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Embraced and Trained by Sidewalk Advocates for Life
Across the driveway from my post, I began to recognize a few of the regular sidewalk advocates. They were welcoming and friendly. I was incredibly thankful when they were there. A couple of them had engaged with me, welcoming the prayer support as I welcomed their peaceful outreach to the patients.
I wished that I could be as prepared as they were in directing patients to support for life!
I didn’t need to wish for long because they warmly embraced me as part of their team, inviting me to the all-day training they had at a local pregnancy center. Becoming a Sidewalk Advocate for Life was answer to prayer. I felt confident now to gently call out to those heading in, and I also had stash of brochures containing phone numbers of organizations that would help women, and educational pamphlets on fetal development to share.
The Sidewalk Advocates also held a monthly meeting were we could share experiences, pray together, and encourage each other.
It was around this time that I began to feel my Noah’s little feet tapping me on the inside as I prayed. My heart warmed with the thought that Jesus sent his disciples out two by two.
This baby and I, in a unique way, made two.
(Find out about Sidewalk Advocacy in your area: sidewalkadvocates.org)
A Parking Space
It was an intense physical workout to pray at the clinic, which was located a few feet away from a busy main street on a hill. The wind made it a bitterly cold task. I alerted all who came to pray that it was always ten times colder than anywhere else. I would triple bundle myself and Isaac and Lily, plus bring along the enclosed wind proof bike cart for the children to have shelter in.
We had just received permission to use the neighboring prolife ministries lot to park at the close of the 40 Days campaign, but that was cut short after only one day. The head of the ministry pointed me to the opposite side of the clinic to a lawyer’s lot. The lawyer had allowed them to park there when needed. Parking close was important to me for a few reasons.
- I still needed to get to work on time and it saved me some time giving me more time to stand in prayer.
- I could get there in time to greet the employees if I parked close.
- My baby was growing and it decreased the physical burden.
- I needed to be able to access a bathroom quickly at times which meant leaving quickly.
- The walk over was so cold, making it hard for Lily and Isaac.
After the only morning I had parked in the lawyer’s lot, I got back into the van to see in the rearview mirror a message written by finger on the glass.
“Do NOT park here.” I believed it was written by a pro-choice advocate in the lawyer’s office.
As I was driving up the following morning, I prayed for a close place to park. How far would we have to hike in the cold?
“Please Lord, just today could I have the closest spot? You could do that for me, right?”
I arrived to the nearest side street and low and behold, every single parking place was taken.
I laughed, “Okay Lord, you’ve got me, but I will show up and seek you no matter how far we have to walk.”
Parking far away and struggling to the clinic caused me to reflect on a young woman long ago who was heavy laden, riding a donkey on a journey, nurturing pure Love in her womb. She was shut out and offered only a stable to birth her baby. God worked through her “Yes” to life to change everything.
Emmanuel (God With Us) chose to enter the world as a fetus, through the womb of a woman, into humble conditions. He chose to struggle for us, to understand the difficulty of navigating our hard world through firsthand experience.
“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.” Isaiah 53:3
“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” 1 John 1:4-5
Jesus bestowed dignity on the weak and the poor. It was this LIFE we were here to honor.
After that day, the closer parking spots were always empty for us and I believe God in his kindness held the place for me.
“Lord , You know
Our hearts don’t deserve Your glory
Still You show
A love we cannot afford
Like hinges straining from the weight
My heart no longer can keep from singing
Such a tiny offering
Compared to Calvary
We lay it at your feet.”
Big and Beautiful
One of the most special moments during pregnancy is when you get to peek under your own skin with modern technology and see your child, just hanging out in your belly. It is adorable! Wild! A time of putting a face with those limbs you know the feeling of so well.
During my 20 week ultrasound, the whole family crowded in, the jelly went on my belly to learn the Lord had blessed Isaac with the brother he had prayed for! The ultrasound tech informed us that he measured large even if we bumped his due date back two weeks!
At my OB visit, the month following the ultrasound, I just couldn’t contain myself. I had been thinking about what the ultrasound tech said about the baby’s age and bone measurements, coupled with the fact that he was a boy. I had a few specific questions for the doctor because sometime before Isaac started praying for a brother, I had had a dream.
I told the doctor from the practice who I was seeing for the first time the dream, because my doctor was out of town…
“I was at a picnic with the extended family, but all I could see was this beautiful young man finishing his meal at a picnic table. He never looked up at me. He had sun kissed skin and was really big and tall with well-defined muscles, like a professional athlete. After thinking to myself what a fine looking fellow he appeared to be, I was struck with this sense that he belonged to my family, to me somehow.
I felt a deep sense of pride wash over me. He wasn’t only a strong man, I knew he was a good man.
When I woke up I wondered what if anything the dream meant, had I shut this young man out in attempts to control fertility? Had I missed the opportunity to welcome this son or was I just silly? Why did it bother me?
After Isaac had cried for a brother, I took these two concerns to my husband and was shocked to learn he had had a different dream about a child too! In response to these three things we decided to forgo any attempts to prevent pregnancy and swing open that door in faith.
Back to the appointment: I finished telling this tall but true tale, then asked the doctor if she could please humor me and look up the length of my previous babies’ bones from the same gestational age.
She cheerfully obliged, informing me that my last and largest baby, Lily, had measured in the thirtieth percentile, while Noah measured in the seventieth percentile!
Lily was 8lbs 11oz at birth.
Knowing bone measurements at this stage didn’t guarantee that he would be a big baby, but I couldn’t help but wonder about this son of mine, my prayer baby, would he be the big, beautiful boy of my dream?
Was this a hint from the Lord of things to come?
Part 8 A Madman Strikes Colorado: Click Here
Former clinic worker Sarah wants you to know, “It’s really a baby.”: Click Here