Following God's plan for love helps to save a life

Following God\Nicole and her son Braylon (Beyond the Pews for Life)

Abortion is an emotional issue; there’s no way around it. And when a child is destroyed in utero, it can be hard not to judge in anger. But God taught Pastor John Lewis, from Beyond the Pews for Life, a powerful and miraculous lesson about love in the midst of anguish. 

In February 2022, Lewis was on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood, working alongside volunteers for the Memphis Coalition For Life. One young woman departed the building and walked over to some of the volunteers.

Lewis watched as she began speaking to them. This wasn't a quick hello; a serious conversation had developed. He was too far away to hear what they were talking about.

"I could tell that their conversation was quite serious and knew almost with certainty that this young lady was considering abortion," Lewis recounted. "As they finished their conversation and she was about to walk away, she turned and deliberately looked at me as if to say, 'Why haven't you said anything to me? Please help me.'"

At that moment, Lewis recognized her: Her name was Nicole. and he had spoken with two weeks prior. And now, Lewis learned from another volunteer, she had gone into Planned Parenthood to procure abortion pills.

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As Nicole walked to her car, the volunteer somberly informed Lewis that the expectant mother was still planning on going through with the chemical abortion.

But Lewis could tell by Nicole's eyes that uncertainty still lived inside her. Her baby's fate was not yet decided. He expected her to drive away. But she sat in her car for more than half an hour. 

Around the 40-minute mark, she began to exit the parking lot. That's when Lewis waved at her. Nicole slowed her vehicle and rolled down the window. And that's when he saw that same despondent look on her face. 

He told her that he saw her expression and knew she wasn't convinced that poisoning her baby was what she truly wanted to do. 

"She looked up at me from behind the steering wheel of her car and said, 'Do you have someone I can talk to?'," Lewis recalled. "I assured her that we did. I told her to drive out of the parking lot and park alongside the curb, which she did."

Lewis and the other volunteer began to pray with Nicole and talk to her about how precious her child was, and how God had set a plan for them. 

Nicole then dialed her mom, and the call came through the car's speaker. 

"I will never forget her mother saying, 'Please don't abort my grandbaby, honey!'" Lewis said.

After a further discussion that still included Nicole's mom on the line, Lewis had an idea.

The Life Choices Pregnancy Center was about 50 yards away. He has worked with them multiple times and even refers to them as the "angels on our shoulders' because there is a window in their office that looks directly down on the pro-life volunteers in front of Planned Parenthood. 

Lewis said he can feel their prayers. 

He called them and said he needed someone to go to that same window and look down at him and Nicole. Soon enough, he saw a face appear in the window and asked if they could see him. They could.

"I pointed to the front of the vehicle and said, 'I need a nurse to come and talk to this young lady right now!'" Lewis said. "I could tell that was, understandably, an unusual request, but thankfully, they said they would send someone down as soon as possible."

Before long, someone arrived. They all spoke, prayed, and cried together for the next hour. But Nicole eventually left, still planning to terminate the life inside her, who was 11 weeks along.

"Ingrained in my mind and heart is the image of that little car as it drove away, Nicole still crying, toward what we thought was the almost certain death of a precious human being," Lewis said. 

But there was a voice in his heart, and it told him, "The results are not yours. You just keep loving her."

Throughout the rest of the day, Lewis texted Nicole encouraging messages. She responded kindly but still seemed set on abortion. 

The next day, Lewis received a text from Nicole that broke his heart: "I appreciate everything you all have tried to do for me, but it's already done. The baby is gone."

The news hit him hard. 

"I went home that day and stood in my kitchen with my back leaning against the kitchen countertops, very sad and discouraged at what had happened," Lewis said.

His wife, Laura, walked in and asked what happened. Lewis told her and admitted that he wanted to lash out at Nicole in anger at having killed her baby. But it was then that same voice inside him spoke up again, and it was very clear: "No! You will continue to love her just like I told you to do!" 

"Even though it went against what John Lewis wanted to do, I determined within myself that I would do what God was telling me to do," Lewis said.

Obeying the Lord, Lewis texted Nicole and asked if it would be all right to connect her with some post-abortive counseling, but she turned him down. 

Two days later, he was driving home from another long day on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood when his phone rang. It was Nicole; she told him in a weak voice that she was in the hospital suffering from dehydration. She was now asking Lewis to pray for her. 

He thought her suffering was a side effect of the abortion pills. But then she said something that caught him completely off-guard:

"I'm dehydrated because I threw up all the pills I took. The baby is fine."

Lewis couldn't believe what he was hearing. The baby was still alive!

"As it turned out, she had not taken the pills correctly and that had caused nausea which, in turn, caused her dehydration," he said.

Lewis was so overjoyed at the news that the baby was still alive that he asked her to repeat it, and she did. 

But it was her next words that will stick with him forever. 

Nicole said that since he had continued to love her, even when he thought she had aborted her baby, she was now convinced that was a sign from God that He had a plan for her and her child. 

Lewis and Braylon - Nicole, Braylon and Lewis











She told him she was going to have the baby, and she asked Lewis to walk with her through the pregnancy. 

Lewis then realized a humbling, startling truth: if he had acted on his wishes — to lash out in anger at her — the baby would now be dead. But he obeyed God instead, and the results were miraculous. 

"Even today I try to remember those words that, too often, go against what my human and sinful temperament determines to do," he said. 

Braylon - Nicole and Braylon - Nicole, Braylon, Nicole's mom and Lewis












Baby Braylon was born on September 8, 2022. And that young child exists as a constant reminder to Lewis about how good God is and to never give up on Him or His love. 

"It is the most powerful, yet most underused force in our culture and society today," he said. "Only the love of Jesus Christ will heal the deep and abiding wounds that sin, in one way or another, has caused. It is also that love as well as the lesson I learned with Nicole and Braylon, which I will always hold dear."

Tweet This: Love is the most powerful, yet most underused force in our culture and society today.

As an epilogue, Lewis and his organization, Beyond the Pews for Life, continue to support Nicole and Braylon. The young mother is expected to graduate as a medical assistant in November 2023 and is doing extremely well. 

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