John Fuller: Every life is precious. Young and old, weak or strong, planned or unplanned. And here’s a touching comment from a woman named Diane in New Hampshire, about a very special experience that drove that message home to her…
Diane: 21 years ago, I placed a child for adoption, and she recently came back looking for me and now, I have 5 children. And she is an incredible, amazing young lady. And she’s an incredible gift that could have easily been aborted. And I’m so grateful for the choice that I made so that she could be part of our family.
John: That’s a sample of some moving stories that we have for today on Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller. And we’ll get to some of those really memorable stories in just a few moments.
But first we want to bring you an update on the exciting events of last Friday in Washington D.C. surrounding the 47th annual March for Life. And Jim, you were there to witness it and be part of it all.
Jim Daly: John, it was a remarkable day. I mean, tens of thousands of people who care about protecting the lives of preborn babies, and moms, from abortion poured into Washington D.C. to be part of the March for Life. It’s an annual event and it’s something.
The enthusiasm was energizing, and it was tremendous to once again see all the young people. I’d say 80% of the audience is high school and college age kids.
Jim: And I mean it was really something.
John: And they were making a big pro-life statement with their presence there. And then, as most of our listeners know, there was something else very historic about the event.
Jim: Yeah, that’s right. It’s never happened before at the March for Life. But for the first time ever, the President of the United States came and spoke in person to the thousands gathered on the mall. I mean they’re estimating 150-200,000 people. It was BIG. And we wanted to make sure that you knew about it.
And it was so encouraging to hear President Trump take such a strong stand for the sanctity of human life, making his impassioned remarks in front of that large crowd.
And regardless of your politics–I get all that. But that’s not what we’re talking about here. We have to give the President credit for speaking out for preborn boys and girls who don’t have a voice. And we applaud anyone – I don’t care if you’re Republican or Democrat – who does that, and it shouldn’t be a political issue at all. It’s a moral issue in the nation. And it’s the fundamental right to life that’s given by God — not by man. And certainly not by government. And I thought the President made some very poignant statements on behalf of babies in the womb, and the moms carrying them. And I’m really thankful that he took the time to speak on this issue of life.
John: We have a portion cued up right now. So, here are a couple of excerpts from his historic comments.
President Donald Trump: It is my profound honor to be the first president in history to attend the March for Life.
We’re here for a very simple reason. To defend the right of every child born and unborn to fulfill their God-given potential.
All of us here today understand an eternal truth. Every child is a precious and sacred gift from God.
Together, we must protect, cherish, and defend the dignity and the sanctity of every human life.
When we see the image of a baby in the womb, we glimpse the majesty of God’s creation.
When we hold a newborn in our arms, we know the endless love that each child brings to a family. When we watch a child grow, we see the splendor that radiates from each human soul.
And as the Bible tells us, each person is wonderfully made.
Jim: Well, President Trump said it so well, John. He also spoke of the importance of defending religious liberties. And it took some courage on his part to show up in person at the March for Life and be the first president to be a voice for the voiceless in that way.
Some of the media didn’t pay attention. I mean, I don’t know where they were. Other media were critical of his involvement, citing the ulterior motives, the impeachment issues, all that stuff. But the fact is, he took a public stand. A powerful public stand for preborn babies.
And the President affirmed what the Bible says –that we all are fearfully and wonderfully made. The Psalmist wrote that we were knit in the womb by God.
There were so many great moments in this speech. I want to share some of the additional remarks from the President, again, because this has never been done before. No president has stepped onto that Mall for the March for Life effort. And it was historic.
The theme of the March for Life this year is “Life Empowers: Pro-life is Pro-Woman.” And obviously, tens of thousands of women are represented at the event. Jeanne Mancini, the President of the March for Life, told us a few weeks ago this event highlights women and their right to life, pointing back to the suffragist movement which gave women the right to vote 100 years ago.
Abortion is a women’s rights issue. And so, in this next excerpt, the President addresses and honors women and thanks them for the difference they make in our country. So, let’s listen to the conclusion of his speech…
President Trump: To all the women here today, your devotion and your leadership uplifts our entire nation, and we thank you for that. The tens of thousands of Americans gathered today, not only stand for life, it’s really here that they stand for it so proudly together, and I want to thank everybody for that.
You stand for life. Each and every day. You provide housing, education, jobs, and medical care to the women that you serve. You find in loving families for children in need of a forever home. You host baby showers for expecting moms. You make… you just make it your life’s mission to help spread God’s grace.
And to all of the moms here today, we celebrate you. And we declare that mothers are heroes.
