New Planned Parenthood President is Right about One Thing

Lamentations 3_40

“Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the Lord.” Lamentations 3:40

Last week a new president of Planned Parenthood was announced, Dr. Leana Wen. In an interview she shared her reasons for deciding to take on this new position. Her tone indicated that she deeply believes in the cause of Planned Parenthood and has resolve to fight for and inspire others to fight for what she considers a right for all women.

Twenty-five years ago I entered the doors of a Planned Parenthood. Three heartbeats went through that door–mine, my boyfriend and my unborn child—two left, and one was silenced. The two hearts that left physically intact were emotionally and spiritually shattered.

As I listened to Dr. Leana Wen, a deep place within me grieved as she truly believes she is fighting for a just cause. She used terms like “healthcare” to describe abortion. She tells a story of a young lady who died in the emergency room she worked in because of a home abortion, a young lady who was too scared to go to an abortion clinic and that she believes this death was due to a failure in our system.

She is right. This death was due to a failure in our system—a system that fails to teach who we are as created in the image of our Almighty God. A system that fails to teach that if God is for us, who can be against us. A system that fails to teach that God can and does work all things together for good and His love is above and beyond all we can ask, think or imagine. Oh that we would search out and examine our ways and turn back to the Lord in our system.

If our system taught those truths, then this young girl might have seen her pregnancy and situation differently. She may not have sought out an abortion—legally or illegally. Every life lost matters.

There indeed is a failure in our system.

I meet women all of the time who did not physically die from an abortion—but their heart did that day. That day, a part of their heart became dead. They are hindered in their ability to mother, to nurture, to have healthy relationships with friends and in marriage. They are breathing, but not fully alive.

Every life lost is devastating and women die from abortion procedures at abortion clinics. Some have nearly died and not received medical treatment needed due to the abortion clinic not wanting to gain negative exposure.

Dr. Leana Wen also stated that she wants to “Fight for our most vulnerable individuals on a bigger scale.” This statement also grieved my heart. There are two vulnerable individuals we need to address.  One is the woman who may not have the emotional or financial support she needs, and the other is the baby whose life is at risk. Both of these need to be addressed.

The woman who is pregnant is vulnerable, perhaps alone, hurting and at risk.  She does need support. She needs the body of Christ to come alongside her, love her, support her and help her. However, abortion does not help her and to claim it does is to deny the reality of the pain abortion brings. God cares for the broken hearted. God will make a way when we turn to Him instead of trying to “fix” things on our own. He is saying, “Come to me, trust me. I can make this all turn out for good.”

The other is the baby whose life is at risk. There is no one more vulnerable and defenseless than an unborn child. The womb is intended to be a safe place for a child to grow and develop. Our society has made this safe haven into a war ground between a women’s right to her own choice and the precious life she was given to carry. The choice to have sex or not is the choice we have, except of course in the case of rape. But rape is tragic enough without the added trauma of abortion in a person’s life. Death on top of death is never a good solution.

Dr. Leana Wen sees abortion as mainstream medical care. She stated reproductive healthcare is healthcare and women’s healthcare is healthcare. Healthcare is healthcare. What I hear her saying is that abortion is healthcare. Abortion is basic healthcare, like going to the doctor when you are sick with a cold.

In some cultures this is a common thought and I have heard it often—getting pregnant and having an abortion is like getting a cold and going to the doctor. How far our society has fallen when our mentality of life is reduced to getting rid of cold, and ending a pregnancy is compared to eliminating a virus.

This is heavy on my heart and is indeed a heavy subject. We too must fight for our most vulnerable individuals and speak truth in order to change the failure in our system—the failure of not teaching the truth about who we are as sons and daughters of God, and that every life is precious and God ordained. Every life. Every single one is precious.

