so many.

(this is quite a long one, buckle up)

It's funny to be passionate about something because the tendency to talk about it frequently without swallowing it whole is so easy to slip into. Christians know this well. We love Jesus, we have made Him the point with which our life revolves around and sometimes we can just talk, talk, talk about Him all day without being changed by Him - without being astounded by His love. A little bit we have to sort of live in this half reality or we'd probably just be on our knees in worship all day, sort of like in Heaven when we won't be able to be distracted by actual life.

Anyhow, I think things we're passionate about (in Christ or outside of Him) can get like this too. Something becomes our "thing" so much, that we lose sight of it - of why it's important. We lose the ability to let it stun us, knock us over with how much it means.

For a year and a half, we worked for a ministry that's sole point was providing a home so women had a place to receive support, rather than having abortions. I saw the beauty of girls making the hard decision to put someone else's needs above their own and I saw families welcome these babies with an unmeasurable love, not even slightly quantitatively different than their own biological children. Simply put, I could very easily consider being pro-life and pro-adoption "my thing".

First, I should make the distinction that I'm not talking in political terms - but biblical ones. I know that I know that I know that God cares for, loves, and values babies from the minute of conception. I also know deep in my core that James 1:27 is not messing around when it says that pure & undefiled religion is taking care of orphans and widows. Politics aside, the church is responsible for this. So - I'm passionate about these issues but I've let myself get distracted a bit, I've carried on and let the words abortion and orphan get much too neutral in my mouth and head.

So sometime last week, I was just hanging out with Nick and my heart was very literally prompted by the Holy Spirit to research. All of a sudden, I needed numbers. How many orphans? Where were they? In the US? What continents? How much did it cost? How long did it take? Nick and I have always known in the back of our heads and have always said very casually that eventually we would adopt one day. But this felt very different and I'll explain why. I thought about my three children - sleeping in their beds and imagined the way my heart would ache if I couldn't show them love for a whole day. What if they had to go to sleep without Nick or I kissing them or telling them we loved them or praying for their tender hearts? If they missed just that single activity, the Lord would sustain them and they'd go on to live another day but gosh... I'd feel bad. It would kind of wreck me to think about them falling asleep without feeling loved and protected, without them having God's word read to them, without some food in their bellies.

So there are three of them.
Three precious babies who are the biggest blessings ever.
Three hearts needing to hear.
And there are 44 million orphans worldwide.
Blessings, all of them.
Needing to hear.

So I think about holding my three babies, sometimes all at once like I do during Connolly cuddle sessions and squeezing them tight and trying to love them through my hands and praying for them as my arms surround them, my heart just breaking at how much I love them and how badly I want to show them how much Jesus loves them. And then I think about those 44 million. Who will hold them? Who is going to squeeze them and tell them about Jesus? Oh, He loves them so much! So much more than I do! And if He loves them so much more than the sparrows, will He not feed them? He will - but still, I have these two arms.

So - I sat on that for a few days. Then today, our courageous Pastor Mark spoke on Luke 1, where Mary visits Elizabeth while they are pregnant with James and John and used it as a great opportunity to address abortion. Through the entire sermon, I felt the Holy Spirit prodding me and telling me this too is an issue that I have let grow stagnant and neutral - knowing that I am against it, but not praying for those who potentially will or regretfully have, aborted their children. One in six women who abort their children claim to be evangelical Christians. The church is obviously not addressing this issue or offering the support to these women.

So I think about my kids.
My three kids.
All blessings.
And then I think about the potentially 250,000 babies that will be aborted by Christian women alone this year.

44 million orphans.
1.3 million aborted in the US alone, this year.
One body of Christ, what can we do?
One Connolly family, what can we do?

Here is where I'm starting.
Pastor Mark's sermon
New Beginnings
Leigh & Gray's adoption
All God's Children
A concise article on potentially abortive birth control

There are so many.
Where are you going to start?