Throughout my life, I’ve been an overwhelming optimist. My lovely wife will tell you that even when I receive terrible news or face something depressing, after about 24 hours I’m back “up” again, finding silver linings and making new plans.
This doesn’t mean I don’t get depressed or am always in a good mood. My Jennifer knows this is true too. But she won’t tell anyone because she simply won’t share my (numerous) flaws with others. I like that.
Here’s the thing: As an optimist, as one who usually finds the upside even in the down times, I’ve done some listening lately. This listening tells me our pregnancy help ministries are exactly where we need to be.
Why? Because several in our mission with whom I’ve talked are struggling. One told me it is time to step aside. Another told me she was on the verge of giving up; telling God she didn’t believe she was doing what she needed to advance the ministry. There are more of these stories. Many more.
It just seems a lot of us are battling to stay spiritually and professionally alive. The bullets keep coming (and some of them are “friendly fire!”), and we try to dodge as we can.
Sometimes we get wounded. We slow down to dress the wound and as soon as we get up, here come the bullets again. Some of us want to throw up the flag of surrender and say, “Not me. Not anymore. Find someone else to fight this battle.”
It would be nice here to toss out verses about how our weapons “are not carnal, but mighty through God for the pulling down of strongholds.” But for those who shared their stories with me, these verses are something they’ve already tried to hang on to. They still believe them. But they are at a point where they believe it might be time for someone else to take this on. They are too wounded. Too tired.
I get it.
But when I hear the despair, frustration, and weariness—I’m reminded of the phrase, “If you’re not catching flak, you’re not over the target.” The quote may have come from a WWII pilot, I’m not sure. I asked Google, and that’s the best guess.
Tweet This: To the tired and weary in the pregnancy help community: “If you’re not catching flak, you’re not over the target.” @KirkWalden
But there is some truth in this phrase. And if we piece together what we’re seeing today, the truth is, we must be over the target.
This spring, the Abortion Pill Reversal Network joined Heartbeat International, taking its amazing work in reversing early-term abortions to a new level. Today, we count more than 500 lives saved through what is now known as Abortion Pill Rescue.
Friends, we’re only warming up.
Over the summer, we saw a huge victory in the NIFLA v. Becerra case, effectively slamming the door on laws forcing us to become advertisers for the abortion industry.
Today, our number of medical clinics continues to rise (I’ll be at two ministries opening new medical clinics in just the next couple of weeks), we’re reaching more dads than ever, and because our STD/STI clinics are growing, we’re beginning to reach women before the other industry has a chance.
We shouldn’t be surprised then when the enemy uses discouragement, fatigue, and sometimes our own human shortcomings to drive us to despair. After all, we’re over the target. Enemy fire is expected.
But what do we do when we face discouragement? Do we simply plow ahead, convinced God is going to see us through? Perhaps. Do we take a break and reassess? Or is there actually a time when we step aside, move on to something new and allow someone else to step into our role?
I don’t have all those answers, which are likely different for differing people and situations.
But I do know every victory means we are closer to creating a new culture of life in America. And each new step we take—whether it be a medical clinic, Abortion Pill Rescue affiliation, fatherhood initiative, facility expansion, strengthened marketing or something else—means we take more ground for life.
For the discouraged and weary, we understand because we are in this together. And together, we’re over the target. Though it is never easy and the flak is fierce at times, it is still a worthy place to be.