I am in the midst of counseling a young teen right now. Her parents do not know she is pregnant. I was connected with her through a friend of a friend of a friend. It is one of the more difficult cases I have dealt with on so many levels.
She is not in the area. She is terrified. She is young. She is alone in this since she is telling no one but the friend who connected her to me. She is watching her whole world crash around her and when I first met her, she didn’t know the Lord. She said, ”Hell doesn’t sound so bad right now.”
There will be some cases for every sidewalk counselor that break your heart and threaten to break your resolve. You will be thrust into the murky confusion of terrible circumstances that can erode your unwavering commitment to proclaiming life. Satan uses those hard cases to cast doubt.
Don’t let him. Don’t give up. Remain steadfast in what you know to be true. God is the author of life. God hates the shedding of innocent blood. The taking of an innocent child’s life with the approval and permission of his own parents is evil and always wrong in the eyes of God. Abortion is a barbaric act that unleashes terrible suffering on an innocent victim and destruction in the life of the victimizer.
But how does one counsel in such a hard case?
I think there are key points that are true for all women we counsel who are abortion-determined. I list three main strategies I used with this teen that can be applied to all counseling of abortion-minded women.
1. Remind yourself and the woman of the truth of the Gospel.
Store plenty of Bible verses in your heart (and your phone) of the sanctity of life and God’s clear word regarding the precious nature of the unborn. Determine the woman’s beliefs regarding Jesus and proceed from there to lead her to an understanding of the need for recognition of sin, repentance, submission to Christ Jesus in ALL areas of life, proclamation of faith in Jesus, and the need for ongoing discipleship.
Within a few days of counseling the teen, she decided to submit her life to the Lord. It is a new faith and a shaky one. She desperately needs discipleship and accountability. For now, I am the only one she is willing to allow to provide that. It is a weighty role, but one God clearly desires me to fulfill.
2. Find out who the potential support system is and urge the woman to use it
In the case of this young teen, her support system should be her parents but she is terrified to tell them. I have been counseling her for a month now. Nearly every day, I urge her to tell her parents. I cannot force her and I don’t even have the ability to contact her parents as she has not shared any information with which I could do so.
A wonderful church has offered to sponsor and mentor this teen. I relayed that support instantly. While she as yet will not allow me to share her contact info with that church, the offer meant so much to this young lady. She knows there is a large group of people praying for her and willing to help her when she is ready to accept the help.
In the meantime, I send her daily Bible verses, daily encouragements, weekly videos of a child the age of her baby in the womb, and daily questions about her welfare and emotional state. As of yet, as far as I know she has not aborted. She has remained in contact, however briefly somedays, and seems honestly grateful for those reminders of who she and the baby are in the eyes of the Lord.
3. Create a plan for the immediate future and how to overcome the most looming obstacles for the more distant future. Cast a vision!
This teen’s greatest concerns are being kicked out of her home, not being able to pursue her athletic dreams, and not being able to go to college. Through the help of fellow counselors, I was able to find role models who had overcome all those issues and shared their testimonies with her. I believe those were turning points for this young woman in her decision not to abort.
I don’t know what will ultimately happen with this young lady. However, over the past month, she moved from statements that she was going to hell but she would not under any circumstances have this baby to submitting her life to the Lord and not aborting. The church remains committed to helping her and praying for her regularly. Funds are being raised to help her. Plans are in place if she is kicked out of her home (which I believe is unlikely), and to counsel for any choice (adoption/parenting.)
Critical to any counseling effort is offering clear Biblical directive for behavior changes to prevent such a situation from developing again. That means unabashed presentation of God’s commands for sexual purity outside of marriage as well as how to confront overwhelming fear and struggle in a God-honoring manner.
I hope this has been helpful as you face similar difficult situations in your efforts to help abortion-minded women choose life. That is the goal of our regular articles. These guides are provided through the funds and efforts of Cities4Life. Any donations God is leading you to give are much needed in helping us continue to offer our free resources.