Rachel Guy: It shocks me to think that they devalued me. It makes my heart hurt to think that there are thousands of children that were never fought for, simply because of their location, because of the health status.
End of Excerpt
John Fuller: That’s Rachel Guy and she is living breathing proof that we have a Creator who loves us and forms each one of us in a unique and special way. Rachel is here with her parents Suzanne and Peter Guy, and they have an incredible story to tell, of determination and love and hope. This is Focus on the Family and your host is Focus President and author Jim Daly and I’m John Fuller.
Jim Daly: Hey John. We’re gonna share an inspiring story from a family, a great family, who have a passion for life, a passion to share the good news of Jesus Christ and that’s a good combination right there. They’ve been through quite a journey with their daughter Rachel and what God did in her life has really changed each of their lives. And, you know, they experienced hardship with doctors and what the prognosis was, we’re gonna get into all that. But this is that kind of program that you’re probably gonna wanna share with a friend that’s going through some kind of difficulty. They may not feel like they know how to trust the Lord. This is a trust the Lord story and we’ll get into it with Suzanne and Peter, and their daughter Rachel right now.
John: And Suzanne is a pro-life speaker, she served as an advocate at a crisis pregnancy center in Georgia, for eight years. Rachel is also very active in pro-life causes. She’s the leader of Marietta 40 Days for Life. And then, Peter is actively involved, supporting both of those women and their efforts to defend pre-born babies.
Jim: Well, welcome to each and every one of you. Thank you for being here.
Suzanne Guy: Thank you for having us-
Peter Guy: Thank you very much.
Suzanne: It’s a privilege to be here.
Jim: Yeah, it’s good and Rachel, good to have you.
Rachel: Thank you. Privileged to be here.
Jim: It’s good. Well let’s start Suzanne and Peter with your story before Rachel’s birth and what was going on. You weren’t really active in the pro-life movement, uh, her arrival obviously changed everything. But tell us about your background and what was going on spiritually for each of you. And then you get married and what’s happening?
Suzanne: Um, well I had the privilege of meeting Peter in college. I had given my life to the Lord sort of in the middle of my college journey. And one of the first things God convicted me of, and He had a whole lot of stuff that He could have convicted me on. But the biggest thing that He convicted me about was my choice on being pro-abortion. I had bought into the lie, a woman’s right, a woman’s body. And when I gave my life to the Lord, it was the first thing that he said, “Suzanne, first of all not only is that not loving women well, but that is a distinct human being that is left out of the narrative in the my body, my choice, what about that other body involved.” So, God really did a work in my heart, but the crazy thing was, I did nothing with… I will say I changed my voting habits; I was very convicted; I knew that I had to start seeking out people that actively supported the sanctity of all human life. But other than that, I did not do anything.
Jim: Yeah and you meet Peter, I mean were you in that position where you were saying, “Well, if you wanna date me Peter, you gotta go to church.” Or were you already in church Peter?
Peter: Well that’s another story [inaudible 00:03:27] itself.
Jim: I want the truth.
Jim: We know how college romance goes.
Peter: The truth was I was born and raised as Christian Scientist and I met Suzanne in college. We went to the same high school but never saw one another, We had mutual friends but never saw one another, which was unusual. And Suzanne and her mom, Mary, led me to the Lord through some gnashing of teeth and other things. But it was, it was a challenge-
Jim: That’s awesome.
Peter: But what we ultimately agreed upon, uh, was that she would start giving me books about being a Christian and pro-Christian. And I said I would stop reading the science and help cue the scriptures. We would just both focus on the bible. And that’s where we landed there.
Jim: Wow, what a great decision that was.
Peter: Yes, it was.
Jim: Focus on the word of God.
Peter: Focus on God’s word and then I become a believer and was saved.
Jim: So, you get married and then what’s the family plan? What the idea about children? Did you wanna get started right away or what was happening?
Suzanne: You know we had always really hoped that we would be able to have children right away and just assumed that would happen. And, um, as the years went on, we realized that not everybody is blessed that way, to be able to get pregnant right away. And that was a very, very hard, lonely at times, devastating journey. And I just wanna say to anybody listening, if you’re struggling with infertility, God sees, He cares, and He hears. It’s very hard.
Jim: When you had to go through that struggle physically and it was seven or eight years later, I think-
Jim: After you got married, if I know the story correctly, that you had some breakthrough in that area. What happened?
