Recently a friend gave me a spiritual nudge by reminding me that everyone is made in the Image of God…everyone carries His greatness.
That sat heavy in my gut.
Everyone carries His greatness….we reflect Holy.
It’s interesting how a nudge like that, when taken to heart, gives one a clear lens to peer through…not just for the situation at hand, but for all encounters.
It’s with that lens that I have chosen to look at Carlisle, OH teen Brooke Skyler Richardson. Richardson is accused of killing her newborn baby, burning it, and burying in her backyard just days after she birthed it.
The social media conversation surrounding this case is ugly…the blame game, the name calling, the suggested punishment. There is no doubt this criminal act is horrifying, sickening, tragic…etc.
Consequences will follow all of her days.
But aren’t we all asking, “why” and wondering, “what if?”
County Prosecutor David Forshell has declined to speculate on motive but said, “it was a perception issue and the teen’s mother was concerned about appearances.”
Shame is an enemy of the soul. It carries nothing Holy and only reflects the depths of hell.
I’m not interested in placing blame on Richardson’s parents. What needs to be recognized here is that we have a culture that is still not recognizing that every child, regardless of the situation surrounding them, should be and deserves their arrival to be anticipated with joy and excitement.
Somewhere Richardson became victim to the lie that this child wasn’t a blessing. And the consequences of the decisions she made because she believed that lie are dire. Her life, and her parent’s lives, are forever changed.
And a child is gone.
Paul says in Ephesians that “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
A spiritual battle where darkness prevailed.
Shame and Secrecy cannot continue to be part of the equation when we are dealing with an untimely pregnancy.
Where there is LIFE, there is God. There is purpose. There is destiny.
I wonder what Richardson’s days and weeks were like leading up to her giving birth. It sounds like people knew she was expecting, and she was seeing a doctor.
But…was there a baby shower? Had she decorated a nursery? Had she chosen a name? Did she openly celebrate feeling her baby move in her womb? Did she hear the sounds of her baby’s heart on a doppler? Did she carry around ultrasound pictures sharing them with friends and family? Did she read up on epidurals, natural delivery, breastfeeding? Who reached out to her? Doctors? School counselors? Coaches? Teachers? Friends?
Was anyone anticipating this baby with joy?
Had anyone reminded Richardson that this child was created in the image of God?
But somewhere, shame won. And secrecy invaded. Shame and secrecy are dancing buddies. They Tango in the dark.
That’s where we are left. What if?
What if TRUTH had had a chance to permeate her heart and renew her mind. Maybe she would have parented. Maybe she would have made an adoption plan.
I wish I had had the opportunity to sit with her over a cup of coffee. To dream with her, to laugh and cry with her. To sit and listen.
If you are experiencing an untimely pregnancy or in a crisis parenting situation please text or call us anytime at 937-471- 2954.
We will listen.