This has been a monumental year for me. It’s the first full year I’ve worked at a pregnancy resource center. It’s the year I went from being an assistant to the director to becoming a client service manager. This past summer I got married and began a new life as a wife and stepmother.
This wasn’t an easy year, by any means. It was a year of stretching and personal growth. Yet in the midst of all the transitions and changes, I’ve had beautiful moments of hope. As I look back, these special memories of impacting the lives of women and children have made my year worthwhile.
1) “Is that a baby in there?” Our center sonographer asked if I could assist her during an ultrasound. She just wanted me to point to the screen and show the client where the baby’s heartbeat was. Our client was young and scared. Her boyfriend told her that abortion was his preference. As she sat on the table, she stared at the screen. I pointed to the beating heart, and she remarked, “Is that a baby in there?”
She couldn’t even seem to believe it. “Is that a baby in there?” She said it multiple times, perhaps struggling to believe it with each glance. As I watched her amazement and saw the flickering heartbeat on the screen, I knew I was privileged to witness a miracle. “Yes,” we told her. “It’s a baby.”
2) “I never thought I wanted to be married, but maybe I do.” Those words came from a young black woman while she looked at the wedding picture on my phone. She walked into the center and told me, “I’m pregnant and I don’t want it.” The test confirmed she wasn’t pregnant after all. I talked for an hour or more with her and a friend of hers. We discussed love, sex, pregnancy, relationships, and more. I brought up the option of waiting for sex.
I shared about my abstinence journey and marrying my husband as a virgin. I can still remember the way her beautiful brown eyes grew wide in amazement. “You were a virgin?” It was if I had told her I could fly. “Wow…that’s really rare.” She was young and sweet, yet in a sexual relationship she wasn’t ready for. When she saw my wedding pic, she remarked that I looked so happy. I knew that’s what she wanted. She wanted love but had settled for attention. She hugged me when she left. She came in frightened and left hopeful.
3) I saw her walk into the center with a bag of fluid tied to her arm. She wore a black hoodie and a look of exhaustion upon her face. She was pregnant and ill, which is never a good combination. As we talked, her story began to unfold. An unplanned pregnancy with a man she wasn’t in love with. He told her to keep the baby and promised to help her. When she followed his advice, he abandoned her. He never even came to visit her in the hospital. Fast-forward a few months. She walks into the center with her hair done, face glowing, and a beautiful new baby girl in her arms. “You look like a different person,” I said. As we talked, she said, “I know my baby’s life has a purpose.” Her little girl looks like her twin. When I held her in my arms, I just couldn’t imagine a world without her beautiful face in it.
Our center ended 2014 with a joyful Christmas celebration. We partnered with organizations to give out presents to 100 of our clients’ children. My pastor dressed up as Santa, and I was a little Christmas elf. As the moms gathered the presents, they told us how thankful they were for our help.
As the year closes, I realize that I’m the real thankful one. I was scheduled to be aborted, but I’ve seen 33 years. God rescued me because He loved me before I was born. I give thanks to another great year and a God who loves the little ones.