Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Wiccan's Story

                Appointments like the one on Monday morning prove that The Community Pregnancy Center is not just a facility with free pregnancy tests. We’re not just client advocates. We’re not just ultrasounds or pregnancy classes. Monday’s appointment reminded us all that we are a facility with eternal hope. We’re vessels, individually used in the Potter’s hands. We’re the outstretched arms of God to the young girls in this community.

                Monday morning, our client advocate called the waiting teenager into her counseling room. They sat together as the client advocate received the basic information. The client was just 18 years old, freshly graduated with her high school diploma. The father of the possible pregnancy was 9 years older than her. After dating 8 months, he proposed marriage. They were engaged just 3 weeks on Monday. This pregnancy, if validated, would not be unwanted. The couple hoped for children together. This was according to their plan. She only came to our center in the first place to receive that confirmation.

She may have wanted a pregnancy test,
but God wanted a lost soul.

                When the client advocate asked the teenager about her relationship with God, she replied, “Well, I believe in a Supreme! But God is just one of my gods.” Exploring that statement, the client advocate learned that this young girl was a Wiccan. The teenager then elaborated on her beliefs, telling the counselor of the magic of WICCA. Calmly, the counselor asked her second question to fully grasp the extent of this belief: “Where do you believe you’ll go when you die?”

“I’ll become a tree.”

                The religion of WICCA is a modern deviation from the witchcraft belief, sometimes referenced synonymously. Like their predecessors, Wiccans believe in strong, dark magic. They believe in an inner harmony. Though the religion typically worships both a god and a goddess, they also honor a host of others. The moon, stars, and fate are all spun together as core belief structures, along with reincarnation. Because the religion incorporates a multitude of convictions and also because many in the “traditions” separate themselves into individual categories, Wiccans are a highly varied, highly lost people with no lasting hope. This is who sat in our counseling room, wholly convinced that the only peak in her future was transforming into a tree among a forest.

                Our client advocate, filled with words directly from God Himself, spoke holy truth into this teenager. She introduced the confused beliefs to a righteous Savior. She explained a Heavenly Father, so passionate for the lost world, so passionate for this teen's lost soul, that He willingly sent His perfect Son out from the throne of Heaven to die her death on a cross. Because of that death, because of His love, because of His fervent pursuit, she now has the opportunity to be whole. It's not elusive. It’s not mystical. It's forgiving, filling, and powerful enough to rebuild even the darkest soul. It’s an everlasting relationship with her Creator, the one and only King of the universe. The broken ideas of magic collided with the redeeming message of Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit almost tangibly filled the room.

The teen prayed and accepted Christ into her life!

“He’s in my heart now! I know He is!”
The pregnancy test read positive.
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
Acts 4:12

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The 12 Year Old's Story

                When the woman called to make an appointment for the Community Pregnancy Center, I thought nothing of it. She said it was for her granddaughter, so I knew the client was probably under 25. When she said that the girl didn’t have a driver’s license, I knew that the client was probably under 16. I assured the grandmother that we certainly accept school identification, as well. I made the appointment for the following day.

                The grandmother and grandfather followed behind the young girl last Thursday morning. Our receptionist greeted them warmly and received the school ID from the girl’s hands: a junior high’s school ID.

12 years old

                The client advocate took a deep breath and called the preteen into the first counseling room. The girl offered little to the conversation. She merely answered the questions asked of her. She was indeed 12 years old. The father of her baby was 16 years old-a sophomore in high school. They had only been dating for 3 months. For the small window of time, the couple was actively trying to get pregnant. They talked about it, and they both agreed. They wanted a baby, if for no other reason but that it might be fun to have one. When asked about the boyfriend, the client admitted that she didn’t want a future with him. He was just her “right now”.

                Her parents both lived out of the country. Apparently she’s been without them for many years, because she calls her grandparents “mom” and “dad”. Her own mother gave birth to her when she herself was just 14 years old. Though she was trying to have a baby, the young client went straight to her grandmother when she suspected a pregnancy, asking, “So what do I do now? Do I have an abortion?”

                She planned this pregnancy, yet she had no concept of actually carrying a baby for 9 months and then raising it for the next 18 years. She wanted to have a baby at 12 years old, but she wasn’t sure if she should have an abortion instead. She wanted to have sex and share that responsibility with someone, but she certainly didn’t want it long-term. When the client advocate asked about a relationship with God, the client said she was a Christian, but then also said that she didn’t think she would go to Heaven. She was a child by all definitions of the word.

