“Outrage alone over abortions will never stop abortions; what always starts lasting change is outreach. Our humble outrage must grow into helpful, holy outreach —if we are ever going to help all humans grow and flourish.” -Ann Voskamp
Read what acclaimed Christian writer Ann Voskamp (author of 1,000 gifts) has to say about the current abortion crisis and Planned Parenthood videos.
Our second Spark Story comes in video form. We had the opportunity to capture Magalia’s story on film earlier this year, as she shared her experience with domestic violence, and how she overcame adversity…
Will you join the #standforlife movement and share your story through illustrating love?
The Stand for Life Movement is “a non-combative approach to spreading love and grace. Many things can be argued over, and a person’s testimony and story is one that cannot.” Visit standforlifemovement.com to create an image to illustrate your choice to stand for life. Don’t forget to #ENLC when you share your story to show your support!
This is my nephew, Colin, who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma before he was born in January – for the last eight months, our family has prayed for his healing. By the grace of God, he is now a healthy eighth month old whose latest scans were CLEAR. He radiates the reason why I #standforlife. -Lauren, ENLC Grant Writer
As a nurse at our Women’s Centers, sometimes events arise when “floating” to another location is needed.
Emily* was on call at Women’s Center-Dayton and was agitated, admittedly so, when she got asked to go to another location to perform an ultrasound scan on an abortion-minded client at another center—it was a frigid winter day, and she had already spent the morning scraping a sheet of ice off of her car.
Reluctantly, she trekked back to the employee parking lot, watching her breath form clouds as she eased into the cold leather driver seat to head to Women’s Center-East.
Nurses usually don’t perform both consultations and ultrasounds on the same clients, so when Emily arrived and realized she would be doing both for this appointment, she breathed out a heavy sigh, grabbing her clipboard to begin the consultation. Within the first five minutes of the consultation, Emily knew exactly why she had been called over for to work with this client.
The more she talked with the client, Samantha*, the more twists within her story she discovered. Having been divorced for several years, Samantha had begun dating Jake* last year, hopeful for another shot at romance.
Samantha couldn’t imagine having a baby in her late thirties, and Jake had pressured her to have an abortion when she revealed her pregnancy to him.
Emily spent over two hours with Samantha that winter afternoon, asking her questions and sharing truth with her. Somehow, all her frustrations from earlier in the day—all the jostling between centers in the frigid weather—dissipated, as she realized God had been the one to ordain this. Somehow, Samantha and Emily connected in an unexplainable way. Samantha slowly let her guard down as she revealed the layers of her story and relationship.
In a follow-up appointment, Samantha revealed that she was planning on carrying her baby to term, and that she had ended her relationship with Jake. She didn’t say whether or not it her connection with Emily caused her change of heart, but it’s my guess that having the comfort and support of a listening ear during her moment of need affected her decision.
While these kinds of stories don’t happen every day at our centers, interactions like this give spark and purpose to the work God does in Elizabeth’s New Life Center. Let’s rejoice in the ways God orchestrates everyday events, like Emily’s, to change hearts like Samantha’s.
*Names have been changed to maintain employee and client anonymity.
Due to an internal flux, this blog has been on hiatus. However, it is my hope that it be reawakened, with greater momentum and reach than before – a place to propel the pro-life movement by sharing truth and provoking thought.
Our Women’s Center Manager, Lee, often pops into the office with a glimmer in her eyes, and starts with a “You won’t believe this…” as she shares a unique or wild client story that occurred in one of our Women’s Centers. I began to ask myself, “Are these stories being collected?”
Through some vision casting at the beginning of summer, our development team noticed gap in our communication efforts and social media presence: we often fail to share client stories that showcase God’s amazing grace. Nothing garners affections and support more than personal testimony – with each name a face, and with each face a story.
Now, humor me for a moment. Envision a spark. What comes to mind?
A spark is both a verb and a noun, and it means “to ignite.” It’s defined by its ability to affect things beyond itself at a rapid pace – it brings light and it brings power.
With this blog reawakening, we take a new approach, in the form of Spark Stories. It is our desire to share client stories to ignite change and to inspire. While protecting the identity of the client, we want you to witness grace-filled client stories. So, blog reading world: Will you rally behind us? Will you read? Will you share these…
A look at recent reports on abortion in Southwest Ohio reveals news that’s good, bad, and ugly.
The good—in truth, the marvelous: The end of surgical abortions at Martin Haskell’s clinic in Sharonville in 2014 was a powerful reminder that God hears our prayers and moves on behalf of vulnerable infants. Check out the January/February 2015 issue of Focus on the Family’s Citizen magazine for a riveting account of Haskell’s history of aborting babies in Ohio, including a sidebar on the ministry of Elizabeth’s New Life Center.
Good mixed with bad: The 2013 Ohio Department of Health report on induced abortions in Ohio showed decreases from 2012 in Hamilton and Warren counties, where our Women’s Center-Sharonville and Women’s Center-Lebanon are located. Abortions rose, however, in rural Shelby County and urban Montgomery County, places where need for our other four women’s centers remains great.
And there’s ugly: Reading Planned Parenthood’s 2013-14 Annual Report serves as a wake-up call and enlightenment on strategic efforts that devalue the gift of life. The agency took credit for protecting access to abortion and reducing its stigma in lofty, innocent terms, such as reproductive rights and justice.
With the anniversary of Roe v. Wade at hand (January 22, 1973), let’s remember and rejoice in what God did this past year but pray in the days ahead. Prayer, uttered in concert in hearts across Ohio and the nation, will be the impetus for the good and the marvelous in 2015.
