I found this story in my newsfeed and was intrigued by the implications: What if pregnancy is not insult added to injury in the case of rape, but a “gift” (to be kept or lovingly given to someone else). The Bible doesn’t label all things good–far from it–but it does say that God can “work all things together for good” (Romans 8:28), even in the midst of evil. Can of worms? Needed discussion? Or both? Your thoughts? This story is condensed. (To read the full version, click here).
“This Baby Is Gift from God” Declares a 14-year-old Girl Raped in Her Parents’ Basement
P.J grew up in a military family and with very protective parents who weren’t typically the kind to let their kids hang out with just anybody. However, on one occasion the teen’s friends invited P.J to hang out with a boy from the military who was home for Christmas leave and her parents were comfortable with that.
P.J.’s friends got together in her parents’ basement, and P.J. was then raped right in front of several over people who all remained silent about what actually happened.
The truth about what had happened in the family’s basement came out five months later after P.J. found out that she was pregnant. P.J.s parents were horrified and felt a sense of guilt and shame about the whole situation, and P.J.s mom, Angela, admittedly considered taking their daughter to get an abortion:
“I really thought I would take her to terminate the pregnancy,” Angela explains. “I was pro-life but with exceptions. I didn’t want to do that, but I was always told it was the thing to do in the case of forcible rape. My husband, however, said he couldn’t have anything to do with the death of a child. That it was still a human life. Everywhere we went, friends and religious people were very adamant that we should terminate.”
Angela struggled continuously with what happened and was completely and utterly at a loss of how to best care for her daughter. Many close friends and family members were encouraging her to help P.J. terminate the pregnancy, but her husband, Doug, was encouraging the opposite. Angela was reminded of her own experience with abortion.
“In college, I got pregnant and I went to a health clinic. I was 24 weeks, and I had an abortion. My mother forced me to because she didn’t want to be embarrassed by my poor choices. We never spoke about it again. I have never gotten over it.”
Not wanting to repeat past mistakes and [force] P.J. to suffer with [the] regret that she was forced to experience every day of her life, Angela came to the realization that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen. A friend called Angela and referred her to Trisha, who runs a Birthright [counseling center]. She begged her to take P.J. there before they made any decisions:
“Trisha was the first person to say it was going to be okay. She was the first person who actually encouraged us to keep [the baby]. As a woman, even if you’re pro-life, you’re told there’s nothing worse you can do to a rape victim [than tell her to keep her baby]. I’ve been told by everyone, especially the media, that abortion is what you do. Trish gave us Rebecca Kiessling’s pamphlet. We prayed about it and it was the best thing we had ever done. After we left Birthright, P.J. cried—not because she was upset—but she said she felt relieved and like we were in a safe place. She said she knew Miss Trisha had her best interest at heart. When we heard [the baby’s] heartbeat, it was over for me. This child will be a gift from God. P.J. spent a lot of quiet time reflecting. She had a wisdom I didn’t have. Her strength and wisdom is what got us through.”
It wasn’t P.J.’s choice to be attacked, but it was her choice to keep the baby. P.J.’s family decided to throw a baby shower and then she prepared for James to make his grand entrance into the world. While the circumstance was horrid, the life of this beautiful baby was well worth celebrating!
“The minute we laid eyes on this child, we didn’t once equate him to the rapist. He’s just as much a victim. He has healed our family in ways we can’t explain. He is the most amazing gift from God. I don’t even know how to put it in words.”