You wake up late for work one morning. After rushing around to get ready, you run to the refrigerator to grab something to eat on the way. Only the light doesn’t come on when you open the door, and everything is warm inside. It’s stopped working. Again. It’s going to have to be replaced…along with all this spoiled food.
You jump into the car to head for work. The gas tank is almost empty. The brakes are squealing at every stop. You’ve been dreading taking it to the garage because you know it’s going to cost hundreds of dollars to fix.
Finally, you get to work, but something’s not right. People are huddled in small groups, voices raised, some crying. Your boss calls you in to the office to tell you that the company needs to lay off some of its workers. You are among them.
Can you feel a knot forming in your stomach just picturing—or perhaps remembering—a situation like this? Now imagine that in the midst of it all, you find out that you (or your wife) is pregnant.
This past week brought a number of challenges to my family—nothing as serious as the scenario above, but enough to stress me out. Adding to my anxiety was the fact that my eternal-optimist husband was uncharacteristically affected by it, too. In His grace, God used the situation to remind me of the fear that some people must feel when they discover that a new life is depending on them, and how it must be compounded if the people they rely on for support are also fearful about it.
In that moment, it would be hard to breathe, let alone think. I would be desperate for an answer. I would be surrounded by a culture that celebrates the legal option for me to “control” my own body—going so far as to tell me it’s sometimes the “responsible” thing to do. Without someone to show me that I have another choice, I could easily feel like Planned Parenthood is my only way out.
If this has happened to you, please know that God understands why you made that decision. He still loves you dearly and longs to welcome you back into relationship with Him. Please visit Silent No More or Rachel’s Vineyard to start the healing process.
If you are pregnant right now and in a frightening situation–because of money woes or any other reason–please know that help is available! The organizations listed here provide many forms of assistance that allow you to choose life for your unborn child. Please contact them today to avoid the heartbreak and anguish of abortion.
If you are participating in 40 Days for Life, THANK YOU! God is granting us the awesome privilege of working with Him to reach people who are abortion-bound or have had an abortion in the past. In cooperation with our prayers and fasting, God is softening people’s hearts to be receptive to help. When we stand in front of the doorway to pain and regret at 933 Liberty Avenue, God is using us to show people that there are infinite possibilities and untold blessings that come from choosing life.
If you are still thinking about joining 40 Days for Life, PLEASE DO! It’s not always easy, but it is always a blessing. We welcome you to come any time between 7 AM and 7 PM from now until March 25th, but especially this Sunday from 11-1 with Rich & Roseann and this Monday from 5-7 with Jeannie so that these dear shift managers will not be left standing alone. Click here to see other times that prayer warriors are most in need. You can let us know when you are coming by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
May God bless you all!
Here are pictures and reports from today’s vigil!
Barbara & Richard, 7-9 AM:
Friday morning sidewalk is bustling at 7am.Diane was almost finished setting up our “furniture.”Mary Ann and Christine arrived at 7 exactly, smiling and ready to witness and pray.Al and Sally arrived shortly after, smiling and moving a little more slowly.Our garden of sidewalk witnesses is varied and colorful.We women are not wearing gownless evening straps and Al did not choose to wear his tux.If we were wearing those duds, perhaps we would cause a dent in the market.Nonetheless we are as welcome as flowers in the spring to the little babies whose lives are in the balance as their parents’ hearts elude us and they enter PP, eyes averted.To quote Joe, our Sunday evening shift manager, “All glory to God.”
Thanks to Bill H for filling in for me as I arrived 10 minutes late.
Maryann M and friend Chris greeted me this wet morning. They also were late in arriving due to conversing with a young man named Kurt, who needed to talk. Kurt stayed into my shift giving his opinions to me and SA Edith. He left abruptly after a passerby stopped to ask for bus money. Edith directed the man to Catholic Charities.
We passed out several fetal development brochures with resources included. We briefly spoke to PP patrons but none accepted our literature.
Not much to report, sadly. Tried unsuccessfully to initiate conversations with two couples who see med to be there for a very sad and terrible reason. On the other side of the Bubble Zone, Claudia (from St. Alexis?) had a good way of approaching folks, and it looked as though some people exiting PP (who hadn’t been inside very long) accepted literature from her; maybe lives will be saved without our ever knowing it in this world! Please God!!
Claudia was accompanied by another Claudia (who seemed very pleasant and prayerful) and a very caring gentleman who called out offers of help when women were in the Bubble Zone and couldn’t be approached any other way. Before I left, another gentleman had arrived, as well as Marie, the next shift manager.
Shift went well – St. Alexis is pictured. A few other people stopped to pray. One incident: a group of young adults threw the one sandwich board in the street. Sorry for being late but I work the church fish fry on Fridays.
Dave & Noreen, 1-3 PM:
We had a relatively quiet day, however, there are two things I would like to bring up and maybe spread the word to all shift managers. The gentleman who owns the bar next to PP at 931 Penn was unlocking the door as we arrived today. Two of our people were standing in his doorway and he asked them to move. Almost under his breath he said “every day I have to ask you to move, every day”. He wasn’t rude or anything but you could tell he was annoyed. Later he came out to clean the window and I apologized for people being in the doorway every day and I told him I would spread the word and hopefully no one would use the doorway any more. He thanked me and said he understands we have a right to be there but he has to ask us every day. I think we have to respect the business owners.
The other thing is, the chair we have in the other doorway. The mailman also commented that “every day” he tells the people the chair is in the way because he has to get to the mail slot in the door. If no one is using the chair, can we just keep it folded up in the corner of the doorway and if the chair is open, whether someone is using it or not, if we put it at an angle to the left he can still get to the mail slot. Thanks.
Pat, 5-7 PM:
There was a lot of foot-traffic tonight, which I initially thought was due to the weather. But as the evening wore on it dawned on me that there must be some sort of college convention in town b/c I saw so many college-aged people wearing their college gear. This must have been a factor for PP opening their doors this evening to offer free HIV testing (along with pizza and beer while you waited).
I really enjoyed not having to wear gloves in February. Even more, I enjoyed getting to know Barry and Jackie from Living Hope Church in Latrobe, and Bill from St. Philips in Crafton. Bill and I prayed together on one side of the circle while Barry and Jackie prayed on the other.