The change of the seasons always puts me in a reflective mood. I have been pondering all the ways my life has changed since coming to work at Advice & Aid a couple of years ago and the word that keeps coming to mind is “unexpected.”
Obviously, being a pregnancy resource center, we deal in the unexpected every day. Our clients do not plan on being pregnant or contracting a sexually transmitted infection. That part of the “unexpected” was not surprising. What was surprising to me was all the other unexpected things about doing this work.
I returned to work after raising my kids for the past 20 years and yet, I end my days here feeling rejuvenated instead of drained . . . unexpected.
We see clients on a daily basis who face unimaginable hardships, often because of their own choices, and yet, rather than receiving condemnation and judgement, they are met with compassion and mercy . . . unexpected.
The opponents of the pro-life movement are fond of saying that our concern for women stops when they give birth. And yet, we have women attending our Bridges educational program whose children are 2 years old. Our post-abortive assessments and Awakenings studies give care and comfort to women who chose to abort rather than give birth. We treat women and their partner(s) with sexually transmitted infections for free, even when they do not intend to change their risky behaviors. Instead of caring for women so they will make the choices we want them to make, we simply care for women . . . unexpected.
The people who work at Advice & Aid are very good at their jobs. I have seen women who thought abortion was their only answer completely transformed into happily expectant mothers based on a word or sonogram image presented by a member of our staff or a volunteer. I have also seen the same staff members and volunteers give everything they have to inform women about all their options and the woman chooses to abort anyway. It would be easy for that staff member or volunteer to feel solely responsible for the decisions of these women, and yet, each time there is a triumph or a tragedy, we all come together to pray over the women and their babies. Rather than either boasting or despairing, they humbly submit to God’s will . . . unexpected.
In short, the most inspiring thing about working here is the way everyone confronts the unexpected with expectant faith.
Amid the chaos that our client’s face in their lives, hope is the most unexpected gift of all.
This was shared by one of our staff nurses here at Advice & Aid. Her thoughts reflect well exactly what we are about – providing unexpected hope, unexpected answers, unexpected friendships.
So if you – or someone you know – ends up with the unexpected news of an unplanned pregnancy, keep us in mind.
You just might find an unexpected peace in your life in the middle of the unplanned!