Dear Lord, I pray for Dr. Wen. Father may she see every life as precious. Lord, may we as a society have our eyes opened to the truth of our identity in Christ and who you made us to be. May we value each individual life and honor and respect each other as image bearers of the Most High. Oh Lord, how our heart grieves. Lord we ask for your light to shine on the darkness and for your truth to expose the lies. May we as a society choose life and our hearts would turn toward you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Aligning with the Accuser

Forgiveness and grace place us back in a position of honor even though it isn_t what we deserve.

“He said to her, ’Women, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’  And Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.’” John 8:10b-11

Father, forgive us for often partnering with the accuser. Forgive us as the church and body of Jesus Christ for aligning with the accuser instead of lifting our brothers and sisters up who have brought their sin into the light of your presence and confessed it. Far too often they are met with condemnation and judgement rather than grace and forgiveness. Lord, help us as the body of Christ to do better in embracing our sisters and brothers and helping to restore them to the full place of honor you intend for them to have as your son or daughter. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

As the Church and body of Christ too often we fumble in how to react when our fellow brothers or sisters in Christ come to us with their sin. We act shocked and often respond in condemning ways. We unintentionally cover our brothers and sisters with a blanket of shame instead of reassuring them of their covering in the blood of Jesus Christ. Shame attaches to identity, can lead to self-hatred, which can cause a downward spiral of devastation in a person’s soul.

When we shame others, we are aligning with “the accuser”—the enemy, who is all about shame. He is the one who accuses. And our self-righteous, self-hating flesh is all to eager to agree. When we do this, have we not eaten of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, thinking we have the right to judge, condemn and put sentence on those who have sinned?

Grace cannot grow in the hard ground beneath the shadow of that deadly tree.

And if the offense was against us personally it can be even more difficult to maneuver our way from accusation and seeking justice to the life-giving place of grace, mercy and forgiveness.  

We live in a sin filled world full of fallen people. It is impossible to live on this earth without experiencing offense.  When someone sins against us, it can cut to the core ripping our heart in two. Emotional pain can feel physical if the impact is severe enough. There have been times when I wanted those who hurt me to experience the same pain they caused and feel the weight of shame.

The offense may have been horrific and God saw it all and He is the great avenger of injustice.  God understands the violation was great. He is not asking you to forgive someone who is innocent but someone who is guilty. 

Even after I thought I have forgiven an offense, a part of me may still be tempted to cry out for justice and want recompense. Sometimes we need another round of forgiving, or possibly seventy times seven before it begins to work through our system to remove the toxic effects of unforgiveness. We may even need a booster shot later when our hearts are exposed again.

Words from the book The Supernatural Ways of Royalty by Kris Vallotton and Bill Johnson express the Lord’s desire for restoration to an even greater degree.  

“Forgiveness restores the standard…Your forgiveness restored me back to the place of honor. Repentance means, ‘to be restored to the pinnacle, the high place.’”

Forgiveness and grace place us back in a position of honor even though it isn’t what we deserve. That is what grace does and that is what grace is. When we forgive another, it isn’t saying I forgive you but I still am going to treat you as I think you deserve to be treated. This may be the most difficult part of forgiveness—to give honor to those who we decided are undeserving of honor. God loves even the worst offenders. It is difficult for us as humans to completely grasp this kind of love, grace and forgiveness.

I pray we all can flourish in the fertile soil of grace under the Tree of Life, choosing grace over judgement and choosing honor over accusation. Let’s no longer align ourselves with the accuser but instead let us as the body of Christ be a life-giving place for our brothers and sisters to bring their sin into the healing grace of the light of Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

Your True Worth as an Image Bearer

May there be a deeper revelation in the body of Christ of who we each are as image bearers, how valuable we each are and of our worth because of who God says we are--and no other measure

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, overall the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26

Father, there is a lack of understanding of who we are as image bearers of the Most-High God. This lack has caused a barrage of violations from the worst and most horrific offenses to the subtle ways we dishonor one another daily. Oh Lord, will you give us your heart and your eyes to see others as image bearers, created as sacred and full of value and worth. Heal our hearts and lands. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Worthiness is a truth I have struggled with most of my life. Whether due to words spoken or not spoken over me as a child or life choices that resulted in catastrophic fallout. It is not only me, most Christians struggle with walking in worthiness. We even feel it is prideful to feel worthy and coddle those unworthy feelings blanketed in pride of our humility.

