If the craziness of the last year taught me anything, it’s that people love to yell at each other. My Christian friends included. If I am being honest, add me to the list of people who get overheated and say more than they should, louder than I should. Abortion is one of these hot button topics that cause people to turn off their ears and yell their beliefs. The problem with all the angry talking is the Bible tells us:
“The Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” 1 Corinthians 4:20 (NIV)
There’s Power in Action:
The end of talking and the beginning of power-in-action is exactly what I found when God led me to have a conversation with Amanda Bailey about Crossroads Pregnancy Care Center, located in Charleston, West Virginia. One day a couple of months ago, the Lord kept bringing Amanda, who works with Crossroads, to my mind. I prayed about this, and still she filled my thoughts, so I called.
After we said all the polite things one normally says when they call a person, I confessed, “Amanda, I don’t know why I’m calling you. The Lord just kept putting you on my mind.”
“I know exactly why you called.”
She proceeded to tell that she had been talking with a young woman who was pregnant and considering an abortion. During the ultrasound, the high school student asked Amanda to turn off the ultrasound screen because she “couldn’t stand to see the heart beating.” The young woman shared that she feared she would not be able to pursue her education plans if she gave birth to this child. When I reached out, the young woman had just let Amanda know she had gone through with the abortion and was now suffering greatly over her decision. Nightmares—coupled with flashbacks from the procedure—left her in a place of despair.
Amanda shared that these are the hardest situations for her. She worries whether she said all that she could, did all that she should. She truly grieves for the pain of the mother and the loss of the child. She is still in contact with the young woman, attempting to disciple and encourage her as she walks through the trauma of her experience.
Disciple Wherever God Places You:
If you are like me, you are thinking, I had no idea that a Pregnancy Crisis Center would be a place to go and be discipled. What a wonderful way to express the love of God to people. I needed to know more. As Amanda shared her greatest disappointments, I needed to hear of her moments of victory. This is where we meet “Jane.”
When Jane came to the center, she was pregnant by a man she was not in a committed relationship with; he already had two children, and no desire for another. Jane grew up in Foster Care and felt as though she had no idea how to care for a child, having never been genuinely cared for, herself. She had no family at all. Jane decided to keep her baby and eagerly began the “Learn and Earn” program where moms can take classes and earn vouchers for the center’s store. Amanda and the staff grew close to Jane as she moved closer to her due date.
When the day finally came for Jan to deliver, she welcomed her beautiful healthy baby. The night she was released from the hospital, Amanda received a text from her around 11:30. Jane wanted to know if she was serious about being there for her. Amanda assured her she was.
“Can you come to my house and help me?”
Amanda quickly packed an overnight bag and headed for Jane’s home. Jane met her at the door with tears streaming down her face, utterly exhausted. Amanda was able to show her some baby basics and talk her through all the emotions she was having. Jane now attends church with Amanda, where she accepted Christ and has a growing relationship with Him.
Stop Yelling. Start Loving.
When we stop yelling and start loving, lives are transformed. I am not suggesting we love without the present truth of the gospel; I am saying we continue to love even when we don’t agree with people’s decisions. We love even when people don’t accept Christ. Jesus said:
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another. John 13:35 (NIV)
One of the things I love most about Amanda’s testimony is that she ended up in this ministry completely by the hand of God. Her youngest son had gone off to preschool and she was feeling like she needed purpose. She had loved being a stay-at-home mom, but she felt like there must be some place she could be useful outside of her home for the cause of Christ. She began to pray for God to show her where He was calling her. Two weeks later the director of Crossroads came to share with her church congregation the importance of the ministry.
Long before Amanda had children, she got a degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. As she listened to the woman talk, she thought, “I could volunteer there.” When the director finished, Amanda asked for more information about Crossroads, so she could volunteer. When she revealed what her degree was in, the director said, “We’ve been praying for you!”
Unconditional Love Changes Lives:
I asked Amanda what she was most proud of regarding the ministry at Crossroads and she replied, “I am most proud of the way this ministry loves unconditionally. All the employees and volunteers here truly love like Jesus. We hurt when our clients hurt, we celebrate when they celebrate, and each person leaves this place knowing that, even if just for the moments they were in this building, they have experienced unconditional love. I am also proud to say that 89% of abortion minded/abortion vulnerable patients chose life after seeing their baby on ultrasound.”
I was so moved by my conversation with Amanda I knew I would have to share it with you. For so long, I have desired to love on women who find themselves in the throes of questioning what they will do next. We can never truly understand the value of just being there for someone in a desperate time of need. Many times, people just need to know they will not have to be alone in the places that feel the most dark and scary.
I believe life is precious. I believe all life has value to God. These precious lives include those women who have decided to have abortions. If you are reading this article and you suffer from guilt, shame, pain, or trauma because of abortion, I want to tell you today that you are loved. God loves you. He wants to heal you.
“So they cried out to the Lord in their distress, and God saved them for their desperate circumstances. God healed them; He rescued them from their pit. Let them thank the Lord for His faithful love, and His wondrous works for all people.” Psalms 107:19-21 (NIV)
No Sin is too Great for God:
What has happened is not beyond His ability to forgive. As you ask for forgiveness, rest assured this is not an issue too great for the blood of Jesus to cover.
This love He has for us is no human love. It is a deep, sacrificial, unimaginable, all knowing and still loving, all consuming, healing, sanctifying kind of love that not one of us deserves, yet He offers it to all of us. I pray that you will be consumed by this love and washed in His peace, if this is a place that has held you in pain.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us form all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (NIV)
Where is God Leading You?
How might God be leading you? Do you feel as though God might be calling you to step out and serve in a pregnancy crisis center near you? Maybe He is leading you to be a support to single mothers. There are so many opportunities to show the love of Christ during crisis pregnancies, through the crushing pain of terminating a life and supporting emotionally, physically, and financially the women around you who have decided to choose life.
When others are yelling, I want to show love and promote life. The life of everyone involved. If our love starts and stops with the unborn child, we have missed the point. May we support and show love to mothers who find themselves in spaces they never wanted to be. May we also love and care for those who chose abortion.
Emily Freeman is a contributing writer for The Hallelujah House. She is a happily married mother of five. When not writing, Emily homeschools children, raises chickens and goats, and leads various women ministries. You can read her full bio or contact her personally by clicking the “About Us” tab at the top of the homepage.
To find out more about Crossroads Pregnancy Center you can access them online at www.crossroadspcc.com.