In the Room with Holly:
A broken, 18-year-old girl is sitting in front of me, convinced that she wants an abortion. She confesses she already experienced a surgical abortion two years ago. This means she was at the tender age of 16. She’s tall, beautiful, and speaks with street smarts well beyond her years. She has been forced to grow up faster than any little girl should. She has been raising other people’s children in her grandparents’ household since she was eight years old. With no mother or father to protect her, she was molested and raped by her brother. Her Step-grandparents are her current custodians and from her perspective it’s “too little too late.”
The odds are stacked against her. She knows nothing about sexual health, menstruation, cycles, or even how conception really occurs. She listens intently and remarks that she never had a mother teach her, or anyone who cared enough to give her the information she needed. Slowly but surely her cold, strong, protective wall starts to crumble, and she softens. She agrees to allow us to perform an ultrasound and test her for STIs, and to wait two weeks for those results before making her decision on abortion. There is now room for Hope.
We meet many young girls so starved for love, affection, and care that they are unable to see past their own needs. Parenting requires a selflessness they cannot fathom until their own needs have been addressed. Unless these women find a sense of self love and worth, there is no way they can choose love for a baby. They are unable to give what they do not possess. Loving, encouraging and building them up is such a blessing to me. This is far more effective than just pointing out their obvious wrongdoing. Jesus was firm and unwavering but always so loving and kind when he confronted sin. We, at Choices, choose to walk beside them, giving them a safe place and the beginning of a support system.
It’s much like working at a homicide hotline center. You must address the mental, emotional and spiritual state of the caller or client in front of you before you can address the future crime they are intending to commit. Keep in mind, in this culture there is no legal consequence for the homicide of preborn life. In fact, the culture and oftentimes the law is in favor of the death of their child. In the face of no moral conviction, absolute brokenness, and desperation, The Holy Spirit is their only hope. Attempts to persuade, convince, or coerce these girls into a better choice rarely, if ever, will be successful. They may initially waiver in their consideration during the conversation but once they leave the doors of the pregnancy center, and re-enter the harsh reality of their world, all their previous arguments, and the overwhelming circumstances of their situation lurk outside, waiting to devour them as soon as they walk out the door.
If they agree to STI testing, there is a greater chance of them returning in two weeks for their follow up, which allows time for the seed of The Word to take hold and a heartfelt, decision-making conversation to be had. On this follow-up appointment, there is less emphasis on the abortion decision ahead and more focus on her decision-making process.
– What choices were made that brought you to this situation?
– What previous experiences have altered your life and thrown you off the path you originally intended?
– Is there hope of returning to this path and how do we get there?
We all face these types of dilemmas throughout life, although a unique journey for every woman. It’s in these moments that we allow ourselves to stop, listen, seek the truth, and feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit causes us to turn away from our dark place and realign ourselves with Light. It’s this leading of the Holy Spirit that will allow her to see how her path can include the birth of the baby she is carrying.
The appointment with this precious girl is ending. The truth at this moment is that she remains abortion determined. But seeds of HOPE have been planted. There is a softening and a stirring in her spirit. The girl in front of me needs healing. Today was the first step in a long road of accepting that she is lovable, there are those who do love her, and most importantly a God who would die for her.