Your strength, devotion and drive is what powers our nation. And because of you, our country has been blessed with amazing souls who have changed the course of human history. We cannot know what our citizens yet unborn will achieve. The dreams they will imagine. The masterpieces they will create. The discoveries they will make. But we know this. Every life brings love into this world. Every child brings joy to a family. Every person is worth protecting. And above all, we know that every human soul is divine. And every human life, born and unborn, is made in the holy image of Almighty God.
Together, we will defend this truth all across our magnificent land. We will set free the dreams of our people. And with determined hope, we look forward to all of the blessings that will come from the beauty, talent, purpose, nobility, and grace of every American child. I want to thank you. This is a very special moment. It is so great to represent you. I love you all.
And I say with true passion, thank you, God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you all. Thank you.
John: That’s President Donald Trump speaking last Friday at the March for Life in Washington D.C. And again, that marks the first time a sitting president has ever spoken in person at that event in its 47-year history.
Jim: Now that is amazing to me, John, because every year… I mean, it’s somewhere between 100 and 200,000 people gather together. And I’m so grateful to Jeannie Mancini, who is the president of the March for Life. Of course, we have been working together on our own events. The New York Times Square event last year. And I just so appreciate her and her entire staff. The March for Life has been faithfully doing this for 47 years. And to have the President come, that was really important for the movement.
Jim: And to hear his full remarks, I’m sure people can find that online somewhere.
But like I said, this rises above the political fray. This is a moral issue in the culture. And I was proud to hear our president speak about life in the way that he did.
I wrote about the March for Life in my blog, so you can read that, as well.
Also, this is a good time to mention ALIVE 2020, our event on May 9th which is coming up. Focus on the Family is having a 5-city event in different regions of the country to celebrate life and defend the preborn. And people can register for these events at our website. We’ll have more to say about it at the close of our broadcast today.
John: And between now and then, you can get the details and register at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.
Well this is Sanctity of Human Life Month. And for the rest of our time today, we’re going to honoring life by sharing some incredible stories from listeners who have called in and told us about God’s work in their lives. Let’s go ahead and start with Shirley in Indiana.
(Prerecorded Phone Calls:)
Shirley: My son, Josh is 30. He was born with muscular dystrophy. He’s in a wheelchair and on a ventilator. And one particular day, we were going to clinic, the nurse and I and Josh. And we sat in this waiting room. Well, he’s quite a sight when you see a ventilator and all the hardware and the equipment.
One little boy was walkin’ up toward us and I was watchin’ him walk and he … I thought to myself, he looked like he had CP [cerebral palsy]. He saw me lookin’ at him. And when he saw Josh, he did a double take. He walked over to him and said, “Oh,” just real sympathetically. And he laid his head gently on his shoulder to stay away from the hardware.
And he turned and he looked at me and he put his arms up in the air and I said to him, “Oh, Honey, I would love to give you a hug.” He threw himself in my arms and I looked at his mother and she and I are smiling at each other through our tears. And that little boy ministered to me so much, because that day I had just really had a hard time coping. I was, you know, doing the “mother blues.” And I realized that the Lord had sent that precious little boy to give me a hug and say, “I get it; I get it.”
Mary: One beautiful afternoon, while pushing Mom in her wheelchair through the garden, I noticed her wince in discomfort, again. Too frail to adjust herself, I asked, “Mom, what’s your greatest challenge right now?” thinking she would direct me to the area of her bodily discomfort.
Her answer caught me off guard. In a slow humble whisper, she uttered, “My greatest challenge? My greatest challenge is doing God’s will every day. It is showing Jesus’ love to everyone I come in contact with every day, from showing Jesus’ love to the workers who bring me a drink, to those who change my diapers.”
This attitude, which embodied my mother, gave her otherwise pointless life a purpose, a value and a meaning. Yes, her body was broken, but her heart was alive and productive. Who but God can determine the value of human life?
Faith: I celebrate life by remembering my son, Elliot, born to us on March 18th of 2010. Born at 28 weeks, Elliot was whisked away to the NICU and the infant cardiologist determined that he had a 1 percent chance of survival with extreme medical intervention.
My husband and I chose to allow our son to live his short life in comfort and peace. Our six hours with him in his little NICU room was spent singing to him, holding his hand and telling him stories about his brother and sister and how we would’ve loved on him if we would’ve been able to raise him. While in my arms, Elliot left us to be in the presence of Jesus.
Sharon: I was a maternity nurse for a very long time and one night, I came on shift and there was an anencephalic little girl born during the afternoon. And she was lying there in her little bassinet and uh … without a diaper and she was wet, and she was cold and she … her heart rate was just in the 60s, which is almost a code in neonate.
