While waiting for my son to finish soccer practice one day this week, I took a walk on a cross-country trail cut into the nearby fields. Each side of the path is so overgrown by this late in the year that you can’t see where you’re going until you get right up to the point where it takes a new direction. I started thinking about how often life feels the same way.
As an admitted control freak, I prefer to know what’s ahead. But life doesn’t cooperate. The twists and turns in the path make it impossible to plan everything out ahead of time.
Happily, I have experienced the faithfulness and providence of God often enough to know that it’s safe to stick to the path He’s cut for me even though I can’t see all the places it’s leading. His plan for my life is way better than anything I could dream for myself anyway. I just need to be reminded from time to time.
Finding out that you’re pregnant at an unexpected time is certainly a sharp turn in your path. Women in that situation need to be reassured that God has a plan for them and their children even if they can’t see all the details. May He use us to give them that good news, and to walk with them on their journey so they don’t feel as alone or afraid.
7-9 AM +++ Barbara and Richard
Saint Louise de Marillac pro-life witnesses Josh, Karen, Joe, Denny, Chris, Megan, Glenn, Bill arrived early. Soon after, Dan from Steubenville came, signed in and began to pray.Barbara
I stood back and took a photo of the Planned Parenthood building – the site located in Pittsburgh that sells aborted baby bodies for research to Pitt. It looks so normal. “Normal” is an odd word today.
Sandra and Daniel, a mother and son team traveled from Fairmont, West Virginia. They posed for a pic with Shift Buddy Bill and Mark, 9-11 shift manager. Kathy came, our shift was completed. Joe told us about a young woman, newly pregnant, whom he and his wife know. A friend of hers already suggested abortion. We spoke with Regina at Birthright. She and Joe and Joe’s wife will form a life line and reach out to the newly pregnant mom.
Life is good!
9-11 AM +++ Kathy and Mark
Thanks to Lori and her five children; Dan; and Colleen for coming today all the way from Steubenville, OH. Shift Buddy Mark persevered through the two hours and Bill H. stayed briefly at the start of my shift.Kathy
A few women entered the building. Some took resource cards and some did not. A few chastisements from passersby and one patron but also a “thank you for being here, I support your work” from a woman coming from an appointment and had to cross the street to tell me.
After the first hour, a car pulled up to drop off a PP worker. The driver, a young woman, who Barbara and I had a lengthy conversation with the first Friday of the vigil, began taking pictures of us and the display. She and I picked up where we left off and for the next ten or so minutes covered the issue of personhood, necessity of abortion, abstinence, etc. She talked to Lori as to why she was there and accepted her answer “to pray.” This young woman felt praying was appropriate but the signs, fetal models, and approaching women to offer literature was not. She also suggested that we buy the building across the street to do our work and get out of the cold. I told her that I’d pass along her suggestion. I returned to praying silently and she got in her car and left after a brief conversation with Colleen.
11 AM-1 PM +++ Nikki and Katie
There was a great turnout of prayer warriors on the sidewalk today during my and Katie’s 11 to 1 shift. There was never less than at least six people at any one time and everybody remained prayerful and peaceful. Luckily it did not seem to be a very busy abortion day, although at least three or four seemingly abortion bound couples entered during my shift. It seemed like most of them were receptive to at least receiving information and hearing our offers of help, although it did not appear that anybody took us up on it. I wonder though, with so much prayer going on and with such a powerful witness, especially with all of the young people from the culture project, many of them kneeling, I wonder if there were supposed to be more appointments that did not show up? We leave that in the Lord’s hands. It was chilly and rainy, but that just made our prayers more fervent. There was one couple who walked by that I offered information to because they looked like they were headed into Planned Parenthood but the man said to me that she is pregnant but they already have all of the information they need thanks to us on the sidewalk! That was encouraging! There was also a young woman who stopped to take pictures and argue her point that we should not be there. She was filming and live streaming the conversation and she took up at least 30 to 45 minutes with her arguments, which seemed to go nowhere. A few of our pro-life witnesses engaged her and tried to talk truth to her but it seem to be of no use. At least she was not angry or vulgar, she was respectful and even appeared somewhat friendly, although I did not talk to her, I only watched from afar. Thanks to all of the wonderful people who came out to pray and witness in the rain today! At 1 o’clock I left the Vigil in the capable hands of Elaine and her friend Bernie, along with sidewalk advocate Katie who is there for four hours today and people from Saint Matthew Parish as well as Holy Sepulcher.Nikki
1-3 PM +++ Elaine
Joining me today for the vigil were parishioners from Holy Sepulcher/St. Killian’s parish grouping as well as parishioners from St. Matthew’s Parish. Katie was with us part of the time. We prayed the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. One woman stopped and talked with Katie and myself. She was really concerned about a woman she knows who is pregnant and is addicted to drugs. The woman she knows took the abortion pill but is still pregnant. The woman who talked to us got Katie’s contact information and Katie got her contact information.Elaine
3-5 PM +++ Val, Mike, and Christine
Val, Mike, and I were joined by many prayerful witnesses including those from St. Catherine Laboure Parish pictured below.Christine
5-7 PM +++ Pat