Tuesday, November 06, 2012

A Good Day for Courage

Katherine Center
For years I've pondered, pined, and prayed about having a family of my own. I vehemently defended those who chose not to marry or have children and quietly wondered if I had made the right choice. I knew I didn’t want to get married just so I could have a child. But what was the alternative? My culture made it clear to me: marriage or no family.

Meanwhile I worked and worked and worked among Baptist women near and far, tolerated and loved. All the while believing that together we could make a difference, we could increase healthcare, education, and economic development among women globally. I still believe we can, but I also believe the job is bigger than just Baptist women. If we are to affect change at the level needed, we must work with women of all denominations and religions. The task is too great and too important for anything short of everyone.
More than a year ago I began asking friends what they thought about the possibility of me having a baby through a sperm donor. If this became a reality for me, would I ever work in Baptist life again? I didn’t know any unmarried, pregnant Baptist women ministers. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, but I’ve never met one. Friends were intrigued by my questions. Some were more enthusiastic than others in their responses. Dissecting culture from call is an arduous task. Thankfully, the Spirit began to lead and it was clear I had my answer.
Today I am seven months pregnant and as my waistline grows, so does my desire to combine this new normal with a consistent call to minister near and far. Now more than ever increasing maternal health is in my thoughts. At the moment, I’m trying to quiet the hypothetical voices of those who may learn of my news and never speak to me again or even worse, tell me exactly what they think. If you had asked me 20 years ago if I would be pregnant as an unmarried 38 year old I would have laughed. But Sarah laughed too when she heard that she would have a baby. That puts me in pretty good company. Mostly these days my laughter accompanies excitement for the future. It is a good day for courage, and so I share my story.

***For this post, I’m turning off comments. I welcome your words of encouragement or kind questions. I have much to share. You can email me at suzanahraffield@yahoo.com or message me on facebook or twitter.

***Thank you Katherine Center.