Volunteers. Here at Advice & Aid, we rely on our many volunteers on a daily basis. In fact, we wouldn’t exist without them. They are our strength and our backbone.
The following story was shared with us by a former client. But she is now much more than that. She is one of our volunteers. Her story of receiving help, and then being led back years later to offering help, is one that only God could write.
Recently I met with an adviser at my church after taking an online assessment offering insight into my spiritual gifts. I have had the word “obedience” on my heart this year, so I took the next step to meet with her. The spiritual gifts that I was strongest in were mercy, encouragement and hospitality. As we discussed where I might use my gifts, an organization called Advice & Aid came up. After asking her more about it, I came to the shocking realization that this organization was the very one that changed the trajectory of my entire life many years ago.
Following is a little about my history and why this particular meeting was clearly God’s leading.
Nearly 8 years ago, I had been dating a man for about 3 months when we found out I was pregnant. To say I was terrified would be an understatement. I had a rocky history with my father, my mother was on the streets somewhere, and I was a lost person who didn’t know God. I cannot describe how scared and lonely I felt. I didn’t even know who you call once you had a positive pregnancy test. However, one day I was driving down 67th street and I saw a pregnancy help billboard so I called the number and scheduled an appointment. I walked in to that appointment hoping someone would tell me that it would be okay to just do what I needed to do and to not feel bad about it. Instead they listened to me cry in desperation about my own traumatic history, how I could never be a mother, and how I didn’t even like children. The counselor then told me I qualified for a sonogram. At the time, I had NO IDEA what that was, but for whatever reason I said yes.
My daughter’s heartbeat at 7 weeks was around 179 beats per minute. That was my BABY, and it was alive. It was unbelievable. I walked out of that place bawling about being pregnant, but determined to keep the baby. I never went back to that facility or had further contact with them, but it had made a difference in my life.
Fast forward a handful of years and a lot of history that led me to my current place in life, and my adviser was going over my spiritual gifts and mentions the very place I had received help from years ago. That this particular adviser was in my life, and had it on her heart to talk to me about volunteering at the one place that had changed my life years ago was definitely a God-thing.
I now have officially done my first couple of volunteer opportunities with Advice & Aid. This experience has given me the confidence to reach out to another ministry who helps people in transition homes, as well as meeting with another leader at my church to discuss my desire to do some work for over the next year. I’m finding contentment in the areas where I am serving, and it feels good in my bones. I’m really looking forward to seeing where Advice & Aid leads me. I’m curious to see if somehow God will weave the work with them in with the work I’m doing with another ministry for furnishing and finding transition homes for those in need.
As for my story, I now have two beautiful daughters and a baby on the way. I eventually married that man whom I barely knew and had a child with. Whenever I doubt my faith, I remember that God chose ME to be the mother of my beautiful children! I have never felt chosen in my entire life and finding out that I have been chosen ON purpose, and FOR a purpose, continues to amaze me every day.
So what about you? Are you using the gifts you have been given to make a difference somewhere?
This month is Sanctity of Life month, in which we focus on those mothers and babies who deserve a chance at life. We need warriors to help fight for these precious lives. You could be one of those warriors!
In the above story, we see a full circle. The writer received the help she needed, and a life was saved. She can now use the unique gifts that she has to impact others and fight for other mothers and babies.
Are you interested in learning about how you can use the very gifts that you already have in this important area? Visit our Volunteer page to begin to see how YOU can make a difference!