ATLANTA, Ga—At Heartbeat International’s Conference this week a recurring theme continued to appear. Whether through keynote addresses from PassionLife’s Rev. John Ensor or from Shawn Carney of 40 Days for Life, conferees are hearing that our work is plain hard at times.
Yes, we laugh. But our work is serious.
Yes, there are victories. But there are also times when we love and pour out our hearts only to see tragic outcomes.
Tweet This: There are times when we love and pour out our hearts only to see tragic outcomes.
But as so many are pointing out this week, God never told any of us in the Pregnancy Help Community that accomplishing our mission would be without roadblocks, challenges or sometimes terrible disappointments.
On a personal note, I can tell the story of a client of the center I served who courageously placed her child for adoption. A few months later she called me in desperation. “I just know something is wrong with my baby. I had a nightmare about him last night. You have to find out for me.”
Before I could make a phone call to allay her fears, the adoption agency called me, asking if I could tell her the tragic news that her child died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome just hours earlier. A few days later I would take her to her son’s funeral.
Our work is sometimes hard. Very hard.
If you are involved in pregnancy care ministry, you have stories to tell. Difficult stories. Painful stories.
And yet, you wake up every morning determined to press on. Because our calling was never meant to be easy. Nothing of value ever is.
Tweet This: Our calling was never meant to be easy. Nothing of value ever is.
In my brief career as a professional golfer I remember driving to Florida for a series of low-level professional tournaments where we stayed in cheap motels by the interstates, watching every dollar and playing early in the mornings (so we could free up the course for others) with no fans, no sponsors and very little prize money.
On one such trip my car’s thermostat blew, I punctured a tire when someone ran me off of the road and stayed in a dive with purple curtains and sketchy neighbors.
At the end of the week however, one good day led to a paycheck. My first as a professional. It wasn’t like I had won the tournament, but there is money in being one of the better also-rans. If I told you how much the check was for, we would laugh so hard tears would stream down our faces. It wasn’t enough to pay for my tire. Nor was it enough to cover my gas for the week, or my hotel bill.
That week I lost money. A lot of it. And I was exhausted.
But, I was bringing a paycheck back home. Thirteen years of practice, of quiet moments alone on driving ranges and practice putting greens and I could finally say I was “a professional” with at least a semblance of proof. I didn’t care how much. This was victory and I savored it all the way home (probably spent it, too).
The hard work and the difficult times when I lost and lost and lost again paid off for a moment in time.
I think about that today; not to relive something from the past but to look toward the future.
What we in the Pregnancy Help Community do today leads to a future; for children, for moms, for dads, for grandparents and extended families. Did you know, we build families? We do, most certainly.
Sometimes there are challenges. Sometimes there is pain. But there is—and we shall not forget this—a future.
Getting to the future can mean obstacles and times of incredible hurt. But as we know, anything of value costs us something.
This week I’ve walked among literally hundreds and hundreds of women and men willing to pay the price, whatever it must be. Because they believe in a future of hope, a future where life is engaged and celebrated.
Those at this conference are laughing, fellowshipping, encouraging. It’s what we do.
But there is also a sober-minded commitment here which says, “I’m ready to pay the price, whatever it may be. Because a future full of life is worth it, whatever the cost might be.”
Yes, the work can be hard. But those here in Atlanta, more than one thousand strong, would not have it any other way.