EDITOR’S NOTE: Sunday, Jan. 17, is Sanctity of Life Sunday in the Southern Baptist Convention.
SPARTANBURG, S.C. (BP) – Marilyn was 19 when she came to the Carolina Pregnancy Center. She was such a beautiful girl, so well spoken. She seemed confident. She was just beginning her second semester of college and was looking forward to a fun summer, working as a lifeguard at a camp. We had an instant connection.
The conversation became less upbeat as we began to talk about the possibility of an unplanned pregnancy. She told me that even though she was a Christian, if her test was positive, she and her boyfriend had already discussed it and for them abortion would be the best option. She was quick to tell me that she really didn’t believe she was pregnant, but that she was just nervous because this was her first sexual experience.
When I came back into the room with the positive test, Marilyn fell apart. She broke down, and anyone in our office could hear her sobs. For the next few minutes, I became the comforter while she cried. I just kept telling her that she would be OK. She would not have to walk this alone.
When she got it together, we began to talk about why she felt like abortion was the only option. She told me about the plans she had for her future. At this point in her life, those plans did not include a baby. The discussion then moved to her boyfriend. He also had plans that did not include a baby at this time. So we talked about these obstacles and how they could be overcome. We also talked about fetal development and the scientific fact that her baby already had a heartbeat and brainwaves, based on the dates she had given me.
By the end of our conversation, she was convinced that she could not go through with an abortion, but she didn’t know how her boyfriend would feel — and she was honest enough to tell me that even though she did not think she could go through with it, his opinion would definitely influence her final decision.
It was at this point that I asked her if she thought Roger would come in and talk. She didn’t know, but she would ask. Then I asked if I could pray with her. This is when she really began to sob. Even though it was emotional for both of us, it was also very comforting. I think she released it all to the Lord at that point, and I felt good about things as she drove away.
Early the next morning, Marilyn called. She and her boyfriend wanted to come in as soon as possible. Of course, we told them to come on.
Roger was really determined to convince Marilyn that abortion was the best decision for them. And he was good. I could see the conflict going on in Marilyn. I knew that unless the Holy Spirit intervened, this baby would be lost.
As I began to talk to Roger, I asked him about his spiritual life. He was quick to tell me about when he became a Christian, but with his head hung down, he told me how he had abandoned his faith for his own way. It was just the opening for which I had prayed. I had a perfect setup to talk about the forgiveness and restoration of the Lord. It was clear that neither one of them understood the concept of grace. All they knew were rules and legalism.
It was such a beautiful sight when the lights came on for both of them, after an hour of conversation. The Holy Spirit penetrated their hearts, and they were broken by their sin. But they were also relieved. The things they feared — telling their families, and Marilyn telling her church family — seemed easier to handle. There was so much they did not understand, but they somehow were convinced that they could trust the Lord.
Fast forward 10 years, and while it was a very difficult journey in the beginning, they are married and have another child. They are very involved in their church and praising the Lord for this unplanned pregnancy that ultimately brought them back to Him.
Alexia Newman is the director of the Carolina Pregnancy Center in Spartanburg, S.C. This article appeared in the Baptist Courier.