I remember the corded phone shaking a little in my fourteen year old hand as I made what I thought was a big announcement to my then boyfriend.
“I’ve been thinking about what I want to do with my life. I think I want to go into some kind of counseling. Like work in a crisis pregnancy center.”
There was a moment of silence on the other hand. “Ummmmm. Ok?”
I’m not sure what I was expecting from a fifteen year old boy who couldn’t think far past all the fun he was going to have riding home from the football game on the marching band bus, but I knew I needed to tell somebody the discovery of my life calling.
As my years in high school went on, my calling seemed confirmed. I loved helping people and listening to people. By the end of high school, two of my best friends would face unplanned pregnancies, and I had a first hand perspective of their struggles. Also, I hated math, so a career in the social sciences sounded like a good idea; the school guidance counselor could not admonish me for not taking calculus when I told her which direction I planned to go. My senior year, I applied for a college with a solid Christian Counseling program. A little bit of an overachiever, I graduated with a 3.98 GPA (blast you, history class with crazy professor!) in 3 years.
And then I made a bee line for the nearest crisis pregnancy center and got a job. Right?
I may have graduated college in 3 years, but I also graduated with a husband and a 7 month old. (I guess I was a little bit of an overachiever in the family department, as well.) We’ve always had a passion for me to be a full time parent, so a full time career was out.
So then I ran to the nearest crisis pregnancy center and started doing volunteer work. Right?
There were always excuses. We had a baby. I had a part time job as a children’s minister and time for nothing else. We moved to a new area where I didn’t know anyone. We had another baby. I became a photographer. And another baby. We homeschooled. I think there was another baby?
Sometime last year, when I was still on facebook way too often, the flood of Planned Parenthood videos hit the internet.
I’ll have to be honest with you. I haven’t watched a single video. The descriptions in the captions are enough for me.
But my heart was pricked. If women do not have abortions, which is, of course, ideal, then what happens to them? What happens to their babies? Who is going to take care of them?
God started whispering. “Remember, that call when you were fourteen?”
Somehow without trying, I found out that our city has an abortion grave. 600+ babies buried in one place. Just days before it occurred, I found out that there’s an annual memorial service at that grave.
God was still whispering.
I told Josh, “This is kind of crazy, but I think I should go.”
Josh said, “Go.”
I called Cynthia and said, “This is kind of crazy, but do you want to go?”
It was raining. It was a very Catholic service so we probably stood out because all we know is the Lord’s Prayer. But we went.
And now what?
Josh finally laid down the law. We sat down and he basically said, “I know this has been a passion of yours for a long time. We’re going to do whatever it takes to make this happen, even if we have to hire a sitter once a week. Start looking into pregnancy centers.”
So I did. I started with the one that’s seven minutes from my house. Low and behold, they needed counselors, and a workshop for Biblical counseling training was being offered there in just a few weeks. I took the workshop, and what a blessing that was! (I would like to write about what I learned in another blog post, but here’s a hint: it had little to do with pregnancy!)
I started the training process for counseling. But THEN. We found out we would be relocating. I was FINALLY working towards fulfilling my passion, and I couldn’t even finish training for counseling because I wouldn’t be there long enough to counsel someone through a pregnancy.
So my story is ongoing, and I don’t know what God has in store for me in our new area. HOWEVER, in the mean time, I have been volunteering at the Wakulla Pregnancy Center on Friday afternoons. I am not able to counsel, but I can answer phone calls, vacuum floors, and organize diapers with the best of them!
I tell my story for two reasons:
- Maybe you’re in my shoes. Maybe God called you to something a looooooooooooooong time ago, but you have allowed your calling to get buried with your family’s laundry. Don’t forget that call. Listen to the whispers.
- Next Saturday, April 16th, I have the opportunity to participate in the LifeWalk for Wakulla Pregnancy Center. The Center is non-profit and supported by donations, and this is its biggest fundraiser of the year. If you are local, come and walk with us! It’s going to be a great reminder for me that God made all life sacred. There will also be a silent auction and a bake sale, and since our church is doing one of the baskets for the auction, I can tell you there will be AT LEAST one amazing basket!
If you are not local or cannot walk, (and this is the part I hate doing,) I would humbly ask you to help sponsor my walk with a donation. You can donate here. And I’m not talking big; $10 would be great! This is not a charity I found on the internet; this is a ministry that I have worked with on a personal basis for about 6 months. I can tell you that the hearts of the people in the ministry are AMAZING, and they are helping young women in the area in an amazing way! (I have had the privilege of meeting some of these phenomenal young ladies!) Even though I cannot stay, I would love to know I left the Center with a little more security for the coming year because you guys donated!!
I’m not trying to make a political statement or guilt someone into changing their beliefs. It is the conviction of my heart that ALL human life is sacred and loved by God (the unborn, the young, the old, all races, all belief systems, refugees, fast food workers, executives; all caps ALL!) In the delicate situation of an unplanned pregnancy, if a woman chooses life, Christians need to provide a support system for her and the baby. We need to provide a net of love to catch her in, not one of judgment. I am pushing the laundry off that conviction and seeking to follow God wherever He will take me to do my part in that support system.