Planned Parenthood is no longer in someone else’s community. Today they are just one click away, and soon they may be even closer. This week I was looking for information on a local news story, so I did what people do and went to the website of our local paper. I was a bit surprised when the first thing that showed up on this page (taking up nearly one third of my screen space) was an ad for Planned Parenthood. “Birth Control. Abortion Access. Stigma Free Care. Donate Now. Planned Parenthood.”
My heart began to pound. My stomach began to ache. My thoughts were racing. What does this mean? When will their doors suddenly open without notice like has happened in so many other Illinois communities in the last few years? How many moms and dads searching for answers will believe their “truth” and then carry the wounds and regret that often follow an abortion decision? How will we reach these moms and dads with authentic hope? This task seems so big, and the stakes seem so high.
But then my spirit was stilled. The presence of the Spirit settled on me, and I was reminded of the words that David shared with his son Solomon when facing a task that seemed too big. In essence David said, take courage, be strong, and get to work.
And so that is what we will do. We will find our courage and strength in Christ alone. And we will continue to get to work. In just a few days, our third Mobile Medical Unit will launch at the QC Mission in East Moline. In the next few weeks, our medical team will increase with the addition of our 4th staff nurse. And in the next few months Saturday Services will begin to be provided in our Moline Center. We will continue to offer hope, help, and compassion in the name of Jesus Christ. No pressure. No judgement. Just support. That’s the Pregnancy Resources way.
When Pregnancy Was Not Planned – Every Choice Has Loss
In this first quarter of 2021, God is sending profoundly more women and men to Pregnancy Resources in the midst of an unplanned pregnancy. These parents are actively planning or seriously considering terminating pregnancy. Many of these moms & dads are married (or in a long-term, monogamous relationship) and already are parenting other small children. Financial stressors, employment uncertainty, relationship struggles, a missing or lacking emotional support network, and the current demands of parenthood are common reasons why these parents often find themselves seriously considering abortion. It’s not uncommon to hear moms and dads in these complicated circumstances say, “abortion is my ONLY choice”.
Pregnancy Resources provides medically accurate abortion education and options information to every client that comes through our doors for a pregnancy test or ultrasound. We believe that knowledge is power, and every woman and man should make informed decisions regarding the pregnancy. We know that when parents understand what abortion is and when they see life on the ultrasound screen, they are much more likely to choose life for their pre-born child. We also acknowledge that every pregnancy decision involves loss:
- For the mom who continues the pregnancy and chooses to parent this child – there is a loss of every possibility that existed before the pregnancy and the creation of this new human life occurred. Life has been protected, and hope remains.
- For the mom who continues the pregnancy and chooses to place this child in the arms of a loving forever family – there is the loss of the daily experience of parenting this child. Life has been protected, and hope remains.
- For the mom who terminates the pregnancy with abortion – the life of this pre-born child is lost. For the post abortive mother and father there can be emotional loss, spiritual struggle, and long-term trauma. But with Jesus, there is always hope, freedom, and forgiveness available for all.
Be COURAGOUS AND MERCIFUL. Don’t let your sister or brother, your daughter or son, your neighbor, or your friend believe the lie that they have “no choice.” Speak up for her/his sake and for the sake of the pre-born child.
It is compassionate to recognize when moms and dads facing an unplanned pregnancy are in complicated and difficult situations. It is merciful to acknowledge that each pregnancy choice carries unique loss. It is life changing to be able to ask questions like “what is the loss you can live with when you look yourself in the mirror every day” or “what is the loss that protects this little human growing inside you, and best meets your needs right now”?
It is true: every choice involves loss, but life can still be protected and there can still be hope.
It’s a Covid kind of Christmas…and many of us are left with a heavy heart and the struggle to figure out exactly what that means. Can we celebrate the way we have in the past? Should we even try? So here is the real: like it or not, Christmas will look different – but the meaning, the relevance, and the wonder does not have to change. We still have the opportunity to celebrate Christmas in ways that are sincere and that honor the spirit and significance of the holiday.
First, we can focus on the true meaning of Christmas – It’s ok to miss all the things that we will miss this year – but don’t miss the significance of a Savior who literally left His throne to impact our eternity. Christmas is a special and sacred time when we, as Christians, celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Now is the moment to reflect, to rejoice, and to worship. This is the time to reflect on God’s immeasurable love, unwavering mercy, and infinite grace that is extended to us each and every day.
Next, we can consider our personal traditions that hold the greatest value and look for ways to honor those activities in a new and fresh way. Coordinated baking days and times, with a mod-podge picture collage featuring highlights of each participant’s creations, could be an alternative to a large family bake off. Family gatherings on Christmas Eve and Christmas day can happen with a Zoom, Facetime, or Skype connection. Pick your time, schedule your meeting in advance, and send your family the link – you won’t even have to brush your teeth for this one! You may go old-school and share the Christmas story in Luke 2 with an old-fashioned phone call – extra points will be awarded if you make the call from a landline!
Finally, take a little time to slow down, ponder, and praise God for who He is and for all the ways He continues to show up. Even in a pandemic year, in the midst of a Covid Christmas, we, as Christians, have reason to rejoice. We serve an omnipresent God – even on our loneliest of days, He never leaves us alone. We serve a loving God – in the midst of hard things, His compassion is not in question. We serve a sovereign God – His power and authority are unmatched and unwavering.
May God’s love, His peace, and His presence wrap around you and comfort you like a soft, warm blanket on a cold winter morning. Merry Christmas – and God Bless.