Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sunny Optimism and Dogged Determination In Speaking Life

Lisa- a Cities4Life volunteer who never gives up if a woman she can speak to is in earshot
When I met Lisa, her arm was in a large uncomfortable cast, which she had worn for months due to an ongoing shoulder issue. She was facing likely surgery and yet that smile you see in the picture above is the smile that never leaves her face. If anyone exudes the joy of the Lord, no matter what she faces, it is Lisa.

Her sunny optimism is coupled with dogged determination. She is not on the sidewalk to chit chat. If an abortion-minded woman is in sight, she is speaking to her, pleading with her, as though a life depends on it. In fact...a life does. Listen to Lisa describe why she is so fervent on the sidewalks of the abortion center.

Honestly, the reason is 100% Jesus. He did all the work in my heart and life to get me on the sidewalks. When I went out there the first time in the spring of 2014, He broke me. One of my childhood friends became pregnant out-of-wedlock as a 15-year old and walking through that journey with her definitely gave me a heart for women in crisis pregnancy situations and for their precious unborn children. However, I was not ready for the tidal wave of emotions that hit me when I first stood on that sidewalk and looked in the eyes of each person who drove into the mill parking lot. The broad "issue" of abortion now had faces to it. It became personal and individual in my heart and mind.

All the desperate men and women at the abortion mill as well as their little babies are my neighbors. I am called to love them. And the best way to love anyone is to give them Jesus. The sidewalks of 3220 Latrobe Avenue is a place that desperately needs Jesus and His severe mercy that turns a man from the flesh-satisfying path of wickedness to His soul-fulfilling path of life. I am so thankful for Cities4Life and how they provide a way for me to bring the light of the Lord to the gates of hell at the abortion mill. Praise Jesus that He allows us to be part of His redeeming work in this city. 
Many of us know a personal story of someone who has struggled with unplanned pregnancies. Their responses and stories often shape our response to someone contemplating abortion. Yesterday, a fellow counselor received a text from a mom that had chosen life because of the Cities4Life counselors who had been on the sidewalk offering hope and help. When that overwhelmed, frightened mom arrived at the abortion center, she said she had no choice but to abort. She was counseled by several of our team members, and then saw her baby on our Monroe HELP Pregnancy Center RV ultrasound. She left with her twin babies nestled safely in her womb, filled with gratitude and hope. 

Here is what she said later that day:
At this point I just cannot stop staring at the babies' ultrasound picture. I have been laying in bed looking at them all afternoon. It's like it finally hit me what I was about to do and the gratitude that I have that it did not happen is unbelievable. I've never been so at peace in my life. I have no idea how I'm going to do this but I know it will be OK

She wants to name one of the babies after the counselor who stopped her car and comforted her in her desperation. That counselor, all alone on the sidewalk, called me to counsel the woman and offer our resources and help in her desperate situation. Another counselor arrived and took her under wing and brought her on our RV for the ultrasound. LoveLife Charlotte donated a gas card. The sidewalk was now filled with team members praying for the babies. When the woman got home, she told us she prayed and began began reading the Bible for the first time in months, realizing God was real and He was with her.

Lisa is so right. This is 100% Jesus!

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Ephesians 5:8

For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.  

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