the Valley of Slaughter

I was uncertain about posting something. Quite frankly, it scares me. Because it’s something dark… something I’ve kept hidden for so long. Not many people know. But this morning I felt moved. After praying, I typed up this blog, crying while fingers tapped the keyboard. Crying because of something I did. Crying because I have to share it. Crying because I wonder if I will ever be completely okay.

I typed up a draft, feeling certain I would post it the next day. But as the day progressed, doubt took hold. How could I be sure I was doing the right thing? What would people think after reading it? What will my family think, if they hear of it? Will people look at me differently? And so day turned to evening, and I became even more uncertain… that is, until I watched The Lorax. Yet another child’s movie, but so deep. As I watched it, my mind drifted back to the draft I had typed earlier in the day. “Are you sure, God?” A squeezing of my heart. “But I’m scared.” More squeezing. Yes… I am to share it.

I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with this well-loved Dr. Seuss tale, but if you’re not, it’s worth both reading and watching. Basically, a guy invented something called a Thneed. But, he needed the materials to make his Thneeds. So he traveled along till he came across this beaufiful forest full of Truffula trees. He wanted the Truffula tuft, so thinking nothing of it, he chopped down a tree. He snuffed out the life of that tree without a thought… not till the Lorax made his appearance. He said, “Mister! I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. “But the guy said he was doing no harm… he just chopped down one tree. But the Lorax knew. He said, “You are crazy with greed.” The Lorax repeated, “I speak for the trees!” But the guy was too busy, he had things to do. He shut out that voice, and set to making his own dream come true. Why, he was going to be rich. He started with one tree, but then used a device to chop down four trees at once. And so, the guy became rich. He continued to chop down trees, polluting the air… the Lorax would appear to make his plea for the trees, but the guy didn’t listen. Finally, he yelled at that Lorax, “Now listen here, Dad! All you do is yap-yap and say, ‘Bad! Bad! Bad! Bad!’ Well, I have my rights, sir, and I’m telling you I intend to go on doing just what I do!” Finally, the last tree fell. Well, there was nothing left to say, so the Lorax picked himself up and left. There were no more trees to speak for. But, he did leave a pile of rocks with one word – UNLESS.

The guy who destroyed the trees pondered that phrase for years (he’s called the Once-ler, by the way), and when he finally had a visitor he figured out what it meant. “UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” And so, the Once-ler let a Truffula Seed fall into the hands of his visitor. He said it was the last one, and exhorted the visitor to, “Treat it with care. Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air. Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack. Then the Lorax… may come back.”

Sound like a lot of rambling here? Read the above again, but picture unborn babies instead of trees. And me? UNLESS someone cares a whole awful lot, nothing will change. I’m that someone and I have a seed… See, I have first-hand knowledge… I know all about snuffing out the life of an unborn baby. And so I need to plant this seed, of what I know, among those who will listen. Because we don’t have a Lorax, who speaks for the trees. We have a God, the God, and He speaks for the babies. He spoke for them through His prophet, Jeremiah:

“And they have built up the high places of Tophet, which is the valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into My heart. Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “when it will no more be called Tophet, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; for they will bury in Tophet until there is no more room.” Jeremiah 7:31,32

My mother-in-law educated me this morning about King Manasseh, who was evil. He “made his son pass through the fire.” That means he instated the practice of killing the firstborn children, sacrificing them to the god of Molech. Manasseh was the king… so the nation followed his lead. God’s people killed their firstborn babies. It was culturally accepted. Pretty much like today. And like then… we will bury until there is no more room. When I heard the term, the Valley of Slaughter, it struck a chord with me. I actually thought, “Hmmm… would make a good name for a book concerning abortion and our nation (if there’s not already one out there).” But no… now I see it is to be the title of one of my blogs. A fitting title for a blog about abortion.

Abortion is part of my past… it’s part of who I am today. I have certainly walked through the Valley of Slaughter by way of my selfish and greedy actions. And I just have to wonder if that’s the reason darkness enshrouds me today. See, I’ve been striving. I’ve been seeking God with my whole heart. I want to do what He wants me to do. I want to be pleasing to Him. And yet, I just feel so bad so much of the time. I can’t understand it. I thought I dealt with the abortions this past September. I thought I was done with that. So why do I still struggle? Why then, after talking with my mother-in-law about abortion, was I in tears as I prayed. Why did I have nothing but cries to offer up to God?

When I wrote a draft this morning, I wasn’t sure what the point of it was. Because I’m not sure that I have an answer or the encouragement that someone needs to hear. I thought that perhaps it’s simply something God wants me to be honest about. Because it’s been hidden for so long. See, abortion is not something we all want to talk about… especially when it’s part of our pasts. But God’s word assures me that whatever’s been said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what I’ve whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear! (Luke 12:3). So I thought that maybe this was my rooftop moment. A time to come out of the closet, if you will. Finally, the moment had come to bring to light what was done behind closed doors. I thought perhaps that was the point of today’s blog.

But now I see. God spoke to me through The Lorax, of all things. UNLESS someone cares to speak up for those unborn babies, nothing will change. He’s already spoken, and He’s waiting for us to do the same. And I can speak from firsthand knowledge… because I know that when you do such a thing, you don’t just kill a baby. You also kill part of yourself. Oh, you can hide it away and pretend it never happened. But it colors your whole life. Jeremiah 7:34 says it all, “Then I will cause to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride. For the land shall be desolate.” And this is just how I feel sometimes.

I have my good days. I have whole seasons of joyfulness and mountaintop experiences with God… But then I seem to slip up. I always seem to fall back down that mountain into the valley… that Valley of Slaughter. But for those days when I fall, I’ll cling to His promises…

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:1-4

When the darkness comes, I’ll cling to God’s promises. His word assures me that He is with me. He is in my midst. He is my shepherd, and He will comfort me. Perhaps someone else needs to know His promises today.

If you know someone who needs to hear this message, be that someone who cares an awful lot – and pass it on. UNLESS you do, they may never know.

10 thoughts on “the Valley of Slaughter

  1. Freedom – we have freedom of our past through Jesus Christ. This scripture helps me TONS: “And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you, He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8.

  2. Wow, this was moving. I really don’t know what else to say. Thank you for your courage and willingness to speak up. Thank you for letting your scars become your testimony. I pray that many will be blessed as they hear, that mothers with regret will know forgiveness and that mothers making choices will make the right one.

    I would love your feedback on what I have written on this issue in the recent (and distant) past.

    1. BJ… thanks. Today’s blog was a little unexpected. I will gladly read what you have written about abortion when I can give it my full attention (my little one is due in from the bus soon). I appreciate your comment greatly, and I echo your prayers. Thank you so much for commenting.

  3. Pam, What a brave thing to do to share a personal piece of your heart and soul. Seems like the scripture says “the truth will set you free”. I hope that by sharing this truth, that process will set you free from some of the baggage that Satan wants to burden you down with. Blessings on you!

    1. Hey David… I’m really excited about this. It was this past fall that I wondered if this will be my year of Jubilee, and I think I’m on my way… freedom! Love and blessings to you and Debbie.

  4. Tears streaming, sending you hugs. I know God will keep you close and in His care and you are always in my prayers. You are changing lives through the Word of God…I am so proud of you.

  5. Pam. Thank you. I sometimes feel that you are writing straight from my own mind and heart as I read your blog I too am working through some things that have surfaced after truly thinking that I had worked through all this a few years ago. May God richly bless you for sharing your past and sharing your heart.

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