Jesus calls us worthy. God sent Jesus because He decided we were worth the cost. Not that we did anything to deserve it. No. Our worthiness has nothing to do with us or what we do or don’t do, it is grounded in who we are created in the image of God and the price Jesus paid for us. Those truths and those alone determine that we are worthy.

When Eve took the fruit of the Tree in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3: 1-6), for a moment, she forgot her worth. She forgot who God had created her to be. She forgot who she was—an image bearer of God with all dominion and authority.

As a body of Christ, we too have forgotten who we are and who every person is—an image bearer, sacred and full of value as a son or daughter of God.

For years I have prayed Ephesians 4:1, that I would “Walk worthy of the calling with which I was called.” Last week, as I prayed this again while struggling with feeling unworthy (not due to any specific sin on my part, just not fully understanding who I am), I felt the Spirit of the Lord say the following in my spirit:

“Walk worthy. Walk in the worthiness you already have in me. It isn’t about a list of things you do or don’t do, it is about who you are in me. Walk in your worthiness.” 

Who we are created to be as image bearers has been weighing heavily on me. The Lord has been revealing more revelation about the value we have in that we are created in the image of God. The enemy hates us for that and it is his goal from before we are born to destroy and demolish the sacredness of our life. 

From the moment of conception, there is a plan to kill, steal and destroy who God has created us to be and many times those plans come to fruition in various ways. 

From abortion and the most horrendous abuse to how we treat one another in our marriages, and how we speak to our children or even the clerk at the store…it all matters, and it is all about how we value life and others around us. Every life is sacred and deserves to be treated as such–with full honor, seeing each other through the eyes of our Father. 

If the world had this revelation, that every life is sacred, created in the image of God with divine purpose and destiny there would be a stark decline in child abuse, pornography, marital strife, contentions, suicide, murder, sexual abuse, or rape.  

All of this is very heavy on my heart. I know God is bigger and we are not to carry this weight but I feel like I am tasting just a portion of how the heart of God is grieved by this. 

I pray for there to be a deeper revelation in the body of Christ of who we each are as image bearers, how valuable we each are and of our worth because of who God says we are–and no other measure. 

If this message blessed you, would you please share this message of life, healing and worth with your friends on social media. Praying this message spreads to the ends of the earth. Thank you. –Sue Molitor, Deeper Still 

 

Prayer for CareNet Conference

Life more abundantly (1)

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”  John 10:10

Father, we lift up the Pro-Life CareNet Conference to you and ask for you to bless all going and all who are working to prepare for this conference. May every Kingdom purpose be completed. We ask for you to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask, think or imagine. Heal hearts, change lives, give all of those attending a deeper revelation of who they are as image bearers as well as who others are as image bearers. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Next week is the CareNet Conference, a national pro-life conference held for all pregnancy centers under the CareNet organization. The Deeper Still Ministry will be there as well with a booth to represent healing the abortion-wounded and the vital role healing this wound has to the cause of life. 

Many abortion-wounded women and men will attend this conference. Please pray for those who need deeper healing or are suppose to start a Deeper Still Chapter to be led to our table.

Thank you for your prayers. Some additional ways you can pray given from CareNet include:

  • Protection for those traveling to and from Atlanta. 
  • Blessings upon the keynote and workshop speakers.
  • Renewed energy and deeper empowering of our conference attendees 
    for ministry.
  • That abortion supporters would come to a point of repentance.

