This time of year is an extravagant reminder of this truth: God is making all things new. For those who do the important work of loving and supporting others who have experienced the unplanned, unexpected, and even the unwanted, the Christmas story hits very close to home.
It hits so close to home it can almost feel cliché to use as an analogy for pro-life work during this time of year.
But it is a powerful true story that displays what taking action and partnering with the Lord looks like in His work to make all things new. The dignity and personal comfort that Mary and Joseph gave up to live lives fully submitted to God’s will is not only admirable and convicting, it’s downright the gospel. It’s what Jesus himself asks of us in the New Testament.
The very real ripple effect of unplanned pregnancy ministry
To say that I’m grateful for those who do pro-life work would be an understatement.
In 1988, I was born to two vulnerable, unprepared high schoolers. During pregnancy, my mom had to leave her home because she refused an abortion. Through the generous work of a small Christian unplanned pregnancy ministry, my mom was placed with a Christian family to live with so that my parents could keep me, their baby. According to what I was told as a child, the week before my mom sought help, this family had experienced the urging of the Holy Spirit to open their home to an unwed mother in need. They called the center and offered up their own home.
Long story short, my mom lived with them during her pregnancy and for some time after I was born until she married my father. Through the generosity of this family who stepped out in faith, the reality of Christ’s love became clear to my parents. Although my childhood was difficult and tumultuous for a whole host of other reasons, I was able to grow up with the teachings of Christ.
Now that I’m in my thirties, it’s incredible to see what God has done through an unplanned pregnancy and the ripple effect pro-life work has in my own life.
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In 2008, while in college, I worked as a student assistant for a pro-life unplanned pregnancy ministry that offered counseling and care to both mothers and fathers in their delicate time of need. In 2010, I entered into a happy, healthy, Christ-centered marriage with a young man who has embraced a gospel calling on his life and is now in full-time ministry at a neighborhood church, and I’m regularly volunteering alongside him to lead worship and usher people into the presence of God.
In 2017, my husband and I felt the call to become foster parents and opened our home to five children in foster care; although it was for a brief season, we plan to continue to do so again in the future. And in 2019, we gave birth to our own unexpected bundle of joy.
I’m here—able to give of myself to others in the name of Jesus, love the vulnerable, advocate for children in need, and raise the next generation of gospel-centered believers—because of people like you who have a heart for and a calling to serve people like me.
Your life-giving hard work, financial contributions, and intense, intercessory prayer are truly changing family histories at their very core. Through the work that you do, people are not only getting support to continue their pregnancies, or encounter healing from past hurts, they are also encountering the freedom and healing that can only be found in the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ.
The truth is, loving babies and wanting them to be here is pretty easy. Honestly, that’s the simplest part of what’s called pro-life work. Much more difficult—and much more necessary and world-changing—is the hard work of loving and serving those enduring unwanted pregnancies, suffering from dysfunctional family dynamics through unplanned or too-early entrances into parenthood, or hurts from past abortion.
- Are you taking in pregnant teens who are kicked out because they won't abort?
- Are you fostering or adopting children in need from unwanted, unplanned, or unprepared pregnancies or supporting foster and/or adoptive families in your community?
- Are you helping to support low-income single parents so they can keep their babies?
- Are you graciously and mercifully offering counseling and presenting the gospel to those who are healing from abortion of the past?
- Are you sacrificially giving your finances or time to unplanned pregnancy ministries in your immediate community?
Thank you. A thousand times, thank you.
This kind of work has changed my personal family tree forever—literally, for eternity. The Christ-filled love that someone offered to my mom and dad over 30 years ago has had a ripple effect forevermore in future generations of my own family.
The life-giving, all-things-new work of unplanned pregnancy ministry
Making a difference in the lives of those who feel hopeless or are hurting, like my teenage parents long ago, is our responsibility as those who bear the image of Christ and have been gifted His grace. It starts with us.
Not with our government. Not with our laws or how our taxes are spent.
It starts with our own behavior. We must renounce all that we have (Luke 14:33)—and not only in material possessions. This includes our families, dreams, homes, privilege, reputation, dignity and more. We must deny ourselves and die (Luke 9:23), taking up our cross as Christ did.
Much like Mary and Joseph and that first Advent, it takes our full, wholehearted submission to the Lord to carry out His will.
I’m not here today—following Jesus and doing Kingdom work in my own very small way in my tiny corner of the world—because abortion was illegal. It was very much legal when my mom was pregnant with me.
And I’m not here today, serving Christ as wholeheartedly as I’m able, because people complained about “pro-choice” laws on social media, criticized my parents for having pre-marital sex, or withheld grace and mercy from someone who experienced a past abortion.
I’m here today because people took action and gave of themselves sacrificially to serve a vulnerable teenage couple in the name of Jesus.
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We must trust the authority Christ has given us to be His hands and feet in this world—despite whatever our government or culture does or says. We must set aside our own grumblings and do the harder work of loving those in difficult places.
Extending grace, mercy, action and provision in our own communities is what will save lives, restore hope, impart healing, and spread the Good News of the healing, hope, peace and forgiveness found in Jesus.
This is our responsibility as the sons and daughters of God.
May we each throw off the hindrance of our own sin and embrace the beautiful mercy and grace that has been bestowed on us in the Advent of Christ Jesus—and then offer that gift to others. May we each be brave enough, by His Holy Spirit, to actively engage in Christ’s mission to make all things new—even if it requires us to give up our own personal financial gain, dignity or comfortable life.
And it will.