Greater Motherhood

A Mother’s First Response

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

Suddenly, I realized they were gone.

Moments earlier, my daughter and her friend were playing in the woods just beyond our fence. Armed with tall boots and warm gloves, they’re often found building tepees and bridges or playing in the tree house and creek. The adventurous girls usually tromp around our property like they own the place.

After a few minutes of being inside, I came out to check on them both. Standing on the back deck, I couldn’t see or hear them. My husband and I didn’t think they would wander off because they had clear guidelines to stay within our property, and they were old enough to trust. They knew better than to go near our pond or the widened creek.

Do Not Be Anxious

As if we had an organized plan in place, my husband and I set out in different directions, calling their names. I jumped over the creek and began praying aloud to God. I found myself chanting prayers of praise for who He is– the same ones we pray at Moms in Prayer.

“God, You are faithful. You’re omnipresent! You are with my daughter and her friend at this very moment, because You are always present everywhere. You’re their protector! There is nothing that can harm them because You are on guard. God, You already sent angels! You have commanded Your angels to guard them in all their ways.”

Here I was, in the middle of a fear-filled nightmare. But just as we practice every Tuesday morning at Moms in Prayer, my words were praise. I didn’t stop. I didn’t even pause, because the words were ready on my tongue to fight the battle exactly the way I’d prepared.

After searching, my husband and I met back up. We assumed the other had found the girls. But the girls had not been found.

Join me at momsinprayer.org to read the rest of my guest post. Click here

Greater Purpose

Battling for life, one mom at a time

 

I rushed into the pregnancy center, ready to meet with my first patient for the day. My minimal training didn’t prepare me for what I was about to hear.

The office manager filled me in… Your first patient is in the military, a single mom, pregnant.  She doesn’t want to be pregnant, the military told her to “take care of it” and her boyfriend wants her to have an abortion. She’d like you to talk to her boyfriend too.  

Fear overcame me. How was I qualified to sit with her and share the words that would inspire life?  I instantly felt not only inadequate, but unprepared for this woman’s situation.  I had previously counseled with women with unexpected pregnancies or those facing the diagnoses of sexually transmitted diseases, but this client carried a different burden, one that was extremely heavy.  Keep in mind, I’m a volunteer, a patient advocate, by title.  I’m not a professional counselor nor an expert in crisis management.  I’m just Julie.

I lead a Moms In Prayer group early every Tuesday morning and this was a Tuesday morning. That fact is significant because I was “prayed up” and ready to battle the enemy on behalf of this woman’s situation.  I just needed to remember who I was.

So, as I felt the fear rest strong upon my body… I chose faith!

It was a decision. I learned years ago that you have to speak to the fear and command it to leave, in the mighty name of Jesus. Fear is not of God, so it cannot be present where there is faith.  Therefore, you must choose which door you will walk through.

I stepped into the faith door, into who God called me to be – a bold warrior who is prepared for battle – with a lifetime of spiritual preparation – who can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!

God promised to equip me with everything I could need as I met with this woman.  I would lean on His word and His power – and ask God to fill in the blanks.

As I walked into the room, my heart racing, I decided to exhale my fear and trust the scripture that tells me that in my weakness, He would be my strength.  I had to ask myself if I really believed His promises.  I did. And here’s what happened.

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I walked into the counseling room.

The lady sitting on the couch was not with her boyfriend, and to my surprise, sitting next to her was her little daughter.

Just us 3 ladies.

The magnitude of the moment hit me. God was entrusting me to offer hope and love to one of His favorite – a mother.  The daughter was too young to follow our conversations, but she could absorb the love and encouragement through smiles and prayers.

I asked her to share about her situation and how I could pray for her.  She opened up about how this baby was not wanted by her boyfriend.  She didn’t really believe in abortion, but it seemed to be the only option, especially considering her boyfriend’s fear of this pregnancy.  In her words, “The timing wasn’t right.”

The first word that God placed on my heart was purpose. I shared how this baby already had a purpose and calling on his/her life. God created this precious baby by design and with a good plan.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 39:13), You are loved by God (John 3:16), and He has plans to prosper you , not to harm you, and plans for a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

I also knew I needed to discuss the obvious option – parenting. She was quick to respond with the fact that she currently didn’t have any help and to add another child would be too much.  Naturally, the topic of adoption came up next and I described the beautiful gift it is to a family in waiting.  Her first response was, “But I never could give my baby up for adoption!”  This phrase was one I’d been trained to speak truth over. I kindly shared, “We hear a lot of mothers express that same feeling and that’s because of the great love you innately have for your baby.  Your motherly instincts jump in and you can’t imagine placing your child in the arms of another; however, can you think about what you’re saying when you say, you would consider abortion – which is ending the life of the baby in your womb- the one that you can’t imagine giving up for adoption?”   My words were spoken in love, trusting God would do what only He can do.

I had to talk quietly and in code at times when the little ears were listening.  I shared about the women that come to our center because they are fighting the nightmares and depression they face because of an earlier abortion.  The consequences of abortion live on for a lifetime. The loss is multiplied because in addition to the act of ending a life, the motherhood line is also severed leaving a deeply wounded woman.  Simply put, abortion hurts women.

The conversation continued, and I watched God move to lean a heart to life.   After we closed in prayer, I walked them to the ultrasound room.  It was there that we got to witness the sight of her baby and the strong heartbeat.  There’s nothing like it.  I still get butterflies and my heart leaps with joy because it’s always a miracle.

As we walked back to the check out desk, the office coordinator walked up to the patient’s daughter and invited her to “shop” in the baby boutique, filled with donated baby items. “You can pick a special gift for the baby,” she offered the little girl.  With a smile, she confidently began shopping and selected a quilted blanket for the baby and a sand bucket & shovel for herself.

As I documented the visit, I was reminded of God’s faithfulness.  When we are obedient and care for those in dire need, we can count on watching the Holy Spirit move.

Galatians 6:2 reminds us

“Carry each others burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

I like closure. I wanted to know that after our conversation and prayer, it would be settled and wrapped up with a pretty bow.  But that’s not how it works here on earth. We are called to do our part, to share the gospel, to encourage, to educate, to speak life, and then to trust.

Trust that He will do the heavy lifting and send his Holy Spirit to comfort and to change hearts. Sometimes we witness the heart transformation, but more often than not, we witness the softening of a heart.  And it’s that softened heart that will be malleable,  with greater discernment to the voices of truth. It’s also that softened heart that will hear things that were once covered by the noise of the enemy.  It is a softened heart that will hunger for GREATER. So today I choose to celebrate her softened heart.

I don’t know how this story will end, but I do know that good seeds were planted. My continued prayers will water those seeds. People God places in her path will also water the seeds.   And when we question, what choice the pregnant mom will make, we have to remind ourselves that we are asked to do our part and then trust that He. Is. God.