Abortion Survivor: Let’s Celebrate Pro-Life Victories in 2013, But Did We Learn to Love?

National   |   Melissa Ohden   |   Dec 18, 2013   |   11:59AM   |   Washington, DC

“With only a few weeks to go before the turning of the clock to a new calendar year arrives, perhaps instead of looking back at how much of our own “to do” list we accomplished…we measure our success with this one simple question:

Did we learn to love?”

My friend, Melody Olson, whose personal testimony can be found on The Abortion Survivors Network website, www.theabortionsurvivors.com, posted this statement recently and it really hit home to me, and I hope that it strikes a chord with you, too.

As we look back on 2013, and all of the “important” moments in the pro-life movement, all of the noteworthy accomplishments, what I hope that all of us recognize, is that without love, all of it is meaningless.  Every accomplishment, every newsworthy moment, is not as important as the simple act of love and achieving every accomplishment must be done with love in order for it to be a success.

It’s tradition, of course, to use these last couple of weeks of the year to reflect upon the highs and lows, the accomplishments and struggles of the year.  Like you, I spend a lot of time self-reflecting during this time, and I enjoy reading the recap of the year’s accomplishments in the pro-life movement as reported by various organizations.

In fact, in years past, I had made it a tradition, myself, to write a blog post about my past year’s accomplishments in ministry, like the number of speaking events that I completed, the number of survivors that I had worked with, and the like.  What I’ve discovered this past year in particular, however, is that there is one distinct success that I can’t measure through numbers.  There’s something else that means way more to me than any quantitative data.  It’s the qualitative results, how much I loved, how I completed each task over the past year with love, which means the most to me.

Yes, I have been blessed to accomplish many important tasks in the fight for life this past year; I have worked with many outstanding organizations and individuals, but the most important thing that I did this year was something that I had been preparing my whole life for, but had no idea was coming, something that most people didn’t even see or know was occurring at the time:  I had further contact with my birthmother’s family, and in so doing, was able to share of my love for all of them, despite all of the circumstances that surrounded the abortion and my survival.

Nothing, truly nothing, will ever be as important of a task in my pro-life ministry as this simple act, and I know that it has had a significant impact on my biological family, and it has likewise impacted me.  Knowing more terrible truths about my survival has been incredibly difficult to deal with this past year, but the love that was extended to them and that was reflected back to me has enabled me to accept the painful reality of my survival.

As I look back on 2013 for years to come, I will always remember it fondly as the year of love.  My adoptive family has made every year of my life a year of love, but this year, I was able to give something in return to others, just as it has been given to me—unconditional love.  And although everything I do in life, I try to do with love, I’ll be honest—I can do a better job of reflecting that it (loving) is my number one priority and my hopefully, my greatest success.

I am committed to making 2014 and every year ahead a year of love, and I hope that if you haven’t yet considered this for yourself or your organization, I hope that you will join me in doing so, too.