Memorial Stones in Words in an opportunity to share a time when God made himself apparant to you. A story you don’t want to forget. Something you want to share with others. I’d love it if you had a story to share. If you post one on your blog, say that in the comment. If you don’t have a blog, but you’d like to email me your story to post, please do so! Check out the original post for a more full explanation.
(This post is appropriate for adults. It may not be appropriate for anyone younger than that in your home. I’ve debated sharing it, but it’s an important part of my life story.)
On a cool fall day in Little Rock, Arkansas, God reached down and held me in his arms. He walked with me. He let me cry. He just held me.
On one of the most nerve wracking and pivotal mornings of my life, God let me know that He cared for me and held my heart in His loving hands. He hugged me. He whispered to me. He just held me.
As I shut the door of my car and took a deep breath, “Amazing Grace” washed over me in bag pipe tones that resonated to the very marrow of my being. I shivered, but it wasn’t all that cold. I put my keys in my pocket and turned to face my destination: Capitol Avenue.
I was going to a Right to Life rally for the first time ever.
Let me backtrack a bit because you don’t know me all that well.
A couple of years earlier I wore a shirt that said, “If you don’t like the music, don’t listen. If you don’t like the art, don’t look. If you don’t like abortion, don’t have one. Stop Legislative Morality”.
I refused to buy pizza from Dominoes because they donated to the Right to Life cause.
I rationalized and justified the killing of innocent life.
A few months earlier I became trained to be an clinic escort for Planned Parenthood, where I volunteered weekly. I listened to their propaganda. I bought their lies. I had swallowed it all hook, line and sinker.
A few weeks earlier, that all changed.
The carefully constructed world built around my fragile heart and soul came crashing down in the sawdust at my feet when I walked past the “wackos” at the “Anti-Choice” booth at the Arkansas State Fair (where I was volunteering for Planned Parenthood). They had plastic models on the table showing fetal development. My world didn’t crash instantly because upon first glance, I was ticked off.
I saw them and believed them to be lies. I walked up to the lady and said, “How can you do this? Why are you lying to people like that?!” She very calmly told me was not lying and started gently describing the big points of development. I remember she never broke eye contact me me. She just talked. She placed a medical pamphlet on the table and tentatively pushed it towards me. I grabbed it and huffed off. I walked around the corner and that’s when my glass house became dust. I stood there, frozen. People walked around me like nothing had changed, but I could tell my world had been rocked and it wasn’t going well.
After that, I called a friend. The only Christian friend I could trust at the moment. I knew how she felt about the topic but I thought she had been duped. I knew she cared about how I felt and what I thought about this painful topic, but I wasn’t sure she could convince me.
Even then, when I was deceived and hurting, God had already written on my heart. I was not going to cave on this topic unless it was in His Word.
I dialed her number and all I had to say was, “Hey, it’s me. If it’s really is wrong I need to see that in the Bible.”
She sharply inhaled and quickly said, “Ok. I’ll call you right back.”
She did. She read Psalm 139:13 to me: You formed my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. She read Jeremiah 1:5 to me: Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.
That’s all it took. I started bawling. The God who had started drawing me to Him four years earlier had decided to seal the deal. He knew the issue that had to be settled and He settled it.
I remember that night so clearly.
I also remember how long I sat in the parking lot days later and I remember clearly going into the Planned Parenthood to resign my volunteer position. I remember sitting across from the desk of the assistant director and her asking me why I didn’t want to be a part of their work any more. When I slowly said, “Because we’ve been wrong. It’s not just a piece of tissue. Really. It comes down to that. It’s not just a piece of tissue. It’s a baby.” She got rigid and folded her hands on her desk in front of her. She said, “If it’s a matter of a place to go to church, we can help you with that.” I said it wasn’t. I looked her in the eye and said, “It’s a baby.” I stood up and walked out.
Then days later (I’m not making this up), at church, they announced the Right to Life rally. I knew I had to go, but I was a wreck about it.
When the breeze blew and I took that breath, only to have it taken away with that Scottish rendition of “Amazing Grace”, I thought the most emotional moment had just happened. I was wrong.
When I walked over the hill expecting only to see the hundreds of people who knew the truth about the Right to Life debate, I was stopped dead in my tracks. There were ten thousand people walking down that street.
I stared. I was dumbfounded. I almost backed out of joining the throng, but knew it was something I had to do. I was scared. Though there were thousands of people there, I felt alone. I thought the most emotional moment had just happened. I was wrong.
Just as I reached the street and took a step into the river of people, there was a woman (I didn’t even know her name and never found out) from church I recognized. I instantly knew that My God had decided to show up, personally, for me. That He knew I needed a hand and a hug. I started bawling that millisecond. The woman didn’t even miss a step, she just pulled me next to her, put an arm around me, hugged me and walked with me. That was the moment.
I cried the whole way down the Capitol Avenue. I cried the entire time people spoke and prayed. I cried as I got back into my car later. I was a mess. A big, fat, emotional … and loved … mess.
That day started a journey for me and other women. I took a Bible study called Women in Ramah and, years later, led four studies.
It all started with a State Fair, a phone call and a hug.
My God sure loves me.