Suzanne: Well we were very blessed. But I will tell you just something, um, before I say that, that, um, God was really doing a work in my life personally saying, “Suzanne, this is a good, right and beautiful dream that you and Peter have but you’ve made the dream more important than the dream giver.” And that was really the defining moment in my life. A real surrendering, setting free, that I just said to the Lord, “I’m so sorry. Because it was good, right, and beautiful thing, I didn’t realize that made it more important than You.” And I made the dream giver back on the throne of my heart, made Him the focus and I was really finally freed up. And you know, went back to school to study teaching and then low and behold, one of those days after many, many, many trips to going to the different drug stores to get the pregnancy test, we saw that little line show up and we could not believe it, that we were pregnant.
Jim: Yeah. So, you read the positive pregnancy test and you start with the doctor. And what happening in those early weeks of pregnancy? Everything is going normally or what’s happening?
Suzanne: Well, we had been told because we had had so much trouble conceiving and struggled with infertility. We were told that we really needed to go to one of the best hospitals, with the best practices, with the best doctors. So, we were heavily, it was heavily suggested to us to go to this particular doctor, in this particular practice.
Jim: Kind of high-risk orientation.
Suzanne: Exactly, exactly. And we never thought to question that. Now for a really important piece of the puzzle. So, I started seeing this specific doctor. Everything was going pretty well, but at one point they did what was called an alpha-fetoprotein test, I never thought to question anything about any of the tests, because we were so excited that we were pregnant. I mean, I didn’t say, “Hey, what does this mean? Why are you doing this?” That kind of thing.
Suzanne: So, um, the test came back with results that the doctor said, “Hey, we’d like to do an amniocentesis because there is a, a high percentage that your child would have down syndrome.” And without missing a beat, I said, “Well that’s okay.” You know, and we’re not going to risk harming the baby by having an amniocentesis, and if the child has down syndrome, the child has down syndrome.
Jim: Right. So, we don’t need the test.
Suzanne: Right, exactly. And, um, that was the first time very noticeably my doctor was very upset with me. I even remember thinking, “Why would he be upset with me? Why would a doctor behave in that manner?” And it honestly should have been a huge red flag, but again we were new to this. So, you know, he kept being persistent and Pete was not at the doctor visit with me and I kept on saying, “No, we are not going to do it.” So, he was very frustrated, but he said, “Okay.” And we would go back to another visit with a level two ultrasound many weeks later. But in the meantime, I had developed something called hyperemesis. I didn’t know what the terminology was at the time but violently, violently throwing up all the time. To the point where my mom said, “I cannot believe that the doctor is not sending you to the hospital to get an IV.” And I said, “Mom, every time I call him, he acts frustrated with me, he tells me this is normal, just to let it go, I don’t need an IV.” Again, you know, I should have had many red flags, but I just thought, “This is a doctor, he, I was told he was one of the best, we were entrusted into his care, so he must be giving me good advice.”
Jim: You went in, and in your point being, get a second opinion, get another referral.
Jim: Try to find other people who are truly pro-life in the profession of being a physician. Then you go in for the ultrasound. What… And that took another turn for the worse. What happened in that diagnosis?
Suzanne: Well, Pete and I were very excited about our 22 week, that’s when it was scheduled, for our 22 week ultrasound. We were talking back and forth if we were going to find out the gender. We just could not get to this ultrasound fast enough; we were both so excited. And at the last-minute Pete got called out of town on a business trip. But we were so excited about this appointment that we agreed that I would go without him and that I would call him after and tell him all the wonderful news and that kind of thing. So, I go to the appointment, I’m lying on the table, the cold gel is on my stomach and that, the ultrasound tech is moving the wand around, and I’m excitedly looking at that beautiful baby, the humanity of that beautiful child on the ultrasound screen. And then the next thing I know the technician says, “I need to excuse myself and go get the doctor.”
Suzanne: Now I knew in that moment that something was probably not right. But I was not prepared for what was about to happen. A doctor from the practice, not my primary OB-GYN, comes rapidly in the door, in the most elevated frantic voice, a voice that I didn’t even think doctors spoke to patients in, saying, “You need to have an abortion. Half your amniotic fluid is gone, your baby must have a chromosomal abnormality, not compatible with life.” We heard that, if we heard that 20 times, we heard it 30 times. Over and over, before I could even say anything, she just kept emphasizing, “Your baby must not have any kidneys, your baby must not have a bladder, and your baby clearly has a chromosomal abnormality, not compatible with life. You could die and your baby most certainly will die.” And when she finally took a breath and I got to interject something, praise God in that moment He gave me the presence of mind to say, “I would never abort, my husband and I would never abort. This child is valuable and I’m not going to abort. Stop saying that please.” But she was very frantic and continued to go on and on, saying all these different things about this chromosomal abnormality and how our child would never live. And when I refused, she said, “Fine,” not in a happy way, “Fine, come back in two weeks.”
