So there I was. The sun was peeking out between the occasional misty drizzle as I sat there, alone, on the sidewalk. I am 9 months pregnant with our first child, a little girl whom we adopted as an embryo at literally 6 days old. When we signed the paperwork that made her "ours" she was only a precious, tiny speck, complete with a unique--and never to be repeated--genetic code. The story of how and why she came into our lives is pretty amazing and fresh on my mind as I sat there, head bowed, on this chilly morning in Centralia.
About an hour previously, my little sister Caroline sent me a message letting me know that the 10-11 am slot was not filled with 40 Days for Life prayer warriors on this particular Wednesday. I happened to be heading "out town," (a term we rural country bumpkins use for Chehalis & Centralia) and decided to grab a 40 Days sign "Pray to End Abortion" on my way to Planned Parenthood.
I've stood there in front of the clinic a few times before with my husband and family, which has been a stretching but amazing experience. Today was nothing like those other days. God had something to teach me, as I sat trying to ignore the vulgarities and flip-offs thrown in my direction from drivers on the busy street.
When family and friends were there, we would chuckle about how popular we are to receive so many #1 signs from our "adoring" fans, and visit cheerily between periods of silent, fervent prayer for the unborn, the women who carry them, and the staff at our little clinic.
Since I was by myself today, I had the opportunity to really focus on prayer. I am no prayer expert, and wasn't overly confident that I could sit there alone and pray for an ENTIRE. HOUR. I mean come on folks, that's really asking a lot of an introverted, scatterbrained, 36 week pregnant lady who can barely go an hour between restroom breaks!
As I made myself comfortable sitting cross-legged with my sign propped up on my knees - my prayer was "God, give me your heart, let me see through your eyes, break my heart for what breaks yours." It's amazing how swiftly and powerfully God answers prayers sometimes!
Immediately it hit me. Here I was, 21 years old, pregnant, alone, sitting on a sidewalk. I felt vulnerable, and a bit unsure of whether I should be there or not. Although life has not always been easy, (in fact, my husband and I went through a pretty tough struggle with cancer and infertility) I can say with absolute, certainty that there has NEVER been a time when I felt truly alone. There has NEVER been a time when I didn't have a solid, encouraging shoulder to lean on in times of confusion or crisis. I always had my family, close-knit church family, and Heavenly Father to turn to.
As this realization came to me, I contrasted the story of my life with the 60 MILLION women who have had abortions since Roe V Wade. Perhaps it hasn't been quite that many women, since some likely had more than one abortion. (60 million is the number of abortions performed.) Immediately I was moved with compassion and grief for these women, some even much younger than me. The vulnerable, directionless, abused, and lost. The women who are lied to, and who, out of pure desperation, (or by the adamant instruction of a boyfriend or parent) are led to make a choice that will haunt them for life.
"It is only a clump of cells." I wondered what I would do if I had been a 21 year old pregnant homeless girl, and if the only person who seemed to care told me that my 18 week old (which is the legal abortion limit in WA) clump of cells was really no big deal. That there was a way out that could return my life to normal and save that clump from a life of not being.....wanted. (Huh?) With no help and no direction...what might my decision be?
The tears started to flow, and quickly my emotions got the better of me and evolved into sobbing. "I have to get control of myself!" My makeup was completely ruined, and I had an entire day of errands yet to accomplish! This was really weird for me, as I am not usually an outwardly emotional person. I am definitely not a weepy woman, even during pregnancy. I felt like this was a direct answer to my prayer as I felt completely, uncontrollably broken for women who continue to be deceived and wounded by lies and false hope.
After my shift, and as I waddled back to my car, I looked up Matthew 9:36 on my phone. Being the sheep owner and lover that I am, I can always appreciate a verse that compares us with my fluffy four legged friends. I do find these passages to be quite accurate, ha! This particular verse, which speaks of Jesus, is such a great reminder for us as we fight this battle on our knees.
"When He saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd."
Although my time on the side-walk was less joyful that it had been during previous shifts, (and quite frankly, made a mess of my face--think matchmaker scene on the Disney classic Mulan ;-) I left with a much deeper sense of Jesus' compassion and brokenness for the lost.
I hope ya'll driving by know that despite the accusations from our pro-abortion friends, we are not there to judge or condemn. We are there to listen, to love, to adopt your precious ones, to show you how Christ can transform our lives from something hopeless, to something far beyond what you could ever imagine or dream. We are humbly standing there together as a family of brothers and sisters, to set captives free, to see broken people made whole, to welcome you into safety, and to share in the forgiveness and love that Jesus extends for any and all who will accept it. We are there to awaken our nation to the truth that abortion is a tragedy that hurts women and takes human life. And ultimately, we are SO ready to see it stop!
|My precious, beautiful little niece at 12 weeks 3 days old.|