We have afternoon Cities4Life teams that come when our morning shift of sidewalk counselors leave. Oftentimes, our afternoon teams encourage mothers who have not yet aborted to change their minds. That is the case with “B”, who talked with our team. B told them she was in very hard circumstances, but for that day, chose life. She claimed to be a Christian, who had submitted her life to Jesus as her Lord.
Our team told her that she should talk to me, since I would more clearly be able to share our resources and tell her more specifically how we could help. She did not want to discuss this with me by phone, but was willing to text. She was clearly still “on the fence”and considering abortion. She told me in the initial text that she was very confused and did desire to be counseled.
I have removed personal info that might identify B. The text exchange is copied and pasted below. While there are always things to improve upon, we felt this would be a good example of how to engage an abortion-minded mom who has chosen life…but is not firm in the decision. Many women choose life, and when they return to their unchanged situation, they waffle back and forth in that decision and sometimes return to abort their baby.
Key elements to look for as you read through this text are how God is center stage in the discussion and how the discussion of sin is not sugar-coated. The key to any true change of heart leading to repentance and restoration is the Gospel. If interested in deeper analysis, please check out our podcast on this subject posting on July 9 (Gospel Centered Prolife Podcast). It examines this text sample and discusses basic principles it exhibits in counseling abortion-minded women. We believe this actual conversation between the counselor and conflicted mother can be useful to those of you wondering how to advance a Gospel centered discussion.
V: We would love to give you a free ultrasound. Can I schedule you one for Friday?
B: No…I am not sure of what I am going to do or who I can trust.
V: Can I call?
B: It is just embarrassing to now be judged by even more people.
V: No one here is judging you. No one goes for an abortion unless they are overwhelmed and scared. I had an abortion 40 years ago. Still haunts me. So I would be the last person to judge you. I want to help you however.
But if you still want to talk, I will try my best to help.
I can text if that is easier.
B: Thank you.
Just whisper a prayer for me
V: I will do more than whisper. God loves you so much and it’s OK. You were tempted to do something bad, but you turned from it. Don’t beat yourself up. That’s what Satan does. God is applauding you.
B: I know. But I’m already having a hard time with the (several kids) I already have kinda.
V: Of course! But my guess is this new little baby will be a complete blessing to you and the fact that you feel guilty over even the thought of aborting her tells me you know you’re doing the right thing choosing life. If you come to the point where you feel you absolutely cannot care for another, I have zillions of cards of parents that would love to adopt your baby.
But you have time to think about what you want to do in terms of adopting or parenting and if you parent, we will help. And if you place her for adoption, we have someone who would walk you through the entire process and it is all free.
If you know God and if you claim Jesus is Lord, you know Jesus himself says, “If you love me you will do what I say.” I think you love him, and his word is clear. He says the shedding of innocent blood is one of the seven greatest abominations before God.
God has known and loved you from the moment of conception and he has known and loved that baby from the moment of conception. He has a plan and a purpose for you, and he has a plan and a purpose for that little baby as well.
You are precious to God and so is your unborn child.
No one else on earth could replace you, and no one else on earth could replace your unborn child.
The Bible says nothing is impossible with God. That doesn’t mean we won’t have troubles. Jesus himself says “in this world you will have troubles. But take heart I have overcome the world.”
That means he who holds eternity in his hands is the winner. And when we follow him in absolute faith and obedience, we claim the victory with him. Walk in obedience to God and your faith will grow and grow and your delight in following him will also grow.
We will always be tempted to sin because Satan is our enemy and wants to destroy us. The best way to fight Satan is to turn from sin, pray and trust in God, and follow him wholeheartedly.
B: I am working on my relationship with God and myself.
V: I don’t know you at all, but I know you fought a spiritual battle at the Abortion center on Monday, and God won.
My favorite subject is relationship with God. If you ever want to talk or be encouraged, I am happy to talk.
I think a lot of people believe that if we trust God, life will be easy. The Bible never promises that.
What we are promised is struggle and troubles and tribulations. But if we persevere we are also promised abundant life, joy, peace, and eternal life.
B: I have realized that I don’t really love myself. I don’t respect myself either. So it is hard to trust God when I don’t know if I trust myself.
I agree with what you said though.
V: That is very perceptive of you. Why do you not love yourself?
And I will add that you are not trustworthy. Neither am I. But God is, and God is our strength.
B: I know that God has been good to me and my children. He has forgiven me time and time again so I know He is real.
