Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Lost Girl's Story

On Tuesday, April 23rd, our doors opened for the first time that morning to a young girl at 11:30 am. She didn’t know anyone who had already been here. She didn’t read about us on the website. She didn’t even have an appointment. She just saw our sign, and walked into our center. She needed confirmation of her pregnancy, but she truly needed so much more. I walked her into the counseling room, and introduced myself into her hopeless season.

                She was just 16 years old, working to earn her G.E.D. Her boyfriend, also 16, was on schedule to graduate early. They wanted to provide for this baby together as their own, little family unit. The plans were already made: They would live in his parents’ house until he graduated. They would then move into an apartment together to raise their new baby themselves, no further help from his family and no initial help from her’s. This was the life she planned for herself. She planned to have a child right then at 16 years old. But why? Why was her family unconcerned? Why was she running into this unstable life? Without prompting, she admitted the reasons to my unasked questions.

“My mom is dying.”

                She continued to explain that her mom was diagnosed with cervical cancer only a year previously. Now the cancer had attacked to such a vicious degree that her mom laid at home, heavily sedated and unconscious. The doctors involved in her mom’s case told the family that she only had 3 more weeks to live, if that long. Cancer, as so common with the disease, ravaged this woman’s body beyond medical rescue.

                The client’s older brother planned to move his wife and baby into a home together once his mother died. The client’s younger brother planned to move into their father’s house.  This family’s father, long-divorced from their mother, did not even speak with our young client. The moment  his  ex-wife had passed away, he planned to sign over his custody to whoever his daughter decided to live with. No fight. No offer of comfort or protection. Just immediate rejection.

                Her security in a family structure was first struck with the excruciating pain of divorce. Then a ruthless, fatal disease struck second. Her guaranteed future as a legally parentless minor finally demolished all security the word “family” once provided. She ached so desperately to have that acceptance again, to be a wanted, vital member of a family -no matter what that looked like-that she planned to start one herself. This was the journey that brought this 16 year old girl into my counseling room.

                With such a sense of loneliness in the room, I shared the only hope she could find rest. I told her about the relentless pursuit of her Creator to have a relationship with her.  I told her that rejection in the Garden of Eden wasn’t enough to push God away. He saw that the only way for her to even have the option for relationship with Him was the merciless death of His own Son-and He saw her as worth it. I shared with her the impact of choosing Christ, and the assurances He brings. She intently listened, but, once I finished speaking, she simply gave a short response of a few “I don’t know”s.  Though she did allow me to pray over her, she kept her heart closed.

The pregnancy test read positive.
Her dad doesn’t care.
Her mom is too sedated to even hear the words that her only daughter is having a baby.

“So you are no longer strangers and outsiders. You are citizens together with God’s people.
You are members of God’s

                This young girl is frantically searching, but she’s just finding herself even more lost. Pray that she remembers the Savior that she learned about today. Pray for understanding in her estranged father and healing in her dying mother. Pray that this 16 year old, pregnant girl knows that she is noticed, wanted, and unashamedly loved by the Father.  Pray that her heart softens and realizes the Hope that is waiting to embrace her, protect her, and secure her in His family.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Hardened Heart's Story

                She already called Planned Parenthood. She already understood the processes of abortion in their clinic. She already knew that she had up to two weeks to take the RU-486, the abortion pill.

This was the client that walked into Community Pregnancy Center Monday morning. Without an appointment, she sat in our waiting room for a pregnancy test. Our client advocate and trainee took a deep breath, and asked the twenty-year-old girl to the counseling room.

                Together our counselors tried to hear this woman’s story, but she refused to share. She didn’t want to hear that she could do this. She didn’t want to talk about the other pregnancy options. She didn’t want to accept any form of hope. She wouldn’t even receive a Proof of Pregnancy for a Medicaid application. She knew she was going to abort. It wasn’t a baby in there. It was hardly even a pregnancy to her. It was just a mistake, one that Planned Parenthood offered to erase.

                The client advocate shared the Gospel to this hardened heart. She explained the unconditional love of her Heavenly Father, a concept our client didn’t truly grasp. Unconditional love from a father? Her own father told her that he would never speak to her again if she had a baby this way. She didn’t even know who the father of her unborn baby was. This is the confused, twisted view of a father she knew. Though she assured the client advocate that she was indeed a Christian, she didn’t acknowledge the lack of unconditional love in her life. When the client advocate offered to pray over her, the client rejected it. She saw her positive pregnancy test, and she didn’t want prayers. She didn’t want our free ultrasound. She wanted out.

                Before she rushed out of the doors, our client advocate trainee gave her a packet filled with truths of God, her baby, and the undoctored truth about abortion. The client left with the information. We prayed for intervention. For all we knew, this woman was driving out of our parking lot and straight to Planned Parenthood. It felt like a lost opportunity, but God’s truth is never lost.
“So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
Isaiah 55:11
                If this client already knew she was pregnant, why would she want to take our pregnancy test? If this client already talked with Planned Parenthood, why would she first come to a center that does not offer abortions?

Because her Sovereign Creator wanted to talk to her.

                There is not one single logical explanation of why she would come to our facility if she was absolutely determined to have an abortion. The Designer of the cosmos personally interrupted her plans with a distinct message of LIFE. His words never return to him as a failure. When He speaks, mountains move, even the tall mountains in a panicked heart. We saw a lost opportunity, but Christ saw an open door.