For more information about how you can pray and fast for this important time, click below on this blog post link: https://www.care-net.org/get-involved-blog/fast-and-pray-2018-national-national-conference

We appreciate you locking arms with us in the cause for life and healing for the abortion-wounded. Thank you! 

How I Fight My Battles

God is fighting for you and interceding on your behalf

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14

Often we feel like we have to fight and claw our way, pushing into the promises of God. The flesh schemes and strategizes how to best position itself for the intended outcomes it hopes to achieve. There is a better way.

The other day my son was distraught due to something happening at school. It seemed unfair and his frustration level was nearing the level of the just giving up range.

My first inclination was to send an email to someone in the school who could possibly help if notified, then Exodus 14:14 entered my mind.

Instead of sending an email or fighting in the flesh, I prayed with my son and asked the Lord to intercede on his behalf and fight for him and also prayed for the parties involved.

The next day, just when my son was about to hang up his hopes and quit the activity that was causing him grief, the Lord intervened and the very thing we prayed about happened in that moment. The Lord had fought for him and won.

If I would have sent an email, perhaps there would be been a change, but my son would not have directly seen God fighting on his behalf. He knew God did that for him, not me. God’s victories are always better than the ones we fight on our own.

Perhaps you too have been facing a challenge and you need a victory. Perhaps you have fought and fought, striving to achieve to no prevail and you are weary from the battle.

God wants to fight for you. Lay down the weapons of the flesh, surrender to the Lord, and ask Him to fight for you. Worship and pray. Then watch and expect to see Him move. He has the victory. He has the battle plan. With Him, you’ve already won…

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to BE STILL.”

Father, thank you that you have already won the battle. Thank you for fighting and interceding on my behalf. Lord, I confess that at times I fight in my flesh, feeling the need to defend and protect myself. Forgive me Lord. Father, I am laying down my earthy weapons and ask for you to fight on my behalf in the battle I am facing of ______________. In Jesus Name, Amen. 

 

 

Thank you Message From Karen Ellison

Please click below to hear a personal message of appreciation and ministry updates from Karen Ellison, the founder and president of the Deeper Still ministry. 

Thank you from Karen Ellison (3min 8 sec)
karen video

Offense Can Hinder Healing

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to

 

“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:3

Father, let us walk worthy of the calling set before us, with all lowliness, gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. May we be quick to realize the schemes of offense from the enemy and stand in unity and peace in ministry and with others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Offense is a tool the enemy of our souls uses to steal, kill and destroy. He uses it to steal from relationships, kill contentment, destroy marriages, lives, and even ministries. 

Merriam-Webster gives five meanings to the word offense.

  1. An act of stumbling.
  2. Something that outrages the moral or physical senses.
  3. The act of attacking.
  4. The act of displeasing or affronting.
  5. A breach of moral or social code.

In Ephesians 4:3, Paul made a point to “beseech” his brethren to endeavor to keep the unity, implying there must have been a need to do so.

Human nature is human nature and does not change over the course of time. The Holy Scriptures are encouraging us today 2000 year later with the same charge—walk worthy of the calling, with lowliness, gentleness, and longsuffering, bearing in love, keeping the unity of the Spirit in peace.

Not that this is always easy. Offenses come. The enemy will make sure of it. Our part is how will we act when they come.

Offense is a sticky web and wants all it touches to be entangled by it. If we don’t take the bait, we stay free. If we take the bait, we are caught fighting a battle we were never meant to fight.

We must also be careful to not be the one to offend, to start the offense. There are some who feel it is their responsibility to expose and speak ill of others. This is sticky ground. Does God really have people in the business of exposing faults or shaming publicly?

All of these actions hurt people. There have been times offense has reared its ugly head and sadly there are times I have been caught in it. I understand the wounds an offense can bring. It would be easy to go about spewing my hurts. And at times, I am sorry to say, offense did seep out of those wounds.

The irony is offense was hindering me from receiving my own forgiveness and healing. My offense was hurting me not the one who offended me. This is how offense operates.

