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The Blue Ridge Women’s Center After Knowing

The Blue Ridge Women’s Center After Knowing

I am bursting out of my skin with excitement.  There are times, early in the morning and in the evening, when I just lie in bed doing nothing but thinking about the reality that we are having more children, and talking to the Lord about it. Well, let’s be honest. It’s more like vacillating between thanking Him in humble awe and squealing to Him in effervescent joy.

Every step along this path is a moment of wonder, a slice of delight I do not take for granted. One of the most poignant was counseling at the Blue Ridge Women’s Center for the first time after knowing I was pregnant.

It was a completely different experience.

As I have written before, my work there has been both incredibly fulfilling and the tremendously difficult. I am buoyed by the gratification of rolling my sleeves up and ministering to the “least of these”; the sense of purpose from actively participating in Jesus’ call to love others and walk with the hurting. There just isn’t an experience quite like being in the middle of what the Lord is doing, and that is exactly where I feel like I am when I volunteer at the Center. I could talk about the sense of camaraderie amongst the staff and volunteers, the spiritual mentor I have found there, the comfort of seeing a woman who came in despair leave in hope, the joy of seeing the life of one of God’s precious unborn creations protected. I could mention the sense of unity of purpose, the experience of the Holy Spirit, the divine appointments. There are so many aspects of working there that make me rejoice.

But there has been another side to working there – a side I knew when I accepted God’s call to volunteer. And that is reality of being confronted, every time I am there, with the difficult truth that so many women were trying to discard their babies, when I, who so desperately wanted one, could not seem to have one.

It was a truth that always hurt. Mediated, for certain, by all of the other joys of working there, but painful just the same.

It took mental, emotional, and spiritual effort, each time I counseled, to put my own issues aside and be fully present with each client, so I could minister to her effectively. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I believe I have been able to do so – to approach each woman through Jesus’ eyes rather than my own grief-filled ones. But it has been exhausting, and many evenings after volunteering I would come home, completely spent. On more than a couple of occasions I even came home weeping.

But then everything changed.

The first day I counseled after finding out I was pregnant, was a totally, marvelously different experience. I felt unbound, unburdened. Suddenly it was like this tremendous weight, that had diminished the beauty and fulfillment of being in this place I love so well, had been lifted off my shoulders – and I felt this unbelievable surge of joy! I felt free. Free to love these women without any conflicting personal baggage. Free to minister without keeping my emotions in check. Free to comfort without any subconscious anger or envy. I just felt pure, unadulterated compassion and love, untained by grief. It was beautiful. Liberating. Absolutely amazing. Just one of the many ways I feel the Lord’s blessing over this pregnancy – yet another place of healing He has orchestrated.

But His grace didn’t stop there.

It is important to note that I have not, by choice, been counseling clients who are known to be abortion-minded. I see clients who have stated, prior to coming for their appointment, that they intend to either parent their children or put them up for adoption.  I am enough aware of myself and where I am in the grief process to know that I have not been ready to tackle that challenge; my own longings for another baby have continued to prevent me from being able to minister effectively to women who are actively seeking to eliminate their unborn children. But, of course, even though the Center tries to get an idea of a woman’s intentions for her pregnancy before she comes into the counseling room, we never know for sure until we speak with her.

The Lord gave me a divine appointment – a client for whom abortion had been part of her past, and for whom abortion was an option for her current pregnancy. I knew The Lord had put me in that room with her, on that day. Through the counseling process, she was able to see and embrace Christ’s hope and forgiveness. She walked out of the Center with a new esteem for herself, a renewed faith in God, and a commitment to parent her unborn child. It was a celebration of life, of God’s goodness, and He had allowed me to be a part of it. But even more?

She and I shared the same due date.

It was the Lord’s little personal touch on my life – His sweet, tender caress reminding me that He is with me and that He has His hand over this pregnancy.

 

Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance. (Psalm 16:5-7)

 

My Lord is real. He is personal. And He loves in such an intimate way it blows my mind. He has been with me through the valley of death and now He is showing me the Promised Land. Yet no matter what the terrain looks like…

He is the same God walking with me.

The Lord longs to be gracious to you;
therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him! (Isaiah 30:18)

 

Working at the Blue Ridge Women’s Center after knowing about my pregnancy is a whole new, beautiful world. And being here, in this place, where I am experiencing personally the fruition of His love and compassion…

Yeah, it was totally worth the wait.

 

 

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