Our good friend Ashley (who longtime readers know) was sidewalk counseling today when God used her for a miracle:
[Author's Note: This story was re-posted in full, with permission, from Facebook]
Choosing Life!October 3, 2013 at 4:20pmToday was an intense day on the sidewalk. It appeared that the clinic hired a film crew to interview the owner, Amy. She sat there for along time in the courtyard smiling, laughing, and carrying on as women walked in looking distressed and walked out looking even more so. The “director” approached us and asked if they could film us because they wanted to “get both sides”. We obliged, although it became evidently clear by the tone in which he spoke to us and how they interacted with the clinic owner--what side they were on.
It was about 12:15 pm and I had been there for about 2 hours….my tummy rumbling for food was the only thing I could hear and it felt like a sauna outside! I spoke with Nichola and told her it was about time for me to head on and we exchanged our goodbyes. I went over to grab my keys and water bottle and right in front of me was this young girl walking near our vigil materials. She looked at me with contempt and I thought to myself with a sigh “Do I really want to do this right now? I don’t really want to…I’m ready just to get home…” I had already checked out mentally and the sweat was pouring down my back and my legs…NOT a comfortable feeling.
Despite this nastiness, I felt “the tugging”...God’s prompting on my inner self to speak up. I said hello with a friendly smile and offered her some community resources. She shook her head negatively from side to side. Our conversation then went as follows…
Her: “If you’re trying to talk me out of this abortion too bad…I’ve already decided.”
Me: “Well I’m just here to make sure you have knowledge of all the resources that are available to you within the community. Including help with well-woman visits, screenings, and pregnancy assistance.”
Her: “So are you with these people (motioning towards the clinic) or are you against them? Because if you are against them…”
Me: “No we are not with these people, we are just people who care a whole lot about you and want to make sure that at least you know there is help out there if you want it.”
Her: “So do you like hate people who have abortions?”
Me: “We in no way look down upon people who are coming to get abortions or who have had them. Many of us out here have had abortions in the past…including myself. I most certainly am not out here to judge you. I know it’s a scary situation to be in.
(Her eyes locked in on mine and started to tear up....and before I knew it the tears started rolling down my face.)
Me: “It has been almost 7 years since my abortion. October14th is a date that I’ll never forget. It’s a painful memory! I look at my son who is in 3 ½ and just how precious he is to me and (pausing to wipe my eyes……….) how I just can’t imagine life without him. I grieve over the child that I lost. You know sometimes we can’t see past our current situation and we think that our circumstances are forever but they aren’t…I realize that now.
(My voice started getting really shaky here and my hands were trembling)
I just don’t want another woman to have to go through what I went through and make the same mistake that I made. It leaves a huge scar no matter what they tell you in there. They told me I wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything with a child and that my dreams would be out of reach. They lied to me. They made me feel I had no other option and that I wasn’t strong enough to go through with the pregnancy.
(She had tears rolling down her cheeks at this point and shook her head as if she understood what I was saying…then she took a seat on the curb--- and I sat down with her and handed her information on the Pregnancy Resource Centers near by and OBGYN’s that could help her)
Her: I’m 18 and I’m scared but I don’t really want this abortion…they told me I was 11 weeks along and I saw a perfect looking baby on that screen” (she smiled)
Me: “Isn’t it amazing?! I love sonograms! Your baby can suck its thumb now and roll around and you will be feeling it kick pretty soon…”
Her: “Really?! Kicking?? Wow that’s so cool. I mean my boyfriend is really excited about this but I’m just scared. My mom was really mad when I told her and she kicked me out of the house. I don’t have anywhere to go. I can’t raise a baby homeless.”
Me: “Well we have a few Maternity Homes around town where you can live for up to two years after the birth to help you and your baby while you get back on your feet. Adoption is also another great alternative.There are many couples out there that would love to have a baby and can’t…you could really bless someone with an opportunity to have a child.”
Her: “Wow that’s good to know about the Maternity Homes. But I don’t know if I could do the whole adoption thing…I mean I would just get attached and then have to give it away.”
Me: “Well I would encourage you not to think about it that way. You aren’t giving up on this child and instead you are giving them a chance at life…that is something to be proud of! Women who make the adoption decision are incredibly strong women who, like I said, have a great opportunity to bless a couple with a child of their own. It’s a very beautiful thing. You can also choose who you adopt them to and the level of involvement you have with that child. It’s not like the old days when you just don’t see them anymore. You can be apart of their lives if you want to be.”
Her: “Wow…I never thought of it that way. I guess you’re right. Well let me call my boyfriend and tell him to pick me up…”
Me: “I can give you a ride if you want…”
Her eyes lit up: “Really?! That’s so sweet of you. Are you sure? I need to go pretty far… like around the Anderson Mill area.”
Me (smiling): “You’re in luck I live right off Anderson Mill!”
We get into my car and start driving and I ask her if she is hungry (BTW-I’m still starving at this point) and she says…
“Yeah it’s been awhile…they (the clinic) wanted me to have an empty stomach when I came in and I got there at 8 am. So yeah I’m kinda hungry.”
Me: “Well shoot then lets go eat! I’m starving too!”
We drove over to Jimmy Johns and I told her more about my story and what led me to the clinic that day. We had a good bit in common it seemed. She really appreciated me sharing my personal stories and seemed relieved to know that she wasn’t alone in this. I told her that it may be a bumpy road but children are always worth it…they make life better! Richer! She agreed.
She said she has always wanted children and being there was a moment of weakness and fear. Something that I can definitely understand!
After we finished eating I took her to where she needed to go and gave her my number. I told her not to hesitate to call me if she ever needed anything and that I would be happy to help out in any way I could. She smiled a great big smile and said “I really kinda hope that I’m having a girl…the clothes are just so cute! If we have a girl I want to name her Evelyn…” I told her that I thought that was a lovely name and that I would be happy to help babysit. We smiled, we cried, and we hugged as she got out of my car. Then about 5 minutes later she sent me this text message….
“Hey it’s R... I just wanted to thank you again. I don’t really know what I was thinking. But if I had not ran into you today, I probably wouldn’t be able to let this go either. Thank you so much.”
HALLELUJAH!! That just made my heart to jumping jacks! So worth the time spent out in the blazing Texas sun!