When we bring an offense, we must remember, we are attacking. Perhaps someone stumbled and offended us (intentionally or not), but it is not the correct response to respond in offense. It only hurts us and others.

The definitions Merriam-Webster has given for offense are all negative. None of the consequences of offense are positive. The Lord will fight for you. The Lord will defend.  We need only be still. 

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14

Telling My Daughter About My Abortion

There are moments when God steps in and interrupts the day for His higher purposes and glory

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9

Lord, thank you for your leading. Thank you that even when we don’t understand what you are asking us to do, we can rest in knowing your ways are better and higher. Help us to trust you in all things. I pray you would show us when the right time is to tell our stories to others and our children. May our will align with yours.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

There are moments when God steps in and interrupts the day for His higher purposes and glory…

In a half-awake state in the morning dawn, I heard the words in my spirit, I need you to remember that I am good. This message rang quiet alarms as to what this could mean. I went out to my porch with coffee, journal, and Bible in hand, as I often do to speak with my Jesus. In my spirit, I heard surprising words, You need to tell her today.

I knew what the Lord was referring to. I was about to make a video sharing my abortion story for my church. The enemy had been blackmailing me, stating I couldn’t make the video because what if my ten-year-old daughter found out, what if someone told her, what if she saw it. But I knew the video was the Lord’s will and this opportunity to reach women and men in my church who needed healing from abortion was from Him. I had to make the video. I rebuked the enemy and went on drinking my coffee as I opened my Bible and journal. 

Today Lord? She is only ten. She’s so young and I am unprepared for this. I was planning to tell her at some point, but today? No God. I have other plans for today.

I did have other plans. Plans I had full intention of keeping. There was a women’s luncheon at a sister church and many of my peeps would be there. I had registered my daughter (whom the Lord was nudging me to share with) and myself for a sweet day with the Lord and community. No God. I already have plans today. It was decided in my mind, today couldn’t be the day and besides, maybe I’m not hearing from God. The Answer. Is. No.

On the way to the luncheon in the car, this urgency to share with her did not lift but grew heavier. In my spirit, the words, “You need to tell her today” played over and over again in my mind like a chorus. Again, I answered, No, I have other plans for today. I already told them I am coming. No God, not today.

God is relentless and persistent. He is a gentleman but He will make it uncomfortable to get our will to align with His.

My daughter and I arrived at the church. There were beautiful gift bags awaiting both of us at the front door. Grabbing our bags, we said hellos, passed hugs to familiar and friendly faces and made our way to our seats. Breathing a sigh of relief, we began to worship. I thought I had finally dodged the nudge. Then I heard it again—you need to tell her.

Lord?! Really, here?! I wasn’t in a belly of a whale, thankfully it hadn’t come to that—yet, but I knew I needed to obey and this wasn’t going to let up or go away. I whispered to Sarah that we needed to go out to the lobby and that I had something to tell her. We went out to the lobby.  With prayers flooding my mind, I said these words,

“I have something hard to tell you.  It will be hard for me to say and even harder for you to hear. “

She looked back at me intently and conveyed with her eyes and nods she was ready to hear whatever was to come.

“When I was in college, I was dating a boy and I became pregnant.”, my eyes welled with tears.

She gently interrupted by the revealing and leading of the Holy Spirit and quietly asked, “Did you take a pill to kill the baby?”

Thankful I wouldn’t have to actually say the words myself because the Holy Spirit had just given her the words, under sobs the word “yes” came.

“Will you forgive me?”

The next words she said will forever be etched in my mind. With grace beyond understanding, her eyes full of tears and her voice soft, she whispered these words:

“Mom, I forgive you. People make poor decisions when they are hurting and scared.”

Amazing grace–is there any way to comprehend it? 

The grace and wisdom coming from this ten-year-old. I was awestruck. The Holy Spirit was fully in this interruption of the day and His wind was blowing me away.

