I recently got a call from a woman whom I counseled many years ago to choose life. At that time, she was abortion-minded. This time, she was not considering abortion. Honestly, I am not happy that she is pregnant out of wedlock … again. Still, I am rejoicing that she chose to call me and our ministry to help her rather than considering abortion again.
These moms are sometimes involved with us for years
What a long journey she has been on with our ministry! She has been contacting me for many years. We helped her with her oldest more than a decade ago. The more recent help was 4 years ago. Now here she was again, same situation, same dire needs … but, at least this time, she was not planning to kill her baby.
Same root issues
I scheduled a time to speak with her. I will be certain to talk about God’s clear warnings that sex outside of marriage is against His will. I will also share the Gospel again, because it is clear that if she does claim Jesus as her Lord, she is not following Him in every area of her life. I will also offer the hope and help of the local church. How many times have I shared the Gospel with her over the years? How many times have I reinforced the message of sexual purity? Why are we at the same place AGAIN?
Is there ANY progress?
After I called and set the time to speak with her, she sent me a text. Last year, her sister had gotten pregnant and was abortion-minded. This woman sent her sister to me and she chose life. Her baby is now a year old and the mom wanted to thank me. When I received that text, I decided maybe progress was not all I had hoped … but there WAS progress.
Changes may seem small and slow, but the journey is not over yet
It is amazing what God has done in the families of the moms that we encounter. We do not always see all the life changes that we want. We usually do not see life changes as quickly as we pray they would happen. But when a woman has encountered the same struggles but turns to the Church instead of the abortion center, THAT is progress. Their journey is not yet over.
Persist in the Gospel
No matter where we are, be it sitting in a small group in church, or talking to a neighbor, we should be mobilizing the Church to meet the needs of vulnerable women. We should be spreading the good news of the Gospel in as many ways as we can, as often as we can, and as effectively as we can. And we should PERSIST with the women we counsel even when we are frustrated by their continual cycling over the same bad choices. God reminds His people of the same things COUNTLESS times in the Bible.
Love Life has a growing network of churches committed to helping these moms. Our goal is that, no matter where she lives, a mom can call someone in her community who loves the Lord and will help her. The churches will be equipped to deal with anything she faces.
The danger of disillusionment
Often, the initial flush of excitement in ministry can lose steam. That loss of interest can accelerate when the ministry is as difficult as this one. Enthusiasm can wane when the changes are so slow and so inconsistent, as in the case of the mom who recently called me. Some of us will just want to get off this path before the journey ends. It feels too hard and frustrating!
It is not unusual for sidewalk counselors, as well as mentors of these moms, to become disillusioned. Some give up and stop contacting the moms. Some are hesitant to keep offering resources and encouragement. Sometimes, they do not feel it is worthwhile to continue helping moms who only call when they are in crisis and seem uninterested in anything else, like discipleship in the Lord. Some give up on the ministry altogether because it feels futile.
The journey to holiness is often LONG and UPHILL
I believe we need to be careful about giving up too quickly. Discernment is certainly needed to not enable dependency or to stifle self-responsibility; however, we also need to be cognizant that the journey is often one of slow uphills or even disastrous detours. We all sometimes require divine intervention and others God has called to help bring us back on the right path.
My prayer is that the Church will recognize that it can sometimes take years of working with moms before real and lasting change occurs. We cannot turn them away because they do not listen when we already told them what they needed to do to live for the Lord. We have to embrace them wherever they are on the journey and continue to promote the truth of the Lord, His love, His forgiveness, His redemption and His call to holiness. And we cannot link our help to their commitment to Jesus.
Remember Who we serve and WHY
God did not give up on me … and I am so grateful for that. May I extend the same grace that He extended to me to others.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:9