Jim: Wow. That’s amazing. Just the pressure and you draw so wonderfully into that moment, and, and it’s a tough moment.
John: Yeah and our guests today are, um, Peter and Suzanne Guy, and their daughter Rachel. This is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. And if you’re following along, thinking I’m feeling those same frantic emotions that Suzanne was feeling. Or if you’ve had an experience that really has you unsettled, give us a call. We have caring Christian counselors here and we’d be honored to be able to talk with you and kinda get you into a place of calm and peace and see what God might be doing. Our number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY or stop by www.focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.
Jim: So, uh, what happens next? You go away for two weeks, you come back. You know, what happened at the point?
John: And Peter you’re no doubt there.
Jim: I put him for this one.
Peter: I’m there for that one, yes.
Suzanne: Most definitely. Well I will tell you something, um, after that 22 week visit, I immediately called Pete on some phone, explained what happened, he said, “Suzanne, I’m going to call your primary care OB-GYN.” He called that person and that doctor said to Pete, “Don’t worry about it, just tell her to drink more water.” Fast forward to week 24. Yes, my wonderful husband was with me that time.
Suzanne: We were definitely going to make sure we were there together.
Peter: That’s when we got more difficult news.
Suzanne: The interesting thing, so we go back, I’m there for the ultrasound again and this time there was no amniotic fluid.
Suzanne: The same doctor said, “For certain, you could die, your baby most certainly will die. You have no amniotic fluid, for sure there’s a chromosomal abnormality, not compatible with life.” We both said that we’d not abort but what was about to happen next was truly more chilling than even having this doctor in the most animated frantic way speaking to us. Because we were sent up to an office with yet another doctor in the practice. But in the most calm, bone-chilling, casual way, he told us the only thing, the only answer, the only thing they would offer us was an abortion. And he said it as if he was talking about something that was so casual. The taking of a human life, as if it was not that. As if all of a sudden, our child’s life had become disposable. She’d gone from a valuable human being to just because of a poor prenatal diagnosis, all of a sudden, she was seen worthy of a death sentence.
Peter: And I, I asked him, I said, “Well, we would like some other options.” And what did he say Suzanne?
Suzanne: He said in all his years of practice, nobody in our position has ever not aborted. He said to us, “Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of other children.” To which I said, “We don’t care if we have a 100 other children. This child is valuable.” And he said, “I think you guys are not understanding me. Your child will have no quality of life. Your child will be blind, deaf, have mental issues, if your child even lives.” And we said, “Our child will most certainly have quality of life because our child will know the unconditional love of Jesus Christ.”
Jim: So, I mean, everybody is going, “What happened?”
Suzanne: Well, there are some things that happened in between. So, Pete so beautifully said toward the end of our back and forth conversation, “What will you do for us? We’ve made it clear; we will not take our child’s life.” And he said, “Go home and wait for your baby to die and you will give birth to a stillborn child.” So, we went home with a level of depth and despair that I cannot put human vocabulary to.
Suzanne: But as we started-
Jim: But God, I love this part.
Suzanne: But God.
Jim: But God.
Suzanne: But God.
Jim: But God.
Peter: All of our hope. But God.
Suzanne: But God. We, you know, started asking people to pray, sharing what was going on. I will never forget the holy spirit let words of Rachel’s granny, my mom, Mary. She said this simple statement that to this day is the driving force in our life and can I say may no one ever minimize the voice of one person, taking words straight from God’s heart and mouth to theirs, breathing hope and life into a desperate situation. Everybody that we’ve been telling, so supportive, so loving, we will pray. My mom said, “Suzanne, is there still a heartbeat?” I said, “Well, yes.” She said, “Suzanne, if there’s a heartbeat, there’s hope. We pray.” And that simple statement
Peter: What a 180. 180.
