Listen to Laura Lynn Hughes on the Focus on the Family Broadcast, Embracing God’s Gift of Life.
We stood by my stairway as the 21-year-old young woman unraveled the story of her unplanned pregnancy.
“I don’t know if I can do this,” Mariah said. ” I have plans for school, me and Ty are rocky, and we don’t even have parents to help us.”
All the same reasons she rehearsed on her way to the abortion clinic when she was only 16. Same boyfriend, same repeat crisis.
I’d love to save a life, I thought, but I feel so inadequate.
I breathed deeply, listening for the Holy Spirit’s whisper, then replied, “Mariah, I believe that God is going to work everything out for you.”
I was a divorced single mother of five at the time, working a part-time job and running a home day care. Busy with my own life, I didn’t fully understand how the words I uttered would have such a profound impact on this young woman.
Words matter – especially when they concern saving the life of a preborn baby.
Have you ever felt inadequate, or perhaps disqualified? Maybe you’ve always wanted to help save the life of a preborn baby, or speak life to the mother and father, but you don’t feel up to the task.
I have good news for you: God doesn’t call the qualified; He qualifies the called. You may be thinking you don’t have anything to offer, but Jesus gives us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3), and He wants to use you.
“Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute.” (Proverbs 31:8)
Recently, Mariah reminded me that the penetrating words, “God is going to work everything out for you” are the words she desperately clung to as she courageously chose life for her son.
Words carry power, especially the Word of God. Speaking life is an essential part of Christianity. We are called to encourage one another. We have God’s Word, and we are to use our voice to speak up for the voiceless.
This is how words and advocacy change the culture.
Despite my feelings of inadequacy in another area, writing, I authored a book – but mostly because three 12-year-old girls became pregnant in my town within a one-month span. Choose Zoe: A Story of UnPlanned Parenthood and the Case for Life was birthed out of a conviction to say something.
I was only 15 when I became pregnant, so I felt heartbroken for these young girls in my community. But even though I cared deeply about their situations, I still tried to talk my way out of answering God’s call.
God, I’ve barely even read a book, and You want me to write one? I’m not educated. I’ve messed up. I’ve had more than one unplanned pregnancy.
My pleas were heard, but my arguments proved futile.
These days, I spend time volunteering at a pro-life pregnancy clinic. As I’ve spoken with so many young women in crisis, I hear myself still saying the same thing:
“Everything’s going to be OK. I believe that God is going to work everything out for you. You can do this. We will help you.”
Teens in crisis clearly have many practical needs, but their greatest need is what every Christian can offer: kind words, love, compassion, peace and – most of all – the life and hope that Jesus came to give.
Abortions do not solve any of the problems that bring young women into abortion clinics. Abortion providers offer false compassion. True compassion leads people in a pregnancy crisis to choose the abundant “life” (zoe in the Greek) that Jesus came to give us, as well as life for their preborn baby.
Unplanned parenthood isn’t always easy, but it is always worth it. Have you considered that you might be the one to speak life to young women and couples in crisis?
Begin by being yourself. Use the gifts God has placed in your hands. Think of the widow who used her last bit of flour and olive oil to bake bread for Elijah (1 Kings 17:12-15), or the woman who poured out her best perfume on Jesus’ feet (Luke 7:37-38), or even young David with rocks in his pouch (1 Samuel 17:40).
Even if you’ve been involved with an abortion in your past, you are not disqualified to help those considering abortion. In fact, you’re the person who best understands what someone facing an unplanned pregnancy needs to hear. Rely on the wisdom of the Holy Spirit for the right words. Remember, when we don’t know what to say, the Spirit himself intercedes for us (Romans 8:26).
If you struggle with your pro-life calling, consider 1 Corinthians 1:26-31.
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
Whatever gifts God has given you, He can help you figure out how to use them in pro-life ministry. Consider volunteering to become a life advocate at a local pregnancy resource clinic. You can find a pregnancy center in your area by visiting Optionline.org/Center-Locator/.
After all, you never know who needs to hear your words.