Revised edition copyright © 2012 by Joy DeKok.
Published by Infusion Publishing
Send questions and comments to the author at:
Pine Island, MN 55963
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, audio recording, or any other form whatsoever—except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
Cover graphic purchased at fotolia.com
Praise for Rain Dance
Joy puts into words the deep emotions that post-abortive women often cannot articulate ourselves. She not only writes the details with accuracy but her heart shows though with the same caring and compassion that she uses to minister to each woman God brings to her. Whether you are post-abortive, struggle with infertility or not, you will receive an amazing glimpse into the lives of two women and their unlikely friendship that teaches us all to accept others like Christ does.”
—Julie Bashore, Post-Abortion Counselor and Educator, Healing Hearts Ministries
“Joy DeKok has written a moving story about two women with two different goals. One is desperate to give life, the other is desperate to terminate it. Any middle ground between seems murky at best, but DeKok’s timely and masterfully-woven tale illustrates how God’s love can heal hearts and bridge all gaps.”
—Andrea Boeshaar, author of
Love Finds You in Romeo, Colorado
“Thousands of women in our nation and the world daily face both issues. These subjects are not often covered in Christian fiction and really should be. DeKok tackles the subject of infertility and abortion respectfully, with deep feelings and great understanding. . . .
by Joy DeKok is a journey into real life in the form of fiction. DeKok fully explores the terrain of infertility and abortion. DeKok’s characters are full, rich and real. No matter your feelings about the subject matter,
will touch your heart.”
—Andrea Sisco, Armchair Reviews,
is a beautiful story that stays with you long after you turn the last page. Like ripples on pond, the messages of forgiveness and grace linger in your heart.”
—Vicki Tiede, author/speaker for Grace Lessons
is the catalyst that opened my heart and allowed me to finally grieve for my baby . . . and to feel not only forgiven, but also healed.”
—S.M. (post-abortive reader)
takes two heartbreaking issues in women’s lives and binds them together with unending and powerful love. The story has a few surprising nuggets of gold as God’s love is revealed.”
I dedicate this book to my Redeemer—He lives!
And to my husband Jon – the love of my life and my brother Jon who is the best friend a sister can have.
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
This book wasn’t my idea. I didn’t believe I could adequately put the right words on the page. I was right. If there is anything good or even excellent in this book, it is because of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The flaws are mine.
I am deeply grateful for my family and friends who have supported me through the normal ups and downs a writer faces, and a few that stunned us all.
Most of all I want to acknowledge the Jonicas and Stacies who, after reading the book, have written, emailed, called, and met me for coffee to tell me how the book has changed their lives. These beautiful women are the faces of the pro-life movement and they are serving on the frontlines. Every day, hearts are healed, and lives are saved because of their efforts. I am humbled by their bravery and dedication.
I want to acknowledge two friends I met after they read Rain Dance, and wrote to tell me how the book impacted them. Gina and Tasha – your encouragement means that more women will get to read this book.
Other books by Joy DeKok
It Is Good
Your Life, a Legacy
Poetry ~ Touch the World With Your Art & Soul
Winged & Wild
Your Life, a Legacy for Kids
Your Life, a Legacy for Teens
The Olivia Morgan Series
Life as I knew it ended.
In the waiting room I sat in the front row, hoping the chair next to me would remain empty. A year ago, when we first came to the clinic, hope ruled. The receptionists smiled and welcomed me with friendly small talk.
It didn’t bother me that the infertility department was in the same section of the clinic as OB/GYN. I loved watching new moms cradle their little ones wrapped in soft blankets, toddlers by their sides.
Once, while a woman nursed her fussy newborn daughter, I sat on the floor and played Hot Wheels with her three-year-old son. When the nurse called his mom, he grinned at me and said, “Tanks!” as we collected his cars from the floor and put them in his bag. He grabbed his mom’s outstretched hand, curling his fingers around two of hers. The reach pulled up his red Pooh T-shirt, and his little belly button peeked out. I yearned to feel my child’s hand hold fast to mine.
Painful tests, frequent invasive exams, nauseating drugs, terrible periods, and embarrassing questions became my reality.
The gals at the desk no longer chatted with me. Instead, they accepted my appointment card and directed me to sit down. The air filled with baby sounds and smells now made me sick. Bile burned my aching throat.
I clenched my jaws and begged the Almighty silently,
Please don’t let anyone ask,
“How far along are you?”
I’m tired of telling women with swollen stomachs that I’m here for infertility testing.
I buried my nose in a magazine that Ben, my husband, had received in the mail and wanted me to read. As I browsed the first few pages, my mind wandered.
