premature arthritis, medication side effects that are at times more miserable than CF itself, or opening my phone almost daily to learn of another friend lost to this disease.
Living with CF for over three decades has also built a faith in me that is validated every time my God uses even my worst days for the greater good of myself and others. It has instilled a strength in me that can decimate any obstacle placed in my path. It has developed a compassion and a wisdom in me far beyond my years that I hope welcomes those around me to seek my help during their own trials. It has added a depth to my character that has made me generally intolerant of all things BS. It has sparked a tenacity in me to turn as many of my “I want to”s into “I did”s as possible. It introduced me to my husband, my Superman, my heartbeat, and my soul’s other half. It has brought me more deep, fulfilling friendships that span the country and the world than I could have ever imagined growing up in small town East Texas. But most of all, it has given me a story, a testimony, for others to witness and be encouraged by.
Do I say all of that to complain, or to brag?
Not at all. Stay with me.
One of the most prominent arguments I’ve heard from those who lean toward pro-choice is the premise of the “mercy abortion” – When they’re suggested because of unforseen circumstances that arise during pregnancy and deem them justifiable and ethically palatable because they’re in the “best interest” of the baby.
So let me ask you this…
Should I have been aborted?
Because I, Farrel, friend to some of you and the living, breathing human being writing this blog to the rest, strongly met the criteria for someone who should have been, had they known beforehand that I had Cystic Fibrosis.
Should I have been stripped of the opportunity to defy the odds? Should it have been left up to you, instead of me, to determine what I would achieve in life? Would it have been in my “best interest” to terminate me before I endured the struggles that have shaped me into the woman that I am? No. Because the simple truth is this: If you are called by God to live, no amount of disease can kill you and if you are called by God to die, no amount of medicine can save you. You have no idea what even a child facing extraordinary obstacles may grow up to accomplish, or what astounding proof of the existence of miracles their survival may attest to.
My intention is not to inflict insensitivity or pain. I can’t even fathom the fear and anguish that must envelop a new mother when she realizes abortion may be a potential reality for her and her baby. Nor do I expect everyone to agree with me. But my intention is to make you think on a more personal level. In a world of social media and keyboard warriors, it’s become far too easy for us to throw our opinions around when their outcome won’t affect the comfortable life we know.
So I implore you… Next time you leap to defend abortion because you believe that it’s up to us to decide who is worth life and death… Think of me. Think of the girl sipping coffee behind her computer screen twenty-five years after her parents were told she would die. The girl who has done everything her physicians claimed she never would, and more. The girl who is madly in love with her husband, and has fought with everything she has to create a beautiful life that is uniquely her own. The girl whose life has been called an inspiration and a blessing by so many.
Think of me. Take a risk. Choose Pro-Miracle.
Because if it’s possible for me, it’s possible for anyone.