Last week Caroline and I experienced something that cannot be described as anything but a “God thing.” Some things in life can be chalked up to coincidence, but this wasn’t one of them.
A few months ago I posted something on my social media page about Declining to Sign a radical abortion amendment in our state. A friend responded to my post and thanked me for speaking out. For privacy reasons, let’s call her Anna.
Anna told me she ultimately choose life in spite of the pressure she was under to abort, and asked if she could meet with Caroline and I for coffee to share her story in full. She lives near Sioux Falls, so it took several months before we were able to connect in person. After a couple attempts, we finally found a time that worked for both of us. Caroline and I met with her last Friday.
As we all sipped on coffee, Anna began to unravel her experience. She didn’t expect to get pregnant, so when she looked down at that pregnancy test, she was scared. Thoughts rushed through her head like: “I’m not ready to be a mom.” “I can’t raise a child.” “I can’t do this.” She tried to rationalize abortion with thoughts like these, especially given the mounting pressure from her then-boyfriend, father of her child. Threats like “If you don’t abort it, I’ll leave you” became common.
The justifications she came up with in the process continued. “I mean, if I stopped the pregnancy then my baby would be with Jesus sooner, right?” she would ask.
Anna said her call with Planned Parenthood (from a nearby state) was “so nonchalant.” They described everything “as if it was just a basic medical procedure.” She asked how many calls they get each day. The response – “hundreds.” She booked her abortion appointed. Days leading up to it, she mulled over it and tried to justify her decision. But she couldn’t ignore her conscience.
A few minutes before Planned Parenthood called her to confirm the appointment, she decided “I can’t abort my child.” Her Christian convictions overrode the pressure for her to abort. It wasn’t an option anymore. She was committed to carrying the baby and giving him a chance at life. She told the clinic workers she was canceling the abortion appointment.
The next step she made was calling her pastor. She wanted him to know, but was terrified. She didn’t know how any of her church family would respond to her pregnancy, but she bravely reached out anyway. Their response? A full-scale baby shower. The church family rallied around a scared mom who was committed to giving her baby son life.
The help and support from her family and church family enabled her to step into motherhood, but she knew that in the long-run she would not be able to support her son in the ways he truly needed. She began looking into adoption and was able to find a loving couple who would raise him and offer him more opportunities in life.
As she described the decision to move towards adoption, she fought back tears. She told us how the decision was so – incredibly – hard, but that she knew it was the best option. The tears were replaced with a steel resolve – she was committed to offering her son the best future possible. The adoption proceedings are ongoing, but her decision has been made.
After telling us her story, she explained that she wants to help. She wants to tell her story, to encourage moms, to help people understand what it’s like to go through the pressures of abortion. I asked her if she knew about the Alpha Center – she didn’t. I explained that in a few hours 1,000+ people will be gathering in a ballroom for their annual event to support that exact mission: helping moms, saving babies.
She wanted to attend, and I asked the event staff if there was any room left, but unfortunately there weren’t any seats left. The room was full, with a waiting list.
We kept talking and discussed other ways for her to get connected. As we continued talking, I noticed that Caroline was on her phone more than normal, but I couldn’t tell what she was up to. A few minutes later she looked up:
“Do you still want to go?”
“Well yeah, but you said they’re full.”
“They are. But a friend of ours just had a cancellation at their table and they have one open seat.”
Caroline explained who they were and then Anna responded, “Oh my word, that’s my lawyer” she gasped through her tears. “They’re helping me with my son, but I’ve never met them in person.”
We all sat there, stunned at the “coincidence” that we had just experienced. She would be coming to the dinner and sitting with two people who had invested in her life and her son’s future.
We arrived at the dinner a few hours later. We stepped inside and found the couple with the open seat. The five of us hugged, laughed, and talked about how incredible it all was.
But the story isn’t over yet.
The couple introduced her to another birth mom who was sitting at their table. This second mom was nervous about going to the dinner because she was worried she’d be the only one. The only mom in her situation. She was worried that others would judge her, but instead she was surrounded by people who knew exactly what she was going through.
The two moms began talking about how they want to tell their story. They both wanted to help other moms who were scared or needed help. Our friend (who had the open seat) overheard them and said, “We were just given a $3,000 grant to produce videos to help moms – would you two be our first videos?”
We all looked at each other in stunned silence – how many “coincidences” can we experience in one evening?
Although the identities of the friends involved need to remain anonymous right now it’s one more example of the Lord placing things in our path that are far better than we could have planned! God clears a way when we often don’t see a way.
We are not human beings who occasionally have a spiritual experience,
we are spiritual beings having a human experience.