"Beverly" found herself facing an unplanned pregnancy. She was married, financially secure, and has children; many people would not think this would be a problem looking in from the outside. Beverly was tired and overwhelmed, and for her, it seemed to be the worst timing for her family. She started considering abortion. Anyone could have easily asked, "why are you even considering abortion?" before listening to what she had to say. She wanted to talk about options for the pregnancy, and that is the space we provided for her. The day she came in, she expressed all her worries and fears to the care coordinator, and by the end of their conversation, she decided she would carry and parent this blessing from God. We provided an ultrasound for her that day, and while watching her baby on the screen, she began to feel guilty. She attempted to punish herself for thinking these so-called "bad thoughts." She even began to worry that something could go wrong with her baby due to her consideration of having an abortion. The sonographer reminded her that it is normal to have anxieties and that God knows our most inner thoughts. He was not surprised by her thoughts, and they did not change His love for her. The patient was encouraged to not be so hard on herself and reminded that God's grace is stronger than our lack of faith.
How often do any of us, without realizing it, attempt to punish ourselves for not measuring up to the unrealistic expectations we have placed on ourselves? Or the ones others have unknowingly placed on us?
Beverly needed a safe space to share her worries and concerns. She needed someone to see in her what she could not see for herself at that moment. She is a Christian. She is intelligent. She is successful. She is confident. She is beautiful. Her laugh is infectious, and she is brave. All she needed was someone to listen, without judgment, to her doubts. She needed someone to remind her that God was not going to punish her for doubting. He is fully aware of our thoughts, whether we voice them or not.
We were reminded of two lessons while helping this momma who needed the services of Hope Clinic.
Listen with an open heart before passing judgment.
Serve everyone with compassion, no matter what reasons they give you for considering an abortion.
These are two lessons we all can take with us in our daily lives!