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Major movements begin through small decisions

Last week’s announcement of the Unplanned Movie Scholarship Fund was big.

As in, “Major.” As in, “BIG.”

Well, I already said that, but you get the picture.

Think about it. This scholarship fund, should it grow, gives powerful opportunities to moms facing the toughest decision of their lives, offering a way forward for an unplanned pregnancy. And, these scholarships highlight a truth so many deny: Our mission is so much larger than babies. It is about serving moms, empowering them to choose life and thrive as a result.

So yes, this is another step toward making abortion unthinkable in our society and building strong families in the process.

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Looking back however, this is a perfect example of how major movements are often launched through what appear to be “small” decisions.

As we know, Unplanned tells the story of Abby Johnson’s decision to leave the abortion industry. 

But wait. Let’s go back and realize, there would be no Unplanned without a series of “small” decisions. 

For instance, when Planned Parenthood began construction of its College Station, Texas, facility where Abby would work, hundreds made the decision to pray at the construction site. 

If we ever wonder whether our “small” prayers make a difference . . . .

Tweet This: If we ever wonder whether our “small” prayers make a difference . . . .

Later, Shawn Carney—who, along with David Bereit founded 40 Days for Life—made the decision, along with his family, to reach out to Abby Johnson. 

Without this decision . . . 

Johnson, after seeing an ultrasound, made a choice, walking out of the College Station abortion center, quitting her job. Keep in mind, there was no one standing outside of Planned Parenthood offering her a book and movie deal. When she left, she didn’t even have a job. 

This decision led to more decisions, such as . . . .

Two years before Unplanned began shooting—two years—actress Ashley Bratcher sensed the Lord telling her there was a mighty work ahead for her, but the timing wasn’t yet right. 

When Unplanned began looking for a lead actress, Bratcher knew it was time. Though friends told her she would never work in Hollywood again should she take the role, she decided to take the chance.

Not to mention, directors Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon found Ashley’s name at the bottom of their list of possible leads, calling her just one week before shooting began. Another decision to be made.

They chose correctly, bringing Bratcher into the role—someone who saw her portrayal of Johnson as part of her life’s mission, instead of as just another credit for her IMDB bio. Because of her passion, she chose to partner with Heartbeat International to create the Unplanned Movie Scholarship.

Of course, the story of Unplanned, last week’s #1 DVD on Amazon, is still being written. But as new chapters emerge, we’re reminded that one seemingly small decision leads to another. And another.

So, what’s next? It’s impossible to know, but it does lead to another question. Which is, “What ‘small’ decision, made today, could change the culture tomorrow?”

There are many answers, I know. But thinking about the Scholarship Fund, as soon as the announcement was made on Friday, I went to the web site and made a gift. 

Then, because I was testing a couple of things on the site, I made one more. 

Again, small. While our family is not prepared to make giant gifts right now, we knew we could do something. So, we did.

We made these investments because one day, we believe this fund will change lives—a lot of lives. I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to join the wave of supporters. 

One day, likely not in this life, I believe the Lord will show us all what we accomplished through “small” decisions. When that day comes, I want Him to point to someone with a smile on her face and say, “You don’t know her, but you helped her through a tough time—you gave her hope.” 

I treasure the possibility of many moments like this in the kingdom of God. What will it be like to be pleasantly taken by surprise, seeing the impact of our small decisions? I don’t know. I just want to find out.

Here’s another question, if I can be somewhat bold. Will you join me in supporting this endeavor?

C’mon. Click the link. Make a gift, small or large. Every investment makes a difference, so give it a try.

When you do, drop me a line on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (@kirkwalden). I’d like to know we’re in this together.

And who knows? Perhaps our small decisions of today . . . will create life-changing moments for many tomorrows. 

Kirk Walden

Kirk Walden is a senior writer with Pregnancy Help News, an Advancement Specialist with Heartbeat International and author of The Wall. For banquet speaking engagements, contact Gloria Leyda at Ambassador Speakers Bureau. His new Faith Revolution Podcast is online at