What happened next is almost too much glory to bear and will be for another story at another time. God leads in the most incredible ways.

I have had many ask me when or how they should tell their children about their abortion. God will show you when the time is right. And don’t be surprised if He just wakes you up one morning telling you

It is time.

 

Abortion is a Spiritual Issue

“You shall not pollute and defile the land in which you live, for [shedding of innocent] blood pollutes and defiles the land. No atonement can be made for the land for the [innocent] b

“You shall not pollute and defile the land in which you live, for [shedding of innocent] blood pollutes and defiles the land. No atonement can be made for the land for the [innocent] bloodshed in it, except by the blood of him who shed it.” Numbers 35: 33

Above all else, abortion is a spiritual issue. Abortion has many consequences, but one often overlooked or not taken into consideration is what happens spiritually when innocent blood is shed on the land.

Innocent bloodshed on the land empowers the darkness in our country. The enemy of our souls has gained access in areas of our country due to this spiritual consequence. And we as a nation are largely oblivious to this spiritual truth.

Pro-choice advocates not only deny the life taken and harmful effects of abortion on the women who are exercising their right to choose, but also are unaware of the spiritual after-effects that are happening as a result of this bloodshed.

There are those who believe there are all kinds of justification for the shedding of innocent blood. People even believe that it is right for one to suffer for the good of many or for some to be disposed of for the good of the masses. This is a common philosophy among the population control advocates. Governments dictate what is considered best for the people and make themselves into a god-like form with powers to declare what is right and good and best for all.

A good example of the evils of this was depicted in the recent Avengers movie Infinity War. The villain in this story believed he was doing the universe a favor by destroying life, even the life of his own daughter. (Sorry for the spoiler.) His belief was she was worth the sacrifice in order to save the planets.

It is a twisted thought process rooted in anti-Christ theology. Some people may even point to Jesus as an example of sacrificing one person in order to save the multitudes. Pardon me for a moment as I untwist this tangled mess.  Jesus was not sacrificed by anyone. He willingly laid down His life out of His love for humanity. No one made Jesus do anything. No one took His life. It is not the same, not even close.

Poverty and disease and all other manner of evils are out there as a justification for killing people.  Poverty in many countries is a result of evil government control and it is not going to end no matter how many citizens are killed. Even in America, we can see the hardships of poverty and the devastation it brings to people. Would we ever suggest killing innocent people to end poverty? However, that is what we do when we defend abortion as a solution to the ills of the world. Is the answer more abortion? Is the answer more evils to counteract the evils?

There is a vicious cycle of death due to abortion and the shedding of innocent blood. The land becomes cursed because of the idolatry and innocent bloodshed on the land. These iniquities open doors for judgments on the land. Killing the unborn and innocents only adds to the debt that brings judgment and curses. As a result, the enemy becomes empowered and more and more death and destruction can take place. When will it end? When will this cycle cease?

The cycle can only cease as we repent, pray, push back the darkness and regain the land. We can take back the land through prayer and pleading the powerful blood of Jesus Christ, the One who atones for all. We can take back the land through using our voices to proclaim truth throughout our nation and the nations of the world. Step by step, prayer by prayer we can reclaim our land and plant spiritual flowers of life, bringing blessing.

We are in a moment in history where Roe vs Wade could really be overturned. What a beautiful cycle of restoration it would be for the curses to be reversed into life and blessing on the land. This blessing could cause a chain reaction of life spreading and healing of the land taking place throughout our nation and world.  

Father, forgive our nation for the shedding of innocent blood. Lord, we ask for you to forgive us and have mercy on our nation and lands. Jesus, Your blood turns back all curses and atones for all sins. We plead the blood of Jesus over our people and land. Lord, even though we don’t deserve it, will you allow Supreme Court Justices to be appointed who will stand for life and overturn the unjust ruling of Roe Vs Wade. We cry out to you for our land. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Praying for a Stranger

whentotakeapregnancytest-min

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

I prayed a prayer the other day for a stranger I may never meet.