Suzanne: was used to take us from a place of despair and darkness, to putting our eyes on Jesus and not living like our daughter was dead because she was very much alive. And all of a sudden, we had a bounce back in our step and we are going to fight for this baby. So, we called up, we were not going to go to church that weekend, we were so sad. But now we had a new bounce in our step, we went to church, Pete talked this amazing OB-GYN that we went to church with, she said, “I know your primary OB-GYN, I’m going to call him.” She called him and said, “I know this family. Please fight for their baby, won’t you at least do some more tests, fight for their baby.” He said, “The only test I will offer them is an autopsy.”
Jim: Wow. It’s like the whole deck is stacked against you with physicians.
Peter: Yes, dismissed. Fully dismissed, no hope, no action for life for Rachel, you had been dismissed by this doctor.
Jim: So, what happened?
Suzanne: So then, this wonderful doctor friend said, I, she said. “I’m gonna talk to some doctors at my hospital,” and she did. And they said, “We will honor their request to fight for their child’s life.” because they saw the humanity of our daughter and they saw two patients. And they saw that our child was not disposable. They saw that she was every bit as valuable even if she was everything those doctors said, sick or not, obviously in a very concerning situation, that she was a human being worth fighting for. God bless pro-life doctors. I assumed when Rachel was younger, she once said to me, “Mom, why didn’t you go to a pro-life doctor in the first place?” I said, “Rachel, your father and I thought that all doctors were pro-life.”
Jim: Well that’s a good lesson out of this whole situation for everybody.
Peter: Yes, it’s a life lesson.
Jim: It is so true. Um, so you have a c-section. Rachel is born, she goes in the NICU, describe that quickly cause I’m gonna get Rachel in here.
Peter: Well, I was gonna say we’ll fast forward to 26 and a half weeks um Suzanne had been in the hospital, uh, both with Rachel unborn, monitoring them and they rush them in for the c-section at one point and I was in the room hiding behind the blue sheets. So, um, and then I saw Rachel come up from behind the blue sheet and they said she wouldn’t make a noise and she was making all kinds of noise and her arms were swinging.
Jim: The normal stuff.
Peter: The normal stuff. It was a beautiful thing and doctor later told us that it was like taking a pit out of a peach, but there she was. And then she was taken to the NICU and that’s a whole another story.
Suzanne: One pound two ounces.
Peter: Yeah, so my wedding ring here, it fit over her hand and slipped past her elbow. That’s how tiny she was. And then she spent a lot of time in the NICU, we would take one step forward and three steps back, and there were a lot of babies in the NICU.
Jim: What, five months right?
Peter: Five and a half months, yeah. Five and a half months.
Jim: But she made it.
Peter: She made it and we brought her home. We brought her home.
Jim: Rachel, I mean you sitting here listening to all this story. I know you’ve probably heard it a thousand times, if not 10,000 times. Um, to hear those doctors talk about you so disposable, now that you’re here and how old are you now?
Jim: 22 and you’re living and walking, you’re doing fine in your, your health. What do you think about, when you think about the way those doctors talked about you?
Rachel: It shocks me to think that they devalued me, it makes my heart hurt to think that there are thousands of children that were never fought for, simply because of their location, because of their health status. It shows the reality that if somebody is not as saved, or if we aren’t putting the Lord first, how quickly our mindset of the humanity of a life can be lost. And when I was, um, 14 years old, in 2012, the Lord said write the doctors who didn’t fight for you and I said, “Lord, I don’t know what I’m gonna say, help me guide me.” God got me in His scriptures, God through a, a six month process he gave me the message. He said, “You share the gospel with them, you share with them that I desire to see them forgiven and set free. You share with them that you forgave them.” And I can’t forgive them without my Lord. I can’t but in Him I can. And you ask them to use their power to fight for life and not to harm life. I sent the letter, I didn’t have any expectations of what I, of getting any response back but by the Lord’s grace and by His mercy I got two responses back of the doctors. And they both said, “I didn’t think that you would live, I’m thankful that you’re alive.” It was an absolute heartbreak and brokenness to see how easily they dismissed my life. Yet it was also the Lord’s hope to see that they could be renewed, that they could be transformed, that, that in all of us the gospel message transforms us and so God could use, you know, and I think about in Genesis 50:20 and the summary, it talks about what in Joseph what men made for evil, God used for good for the saving for many of the lives. And man meant, and sin meant, and hell meant for my life to be taken. But God said, “No, no, not on my watch.” And it’s just a responsibility that I think that our family recognizes to proclaim the Lord Jesus as, and to show also that we have a responsibility not only to speak of spiritual life but to speak of the fact that God has given us responsibility as believers to proclaim life for the gospel and to proclaim the physical life is fought for.
