To read from the beginning of this memoir click here: Part 1
“To love is to be vulnerable …” C.S. Lewis
So on 3-20, the final day of the Spring 40 Days for Life campaign 2016, as planned, I sent the doctor the first letter. “Lord, let me be a vessel that your love can fill and flow through. Have mercy on me.” I prayed. And I hoped beyond hope that the doctor’s heart would be open to reading my letter. I hoped that if his heart was even a sliver open to turning from abortion to life, that my letters wouldn’t cause more harm than good.
I was certain that it was time to reach out beyond my smile and wave, the rest was in God’s faithful hands.
Here is the letter I sent:
I would like to introduce myself. My name is Melissa. I’m the lady who shows up every business day with a painted heart to pray for you, your staff, and all who enter your clinic. It is my effort to demonstrate the utmost respect for you, your, staff, and patients as I reach out to offer help because I care deeply for each one of you.
I don’t pretend to know your story. I don’t know what brought you to this place, but choose to believe that you are doing what you believe you must do to contribute to society and help women through tough situations.
I wasn’t intending to turn the 40 Days for Life into a never ending 40 Days, but things don’t always happen according to our plans, do they?
My prayers for you started over a decade ago when my wise grandmother, a seasoned counselor at the PRC, handed me a bookmark with your name and a simple prayer for your conversion on it. “Please pray for Dr. ——,” she requested.
(There are so many people who are praying for you, not against you. I am sure that over the years you have faced many impassioned pro-life folks who have attacked you in their zeal to be a voice for the unborn, instead of demonstrating God’s love for you. I pray that their wrong actions* have not closed your ears to the message I bring.)
I have prayed for you, not faithfully enough I will admit.
My son Isaac, the bright haired fellow who often accompanies me has a firm dedication that puts my efforts to shame.
He remembers you with every prayer that crosses his lips. It was his request of me to pray every day at your clinic that inspired this long stand. It hasn’t been easy. It has been cold and heartbreaking, and then sometimes full of the richest kind of joy when a young lady turns away from abortion and chooses life for her unborn child. I am thankful to have had this experience for many reasons. But my journey isn’t over.
I’m writing you this letter to let you know that I will be going away soon. My tiniest prayer partner was about 8-9 weeks old on the first day of the 40 Days for Life, fall 2015, the first day I came to pray.
It wasn’t until after the 40 Days ended that I realized I would be standing in prayer through an entire pregnancy. I had a deep conviction I couldn’t shake that I needed to continue to show up to pray! From the point that my son was able to be terminated, I would stand in praying for God to give birth to something beautiful at 320 Fulton, starting with you, Dr. ——.
I will be going away when I give birth to my son. It is with tears that I share with you the significance of his name. His name is Noah. Noah means REST. I will enter a season of rest, rest from the business of rushing daily to greet you dear Doctor, rest from the weight of the heavy presence at the clinic, rest for my family who have all given up much for this call to stand. Rest in the tender place where I hold this dear soul in my arms and look into his eyes, kiss his fresh cheeks. They will be the softest.
After laboring to give birth I will know that life is always worth the sacrifice. I will begin to know this small person, the fifth that I have carried. Noah is a treasure.
His middle name will be Cedric. Cedric means kind, loved, or bounty.
Together Noah Cedric means to me, rest in God’s love and kindness. His mercy is truly a bounty.
When I go away I must also release something I have held onto for four years.
I wrote you a hard letter that I didn’t know how to send. In my prayer for you over the years I speculated, ‘What would I say to Dr. —— if I had a chance to speak to him? I could write him a letter or something.’ But I didn’t know what to write. Until one night four years ago a letter came burning through my mind. It kept me awake for two nights and on the third night I wrote it, mumbling to myself about how I was not going to lose another night of sleep over it. I burned the midnight oil and the heartfelt letter to you was written. Then, I received no peace about sending it!
As I stand in prayer at the clinic part of my prayer is seeking peace and resolution with this letter. It has finally come.
When Noah Cedric is born I will send you the second letter, which was really the first letter. I hope you will read it. I hope that you will have an open heart to ponder what I have written to you. I have done everything in my power to demonstrate to you that I not only wrote it from a place of love, but that I was willing be present in a way that means more than just the words on a page.
I want you to know that my heart and prayers will still be with you. I will not forget you. You are intentionally, personally sought after by God. It is my desire that you would also be able to enter a season of rest and peace, knowing God’s love and kindness for you, healing and abundant LIFE – a brilliant legacy that will not be taken from you.
With all my heart,