Tuesday, 18 January 2022
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Seven ways pregnancy help ministry is a gift to those who do this work Monstera/Pexels

Seven ways pregnancy help ministry is a gift to those who do this work

“I can’t thank you enough,” said the young woman, swiping tears from her cheeks. “I can’t imagine life without my little girl.”

It’s easy to see how clients who visit pregnancy help centers feel grateful for our services and our loving support. However, this work is a beautiful gift, not only to those who are helped by it, but also to those of us doing the helping.

Tweet This: The work of pregnancy help is a beautiful gift, not only to those who are helped by it, but also to those of us doing the helping.

At this time of year, as we focus on gratitude and gift-giving, I can think of at least seven ways being involved in pregnancy help ministry has been a gift to me.

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First, it’s helped me become courageous. Growing up in a conservative Christian environment, I was taught to steer clear of “worldly” activities, but not how to connect with nonbelievers. After years of talking to many unchurched folks about unplanned pregnancies, the intimidation and awkwardness I once felt when relating to unbelievers has melted away.

Second, it’s helped me be less judgmental. I’ve come to know lots of folks who lack things I’ve taken for granted, like education, good nutrition, and a healthy family life. I’m more grateful for what I have than ever before, and I’m less likely to draw conclusions about other people based on the externals.

Third, it’s made me a better listener. One day, I called a friend to catch up with her. She ended up telling me a couple of things which were deeper and more personal than she intended to share. That happened because I’ve been trained to ask open-ended questions and listen. Pregnancy help work has made me a more effective minister, no matter who I’m listening to.

Fourth, it’s made me more respectful. Church culture can be a little goofy—in our efforts to be friendly, we tend to cross personal boundaries. We assume everyone loves a boisterous greeting and a hug, even from a stranger. I’ve learned to ask people for permission to touch them, no matter how good my intentions are. Pregnancy help work has trained me to respect those I serve, let them have a voice, and provide a truly safe place for them – not a weird, Christian-y atmosphere they can’t relate to.

Fifth, it’s made me wiser about our culture. Postmodernism worldview, sexual brokenness and confusion, the effects of abortion on our culture as a whole … the list of topics goes on. Working at a pregnancy center and being connected to affiliates like Heartbeat keeps me in tune with culture. Instead of gasping and saying, “Oh, how awful!”  I am much more capable of having fruitful conversations with people who are far from God than ever before.

Sixth, it’s helped me appreciate the whole Body of Christ. Go to any pregnancy center banquet, and you’ll see people from all denominations gathered under the banner of life. It’s beautiful how this cause unites Catholics and Protestants, men and women, young and old, people of all races. God is pleased with the diversity He sees when we serve Him shoulder to shoulder, and we are enriched by all the various flavors brought to the table in this work. 

Seventh, it’s given me more opportunities to extend God’s grace. One day, I ran into a woman for whom I had served as a pregnancy options advocate a few years previous. She had chosen abortion, and the emotional pain and distress she experienced afterward took the form of anger and bitterness directed toward me. 

The Holy Spirit coached me through the storm of accusations she hurled at me and enabled me to respond well. By the time the conversation ended, we were hugging and crying tears of forgiveness and reconciliation. Being in this ministry has given me more opportunities to help heal a hurting world by extending the love and grace of Christ.

Tweet This: Being in pregnancy help ministry has given me more opportunities to help heal a hurting world by extending the love and grace of Christ.

Being a part of pregnancy help ministry has made me more courageous, less prone to judge, better at listening, more respectful, wiser about culture, more appreciative of the whole Church, and more able to extend God’s grace. In these ways and more, this ministry has been a gift to me. 

Tweet This: Being a part of pregnancy help ministry has made me more able to extend God’s grace. This ministry has been a gift to me.

Come to think of it, this ministry has helped me be more of a gift to others.

I’m guessing you feel the same way about what pregnancy help ministry has done for you—and is doing through you.

Susanne Maynes

Susanne Maynes is an author, speaker, and biblical counselor who served at a pregnancy help center for ten years. She blogs about church & culture and spiritual growth at SusanneMaynes.comHer educational devotional, Unleashing Your Courageous Compassion: 40 Reflections on Rescuing the Unborn, uplifts and strengthens the pregnancy help community. Susanne is currently pursuing a Master of Theological Studies degree at Regent University.

Website: www.susannemaynes.com

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