At my church’s annual summer family Bible conference the other week, Jordan gave a very enlightening series of afternoon seminars on Winter, the current season our country is in and will remain in for the next decade.
He passed out information he obtained from secular books on the subject and showed how a person’s lifetime also can resemble the four seasons.
In addressing the age group 21-41, he casually threw out, “And hopefully you’ll find a mate during this time.”
My ears really perked up at this seemingly off-the cuff statement since, for as long as I can remember—and I’ve been attending Jordan’s church on-and-off since late-1991—he has ALWAYS, when giving sermons on marriage, thrown out the standard one-liner caveat, “Now, if you’re single listening to this, be assured you can have just as a fulfilling and complete life without a mate . . .”
What most everybody knows about me is I have never been married. I only had one true boyfriend and he was the first person I ever had a date with. I was a junior at Ohio State and we met working on the student newspaper as fellow editors. I dated him for about six months and we never even came close to having intercourse because I told him I didn’t believe in sex before marriage.
Of course, this is not to say I’m a virgin at my ripe age of 45. I was at the very ripe age of 26 before I first found out what the whole “thing” was about and my “partner” was married.
What hardly nobody knows—including my mother—is I’ve had several short-lived sexual relationships, all with married men whom I’d fallen in love with.
The thing NOBODY-NOBODY-NOBODY (except maybe three people tops, and definitely not anyone in my family!) knows is—and I’ve been wanting to get this off my chest for a very long time because I want unsaved people to know I’m not trying to be a hypocrite when I write about being a faithful follower of the Bible—I had an abortion in January of 2001 (on my sister’s birthday, as it turned out).
It wasn’t a decision I gave myself any time to think about. Basically I had had a rare evening alone with a married man whom I was very much in love with at the time and we had unprotected sex.
When my monthly period didn’t arrive weeks later as scheduled, I panicked BIG TIME and right away purchased one of those pregnancy strip tests from a Walgreens. It came up negative (because I stupidly urinated on the wrong side, as I later figured out!) and I didn’t know I had any problem until, a couple of weeks later, I simultaneously developed a yeast infection and urinary tract infection and went to my HMO gynocologist in Manhattan in search of answers.
Unbeknowst to me at the time, this doctor (who I will always be grateful to for his genuine sensitivity and empathy in handling my case) gave frequent abortions, and when he asked me if there was any chance I could be pregnant, I told him there was. He gave me a blood test and I about fainted in the waiting room when the nurse came out and told me it came up “positive.”
The doctor immediately called me into his office and shut the door, asking me what I wanted to do. He said I was very fortunate in that it was “very early on” and that he could even do the abortion that same afternoon if I thought I could handle not being given any anesthesia.
I was in obvious shock and he must have realized I wasn’t prepared for such a quick procedure because he changed his mind and scheduled for me to come back the next morning.
It was about 3 p.m. when I left his Upper East Side office and I remember heading back to my job in the Village via the subway as if I was a walking zombie. I was in total, total shock and I had no one to consult with or provide comfort, etc., etc.
Like clockwork, I went to my 8 a.m. appointment the next morning and had the job done in traditional fashion. The whole thing was over in an hour and I called in sick from work and spent the rest of the day in my apartment crying on my bed in the dark, clutching my pillow and my “blankie” (an old blanket I’ve kept since childhood that was actually a wedding present to my parents).
I remember being filled with a mixture of guilt and gratitude that God had seen me through this awful, awful event. I endlessly repeated in my head like a mantra, “Thank you, God! Thank you, God! Thank you, God!” It was truly an unceasing prayer that day!
At the time (and this is another “great confession”) I was so biblically ignorant I did not begin to grasp the magnitude of what I had just done.
Needless to say, I immediately ended my “affair” with the married man, someone I still love and miss to this day. Thankfully, he was equally (or at least I like to believe so) heartbroken over the news.
All of this said, I was very intrigued to read the other week a front-page profile of Sonia Sotomayor in the New York Times, in which it was revealed that the 55-year-old Supreme Court nominee, despite her hugely successful career and lively social life in New York City, was lonely.
The passage read, “She makes a handsome salary, but this is a gilded city. As her tastes run toward redecorating and white Saabs, her savings — minus bills and credit-card debt — hover near zero. Now and again, friends persuade Judge Sotomayor, 55, whose workweeks stretch seven days, to try a blind date. But she acknowledges loneliness as a frequent companion.
“ ‘There are many friends who have known me for most of my adult life; what they know is that the professional success I had achieved before Peter did nothing to bring me genuine happiness,’ she said of her fiancé, Peter White, at her 1998 induction to the United States Court of Appeals. Ms. Sotomayor and Mr. White split two years later.”
The long article later went on to report, “She had achieved stunning professional success at a young age. She had bought an apartment on Bedford Street in what she affectionately called the ‘yuppie neighborhood’ of Greenwich Village (she sits on the condo board). And she had fallen in love with the dapper and gray-bearded Peter White.
“Theirs was an unexpected match, a federal judge in the arms of a building contractor who, like her, had grown up in the Bronx. Mr. White preferred lakes and woods to urban clangor.
“ ‘He was not Sonia’s intellectual equal, but he was smart and not overawed that she was a federal judge,’ Ms. Law said. ‘And he sure looked great in a tuxedo.’
“By 1998, they were engaged and living together, though they put off a wedding until after her Senate confirmation. Her induction speech turned unexpectedly moving when she spoke of him.
“ ‘Peter,’ she said, turning to her fiancé at the time, ‘you have made me a whole person, filling not just the voids of emptiness that existed before you, but making me a better, a more loving and a more generous person.’
“ ‘Many of my closest friends,’ she added, ‘forget just how emotionally withdrawn I was before I met you.’ ”
(Editor’s note: This is just the beginning of me finally getting on with the end of writing this “book” of mine. I must say it feels good to finally get at who I really am in relationship to my writings about the Bible. Of course, stay tuned for more “shocking details.”)