And uh … my heart just melted, and I wrapped her up. I got a portable heater and I just loved that little girl for 12 hours. And just with the warmth and the rocking that I was able to do, as nobody else came in to deliver – I was the delivery nurse that night. Her heart rate went over 100 almost within 15 to 20 minutes of just being loved.
And I prayed God would just take her from my arms to His, but He didn’t that night. And I went home, and I came back the next night and I spent another 12 hours just loving that little girl. And that’s nearly 25 years ago (weeping). I claimed her as my own and I said to my husband, “If the Lord ever gave us a little one that was imperfect uh … in any way, I would spend my life loving her.”
Cheryl: It was 26 years ago that I found myself pregnant, newly married with 1 1/2-year-old twins and a 7-year-old. While this should have been a joyous occasion, it was not. My husband and I both agreed that it was not a good time to have another baby.
I scheduled an appointment with Planned Parenthood to have an abortion at 9 a.m. that morning in March. My husband stayed behind to care for our children. When I arrived, I paid the fee and waited for my name to be called. During the wait, I began to pray, “God, please don’t let me make a mistake.”
Years earlier I did have an abortion before I met my husband. But I had also recently given my heart to Jesus. Forty-five minutes had passed, and my name had not been called. The receptionist informed me the doctor was running late. I kept praying, “God, please don’t let me make a mistake.” Then another hour passed and still they didn’t call my name.
Anxiously, I checked again with the receptionist and she told me that this has never happened before. Frustrated and emotional, I sat down, continuing to pray, “God, please don’t let me make a mistake.” Now it is near noon and still no one knows where the doctor is.
I stepped outside to phone my husband. He told me to come home and that everything will work out. So, after nearly a three hour wait in the abortion clinic, my husband and I made the decision not to abort our child. I was so excited and relieved.
As soon as I had one foot in the door of the clinic to cancel my appointment, the assistant called my name. Shocked at God’s amazing timing, I looked at her and said, “No, I’m keeping my baby” and left.
Today that child who was almost aborted, loves the Lord with her whole heart. She’s married and now expecting her first child and my first granddaughter. (Weeping) We are overjoyed. There are no words to express my love and gratitude to God for listening to my simple little prayer that day. God gave me just enough time to change my mind and save my baby’s life. I’m forever grateful.
Mikki: Hi, my name is Mikki Peterson and I actually had an abortion in 1973. It was actually the year that Roe v. Wade passed. I was a young single mom who got pregnant and um … even though I didn’t want to, I didn’t see another option. And um … I aborted a baby. My baby, the … in the same hospital that I gave birth to my first two children in.
And I would look in my children’s faces and feel like a liar and a hypocrite and murderer and about 11 months later, I took my boys to their father’s house and went to a hotel room to take my life. And a commodity broker had been telling me about Jesus Christ and I grew up in a church. And I just said, “Hey, been there, done that. I know He died for my sins; so what?”
But that night in the hotel room, I picked up the Bible. And even though it didn’t ‘make sense, it prompted me enough to call him. And I said, “I don’t know what you have, but I need it.” And uh … I said, “I’ve done something that can’t be forgiven.” He said, “What’s that?” I said, “I’ve taken the life of my own child.” And he said, “I’ve got bad new and good news for you. The bad news is the wages of sin is death. You need to die for your sins.” And I said, “That what I was gonna do.” And he (weeping), whew! He said, “But the good news is, 2,000 years ago, Somebody died in your place.” And after all those years of hearing that Jesus died for my sin, it finally made sense to me. He took my place.
Oscar: Ten years ago, my daughter, who was 17 at the time, became pregnant. And um … the boy’s parents wanted her to have a … a[n] abortion. His parents were … actually kicked him out of the house. And I went to meet with them, and they were very angry, asked me what do I want from them? I guess they thought I was gonna sue them.
And I said, “I don’t want anything from you.” I said, “We have two young people who made a mistake.” And I said, “Your son needs you. He needs your love now.”
And this… his mom broke down and cried and asked me to have him call them, get back in touch with them.
Well, the result has been an amazing 10-year-old granddaughter that I have. I love her deeply. And I thank God He is using this story to help others and to let them know and even the women who have had abortions, that He loves them. He’s a God of compassion. And He’s a God of forgiveness.
Diana: I have (weeping) taken three lives from abortion in my lifetime. And when I heard this special on the radio, I realized that I have been healed. God is so good. He’s a merciful God and He is forgiving. And one miracle that He did in my life was to forgive me for what I did to take three lives that were not mine.
And I’m … just want to share with the other women out there that God is a forgiving God and we can move forward from this. And I love Him for that.
Janelle: My daughter was born on … after a very difficult delivery. And from that point on, she was extremely disabled. Had cerebral palsy, was confined to a wheelchair, um … nonverbal, but she had normal intelligence. We took care of her at home. I … I took care of her till she was too heavy for me. And then my husband sacrificed his career to take care of her.
