Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Victim’s Story

        We live in a fallen world, a world with mistakes, slips in judgment, and unwanted pregnancies. The young girls who walk into our doors share their stories of regret and shame. They choose for themselves to walk the slippery road of premarital sex, and they need hope. That is the primary account we typically hear. Some days, however, we hear the stories of the victims. We hear the exceptions. We rediscover the utter depth of this fallen world. Yesterday morning, we wrapped our arms around a 24 year old date rape victim. Expecting a typical appointment, our client advocate took her for counseling. The dark story began to unfold.

        Weeks prior, she attended a party at a close friend’s home. The actual of events and decisions at the party are irrelevant at this point, because it was the choice of another that sealed the night. Unnoticed by her, a man slipped a drug into her drink. Faces blurred. Voices quieted. Her mind seemed to close its eyes, remembering nothing from that drink forward. Hours later, she awoke to an empty house, entirely naked and alone.

"What was the drug?"
"Who was the man?"
"Why did this happen?"
        These questions, among countless others, are justifiably asked, but the answers are nonexistent. The days passed, and the fear becomes reality. Yesterday morning, the diagnosis read clear: Positive. She’s carrying a baby conceived by rape.

        Two drugs are primarily known as the “date rape” drug:  Rohypnol (AKA “roofies”) and GHB (Gamma-Hydroxybutyerate) (AKA Liquid X). They both produce a sedative effect, amnesia, muscle relaxation, and a slowing of psychomotor responses. The effects can last up to 8 hours, depending on the dose. The typical use of these resembles the following: The attacker will slip the drug into a drink. Upon consumption, the victim will appear drunk and helpless. The attacker will then offer the victim a ride home. When the victim regains consciousness, he or she has no memory of the events.

        Two-thirds of rape victims between the ages of 18 and 29 know their attacker and over 60 percent of rapes occur in residences. This devastatingly proves true in our client’s case. She questions if it was her friend of 7 years, the host of the party, who attacked her. A DNA test will be administered soon to identify the father of this baby.

In the meantime, our client moves forward.
To the glory of God, she has chosen LIFE for her baby!
        She is researching adoption options! The Community Pregnancy Center is also giving her an ultrasound appointment to reaffirm her decision for life! She’s confused. She’s hurt. She has so many unknowns, but she is trusting God with this new life growing inside of her. She’s attending church, and she’s praying for hope and praying for guidance.

        We serve a God with love greater than this world’s hate, grace deeper than this world’s evil, and hope brighter then this world’s devastation. No matter man’s free choice, God offers a rescue. No matter man’s betrayal, God offers a salvation. Yes, we live in such a fallen world, but we stand in the presence of the God who wins! He has conquered this world, and the devil’s days are numbered.

        Praise our Gracious King for bringing this young woman into our doors. Thank Him for His intervention, leading this woman to LIFE for this baby! What a reigning, loving God! Cover this woman in unrelenting prayer as she walks forward!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Jackie's Story

Last night, I led worship with a close friend of mine at a Pearland youth service. The young youth pastor continued his sermon series called, “Hot Topics”. The Lord certainly planned my presence to coincide with last night, because the topic of the evening was Abortion. The pastor arranged a panel for an interview segment. Three individuals lined the stage.

A man who was adopted at 3 weeks old shared the story of his birthparents. They were just 16 when they selflessly made the choice for adoption. The young man read aloud the letters his then teenage parents wrote explaining their decision for his life. Tears streamed down his face as he spoke their words, “It wasn’t because I didn’t want you or because I didn’t love you. It’s not because I don’t care. I chose this, because I care about you so much.”

Another man opened his adoption story to the students. He and his wife wanted so desperately to have children of their own, but doctors diagnosed this dream as medically impossible. To the glory of God, this man explained, this family is no longer childless.  Within three years of each other, two young girls separately chose life for their unborn children. They chose adoption. Because of their choice, this man and his wife are now raising two beautiful daughters!

The final panelist was Jackie. Her story gravely opposed the previous success stories. She bravely shared her choices for abortion. When she was 15 years old, her parents separated. Her mother spent her time dating. Her father spent his time working. Her need for love sought fulfillment through other outlets: drinking, drugs, and boys. The latter resulted in a pregnancy at 15. Feeling utter desperation, she chose abortion. She wanted out of the situation, and, in her young mind, that was the only solution. Continuing her destructive lifestyle, Jackie discovered she was pregnant again just 2 years later. At 17 years of age, she chose a second abortion. She would chose abortion one more time when she reached her twenties, totaling to 3 abortions.

At the time, she claimed to be a Christian. She went to church with her family, and knew all the right answers. Looking back, however, Jackie admits, “You cannot truly be a Christian and do this to your body.” Years passed, and Christ changed her. She came into a new relationship with her Loving Maker, and to this day, she stands sober. Through Celebrate Recovery, Jackie has faced her past, faced her decisions. This, of course, means finally confronting the 3 abortions. She recounts the years of shame and heartbreak: every time she saw a baby, every time she saw a child the age her babies would be now, every time she had to list the number of pregnancies in a doctor’s office. The remembrances were haunting.

Her side-effects of the abortions reach deeper than psychological. When Jackie married her godly husband, they immediately began the process of trying for a family. Finally, the test read positive! In her fourth pregnancy, she deemed herself ready and so excited! Unfortunately, because of the effects of the abortion procedures on Jackie’s body, the baby miscarried. The cruel darkness of loss inside of her devastatingly deepened. This would be her last pregnancy, because she was then diagnosed with cervical cancer. She made the decision to have a hysterectomy. She no longer can have children of her own, an intrinsic result to her choices years earlier to kill the children her body once carried.

Both she and her husband are healing. Our God is very much a God of redemption, forgiveness, and restoration! Jackie finds rest in His promises. Though she fully grieves the scars she suffers, she now lives in the sustaining peace of Christ. They are now looking to adopt.

The Community Pregnancy Center encounters 15 year old “Jackies” every single day. God gives us the opportunity to share not only pregnancy’s options, but also His salvation. We have one guaranteed appointment to offer a life of hope, not shame. Jackie’s story is such a reminder that we still have a most-prominent purpose!