My unexpected blessing arrived in 2013. I was not at risk for abortion, but I would like to share my story.
I am 38 years old and the mother of four girls. Life was busy, full, and overwhelming. When I found out on January 1, 2013 I was pregnant, I was shocked and scared. We are financially secure, and I am a stay-at-home mom. My life is comfortable, and my husband and I are good.
This surprise, however, has been the best thing in our lives. After nine long months, I gave birth to Lucia Remy on September 16, 2013. She is so beautiful, sweet, and good.
The moral of this story is to trust in God’s will and plans. We had no further plans for our sweetheart, but God did. He knew that our family was not complete, and I am glad for that. I am glad God is in control of plans and not me. If we would have been in control, we would never have met little Lucia. Her smile is so contagious, it has made this long, cold winter warmer and bearable. I hope everyone get to experience an unexpected blessing. They are truly a kiss from God.
When I was 21 years old I was engaged to be married and in my final quarter of college. Two months after we were engaged we found out we were pregnant.
I was scared, of many things. What were people going to think? What were our parents going to say? How would I go on with the life that I had planned? I was ashamed. I felt alone. I didn’t know who to talk to or where to begin. I tried to believe it wasn’t true.
I prayed. I will honestly say that I prayed that I wasn’t pregnant. And as I write this I tear up because I remember exactly what God said back to me. He said, “You are pregnant, it is a girl, and it will be okay.”
I will never forget exactly where I was in that moment. At that point I knew how to move on, seek forgiveness, and take one day at a time.
I know now that all of the feelings that I felt, all of the struggles that I and my husband had to go through were worth it. Because every day we get to look at our beautiful 7-year-old daughter and see how much joy and love she has brought into our lives. She changed who we are; she changed us for the better.
Things did not go how we had planned but just because it was unplanned doesn’t meant that we love her any less. I read in a book once that “no matter what your parent’s circumstances were when you were born, you were planned. You were planned by someone far greater than your parents; you were planned by God.”
God has a way of blessing us in the most unexpected ways sometimes. My husband and I now have four children, of of whom are blessings from God and we are privileged to love. For anyone that has every faced an unexpected pregnancy, you are not alone. Your feelings are very normal and, believe me, some of the greatest blessings can come from some of the most unexpected things.
I was 18 years old, fifth in my class, accepted to Wright State for nursing school, scholarships had been received, and my roommate was chosen. I graduated in May of 1997; summer had begun. I was having fun working and hanging out with friends.
My plans quickly changed. I missed my cycle and discovered I would be bringing a baby into the world. I NEVER, ever thought about abortion and quickly applied, was accepted to, and began college at Lima Technical College that fall.
My parents were my rocks during my whole pregnancy, especially my amazing mother. She supported me every single day, through ups/downs, happy/sad days. I often questioned my pregnancy and why I was not able to be away at college. However, over the course of the next nine months, I learned so much about people, small towns, life, and support–more than I could have ever learned going away to college.
I was blessed to have a healthy pregnancy and delivered a healthy, 9-pound, .5-ounce baby girl on March 31, 1998. She was beautiful; she was MINE. My heart instantly jumped out of my chest and has been attached to hers ever since. I love her more than words can say! She has been such an unexpected blessing in my life that I usually get tears in my eyes just talking about this change in my path.
I continued college and worked as a nurses’ aide at a community hospital. I graduated with my Associate’s in Nursing in 2000, changing roles, now an RN at the same hospital. I still wanted to get my bachelor’s degree. I applied and was accepted to the University of Cincinnati, worked hard, and in June 2002, graduated … goal accomplished!
My husband and I had a beautiful wedding, and my unexpected blessing stood by our side on Aug. 24, 2002. We enjoyed life, and I loved being a nurse. We soon had an “expected blessing,” another baby girl in May 2003. I decided to get my Master’s and was accepted to Wright State University, began in the summer of 2004, and we had another “expected blessing,” our third baby girl, that September.
I loved Women’s Health and wanted to help other teen mothers know that life would be okay with unexpected blessings. I found it harder to be in college with more children, but again my husband, parents, and in-laws were so supportive. We welcomed another expected blessing, our first son, May 31, 2007. I graduated one week later. My education plans had come full circle, and I earned my Master’s Degree as a Nurse Practitioner from the college I planned to attend right out of high school.
I work in an OB/GYN office and am able to meet with teens when they find they are expecting an unexpected blessing. I try to give them, and often times their parents, advice that I think important. I have shared my story with many of them and cried happy tears with some, too.
Life doesn’t always turn out how we think it should, but it turns out how God plans it for us. My husband and I welcomed our fifth child, another expected blessing, in November 2011. All five of our children bring us so much happiness. I try to cherish every day I have with them. I know I would not be the person I am today if I hadn’t been blessed with the unexpected. My message to all mothers is whether unexpected or expected, be thankful that you were chosen to be a mother because each child is a blessing!
I work in a crisis pregnancy center, and I would like to relay the story that is dearest to my heart. The mother was 40 and the dad 49. She was recently divorced and he recently widowed. They each had three boys. Hers were from ages 11 to 20, and his were 12 to 20. When they discovered her pregnancy, they were mortified and didn’t know how to explain the situation to their children–not to mention the trying thought of starting over with a baby at their ages!
Yet they did choose to marry and give their child life, and the mother gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.
Why this is so precious to me? That girl was ME!
I am now the mother of four and grandmother of 11. Think of the number of people who wouldn’t be here now and for future generations had they not chosen life!