Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
My dear grandmother used to have a word for a person who is nervous all the time— “worrywort.” I readily admit that I am one, and have been since birth. So the scripture quoted above is one of my favorites. I have it posted on my big folder of bills and tasks. God has a way of making it pop up in other places, too, when I need to be reminded of it.
True to form, He made sure I saw it this week when I really needed it. I was being hit with wave after wave of troubling news from near and far. I felt exhausted, as if I’d been struggling to stand in the pounding surf of the ocean. I know, life is like that sometimes. Okay…lots of times.
God is telling me to have no anxiety? Seriously?
Oh, but He is…and as always, He’s right. When I pray, when I petition, when I thank God, when I put my life into His hands, He never fails to help me. He grants me new strength and a peace that flies in the face of worldly logic.
God, in His grace, reached out to calm and comfort me over and over again in the past few days. He put the Philipians scripture in front of me. He let me run into a friend I hadn’t seen in months who shared the amazing ways in which God is seeing her through a very difficult year. He inspired Nikki’s beautiful blog entry on Wednesday, which really picked me up. (Read–or reread–the Day 8 entry for yourself to feel God’s warm embrace!)
It’s very easy to get anxious and overwhelmed as we fight for the sanctity of life. After all, this is truly a matter of life and death—not only physical, but spiritual, as well. Blessedly, God has the remedy for our worry and exhaustion. As we present the prayers and petitions of our 40 Days for Life campaign, let’s do so with thanksgiving and complete TRUST in Him. Please use this link https://40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/pittsburgh/to choose a time when you can join us, and then see the pictures and stories from today’s vigil below!
From Richard and Barbara, 7-9 AM:
Diane and Tom were just finished setting up as Richard and I arrived at the sidewalk on a warmly cool, slightly foggy 7AM.
Not long after, staff started arriving at Planned Parenthood. Today is an abortion day.
Remembering the rich man and Lazarus in the Old Testament, I always will try to share with a person who appears abortion vulnerable. I am their sister. Perhaps they will let me be a part of their redemption.
One tall young man stopped to look at our fetal models. He looked at the 10 week unborn baby model and said, “Wow! Their little body is all there.” As we talked he told me about his 12 year old daughter who lives in northern Pennsylvania with her mother. “It got complicated. She and I couldn’t stay together,” he said about the mother. Today he has a fiancée who has the implanted type of birth control. He wishes she would stop it because he would like to have a baby. His understanding about the rules that shape wholeness in life appears fragile. This morning, I could only share a few loving words and a smile.
A young woman about 20 years old, stopped and leaned against the brick wall of the next door bar, finishing her cigarette. I took off my prolife sign and walked over. She was “there just for a checkup,” she said. We talked for a bit. “Just in case you would ever need this,” I offered her our little yellow crisis pregnancy care information card. She took it and said if she would ever need it, she might read it. She walked over and into PP.
A young man walked back and forth in front of PP. I did not see him go in. I saw him come out, light a cigarette and stand outside the doors. I walked over, standing near, outside the gold circle, and showed him a picture of a 10 week old unborn baby. He asked me why I was talking to him when he didn’t even know my name. We started from the beginning, introducing ourselves, first names only. He was polite. He was decided. He accepted the little crisis pregnancy care card and got into a car that drove up and took him away.
From Marie, 11 AM – 1 PM
Holy Sepulcher covered this vigil time and it was peaceful and prayerful shift. There were several instances when people passing would smile or even verbally give approval to our witness. A vigil participant from the earlier shift (not from Holy Sepulcher) told her story of having an abortion as a teenager and how it had stayed with her till this day. She is now a mother and grandmother. What has helped her through this sadness was bringing God back into her life and volunteering at pro-life activities.
From Sue, 1-3 PM:
Holy Sepulcher was there for the entire shift–they had signed up for 4 hours! We prayed and handed out pro-life information. Billy came at the last minute and stayed the full 2 hours as well. He prayed very reverently…I was touched and thought how God must hear him! WTAE also showed up and went into PP for an interview. He came out and filmed us as well as the A-frame sign. I gave him a 40 Days for Life brochure and verbally gave him the updated statistics. The sidewalk and PP were very busy!
From Lisa, 3-5 PM:
Thank you, Matthew from Living Hope Church in Latrobe for standing with us from 2:30 on to 5 and was staying when his church gathered from 5 to 7!!!!
Thank you, Mark, Lori, and Mary from their pro-life group in Weirton who prayed, smiled, and witnessed to life!
Benson joined us after school for his 10th consecutive day. Thank you for your witness. You are an inspiration!!
Quiet overall for our shift with some “thank you’s” and other negative comments. Prayer prevailed throughout!
From Pat, 5-7 PM:
I’m so inspired when people come down to the sidewalk from such far distances. The group from Living Hope Church in Whitney – who came in a big van – drove all the way from the Latrobe area. They even brought their own pro-life signs which must have made an impression on those passing by both on foot and by car because they were nice and big and easy to read. And as I was praying on the opposite side of the circle, I noticed Marta (with the dark hair) engaging with a woman in her late 20s who was passing by. They talked for about 10 minutes and then I could see Marta putting her hand on the woman’s shoulder and praying over her for an extended period of time. It was a beautiful thing to see.
And I want to thank Benson, from St. Anne’s in Castle Shannon for spending his 10th consecutive day down on the sidewalk. I enjoyed both praying and talking with him. He really inspires me.