I looked at the familiar skyline of Chicago and, all of a sudden, started to name the different landmarks. Years ago, I saw this city as a place where the “big leagues” worked and played that had nothing to do with me. I peered in from the outside, not wishing to be a part of them, but curious of the dreams they may have had. Do they dream bigger than most?
But today, I feel my dreams are well within the path I’m traveling.
It’s April 2017 — nearly a year after the ultimate obedience to God thus far: to pursue the mission of helping the unborn. Being in the communication industry for twenty years, I couldn’t even begin to imagine that my life would find purpose within my strength. My dream was simply to make a difference. I thought I didn’t care how. But oh, I did care.
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I looked at my shoes as I walked to the hotel exhibit hall where I would introduce Choose Life Marketing to the Heartbeat International attendees. These particular shoes were made for comfort, yet I felt off-balance and uncomfortable—as though I didn’t belong there. My intuition said I was among difference makers, yet my physical being felt like I was an imposter. Taking a deep breath, I looked at my booth and saw the tropical colors that reminded me of where I came from, and the kids’ pictures that reminded me of where I am today. This triggered the spirit that carried me through my unplanned pregnancy and will carry me through my next three days.
The first day, out of the corner of my eye, I saw old friends. That morning in prayer I thought of these friends with whom we had parted ways earlier in the year. My soul had cried for weeks and in defiance—and what I thought was protection in my heart—I severed my communication with them. They left and my heart yearned to go after them. Sometime had gone by and as I glanced up, they appeared again. I fell into faith and hugged them, told them they were part of my story and that I was sorry. They reciprocated with love and continued to bring light into the previous months. My faith was restored that I was meant to cherish them. That they were a blessing in the column of forever. This mission of life needed both of our organization. Our friendship was part of this pro-life mission’s power.
The second day, I continued my visits with the directors of pregnancy help centers, maternity homes, and transition homes. As I was finishing up a conversation, a lady walked up seemingly uninterested. I asked her if she liked the conference. She said, “I’ve been doing this a long time—30 years. I’ve never heard of you.” I replied, “Thank you for doing this a long time. I hope my journey is as long as yours.” She seemed taken aback and asked for my story. I shared a snapshot of my story. Yes, I was new to Heartbeat, but God had been grooming me since 1991. I asked her for some advice. She said, “I pray that you will always have hope in your heart that someday abortion will be unheard of.”
The third day, was quiet. We told stories with other exhibitors, grabbed their cards, and brainstormed how we could help each other to further our common mission. We talked about aligned values and tolerance for one another’s differences. I walked the aisles marveling at the different types of missions this ministry has called for. It’s not for the faint of heart. We are constantly being attacked by the other side. Our intentions are questioned and belittled. But in that room, I experienced love for this mission. A type of perseverance that only those who love and believe can endure the fight.
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I looked down at my shoes again. In three days, I experienced faith, hope and love. I realized the discomfort pushed me beyond my comfort zones, but for three days, I felt at home. I felt aligned. I felt I belonged. The discomfort was so I would be alert of my blessings. Being obedient to this mission has blessed my soul in this journey to restoration. My dreams are big, but no where near what God had planned for me.
Then He whispered to me: Jeremiah 29:11