Two hours after she left, she came back to the office.
“I was wondering if I could go ahead and get my proof of pregnancy for a Medicaid application.”

An hour after that, she called the office.
“I was wondering if I could go ahead and schedule an ultrasound.”

She is now looking at all of her pregnancy options!
She is applying for Medicaid, and she's scheduled for an ultrasound.

                Pray for this young client as she searches. Pray that she doesn’t run away anymore. Pray that she will wait for her ultrasound appointment with us. Pray that she begins to understand the unconditional love of a true Father!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Today I received my standard weekly email from my former Planned Parenthood affiliate, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast. You would think they would have removed my name and email by now, but that is another story. Anywho, it was a pretty boring update with nothing exciting to report, but as I was scrolling through, something caught my attention. This particular affiliate always has their big gala event at the Hyatt in downtown Houston. Lots of well-to-do Houstonians come to show support of this huge affiliate (4th largest in the country to be exact) and all of the “services” they provide, including abortion. No one that comes is surprised that Planned Parenthood provides abortion services. No, they know that all too well. In fact, the people that come to this particular gala for this particular affiliate come because they are PROUD to support the largest abortion clinic in the Western Hemisphere. They know what abortion is. They know what abortion looks like. They know, and they support it proudly…at $500 per individual ticket.
So, back to the attention getter. I always like to see the names of the high rollers who are listed as the “co-chairs” of the event. These are donors who give tens of thousands of dollars to the affiliate and are therefore asked to put their name down on the invitation. They usually have some sort of status among the elite local community. Name recognition is important when you are trying to raise over a million dollars at one event. I scrolled through the invitation and there it was, a name that was VERY familiar to me. Jeff Smisek.
That name may not ring a bell to you. But I know it well. I spend most of my life on airplanes. Before every take off we get a little safety demonstration. If we are lucky enough to be on a decent sized plane, that demonstration is shown on a video. I personally prefer to fly on airlines that are in the “Star Alliance.” Some of those include United, US Airways, and Lufthansa. I am a million mile flyer with this program, which comes with a few perks. Because of this, I try to stick with United when I travel. When the United safety demonstration video begins, a message from the CEO comes on first. He is thanking us for traveling on United and talks about how image is so important to his airline. That man’s name? Jeff Smisek.
I almost couldn’t believe what I saw on this invitation. Surely not. Surely not MY Jeff Smisek! Surely not the CEO of my favorite airline!! Let it be a lie!!! He was actually listed with someone else, a lady named Diana Strassmann. http://www.ppaction.org/site/Calendar?id=102855&view=Detail. Hoping there was someone else with the name, Jeff Smisek, I googled both of their names together to see what I would find. Well, they are married. And Jeff Smisek, CEO of United and Jeff Smisek, co-chair of Planned Parenthood’s annual gala are one in the same.
Now I was disappointed…and angry. And I am doing something about it. Jeff Smisek runs the second largest airline in the world. And now he is co-chairing an event for the LARGEST ABORTION CLINIC IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE. This abortion clinic’s goal is to perform at least 75 abortions, 6 days a week. They intend to perform abortions up to 25 weeks gestation. And THAT is what the CEO of United Airlines stands for.
Well, this million mile flyer has had enough. It is time to expose Jeff Smisek for who he really is. He is helping to kill the most defenseless among us. And apparently, he is PROUD to do it! He has his name plastered on their invitation! I am taking a stand against United. Will you stand with me? Will you say NO to United Airlines? This one clinic ALONE in Houston is killing over 23,000 babies per year!!! THAT is what Jeff Smisek is supporting. Jeff says United Airlines cares about their image…well, let’s see how much they care. Let’s get this message sent out far and wide. On my website at www.abbyjohnson.org, I have included a sample “letter to the editor” that you can send in to your local paper. Share this article on your blog. Share it on your Facebook and Twitter. We need to hold these people accountable. Our voices DO make a difference…and our dollars DEFINITELY make a difference! Stand against Jeff Smisek! Stand against United Airlines! Email Jeff Smisek today and share your disgust. jeff.smisek@united.com.

Letter to the Editor
Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, located in Houston is the 4th largest Planned Parenthood affiliate in the United States. They run the largest abortion clinic in the Western Hemisphere. This clinic’s goal is to perform at least 75 abortions, 6 days a week. That totals over 23,000 abortions per year. And they terminate pregnancies up to 25 weeks gestation…that is babies over 6 months old.
So, you can imagine the surprise I felt when I found out that the CEO of United Airlines, Jeff Smisek, was “co-chairing” this particular affiliate’s annual gala in Houston, Texas. www.ppaction.org. When flying on United, you will often see a video of the safety demonstration on television monitors throughout the plane. Before the demonstration begins, Jeff Smisek will come on and thank you for flying and tell you that “image” is very important to his airline. Well, let’s see if that is really true. Myself, along with thousands of other pro-lifers across the country, are taking a stand against United Airlines. Jeff Smisek runs the second largest airline in the world. And now he is co-chairing an event for the LARGEST ABORTION CLINIC IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE. Enough is enough. It is time to expose Jeff Smisek for who he really is. He is helping to kill the most defenseless among us. And apparently, he is PROUD to do it! He has his name plastered on their invitation! I am taking a stand against United. Will you stand with me? Will you say NO to United Airlines? Our voices DO make a difference…and our dollars DEFINITELY make a difference! Stand up for life! Email Jeff Smisek today and share your disgust. jeff.smisek@united.com.