Jim: And I so appreciate that. What a perspective, you gotta be so proud of your daughter.
Peter: Oh yes.
Jim: She’s 22.
Jim: Okay. All of us parents are going, only if. (Laughs). But I mean, what an amazing thing, your passion, born out of your pain. This idea of your mom, Mary, well named by the way.
Suzanne: Yeah (laughs).
Jim: But your mom, Mary saying, “Hey, as long as there’s a heartbeat there’s hope.”
Jim: And wouldn’t that be the better scenario for these doctors to go by? Rather than, you know, their God syndrome somehow bestowing upon them the thumbs up or thumbs down for life. Just trust God until the end. And I, I think the whole culture has to battle with this, because we in this situation where it’s easy to say, “Let’s terminate.” It’s much more difficult to trust God. And but man you’re here and you’re a walking, living testimony to what God intended for you.
Jim: And this is the testimony that, you know, raises the eyes of Rome, to say, “What is it that this people believe? How did that person survive? She should have never survived. We gotta know more about her God.” And that’s the letter that you wrote. And that is good too. Man, this is so good. Um, looking at the end the wrap up statement here, how’s it changed your family?
Suzanne: Oh boy, um, let me think of how to say that in a succinct way. Honestly, um, I believe her life more than ever has shown us the importance and priority of saying yes to Jesus, trusting Jesus even when people with bigger and fancy degrees are telling you something. It’s so easy to accidentally even as believers look at someone from a worldly perspective and say, “They’re smarter than I am, they’ve bigger degrees than I have,” but to remember that ultimately we must filter everything through God’s opinion and view of things. As a woman who was in a crisis pregnancy, having doctors breathe down my neck, saying this was my only option, I fight for the women to say that no one ever regrets choosing life. No one ever regrets saying yes to Jesus. Even if she had not lived, she was still valuable and worth fighting for and we all have a role to play in fighting for these children and loving women in unplanned pregnancies, or planned crisis pregnancies, better and well. There is a role for every person to play.
Jim: Wow that’s perfectly said. Thank you all for being with us. This has been really encouraging, thank you.
Peter: Thank you for having us.
Suzanne: Thank you both for fighting for life.
Jim: Oh, you bet. Let me… This should excite you as well. We’ve been doing our option ultrasound, which is placing ultrasound machines in pregnancy resource clinics around the country. And we’re are nearing 500,000 babies saved. I think we’re at 465,000 over those 16 years, there 465,000 Rachel’s and Bobby’s, and everybody else that have been saved because their mother who is abortion minded saw the picture of their baby and said, “Yes, I’m gonna choose life.” And we wanna continue, my goal is to try to reach a million by say 2025. That would mean that we’ve got to accomplish in five years what took us 15, but we’ve got it down. And with the help of these pregnancy resource clinics, who are at the ground level. And I would say to your point, Suzanne, support that local pregnancy resource clinic.
Jim: Volunteer time, clean the toilets there. Do those things that need to be done and support them financially, which is what Focus has been trying to do all these years. But I think together we can get there to that million saved.
Jim: And it’s only $60, $60.
Suzanne: To save a life.
Jim: To save a life. It’s $600 for the abortion, and $60 to save a baby’s life. And I would encourage you to think about, maybe you could do that monthly. Think of saving 12 children’s lives, every year. That would be the way to go, I think. And Jean and I are committed to that. So, thank you again for being with us. And I hope, man I hope Rachel and Suzanne and Pete’s testimony moves you to say, “I can do something,” $60, can you do that? Let’s do it together.
John: Yeah, join us as we speak up for life and defend those who have no voice. You can join the support team for Option Ultrasound, which as Jim said has been going on now for 16 years and very, very effective in saving babies. Make that monthly pledge if you can or one-time gift of $60, we will so appreciate that. You can donate when you call 800-A-FAMILY or at www.focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And as I said earlier, if you are in a tough spot, if maybe you’re facing a pregnancy that is difficult or you’re not sure where it’s gonna be going, give us a call, we have caring Christian counselors. Our donors make that service free and they’d love to talk to you. We’ll set up a time for you to have a consultation with one of them. Just call 800-A-FAMILY. And on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team here, thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller inviting you back as we again help you and your family thrive in Christ.