1700 Frowny Faces

A few decades ago, I sat there looking at my beautiful children, deep in thought.

I didn’t want to go. I asked myself, “Do I really have the heart to do this?” I had all the excuses. “Anyone would say they were valid, right?”

I am a busy mom.

I have babies who will miss me.

I have teenagers who need me.

I don’t know what difference I will make there.

Can’t someone else do this?

Look at all the people who don’t carry near the load I do!

Why, oh why, did I say ‘Yes’ to volunteer today?

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Thoughts put aside, I arose from tying my shoes. I kissed my husband, saying ‘thank you’ for taking care of the kids. Off I went to an unknown, to do a task I was woefully unprepared to do.

Later that day “She” sat there. I was on the other side of the desk facing her. Her face had a determined look.

Diving in, I thankfully remembered my training for this situation. I took a deep breath and out came the life-giving words.

“I know you want to do this, but do you realize this decision will change the course of your life forever?” Now I had her attention. She looked at me intently. I took another breath and continued.

“Does this seem too hard for you?” She nodded. The words settled in as I noticed her sea of emotion against my voice of godly reason.

“Here’s something for you to think about. Your way seems EASY because you are at the beginning, but I promise you, your way will be hard in the end.

“I’m here to show you a different way – God’s way. But I have to tell you His way seems HARD in the beginning, but it is much easier in the end. You DO have a choice. And God will be with you when you choose for him.

“Here’s a scripture from the Word of God that you can hang on to for help. We call it an anchor passage.”

I gave her the hand-written passage:

“Now choose life, so that you and your children may live…”

Deuteronomy 30:19

Her face softened. I’d like to think she made a good decision after that day. She was just one of many women who have faced the same life and death issue of “unplanned” pregnancy.

Looking back, I am so glad I didn’t say ‘no’ to counseling women in desperate need. My own resolve to honor God was deepened. I was blessed while trying to serve them.

One day, ten years later, I arrived at work to find one of my employees having an emotional day. She had been unsettled since morning. At the end of the day I found out that she had attended a rally for life over the weekend.

She hadn’t been able to process some of the statistics she learned. She couldn’t put away the horror of knowing the sheer number of babies who were disposed each day. The little faces were haunting her mind.

Then and there, we decided to make a poster for our workspace to honor these lives cut short. It took three and a half pages of size 12-font! The sea of frowny faces represented the little souls who would never see the light of day.

Every morning all 1700 of them – the number of babies aborted each day back then – greeted us as we arrived at work. Over time, her tears subsided as our resolve grew. We both got into the habit of lifting up 1700 women a day in prayer. Our silent cries asked God if He would lead them to see another alternative during their crucial decision today.

It was the least we could do. We rose to the occasion as we thought best during that time. While the stats seem to be going down as of today, even one is still too many.

All over America, women are choosing the opposite of what Joshua proposed to the Israelites in Deuteronomy – to choose life. But there is so much more. What women do not realize is that the frowny faces they have chosen to hide in abortion will never, ever, leave them alone without the healing rain of forgiveness and new life Jesus won for us on the cross.

Like my employee, my heart is broken as I think of what these women are choosing and what could be in Christ.

Lest you think I am standing in judgement, please consider the many decisions we make each day. Were it not for God’s amazing grace, we would not be able to honor him with even one decision. We cannot change many minds, but He can. And there IS something important we can do.

We need to join with Jesus in his cry to the Father:

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

Luke 23:34

And then arise to stop the madness. I believe our culture has so blinded women by pro-choice logic, that indeed, many women do not know they are choosing death until it’s too late.

That’s where we come in.

Just today a friend invited me to attend the movie Unplanned. As I decided whether to go or not, my old self resurfaced.

I didn’t want to go. I asked myself, “Do I really have the heart to do this?” I had all the excuses. “Anyone would say they were valid, right?”

I am a busy woman.

I know what this movie is about.

I am pro-life. Isn’t that enough?

I already worked at a pregnancy counseling center years ago.

Aren’t other people getting the word out?

What, oh what, can just one person do?

I am so glad I didn’t say ‘no’ to going to this movie. Yes, it was hard to see. And yes, my heart was once again broken.  BUT, my resolve to do what I can has been resurrected.

I have recommitted to praying for women who are facing the biggest decision of their lives. I pray the Lord awakens their hearts to recognize the lie of abortion. I pray for God to send them to places where godly people can share his Word with them.

I pray God gives women courage, after the fact, to confess to any believer, who then can offer God’s forgiveness and love. I pray for healing through the Word.

All women desperately need to hear God’s messages of truth and love. Then, like Abby Johnson in the movie’s true story, we can face the reality and arise to serve God in unimaginable ways, His ways.

1700 frowny faces deserve more. Don’t you agree? Why not start praying this very moment?

If we don’t arise, and pray for God’s mercy, “for such a time as this”, who will?

Dearest Father, you have created us for life. Each and every child is a gift from you. Our country is guilty of horrific actions that snuff out this gift. Lead us to repentance, Lord. Draw us to confess our lethargy toward those who are suffering the repercussions of abortion. Strengthen our resolve to do whatever we can to shine brightly as the world around us grows ever dim. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Arise, Sister

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.

Isaiah 60:1

Arise Sister, you are highly favored.

Arise, you are chosen.

Arise, you are gifted.

Arise, you are known by Him and lacking in nothing.

Arise, you are alive to God.

Arise, you can do all things in Christ.

Arise, you are declared holy.

Arise, everything works in your favor.

Arise, you are of sound mind.

Arise, you are sanctified. Saved. Sealed.

Sweet sister, you are healed.

Arise, Christ is at work in you. He is for you not against you.

Arise, all grace abounds toward you.

Arise, you are a new creation.

Arise, you are the apple of his eye.

Arise, you are blessed with all spiritual blessings.

Arise, you are a disciple. You are elect. You are enriched.

Daughter of the King, you are faithful. A fellow citizen. You are free. You are free from sin. He’s freely given you all things. You are a friend of Christ.

Arise, you are protected, purified, raised with Christ in resurrection light.

Arise, you are transformed.

Arise, you are a warrior.

Arise Sister, you are absolutely worthy of the Lord!

I pray this Easter season you know just how loved and valued you are by your Savior, Jesus Christ.

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*These statements come from a piece of artwork found at Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, WI. I have modified them for this post.