A Sidewalk Counselor Story
While at the White Rose Women's Center on January 13, 2007, I heard a loud banging noise and thought it was someone knocking on the front door so I went downstairs. The door was open. Looking outside, I saw a woman walking toward Fitzhugh Avenue. Assuming she was looking for the White Rose, I called her. She walked back toward me and asked me where “4321” was. My heart sank, as that’s the address of the Routh Street abortion center. So I asked D why was she going there and she told me she had an appointment but she couldn’t find the place. I asked her if she were pregnant and she said “yes”.
That led to some fast talking and praying on my part as we stood outside the White Rose in the frigid rain and practically shouting over the traffic from Central Expressway. It was raining so hard I couldn’t even see her face clearly. Because D had come via the bus, she was soaked to the skin. Several times D started to walk away, but God heard my prayers. I was finally able to coax her inside and upstairs to the White Rose reception room. D began to fill out the intake sheet, but suddenly she jumped up and said she was going through with the abortion. Another counselor (S) and I followed her down the steps and outside into the frigid rain again. This time it took both of us talking and praying to get her back inside a second time.
We took her straight to one of the counseling rooms, shut the door, and got right into it, S across the table from D, and J sitting next to her. D was a very hostile young woman. Her words were filled with the hate and pain she was going through. She was "going to get even" with the man who had rejected and abandoned her. She was bound and determined to abort this baby because she was so angry at the father. I was struck by the physical signs these feelings produced on her face. The spirit of death had manifested itself in her countenance.
After a while S left to attend to other needs (the White Rose was short-handed that day) and I stayed on with D. We delved deeper into spiritual things. As I had my arm around her and talked softly about Jesus' love for her and her baby, and she slowly began to let go. Her body relaxed and she started crying. Pretty soon tears were streaming down her face as the pent-up anger came out. I asked if I could pray with her and she said “yes”. I prayed for her and then asked her to pray with me. I asked D if she would like to know this Jesus who loved her beyond all understanding and would never abandon her. Again, she said “yes”. D prayed for Jesus to forgive her sins and to come into her life. She gave her heart that day to the One who had made it and to the only One who could heal it. As D ended her conversation with God, her body continued to relax and the tears began to subside. I watched as her beautiful face changed before my very eyes into one of peace and serenity. By that time I had tears streaming down my face at the total awesomeness of a God who can bring about such a miracle.
I know that when this precious child accepted the Living God into her heart, that the demons of death were driven out of that room and out of that building. I could “feel” that something had happened!
D was thrilled to receive a brand new Bible, one in a shipment of Bibles which had just been donated to the White Rose. She and I looked through it and I suggested she start reading in the Book of John. We marked the page. I stressed the importance of spending time with God everyday, just as we need to spend time to make every relationship grow and deepen. God above all else deserves our time in prayer and the reading of His word.
By this time S came back to run D’s pregnancy test which proved to be positive. (I kind of “stood by” when D went into the restroom to make sure she got back into the counseling room okay!) And since it was lunch time, we got her something to eat and popped in the video “Caring” which is one shown to every White Rose client. I left her in there while that video was running. She let me know when it was over as she wanted to watch more! So she eventually watched two more videos. One was the very poignant “After the Choice” in which several women are interviewed who had abortions. This one pulls no punches and is a real tear jerker. The other one was an upbeat video which imparts hope to young women who find themselves in the desperate situation of an unplanned pregnancy. D said she especially liked this one.
Since D didn’t want to go home on the bus and since we had lots of goodies for her 7-month old son, she waited on me to finish what I had to do. But she enjoyed the wait as she looked through all the literature (asking appropriate questions), looked through the baby name book, shopped for maternity clothes, and took a tour of the Chapel. D loved the Chapel! She walked around and looked at every picture on the wall and asked who it was. And then she picked up a Roe Memorial flyer and announced to me “I want to go to this”!!!
D and I left the White Rose at five hours after her unborn baby was scheduled to die. By this time she was talking happily about her baby. She even called her mother on my cell phone to tell her the good news. Her mother was very relieved and happy! D said her mom was sad at first because she thought D had gone through with the abortion. Then D said something like this (paraphrase) "I would be feeling pretty sad right now if I had gone through with what I planned to do today".
On the way home we drove past the Cathedral so she could see where the Roe Mass would take place. D was so excited when I pointed it out. “Is that the Cathedral?” she cried in amazement! She had never been there before and was so eager to see inside.
D was baptized in the Catholic faith as a child, but nothing happened since then. She expressed a desire to go back to church and to learn more about the faith. I will encourage her to talk with the priest or deacon and eventually get into a confirmation class.
I am very happy to be one of two Gabriel Angels paired with D. Another Angel “also J” lives close to D and took her to Mass in her parish the next Sunday. D and “also J” hit it off right from the first time they spoke on the phone. AND, the most wonderful thing is that “also J” took D and her son to the Roe Memorial Mass on January 20 where they stayed for Adoration and the Reception/Info Fair. D was able to pick up even more pro-life literature, meet lots of people, and receive a pair of precious feet which are the same size as her unborn baby’s feet!
I have a very good feeling about D. That she is going to go forward in the Lord and she’s going to be okay. D lives with her mother and teenage sister. She is working part time and studying for her GED. She has dreams of becoming a registered nurse and even owning her own beauty salon someday. I told her there’s nothing wrong with having two careers – and she can do it!!!
When I think of D and the transformation that God brought about in her, the words of the Prophet Isaiah come to mind: “… to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They
(D - my addition) will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.”
The Lord has great things in store for D and those two precious babies for the display of His splendor!submitted by "A"
January 25, 2007