I’d made this appointment to tell Dr. Steele we no longer wanted medical intervention to help us conceive. It cost too much in every way. Our health insurance didn’t cover any of the testing, and we’d paid more than ten thousand dollars with no end in sight. Putting a dollar amount on the changes inside our marriage proved impossible. Our intimate life revolved around my temperature and charts. Making a baby replaced making love.
Each month when my flow started, our failure to conceive was once more confirmed. Every cramp slammed the truth home.
No success again.
Will you always betray me
? I accused my body. I chastised myself:
You keep messing up
. I defended myself to my internal tormentor:
It isn’t my fault
Then the cycle started again with the silent hope . . .
maybe next month
. . . easing its way back into position.
I didn’t want to disappoint Dr. Steele. His raw passion for the work inspired respect and his stern demeanor intimidated me. I longed to be one of his success stories instead of admitting defeat. A high voltage man specializing in
fertilization, he focused his energy on finding an answer. He didn’t consider quitting an option.
I lifted a silent cry to God.
Infertility is harsh and relentless. Where are You in all of this?
I stiffened my spine and tried to swallow the lump in my throat. I ordered my tears to stay put. This wasn’t the time or the place.
I regretted not calling his assistant and leaving a message. Why did I have to see his furrowed brow and hear his certain criticism?
A still small voice said,
“Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you.”
I knew the Voice, but was in the mood to argue. I was so fragile and broken I was sure that nothing I said could possibly help anyone.
Pick someone else!
My heart screamed.
A couple of chairs down, two women talking interrupted my internal babbling. “This blotchy upholstery makes me dizzy. Of course, it could be the morning sickness.”
The other huffed as she pushed on her side. “This one won’t keep his foot out from under my ribs!”
When a nurse called the woman with the rib kicker, she stood up with a soft grunt and followed the nurse, one hand on her back, the other resting on the mound of unborn baby under her maternity top.
I had dressed in comfortable clothes for the appointment: jeans and my favorite soft pink sweatshirt. The loose fit sometimes hid my flat stomach. In this room I was an oddity—a true outsider.
In a flurry of color and energy, a woman stood in front of the chair next to me. Shiny, jaw-length, jet-black hair and jade green eyes sparkled in the clinic lights. Her flat stomach caught my attention and I wondered if she was like me.
“Hi! Is anyone sitting here?” she asked.
She sat down and crossed her jeans-clad legs. Her purple silk blouse and short, clear-lacquered nails glistened. The scent of jasmine swirled by, then seemed to waft back to her as if unable to bear the separation.
She pushed her hair behind her ears, and dangly silver earrings twinkled. “I’m Stacie.”
“My name’s Jonica.”
She pulled a book out of her bag and asked, “So, how far along are you?”
I gave my new answer, “I can’t have children.”
The statement sounded clipped and whiny, so I added, “We’ve been coming to the infertility clinic for months, but now I’m here to terminate medical intervention.” Instead of confident, the words sounded defensive.
“Can’t, but still want to, huh?”
“Yes. But not this way.”
She raised a sculpted eyebrow. “I’m here to terminate something too—a pregnancy.”
She rushed on. “I’m new in a local law practice. My goal is to be a partner one day, representing women and children damaged or wronged by men. A pregnancy right now could hold me back or even halt my advancement. I need to establish myself first. There’s time for a family later—much later. I’m glad we can choose if or when to complete a pregnancy.”
She took a deep breath and exhaled, then tightened her lips and turned to her book, flipping it open. The light danced off a silver-trimmed boot as her foot began to swing slightly.
Tingles of shock pricked my fingertips and toes. My lips went numb, and my throat constricted. I took a deep breath and looked down. Her comments made me want to defend life, but I didn’t have the strength. I needed to conserve my energy for my meeting with Dr. Steele.
I turned a page in my magazine and stopped. Every muscle in my already stressed body tensed. The photo in front of me showed the tiny hand of an unborn baby resting on a surgeon’s finger. The doctor had performed corrective surgery
when pre-natal tests confirmed spina bifida.
God, give me the courage to show this to Stacie.
The nurse stepped up to the microphone and called my name. I closed the magazine, offered it to Stacie and said, “I’m done with this. You might find it interesting.”
She looked up briefly, took the magazine, and tucked it into the outside pocket of her purse. “Thanks. Nice to meet you.”
I followed the nurse down the hall, watching her waist-length auburn braid swish against her straight back and thinking I’d just lied. It wasn’t nice to meet Stacie. I could have lived my whole life never having heard her pro-abortion dissertation.