The only evidence of this stranger’s existence was on the edge of a toilet paper dispenser in the bathroom of a local restaurant in the guise of a plastic wrapper—a pregnancy test wrapper.

My heart was burdened as I thought of the young woman or girl who laid it there. Questions arose wondering the outcome of the test. Did she leave the bathroom elated or desperate? Was this a happy occasion or one that caused her despair as she wrung her hands at the possibilities that laid before her? It’s just plastic—but it represents a life of a person and her heart in that moment.

This encounter with plastic set in motion a memory which seems surreal as if it were a stranger’s story.    

In life there are moments like pinpoints on a timeline signifying something significant happened here.  These memories are imprinted in bold while some moments drift away to be forever forgotten. It is a mysterious phenomenon. The memory this pregnancy test invoked is one in bold never to be forgotten.

It was the end of my freshman year of college. I had been dating a boy for about a month.  Life was full of promise as summer approached.  However, there were symptoms that perhaps I could be pregnant. Anxiety swept in bringing with it a myriad of questions and what ifs.  We bought a test—a pregnancy test.  Did the thing you do and waited in the other room. Minutes seemed like eternity. Both of us did not want to look but we knew we needed to look. Together we faced the results. There it was—red and bold—a plus sign. It may have been small, but in my mind, it was large, starring at me, hauntingly mocking me. My world was forever about to be changed.

In my mind, a baby was out of the question. I was only nineteen, a freshman in college, not ready to be a mom. What about my future? What about my dreams. Couldn’t everything go back to “normal”, the way it was before the red plus sign? Can I have a “do over” please?

In my mind abortion was the “do over” button. What I didn’t know was abortion is not an easy fix but more like a red nuclear button with tremendous fallout. No one wins. Nothing would ever be the same again.

The short version of this story is I chose abortion. The long version of this story is long and well, more complicated than that. Most stories are more complicated than the short version.

The long version involves my parents finding out about the red plus sign, a wedding planned, a wedding canceled, all my family and friends knowing about the pregnancy and the abortion, a date rape, depression, a breakup, and self-destructive behaviors…until Jesus. Like I said, much more complicated than the short version.

When I saw the pregnancy test wrapper lying in the bathroom that day, I couldn’t help but think, “What is her story? What is her complicated story?” Was this lady also considering abortion, feeling hopeless and alone? Or had she been trying for months or years to get pregnant? Did she leave there rejoicing or anxious with what ifs? Did she leave with disappointment for once again seeing a negative sign or relief?

I said a prayer for her that day, whoever she is. I wish I knew her story. If she was like me at nineteen full of anxious thoughts at seeing that plus sign, I would hold her and tell her:

It’s going to be ok, you can do this. Be strong and courageous. Life is a gift, embrace the gift. A baby may not have been in the plan, but all life is God-given. God has a design and destiny for this life, this baby and He chose you, beautiful you to be this person’s mother. God doesn’t make mistakes, He chose you and this baby is not a mistake. With the Lord Jesus, this is possible. You can do this. Choose life. I didn’t and I can never go back and choose again. With abortion no one wins. You are stronger and more able than you know. This crisis is but one moment on the timeline of life. The crisis will pass and will either symbolize a beautiful gift to love and cherish or empty arms and a heart broken with regret and sorrow.

Would you join me in praying for all facing a plus sign to see life in the womb for the beautiful miracle that it is, fully God ordained and full of destiny and purpose. And would you pray for the hearts of those hoping and waiting for God’s perfect plan.

Father, I pray for every person taking a pregnancy test today. Lord, would you infuse them with hope and courage. Lord, I pray that someone considering abortion would read this today and choose life. May your truth be louder than fear. And for those once again disappointed, hoping and waiting for a child, would you encourage them as well and bring peace to their hearts as they wait on your perfect plan to unfold. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.