Although it seems like a distant memory now, it was only a few months ago that Focus on the Family's "Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life" ad aired during the Super Bowl. Rather than being confrontational, as some critics had speculated, it was actually an upbeat celebration of the bond between Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow and his mother, Pam. A few days after the Super Bowl, the Barna Group released data showing that more than 5 million people reconsidered their position on the issue of abortion after viewing the ad!
And that is where a young woman named Susan enters the picture. Susan is in her 30s, single, and pregnant. She saw the Super Bowl ad, visited our website, and emailed our ministry in search of guidance. A member of our staff wrote back with words of encouragement and additional information related to pregnancy. Susan wrote again, sharing an inspiring testimony of how Focus had come through for her in her hour of need. Her message read, in part:
". . . You may think that all you did was e-mail me back, but you did so much more than that!!! You gave me hope and encouragement. You let me know that if I need help it's out there. . . . Why was I worrying about what the baby's father wanted me to do? I am always trying to make other people happy. I kept thinking that unless I have an abortion, he won't be happy. Well, you put the focus back where it belongs . . . I have a lot to figure out, especially financially, but I will put my trust in God. . . . Your organization, through the Super Bowl ad and your thoughtful e-mail, saved this baby's life. I have no doubt about that. And in the process maybe you saved my soul." Read Susan's entire letter.
Since that original exchange, our staff has had the opportunity to communicate with Susan several times via phone and e-mail. She represents many women nationwide who are unmarried and yet faced with the prospect of having a baby. We read statistics about this all the time—but Susan is not a statistic! She's a unique individual who, despite outside pressures, has made the brave decision to bring her child into the world rather than abort it.
I'm pleased to report that Susan's baby is due in September. In the meantime, she has graciously agreed to write a few articles for Focus sharing her feelings and experiences during these final weeks of pregnancy. I believe you'll find her openness and transparency refreshing. She has made mention of the fact that Focus on the Family has impacted her life, but we have learned a great deal from her, as well. This interactive, two-way flow of ministry is what we're aiming for here at Focus. And as Susan shares her perspective with us, I want to remind our readers that this story is not scripted. This is one woman’s real-life, ongoing experience.
I'm certain you'll be touched by Susan's ruminations on pregnancy, single motherhood, and life in general. And I hope you'll pray for her and her precious baby as the due date approaches!
James D. Daly
President, Focus on the Family