He taught her computers, and this opened up a whole new world for her. She became involved with Joni Eareckson Tada’s family camp ministries and organized many summer camps, leading the young adults and co-leading their activities with another short-term missionary.
Through her insistence that my husband take her to family camp, my husband after 27 years of marriage, became a Christian because of my daughter. And our lives changed dramatically from that point on. And I don’t know (weeping) how it would have happened if Leslie hadn’t had her disability.
Ninvah: One of my hardest time[s] was Christmas 1984. My beloved husband died on May 23, 1984. Our children were age 4, 3 and 2-years-old. I did not know that I was pregnant at that time until two weeks after my husband died. I was so sad, not knowing what to do. But I made up my mind to keep and take care of my baby the best I could and let God do the rest I could not do.
January was my due date, but a baby boy was born to me on December 23, 1984. On Christmas Eve we used to open our presents. The most tragic Christmas for us, my husband was gone forever who used to give gifts to us.
Suddenly a thought came to me and I told my children. “Your dad had a very special gift for all of us.” I quickly ran into the bedroom, wrapped my baby in an oversized Christmas stocking the hospital had given. We all smiled and laughed and hugged our baby boy present, while tears poured down our cheeks. It was a very sad moment, yet there was hope that only God knows what the future will be.
One thing I know is, life is hard, but God is always good.
Jennifer: I am the mother of three special-needs children, ages 6, 8 and 10. Our second son has autism and at one time, I was plagued by rage, anxiety and lack of sleep. Too much sunlight threw our daughter into tantrums. This has not been an easy road.
But last night, our son with autism asked me to dance with him. To many people, this may not sound like a big thing. To parents of children with autism, we know it’s a big thing. Even our oldest son said, “Mom, I can’t believe he’s dancing!”
Part of the wonder of having special needs is the joy we get out of everyday stuff. Nothing is common. Nothing is taken for granted. I’d like to encourage other parents and parents to be who may be struggling. When I became a Christian in 1997, I had no idea what God planned for my life, but I can tell you this. Through these children, Jesus absolutely changed me.
I know what it’s like to have failed as a mother and because of our children, I know the forgiveness and redemption that comes only through the grace of God.
If you have a special-needs child, then you are incredibly blessed. God’s greatest gifts come in the most unexpected packages. Don’t throw yours away. Don’t give up.
Ask Jesus to help you unwrap your gift. You will be amazed by what’s inside. And remember, whatever you do for one of the least of these, you do for Jesus Himself. He’s with you all the way.
John: Well, speaking personally, those last couple of calls from Jennifer and from Ninvah, those really summed it up for me. That this gift of life is a supremely valuable gift from God’s hand, regardless of the package, regardless of the weaknesses that we have, we’re made in God’s image.
And we’ve been listening to a powerful collection of calls from around the country. From people who, Jim, like you and me, value life.
Jim: And John, the only thing greater than life itself is eternal life. And I love hearing these stories about how God has drawn people closer to Him, either through a chronic illness, a disability, or even through a decision that they later regretted, and how God redeemed those situations. And I’ve been inspired by these friends who’ve shared these humbling situations with us today. And for some, it wasn’t easy to do that. And I want to say thank you very much for opening up a part of your life to all of us.
And if you’re wrestling with a decision about life, I want to encourage you to connect with us here at Focus. We are here to help you.
John: We have caring Christian counselors available. And if you’d like to schedule an appointment give us a call.
There are also a number of ways that you can stand up for boys and girls in the womb and be a voice for the voiceless.
Jim: That’s right. You can save a baby’s life through our Option Ultrasound program as we provide hundreds of grants for ultrasound machines and sonography training for Pregnancy Resource Clinics. More than 440,000 babies have been saved…
Jim: …since the inception of the program. For every $60, another baby’s life is saved. So, we’re asking you to make a $60 pledge, if you can, every month to save 12 babies a year.
If you can’t do that on a monthly basis, then make a one-time gift for this incredible program.
We’re also excited about our five-city event on May 9th, the day before Mother’s Day. It’s called Alive 2020. It’s similar to last year’s Alive from New York event.
This time we’ll have live events in Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Southern California, and South Florida. So, make sure you ask about that when you contact us.
John: And we’ll have more details, of course, online. We’re gonna have award winning musical artists and inspiring speakers at every event. And a live ultrasound of a third trimester baby that we’re gonna have on massive screens. It’ll be a tremendous celebration.
Get the details, and make sure you donate, when you’re at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Or call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. 800-232-6459.
On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for listening today to Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller inviting you back as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.