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Posts tagged: fatherhood

Praying at an Abortion Clinic: Does it make a difference?

February 22, 2016

Every Wednesday and Saturday mornings at 8 AM a few people from Church of the Resurrection go to the Aanchor abortion clinic in Glen Ellyn to pray, try to talk to the women going in, and tell them about other options including CareNet (right across the street). One of the members of the Sanctity of Life Team recently wrote, "Praying outside the abortion clinic means we can be there to help if a mom has a last minute change of heart (a Carenet clinic is open across the parking lot during times the clinic is open). Sometimes seeing people praying outside the clinic can be a deterrent from customers going in. And finally, when I am there, it stops abortion from being abstract in my mind. I see these desperate, confused moms, and I think about the tiny baby growing inside their wombs and I know I can't become discouraged. I need to keep praying for these moms and babies, and our government, until abortion is illegal and all women know there are other choices."

Church of the Resurrection member Darcie Dezell wrote the following reflection after her first time praying outside the clinic:

"Krista Scheidt and I went to the Aanchor abortion clinic early on a Saturday morning. We bundled up, got some tea, and parked in front of a business a few doors down from the clinic. I really wasn't sure what to expect. What I found was around 15 people quietly standing on the parkway in front of the clinic. They were entirely respectful of the men and women coming to the clinic, and simply called out to the women with a message of care, love, and resources, encouraging them to keep their babies.

I was surprised by how 'not weird' it all felt. We simply stood there praying for the women, the babies, the doctors, the boyfriends and husbands. I felt a strong sense of witnessing; that my standing in front of this clinic was a way to give witness of God's love and purpose in the world, and a way to honor the humanity of these babies. I also knew that I was, in many ways, a witness to evil. And simply my presence in the face of evil was God-honoring and powerful. It was a moving experience and, I pray, an effective and worshipping one."

A Timetable Not Our Own

February 08, 2016

The morning came far too early. 4:22 a.m. blinked loudly on his mobile. I lay in bed, listening to him snore. Listening to the kids toss sleepily in their beds next door. Ultimately, helped out of bed several hours later with no added sleep, I started the day in a fog. As the smell of the coffee started to awaken my senses, I peered out our back sliding glass door. The new day was dawning grey, and a heavy fog clung sleepily to the trees in our backyard. Low to the ground, like a blanket, it wrapped itself upon our world and reflected back to my soul the very same emotions it was grappling with. Heaviness. Thickness.

At 38 weeks pregnant I went into labor and our miracle baby was placed into my arms. We were up for days at a time, but despite our exhausted bodies, our spirits were filled with awe and wonder as we spent four full days in the hospital cherishing her every breath, counting her fingers and toes and photographing her endlessly, as if we had never before seen such a tiny and perfect human-being.

Now four short weeks later, and just as exhausted, my soul knew that change once more was coming. I cancelled my best friends weekend visit, didn't schedule any play dates, and tried to make sense of the emotions I was grappling with. Later in the day, the fog burned off with the rising of the sun, but the wetness in the air remained. Humidity clung to me and the heat made me far less patient than I wanted to be with my tiny beloveds. Soon I received the email we had been waiting to read for years and the heaviness not just of body, but of spirit, made sense.

Our daughters were ready to come home. They were waiting for us to get them. Their Article 23 Letter was released. Their Birth Affidavits were sent. The orphanage received their passports. All was in place for their new parents to fly to India to bring them back.

I cried in awe of what God had done... years of prayer culminated in this incredible news. Our never-ending years of adoption headaches and paperwork and nightmares and financial instability were about to come to an end. So I should have been filled with joy unspeakable, but instead I realized- that the heaviness inside of me was not only depression and exhaustion from this season of rapid change- but recognition of what God was calling us to do.

The weight of it all settled on me, wrapped itself around me until I felt suffocated and unable to move. 5 incredible children ages 6 and under. All with the need to be loved-on and held. Rocked and believed-in. Advocated-for and encouraged. Built-up and taught. Fed and hugged. Sung-to and embraced. This is the heart of our family and the mission we have worked towards for over six years. But as the journey of adoption is about to end on a timetable that is not our own, I can't help but feel completely unequipped to raise the precious souls God has entrusted to us. The heaviness knocks the wind out of me. I stagger under the burden of what He is asking us to do.

But then I remember that He who calls, promises to equip. He who beckons the sun to rise and puts the world to sleep under the guidance of the moon, assures us that His timing is perfect. Birthing our daughter on April 13th and picking up our last two on June 6th doesn't make any worldly sense. But God created us. And He created them. And when He decided to put all of us together under one roof and declare us family, who am I to question His timing in doing so?

Thus with a timid voice and buckling knees, with a tear-strewn face and an exhausted body, with a depleted bank account and a myriad of questions without any answers, I am choosing to stand up boldly and proclaim that He understands the timing far better than I do and for now, that knowledge has to be enough. Our confidence in His scheduling must empower us to end our adoption journey well. As all 5 of our children look to us in the busy, tumultuous weeks and months to come for assurance and guidance, they must see us looking boldly to Him. In place of our weakness and fear, may they see His strength and hope, for they will weather this season of transition only as well as we do.

originally published in June of 2015