Excerpted from ‘Help Her Be Brave’ by Amy Ford
Help Her Be Brave
By Amy Ford
The church can be one of the first places a girl runs to when she finds out she has an unplanned pregnancy. It should never be the place she avoids because of shame and guilt. The church can help her be brave and choose life. The church can reach out and invite these women and men into a spiritual family. The church can help heal past hurts and wounds because free people free people. The church can help practically by giving single or struggling moms support so they don’t just survive, they thrive.
Most Christians say they want to live that way. But I believe the same Christians who have taken a stance for the sanctity of life don’t realize that if abortion became illegal today, the church wouldn’t be ready. What would we do if there were women who were pregnant and scared, even angry, that they must carry an unplanned baby to term? It wouldn’t be right for us to look away and say, “Good luck!” We would have to be available to assist spiritually, emotionally and physically.
It’s time to get the church ready. We can’t ignore these mommas anymore. We can’t ignore the statistics, either:
• 40% of all births are to unmarried women
• 18% of all U.S. pregnancies ended in abortion in 2017
• 85.2% of all abortions in 2013 were with unmarried women
• 4 in 10 women who have had abortions were attending church regularly at the time of their abortion decision
• Approximately 11 million children under the age of 18 are raised by single parents I was almost one of those statistics. Yes, I almost chose abortion because I was terrified to tell my parents.
Whatever the reasons a woman might seek an abortion, all of them are rooted in fear. Together, we can eliminate her fears and help her be brave. How can we do it? The recipe for transforming fear to faith is simple. There is just one ingredient: love. It is love alone that changes hearts and mindsets. Simply put, love saves lives. We can’t just vote a certain way or talk about what needs to change, we are the change.
Many of you may ask, “Okay, we need to love. But how? What does it look like in practical terms? How do I know where to start? Where do I find a place to serve or get involved? I don’t even know what’s out there or what I might have to offer.”
The pro-life movement is filled with love and opportunity. The possibilities are endless. Whether you partner with an organization that is already doing great things or start something new on your own, there is a place for you to help and serve. God has put certain strengths, gifts, talents, and passions within you so you can use them to change the world. There is something unique inside you that equips you to help unlike any other person. Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you pray about where to get involved:
1. What are you passionate about? What is your favorite hobby or thing to do in your spare time? Can it somehow connect to the pro-life movement? For example, if you love numbers and accounting, you might help a single mom create a budget. If you’re familiar with human resources or love career coaching, you might help a single mom create her resume and find a good job. If you love children, you could offer to babysit. If you have a knack for fixing cars, you could help repair a single mom’s car.
2. What makes you pound your fist on the table and say, “Someone needs to do something about this!”? That someone might be you. There’s a reason why you get fired up about a certain injustice or cause.
3. What is your story? A lot of times, our purpose is tied to our story. Have you experienced an abortion and want to help others experience God’s healing the way you have? Did an unplanned pregnancy leave you feeling completely alone? Perhaps you can be the person you wish had been there for you. God often uses our deepest pain as the launching pad for our greatest calling.
Look out into the world and see what breaks your heart. Run toward your heartbreak, not away from it. Dig in and ask God if your heart is broken because His is too. When your heartbreak becomes a map to find a place to serve, it will set your soul on fire. If all of us work together, we will make abortion unthinkable and empower women to be brave. We would be blessing future generations because brave moms raise brave kids!
Take a step and see where the pro-love path leads; God may show you an opportunity you never knew to look for. You are a miracle waiting to happen. You are the answer to someone’s prayer. There is a new mother out there who needs you. We can’t fix all of her problems, but we can point her to the One who can.
Recently I was working the Embrace Grace booth at a pro-life women’s conference and met a young woman named Terrisa, the founder and executive director of Pro-Life San Francisco. She leads a millennial-focused, grassroots activist group operating in arguably the most pro-choice city in America. She speaks to pro-life groups about secular and millennial outreach throughout the United States.
But what really makes Terrisa stand out in the pro-life community is that she is an atheist. “Amy,” she said when she walked up to the Embrace Grace booth, “I wanted to see if you would be one of the speakers at our upcoming Pro-Life San Francisco event that will take place at UC Berkeley. Would you be interested?”
I couldn’t hide my surprise. “Ummm … you know what my message is about, right? The church, life, love—and Jesus. Wouldn’t that be an issue for you?”
“Yeah, I know what your pro-love message is about. I don’t believe in your God. But I believe in the power of your people. If you can get the church to actually do something, then the abortion issue wouldn’t even be an issue. The pro-life side has the manpower because we have the church. We have got to activate the church to get involved, and things will start to change.”
Whoa. An atheist can recognize the power within us, but we haven’t. Come on, Church! If we join together, using all the strengths and gifts God put inside each of us, we would push the tipping point back toward life. And back toward love.
Excerpted from Help Her Be Brave: Discovering Your Place in the Pro-Life Movement by Amy Ford (©2021). Published by Moody Publishers. Used by permission.