Wednesday, December 5, 2012

An Overwhelming Story

           No matter how long a client advocate volunteers at any given pregnancy center, the age of some clients will always be shocking. Sometimes a married 33 year old will phone to make an appointment, yet sometimes the call is a single 26 year old. The marital status differs. The living arrangement differs. The age most certainly differs. 65% of our clients this year were under the age of 24. Statistics and past numbers still can never prepare someone for the days-like last Wednesday-when a Jr. High student walks through the door for her pregnancy test.

8th grade.

14 years old.

                It never gets old. Seeing such a young girl in such an adult situation is heavy, to say the very least, but hearing her ask questions about getting an abortion reaches to a deep place. “Where do we look to get an abortion?” “How much will an abortion cost?” “Am I still early enough to get the abortion pill?” These are the questions a fourteen year old girl is asking with tears streaming down her face too quickly to be wiped away.

                I explained the scenarios for each decision in the possible pregnancy and asked what she was thinking about it all. Words couldn’t even come out of her mouth. Tears fell onto her school uniform, overcome. Finally she walked me through the story that brought her into our doors, a story filled with betrayal, fear, and statutory rape. I sat still, as she unloaded the weight of her burden onto my shoulders.

By the hand of God, the pregnancy test read negative.

                These are the stories we hear. Even now, a full week later, it’s overwhelming to me, and I can’t help but think, “Is this overwhelming to God?” Is this Junior High girl’s story as overwhelming to God as it is to me-God, who incessantly hears countless stories like this one, and even worse ones? And again, a full week later, the answer is a loud, resounding, “No!” He’s not overwhelmed. He’s not even surprised, because the God we serve is calmly seated on His throne in Heaven, lovingly listening to every painful moan of His children. When someone walks away from Him, He’s seated. When someone plots against Him, He’s seated. No action or thought from man or demon could stir the Almighty God from His throne, because He is Sovereign. His face is not one of shock and awe. Instead, to His children, His countenance is a never-changing face of approval and acceptance. He’s not pacing. He’s not panicking. He’s not weeping, and He most certainly is not overwhelmed when He hears the hurts of His saved, redeemed sons and daughters. He’s only filled with love. Words cannot express His unwavering compassion when He hears each and every story. I’ve concluded that human minds cannot fully grasp the emotional strength of our seated, Sovereign God. He has a plan, regardless of the pain.

                Because He can listen to every broken heart without Himself breaking, pray every day that He gives us as client advocates the same emotional strength to show these girls His unchanging love day in and day out, no matter their age, no matter their life choices, and no matter how overwhelming their story may be. Pray Psalm 55:22 over our counseling doors: “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved.”