Please take a minute to read these two blogs regarding the subject of abortion. They are well worth your time.
Barbara's Story @ Prodigal Daughter
Getting Up In God's Face @ Today at the Mission
Now for my story...
I have never had an abortion or ever considered getting one, but for some reason I have always been touched by the subject of abortion. I suppose injustice of any kind just pulls my chain and always has. More than 20 years ago I became involved in the Pro-Life movement. My initial reason was simply that I believed abortion to be wrong and that I felt I should "do something" about it. I was turned off by the radicals in the pro-life movement and didn't want to be involved with them so it took a while to find a place where I felt comfortable.
After moving to Alabama I again took up my search for a place where I could be involved on a more low-key basis. Eventually I found myself volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center and after moving to Ohio I continued to volunteer at a center here in Cincy.
I learned a lot by working at the center, perhaps one of the most important things I learned for myself personally was that it is just not possible to judge our sucess or failure by the results we see. If I looked at things that way, I would be a huge failure. I can honestly say that even though I volunteered there each week for over 10 years, I never had a single case where I saved a life. Apparnetly I'm not so good at the art of persuasion.
I do however, have a lot of stories. Like the year our church had a tattooed, Mary with rotting teeth and her newborn baby girl was the baby Jesus in our Christmas play. She had been a client of mine at the center who had also become a friend and I thought she was perfect for the part. I still do.
But then there is this story of Linda (not her real name). Let me say that I am in no way going to attempt to explain this story or how God worked. I have long since given up on trying to explain God because frankly, most of the time I don't "get Him" myself.
It was working my usual shift at the Crisis Pregnancy Center when a very pretty, very timid young girl walked in and shyly asked if she could have a pregnancy test. I said I thougt we might be able to work that out and led her into a room to get the initial client information form filled out.
To make a long story shorter (I just can't do short), she was indeed pregnant with her second baby at the young age of 17. Her first child was only 1 year old at the time and her boyfriend had walked out on her. Her mother was supportive the first time but Linda just didn't see how her mother could possibly be supportive of her getting pregnant again so soon and still not married. I knew that if Linda chose an abortion it would leave an ugly emotional scar that may never heal. She was so sweet and so soft-hearted that I just couldn't bear to imgaine the emotional pain she would endure if she went through with her decision to abort. And yet, in the end, that was her choice.
A week later I was again working my shift and was due to be off and go to dinner with Brian when I looked up and saw Linda was back, this time with a friend. Her friend wanted a pregnancy test too. We did one. It was negative. She was fine. But Linda was obviously upset. Before they left I asked if she needed to talk. She folded into my arms as bitter tears streamed down her face. Stepping into a side room I held her and listened as she told me that her decision was final. In fact, as soon as she left our office she was headed to a bus station to catch a bus to Atlanta where she already had an appointment at an abortion clinic there. Why Atlanta? She had a friend there who she told her mother she was going to visit.
Before she left I prayed with her and then watched her walk out the door knowing that she was making a horrible mistake. Brian and I went on to dinner but I couldn't shake the feeling of unsettledness that evening. Later that night I prayed .... hard, for Linda. In my desperation I remember praying for God to intervene by praying, "God just take her money away from her", knowing that if she did not have money, she would not be given services at the clinic.
Then it occured to me what a stupid prayer that was... I couldn't ask God to steal her money... that just wasn't ... well ... Christian. OK, scratch that God.
A week later I called to check on Linda and see how she was doing ... if she needed anything.
I was stunned when I heard her say, "You're not going to believe this. I'm still pregnant. I didn't get the abortion. As I was getting off the bus in Atlanta, some guy stole my purse and took all my money". She was right, I couldn't believe it. (She had no idea of how I had prayed.)
Linda decided to keep her baby. We walked through a very trying pregnancy together. Once she even showed up at my church looking for me because she was having a difficult time. Through this time she prayed with me to receive Jesus as her Saviour. Months later the most beautiful baby girl was born. I had SO wanted to be there in the delivery room with her but instead I was on the West Coast when Tammy was born.
Linda brought her new baby to church the following Sunday and placed her in my arms. It was the first time I'd seen her and I think I might know a little bit about how daddy's feel when they see their newborns the first time. I was THRILLED. I really felt like she was part mine. I even interupted the morning worship service to introduce the baby and gushed on and on as if she were the most wonderful baby that had ever been born.
Linda, her son, Tammy, and I stayed in touch for a long time afterward. I was blessed to see Tammy grow to be one of the cutest grade schoolers you can imagine. Somehow over the years we lost touch but as I type this a picture of Tammy sits on my desk as a rminded to the wonder of God's ways and the miracle of life.