“Why isn’t she getting it? Abortion is not the best solution for her or her baby,” I wondered as I sat across from my client. I’m tired of abortion!
What if one of the biggest hindrances in the counseling room is our perspective? Out of my own disgust with the evil of abortion, I have focused on the wrong being contemplated by the person in front of me rather than the wrongs I have committed.
The reality is that we all have aborted. You may say to yourself, “Not me! I would never abort. I’ve seen what it does to babies and their parents. I don’t like what it’s done to this country and the world.” While you may not have aborted a pregnancy, may I challenge you to stop and consider this question: how have you aborted God’s plan for your life? At one time or another, we’ve all been there.
Since 1995, I have been living with the fact that I aborted the one and only child that God gave me. I was scared out of my wits! Embarrassed that I got caught. My only goal was to sweep this sin under the rug of my parents’ house and the floors of my church and be done with it. I never even thought that it was a baby’s life at stake. Little did I know that I needed to take hold of God’s grace and choose His plan for me and my baby. I ignored His divine purpose for me because I didn’t understand that He could give me the power and grace to continue my pregnancy.
Now that I’ve been in pro-life ministry for 11 years, I wonder what my life would look like if I had a 20-year-old child walking around. I would have been able to influence her, teach her, and love her like Jesus. What a blessing I missed! The thought of it brings me to tears now. But I’m glad for those tears because I once could not even feel any emotion about my decision. During the long, gloomy two weeks as I waited to be enough along to have an abortion, I never even felt like I was pregnant. I aborted God’s plan for my life. I’m now missing a daughter who was never a part of my natural life. Fortunately, God gives us second chances, and third, and his grace never runs out no matter how many times I sin.
When I worked at a pregnancy center, I would hear some advocates say that they felt like they could not relate to the abortion-minded woman because they had not had an abortion before. But what is an abortion? It’s bringing an end to a natural progression of a life decision, right? Since Jesus is the way, the truth, and the “life” then we have a choice to follow his life decisions, not our own. How many times have we all stopped what God called us to do for one reason or another? Here are some examples:
- God told you to talk to someone and you didn’t because you thought you would look weird.
- God asked you to do a kind gesture but you refused.
- You were offered an opportunity to help someone in need but you were “too busy.”
- You were moved to give up Facebook but feared that you would miss out on updates that you “need” in order to stay in the loop so you continued the scroll activity on your newsfeed as hours of time moved on. We all know how time-consuming this can be and a hard habit to break.
- You had a great opportunity to do a big thing but you were intimidated and succumbed to fear.
- God was sending you to one place and you went another because you got distracted.
- You stopped at McDonald’s to get fries and an ice cream sundae instead of what he told you to eat (this would be me the other day).
- God asked you to spend quiet time with Him but you were too busy.
God knows that we are dust (Psalm 103:14) and these examples are not meant to bring condemnation. Instead, as we reflect on our failures, we should be encouraged that the same grace God extends to us on a daily basis is sufficient for our clients as well. We can’t allow our judgments and knowledge of what abortion does to define how we see the people we coach through pregnancy decisions. God sees our hearts and knows our resistance to His plans, yet loves us with an everlasting love. In the same way, He knows what our clients are considering and what they have already done and will do in the future and still has an affectionate love that can overpower their sin. He is faithful to move Heaven and earth to accomplish His purposes in our lives despite our doubts, fears, and unbelief. Our God is more powerful than we will ever be, and He will complete the work that He started.
When we connect with God in light of our own sin, it is possible to be exceptionally supportive and non-judgmental to the clients that we talk with every day. When we sit with our client, we should sit clothed in humility (I Peter 5:5) – because if it weren’t for the grace of God, we could be sitting right where she is, frantically looking for an easy way out of the situation.
In light of this, how can we best offer the compassionate hope and help of Christ to her? We offer compassion by standing beside her and viewing her through the lens that we view ourselves; desperately needing the mercy of God. We offer the hope of Jesus Christ by sharing with her what He did for us yesterday or last week, not just what He did when we first trusted Him to be our Savior. He still saves us from ourselves, even today. Finally, we can offer the help that she needs by telling her about all that God has for her if she only believes.
As I end here, the beloved promise in Jeremiah 29:11 comes to mind – “For I know that plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans for a future and a hope.” When we don’t follow through with His plan, it is most likely due to a lack of trust in the God of the plan. This is a good starting point. Do we really know God enough to trust Him? If so, how do we portray this to our clients? It starts with knowing God’s character and treasuring the hope he gives us through Jesus Christ. Then, we can introduce our clients to Him, just as we would introduce a friend in whom we had the greatest confidence.
[tweetthis]When we don’t follow through with His plan, it is most likely due to a lack of trust in the God of the plan.[/tweetthis]
As we recognize our own need for God’s grace, it will make it easier to extend grace to our clients. Remember, clothing yourself with humility is the key to doing this successfully. When God introduces you to the client who is thinking about aborting His plan, you can approach her with the grace that He has bestowed upon you. You will need His power to unveil this plan for her life. Trust that He will help her understand what He has for her. God’s compassionate heart will draw her to Him.
In your role, you have a great opportunity to coach clients on how to take hold of the plan for God’s abundant blessing – the LIFE of their unborn child – from a perspective of grace. He has the best plan in store for her life…and yours. Take time to think about some ways that you have followed through on His plan for your life and how you can convey this to your client in a practical way.
Vernicia T. Eure is Care Net’s Director of Client Care