Wednesday, December 10, 2014

"The Atonement Child" by Francine Rivers [Quotable Quotes]

In addition to book reviews, I decided that if a book contains one or more amazing quotes, I want to spend time talking about them. The Atonement Child by Francine Rivers had so many that I couldn't pass them up. It was this book that encouraged me to add the quotes gadget to my blog layout (you'll see it on your left). There were 11 quotes from this book alone that I thought were beautiful enough to share. Francine Rivers gives insight into the heartache of women who have chosen abortion or feel they have no other choice and the healing that comes with it. I trust her knowledge. The entire reason she wrote the book was to shed light on her own testimony and the heartache of her own decision to abort. What an incredible way to share life's most taxing trials and the gift of forgiveness through Jesus Christ! I encourage you to read the book and my review on it. You will not walk away unscathed.

Quote #1: “How many others suffered in silence, too ashamed and too afraid to speak about their pain? The world wouldn't let them grieve for children they had aborted. How could they when the rhetoric said there was no child? How does one grieve what doesn't exist? No one wanted to admit the truth.” (p.248)

This quote reminded me of an incredibly difficult blog post written by a mother who lost her child due to a miscarriage. She titled it, How Abortion Has Changed the Discussion of Miscarriage and I'll let her post speak for itself. She hit the nail on the head:
"I was sent home to continue to live like my baby had never died – like there never was a baby. But recently, I have realized that this response is an indicator of the state of our society. After all, it is hard for a society to mourn the loss of WANTED unborn life when it is busy calling it “tissue” and discrediting its personhood. It is hard for a society to embrace a mourning mother for her loss of tissue when it is busy defending another mother’s right to dispose of it. But for a woman who prays ceaselessly for life to fill her womb, For a woman who has tried for years to finally have children of her own. For an expectant mother who suddenly finds herself frantically calling her OB after finding bright red blood... The “material” in her tummy is anything but tissue. It is life. It is hopes and dreams and answered prayers. It is destiny and a future and a promise of another generation. It is bike riding and little league and ballet lessons and college and grandkids… It is a baby. But it can never be both. Society can never acknowledge that we lost a baby and with the same breath declare the rest to be tissue. That is how abortion has changed the discussion of miscarriage – it has silenced it. Even though miscarriage affects millions of men and women each year, it won’t be featured on the news. There will be no memorials for all of the WANTED unborn babies. There will be no moments of silence or Today Show features for women who are organizing support groups. Despite the huge number of families miscarriage impacts each year – it will not be discussed widely. Because if they call ours babies… Then all of the aborted ones… were babies too…" (source, bold mine)

Quote #2: “I have to be separate in my way of thinking and not let my emotions rule. Oh, and they have ruled, Joe. They've ruled for months. I've let myself be kept in turmoil, stumbling every which way I turn."
"And no wonder."
"Don't make excuses for me. The world's too good at that.” (p. 250)
"We're Christians. We have to care what people think. The appearance of wrongdoing, remember? I'm not going to move in with you had have people think we're living in sin. What sort of witness would that be?” (p. 257)

There's two incredible pieces of this quote I want to talk about: 1. emotions. Rivers is dead on in this conversation between the main character and Joe in regards to them. They are unreliable. We spend too much time trying to reign in our emotions when we should instead focus our minds on Scripture. Once we focus on mind on Scripture, our mind automatically gravitates to the things of GOD. That is exactly what the Bible teaches us to do (see Romans 12:1-2 as one example). Gain wisdom through Scripture. Renew your mind according to Scripture. Do not be conformed to this world, but transform your mind. That is the entire reason why I created the 40 Day Challenge, to renew my mind according to Scripture. I am so glad I did (now it's about time to do it again). 

Secondly, as Christians we should care what people think. The more time we learn and grown in Him the more He sets us apart. Our lives should be different because the One who lives within us is different. The Holy Spirit will constantly teach and admonish according to Scripture so that we become more like Him, which is our ultimate goal. The more we grow and learn in Him the bigger witness we become and He will use us for His glory. What good are we to Him if we continue to live in sin? We are not using our lives for His glory!

Quote #3: “How could a woman who had an abortion not feel guilt or some sense of remorse? How could she justify what she'd done? Whom else could she blame when everyone was telling her it's her choice? Without facing the truth and confessing it, how could she be forgiven how could she be restored? How could she be free?" (p. 282)

Especially since the world refuses to recognize their pain and loss...