I can’t possibly love myself because if I did I wouldn’t allow the things I allow. I wouldn’t allow the things that hurt me to hurt me. I wouldn’t beat myself up over things I can’t change.
V: I will tell you many people say they know and love God but then they willfully walk in disobedience to his clear commands. Our faith grows when we obey him. For example like I said I don’t know your situation, but I know the commands of God are for sexual purity outside of marriage. Those are to protect us as I’m sure you’ve discovered. If you would submit your life completely to God even in that difficult area, I guarantee you will see your faith and self love grow and grow. We love ourselves most when we are in the will of God.
V: Try this for thought. Does God love you? Did Jesus die for you because he thinks you are not worthy of his love and sacrifice? If God loved you so much that he gave his only begotten son to die that horrific death for you and your eternal soul, then maybe look at yourself through God’s eyes. In his eyes you are of sacred inestimable value.
The war with our flesh will not end until the day we die, but I assure you that the more you fight to follow God, the more he gives you strength to follow him.
And when you mess up, tell him you’re sorry, fight to repent and truly turn from that sin and ask him to help you to follow him more closely. He always answers those prayers.
B: I will work on it.
V: So let me ask you, if you were to kill your baby, would you be following God or would you be fueling your self-hatred because it is in direct disobedience to God?
I think sometimes we work so hard thinking if we just try harder we will get better, but I think that loving and trusting God to help us and praying for his strength is the way we find him.
B: Well we all know that is not what God would want…the abortion I mean.
V: You are right. And so if he would not want it, you should not do it. If you want to love yourself, do what God would have you do. If the purpose in your life is to glorify God, it takes the focus off of your failures and yourself and puts the focus on God… which is where it needs to be.
B: I agree.
V: I mean right now, here’s a simple exercise –tell yourself, “B…, you had the courage and strength to walk out of that abortion center despite being terrified and overwhelmed. You chose to follow God because you love God and that action was pleasing to God. I’m so proud of you B for making such a difficult God-honoring choice.”
B: Very true.
V: And then give yourself a big hug and kiss and remind yourself: God loves me so much and I love him, and if he loves me, I love me.
And remember Jesus’s words, “If you love me, you will do what I say.”
Are you going to heaven or hell? What do you think?
B: I think I will go to Heaven. I have made several mistakes and still do daily, I’m sure, but my heart is with God.
V: Do you earn your way to heaven? Are there enough bad things you could do?
I mean bad things that would send you to hell?
B: No to both. It wouldn’t matter if I did a million x2 bad things. As long as I repent..He will hear me.
I’m not saying that I should continue bad things but in the event that I make a mistake He will forgive me.
V: Ok. And so what do you think Hebrews 10:26 is saying? Let me find it and paste it here for you. Btw, i agree with you…but with an added caution. Just a sec.
“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.”
Yes. Right— you answered even before I posted the verse
If we KNOW what is right and still continue to do wrong, this verse is a dire warning. True repentance means we turn from wrong. For example, if you were married and your husband said, “I think our new neighbor is hot. I am going to go have sex with her but I will be right back because I know you will forgive me.” Would you be ok with that?
B: Of course not
V: I know, right???
But that’s what we do to God. We say: i know it is wrong, but i know you will forgive me so i will do it anyway.
V: However, this verse is another GREAT encouragement if you understand what Hebrews 10:26 is warning about. So just a sec.
“because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
So if we confess with our mouth…that means SAY IT
That Jesus is Lord….well, what does it mean: if Jesus is Lord?
B: I’m familiar with that verse
V: So you know the most important part is that phrase “Jesus is Lord.” Whatever is Lord of your life controls you. You will do what whoever is Lord asks you to do…or he is not lord.
V: A lot of folks claim Jesus is Lord, but they disobey him. They live lives of sexual sin, lying, cussing, taking his name in vain…etc…and say they love him. Do they really love him?
Is he lord if they are not living like he is Lord?
It was this verse that REALLY made me understand the Gospel. We are saved by FAITH, not Works. But if Jesus is truly Lord of our life we WILL obey him, or he is not Lord. We are lord…
Our faith is NOT tested by when times are good or choices are easy. Our faith, our proof that Jesus IS Lord of our lives is in the hard times, the hard choices, the choices that seem impossible. When we follow Him then, that is how we grow in spiritual strength.
When we lose our SELF in Him, that is how we finally find our self.
And love ourself.
So will you go for an ultrasound to see your baby Friday?