I didn’t know you, you were just the name given to me at the Public Health Department. I didn’t know anything about what your “job” did way back in the mid 70’s, but I was told what you do in our community now was important.
I was hesitant to contact your office, Doc. I didn’t know what your office staff would think of me or even what YOU would think of me.
Yet, because I was scared, and desperate, and ashamed, I called.
In my teenaged mind, I showed up at that 6pm appointment because I just knew it would be the lesser of two evils. If my family ever found out I was pregnant, they would hurt me worse with the shameful silence, and disgust – verbally spitting out even more shame on me for getting myself in this predicament.
I arrived on time that night, with someone else to wait for me after my appointment was over. I did what I was told, and responsibly brought my only friend at that time.
She waited in the waiting room for close to 3 hours while the “job” got done that snowy and freezing cold night.
I didn’t know what to expect though. It all seemed so rushed given that the Health Clinic told me I only had 2 days to get the “problem” fixed.
To get the problem fixed.
Two LONG days of sheer agony knowing if I didn’t call, it would be to late and I would have to be the scorned, pregnant teenager for all to mock and point fingers at. All I knew was I didn’t know what was right, or wrong, and whether I could actually take care of what my friends said was “a problem child.”
I wanted to scream out to you, Doc.
I wanted to let you know that my baby wasn’t like that “problem child” I knew my friends all whispered about. The problem was, I WAS a young girl who was scared out of my mind. I found myself raped and pregnant by a close family member. There was no one to tell that would even remotely believe me, so I hid my pain. Deep . . . so no one know.
Until I had to do something or the “problem” would start showing.
Truth is, I didn’t feel good about seeing you.
I didn’t feel good about laying on that cold table.
I laid there thinking “what would happen to me if I died”, as I let you line up those shiny and scary instruments. You scared me. Not just with the unknown procedure you were doing, but the silence in that whole hour or two where I laid on that sterile table and you never once said a word. No nurse there to hold my hand when I was a teenager, so SOOO scared and freezing cold.
No one in that office but you, and me, and my unborn child being ripped from my broken heart that day.
But you know what, Doc?
My heart grieves for you because I know how you must feel inside if you could be the leading doctor to do all those specialized appointments like you did with me, and my baby. I feel sorry for you, but I know that God has more grace, and more forgiveness for you than I think you, or I even know.
I know that my pain that day, which was made even sadder because it was my own birthday, has lessened over the decades. I know God is right there holding my little girl
whom I named “Mandi.”
I know God has tenderly, and daily, held her when I can’t. I know that if she asks about her momma and the reason she can’t be down here with me, God will say that a Doctor made mistakes in his life, but he is able to be forgiven, too. So that brings me comfort, Doc, knowing your sin is the same as my sin, and we have the same healing even in different circumstances.
Today Doc, I still love my little girl!
Every time I get in front of a sewing machine and make pretty baby quilts in honor of Mandi, I know that my tears are left there on those scraps of fabric where other babies, or their mommies can feel God’s healing touch.
My prayer is if we ever meet up someday on the street, (and I know I would never forget your face), I would want to hand you a special healing quilt because your heart has to have many hurts inside – given the line of “special appointments” you have practiced.
So if you see me, Doc, a lady with continued healing in my heart and tears in her eyes, just know that I forgive you for the hurt and fear I felt on that sad day.
That sad day where I celebrated not a birth, but a death of someone who grew inside of my heart.
I really do forgive you, and pray your pain can be lessened as you someday see Jesus as Healer for your own painful choices in your medical practice that you have made all these years.
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