I’ve been reminded recently that we need to be telling the stories unique to our experience. Because if we love Him, God wants to use everything in our lives for good (ref. Romans 8:28). He has given us those experiences to encourage others.
One of these stories in my life happened years ago when I directed a crisis pregnancy center. Our goal in that ministry was to offer women abortion alternatives. We didn’t pressure anyone but tried to support them and give workable alternatives to ending the pregnancy.
A young woman I’ll call Maya, in her twenties, came in wanting information. A single Mom already, she had issues with her first pregnancy and expected this one to be no different. I spoke with her, but I could tell she was overwhelmed. When I accompanied her to a doctor, he thought it best she consult a specialist in another part of the state that could provide medical care at no cost.
Later, when I tried to phone her, she didn’t take my calls. Usually when I encountered radio silence, it meant a woman had opted for abortion. But I, with a group of prayer partners, continued to pray for her as well as others we were working with (names were not shared, only circumstances).
In a few weeks Maya reappeared at our door wanting assistance. I asked her to come in and take a seat.
“What happened to you?” I asked as she settled in.
She said, “I was going to have an abortion.”
I leaned forward in my chair. “What stopped you?”
“My grandmother learned about my plans and persuaded me not to do it, so I came back. But I’m scared. I’m afraid I might die having the baby.”
At that point, I didn’t have children, but even with my limited knowledge, I could sympathize. So, I committed to walking through the process with her, so she wouldn’t be alone. The father of the child was nowhere to be found.
I tried to encourage her as she was a believer, but I could see fear aimed to swallow her.
When the time came for her appointment with the specialist, we sailed along the highway, yet things in the car weren't so smooth. She was anxious, so I tried to distract her and asked about her dreams. I found she had educational aspirations, but was concerned about how another child might affect them. Despite her grandmother's intervention, I still continued to be concerned whether she would actually follow through with the pregnancy.
Later at the medical facility, while waiting for her appointment, a daytime talk show played on a tv near us. I’d never watched it, but I associated the host with programming of little value. But today, this show featured several women sharing how they were told they would die if they had their babies. I couldn't believe it. Then the host would have the children born to these women walk out on stage. As we watched story after story unfold, Maya nudged me. “Did you have someone put that show on this television.”
I was shocked she thought I had that kind of power. “No, I don’t know anyone here. This is just the show that’s on television today.”
We continued to watch until her name was called.
Later we talked about the timing of the tv show. We both agreed it was no “coincidence” but God intervening to let her know things were going to be okay. Maya was afraid she would die because of what happened in the last pregnancy, but from that point forward, she had newfound faith in God's guidance.
Sure enough, when the baby was born months later, there were no complications.
We stayed connected for a long while, and I saw pictures of that beautiful child as she grew. I was able to find educational opportunities for Maya to help get the ball rolling, but Maya did all the work, and went on to get her degree.
When I reflect on all that came together that day—the timing of the appointment, the timing of the show, the content of the show—I shake my head in wonder. God wanted to let Maya know in an unforgettable way that He was with her.
I learned something from that experience, too. Sometimes we underestimate what God can use. I would have never guessed a program I deemed of such little value would be used by God in such a mighty way. That experience taught me to never underestimate God’s ability to use whatever he chooses to accomplish his purpose.
That’s my story today. What’s yours?
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).