Quote: #4: “He had the tool to break down the walls that imprisoned his people. He had the tool to rip away the veil to the Holy of Holy's so that his flock could come before the Lord and be cleansed, made whole, transformed, and have a personal, loving relationship with their creator. That very tool sat on Hannah's bookshelf right now, gathering dust until Sunday morning. Her Savior was there, waiting to speak to her and show her the way home again, the way back to love. YOUR WORD IS LIFE! Why didn't more people understand that?” (p. 283)

I love this portion of the book where a pastor realized the most helpful tool on the face of the planet - God's Word. The sad part is that in broken homes the Bible sits on a shelf gathering dust.

Quote #5: “Lord, you are God! You made us. Who better to know how to fix us when we've gone wrong? who better to set us to rights again? Who better to love us through the fire and refine us into something beautiful and useful despite our wrongs?” (p. 283)


Quote #6: “A woman could be the wind beneath a man's sails or a gale to send him into uncharted waters. She could be an anchor in stormy seas, or she could let him drift into the rocks.” (p. 296)

I read this to my husband and his only response was, "Yup."
Quote #7: "Hormonal changes permanently alter the breast structure. And when a pregnancy is terminated through abortion, the process is interrupted, which leaves cells in a sate of transition. And they say cells in this state have a very high risk of becoming cancerous. So the woman's chances of developing breast cancer later in life may be greatly increased.” (p. 310)

I decided to do a bit of research to determine the truth behind this statement. You'll be floored with what I found:

Quote #8: “... those selling abortion don't want them to have [the facts]," Virginia said heatedly. "Besides the Supreme Court doesn't agree with you. They judges seem to think we poor women would fall apart if we knew the facts, so they decided women don't have the right to know the full truth." She shook her head. "They've made it legal to withhold vital information, even when a woman requests it, for heaven's sake!” (p. 310-311)

You can read all about the history of court rulings in regards to this statement here. 

Quote #9: “It doesn't take two minutes on an examining table for a girl to know that abortion is painful and destructive and it'll have far-reaching effects on her life. Besides the emotional trauma of going through something so violent, there are the physical aspects, the aftereffects. Unfortunately, by the time she's gone that far, it's too late to change her mind.” (p. 311)

Francine River's testimony of her own abortion can validate the truth behind this statement.

Quote #10: “This generation seems to see children as a financial burden and responsibility to be avoided.” (p. 313)

I wish this wasn't true, and I'm going to steal a quote from a book that I think sums this sad truth up pretty well,
"Years ago, before this generation of mothers was even born, our society decided where children rank in the list of important things. When abortion was legalized, we wrote it into law.  
Children rank way below college. Below world travel. Below nightlife. Below physical fitness. Below a career. In fact, children rate below your desire to sit around and pick your toes, if that is what you want to do. Below everything. Children are the last thing you should ever spend your time doing." (R. Jankovik, Mom Enough, p.14-15, it also appears on the blog Desiring God titled, Motherhood Is a Calling (And Where Your Children Rank))
Isn't that true of our mentality these days? It's convicting! After reading that I had to sit down, determine where my children rank, and make some changes...

Quote #11: “Emotions are powerful, but they also change as quick as the wind. That's why the Lord says to renew your mind. Don't base decisions on what you feel.” (p. 335)

This one relates so much to Quote #2 that I don't want to expound on it. See Quote #2


I want to end with sharing a bit of my testimony. During my freshman year of college I was promiscuous. Had I become pregnant I have no doubt in my mind that I would've chosen an abortion. There's many reasons why I believe this about myself then: 1. I was selfish. 2. I would've been scared to tell my family. 3. I would not have known the father. 4. I did not want to quit school to support a child or deal with whatever lay ahead had I chosen a full-term pregnancy and adoption (selfish). Thankfully, God spared me from many consequences of my lifestyle as an 18 year old. My goal in sharing these quotes and spending so much time talking about them is not to cast judgement, but to offer encouragement. Even if you did make the decision to abort your baby there is forgiveness through the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. If He can forgive you for sins past, present and future, who are you to remember them and who am I to hold it against you? Give them to Jesus, find someone who will encourage you according to Scripture daily, and let the healing begin. Any healing process is laborious but with Jesus anything is possible!

What I believe about life:
 I believe that God creates life from conception. Period. 
I believe God knows each individual before conception.
I believe God's sovereignty stretches to all aspects of human life, including, but not limited to pregnancy.

David wrote about that truth in a beautiful Psalm...
"For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
 I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; 
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you, 
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; 
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
Psalm 139:13-16

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