The test read positive.

She’s 7 weeks pregnant.

                The client, slowly starting to grasp the reality she created, chose LIFE. She is scheduled and confirmed for an ultrasound: a child looking at her own child.

“Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, ‘Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.’”

                Jesus calls for the children. He calls for this confused 12 year old. He knows her by name. He holds her close to Himself. He will use a childish decision to pull this child’s heart to His own. Even a twelve year old’s pregnancy is forgiveable and redeemable, because God’s grace forever stretches beyond the choices of man.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Positive and Negative Story

Over 80% of all pregnancy tests at The Community Pregnancy Center read “positive”. Over 80% of the time, fears are realized by two distinct, purple lines on a pregnancy test. In one day, however, two abortion-minded women waited. Two talked with separate counselors. Two shared their reasons for an abortion. Two impatiently waited for the test to read, but only one walked out with a negative test.

                The first woman arrived in the morning. Our client advocate called the young woman in the counseling room. They sat and ran through the necessary questions. She was 23 years old, a mom to a 3 year old child and an 18 month old child. The father of these children, the father of the possible pregnancy now, was no longer in the client’s life. They dated for years, but the woman quietly refused to explain their current separation. She only confessed that she hated him.

                She just knew that she was pregnant, so she called an abortion clinic earlier in the week. She learned the price of her procedure. She learned what paperwork needed to be done. She just couldn’t make the appointment. She claimed that she didn’t yet know how to work the continual visits and check-ups into her schedule, but something stopped her from making that appointment. Someone stopped her.

“I don’t want an abortion, but I certainly don’t want this baby.”

                When asked about Christ, the woman said that she considered herself a Christian. The client advocate asked her about a relationship, but received only, “Umm, I talk to him sometimes?” It wasn’t that she was saying the wrong answer. It was that she didn’t know what a relationship with God was. The client advocate seized the open opportunity and explained how to have an actual, real-life relationship with God. It’s immensely more than a repeating the same words every Saturday morning. It’s more than constant one-sentence prayers before bed. It’s a passionate love story between her and the King over all earthly powers. Her Creator is alive and has not stopped pursuing her since she was first designed. He sent His own perfect, beloved Son to a ruthless death, because that was the price for a relationship with His creation. She was worth it.

She took the pregnancy test.

                The second woman arrived later in the day, around 4 o’clock in the afternoon. She walked into the entry room without a boyfriend or a mother, just signed in and sat down. She seemed calm, ready in a way. Our new afternoon client advocate called her name and led her into the first counseling room. She, too, asked the same typical questions. Similar to the woman in the morning, this client was a mom of two. Her oldest child was 15 years old and her second was 12. Our client, however, was 30, meaning that she gave birth when she herself was just 15 years old. She was no stranger to an unplanned pregnancy.

                She’s no longer with her boyfriend, and he’s not even remotely an option for her future. Baby or no baby, she was alone. She didn’t understand abstinence, nor did it seem appealing. She’s currently unemployed and living with her father, along with her two junior high kids.

“I want an abortion. I just can’t start all over.”

            When asked about Christ, she, too, claimed that she was a Christian. The client advocate started talking about a relationship, and the client stopped her: “It’s just hard for me to believe in a relationship with God.” Her mother died. The traumatic event of losing her parent scarred her in the most painful sense, in the most spiritual sense. A bad thing happened to a good person and apparently God said it was ok. The client advocate ached for the hardness in this heart. She carefully, sensitively shared who God truly is and what a relationship with Him means. He never looked down on earth as a puppet stage for which to play. He saw seeking souls. He hurt for hell-bound humanity. He intervened, though man rightfully deserved rejection. He built a bridge, though man himself built the barrier. The lost world, full of lost people, is fallen, so bad things will continue to happen to good men and women. Free will in the hands of fallen people is unpredictable, but God is still good. He is still in sovereign control. His grace is still MORE than any evil-even when it doesn’t make sense.

She took the pregnancy test.

The positive could only see negative. The negative could only see positive.
Two women wanting abortions.
Two tests.
Two results.
The first woman’s test read positive. The second woman’s test read negative.

The client’s ultrasound is scheduled and confirmed. God is working in both of these hearts, and His plans are GOOD, no matter what a pregnancy test reads.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.  In those days when you pray, I will listen.