"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord; "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
This is a very popular verse in Scripture...and for good reason. Our daily lives can often seem out of sync with our dreams. We may ask ourselves "When will I ever get myself in gear? When will these big dreams come true...if ever? Are these my dreams or God's dreams for me?"
Oh wait. That's me. Ummm...anyone else think like this?
This last week, I have had major affirmation that some of my dreams are not just mine, but indeed plans from God. I realize as I type that, it can sound rather arrogant...who can truly know the mind of God? But "for those who see with eyes of faith, the Lord is ever near." There is an intangible sense, a deep knowing that this is from God.
I have spent more than a quarter of my life in pro-life work. I didn't plan on it. I didn't study it in school. I was going to be a music therapist, and open a creative arts therapy clinic, serving people in need. Well, I did music therapy for 5 years before having Gabriel. It was challenging and fulfilling in its own way. But after losing Gabriel, and after being encouraged by some medical people to abort him, I knew I wanted to do something, anything to stop abortion. I joined HELP Ministries (now Women's Care Clinic) as a board member, then a Bridges volunteer, then Executive Director. This ministry has changed so much over the years! I have seen months where payroll was hard to meet, when pipes burst in the kitchen, when team "chemistry" was far from ideal. But I have also witnessed women come in with plans to abort...then change their hearts and minds right before my eyes! I have heard clients say they would not have finished school without our encouragement. Grandparents come up to me with tears of joy, grateful that their grandbabies are ALIVE! Post-abortive women had shared their grief and regret, and I have witnessed their healing! I have sat in small prayer groups and big church services with people praying in many ways but all to the same One True God! This is truly where I need to be and what I need to be doing. And it is a blessing to know that.
I write this because the ministry of Women's Care Clinic is preparing for a major transition into a much larger building. We have been praying for 3 years...and tomorrow papers will be signed for a building we acquired through an auction just one week ago! A process that seemed terribly long and wrought with complications came to a dramatic and quick resolution. We have a bigger building! Not that this building is move-in ready. Not even close! It needs a lot of love, a lot of work, and frankly, a lot of money. I asked myself, "Am I up for that? Can I handle it?" I want to write more, I want to do more public speaking. Where do I go?
But as I shared the good news about this building with our supporters through email, and some by phone, I got excited again. Not just an adrenaline rush, but a "Okay team...let's do this!" It NEEDS to be done! What is "it?" Expanding the ministry to reach more women in need...helping women and men choose LIFE for their babies...empowering parents to be the best parents possible...bringing wholeness to post-abortive women and men...and sharing the love of Christ with everyone who walks through our doors! To Create a Culture of Life! This must be done!!
I didn't plan on working in the pro-life world...but this is the plan God had for me all along! I didn't plan on the ministry moving into an old vacant grocery store...but this is the plan God had for Women's Care Clinic all along! There were reasons for the delays. And, perhaps, even reasons for my doubts. They caused me to truly seek the will of God in a way I had not done for a while. Funny thing is, staying right here doesn't mean I cannot write (this is a blog, after all!) and it doesn't mean I won't do more speaking events (like anyone could shut me up!). These dreams and visions all work well together. I knew that in my head...now I know it in my heart. What a blessing to know God was right there the whole time waiting for me to figure things out! He is SO patient! Yes...He knew the plans for me and this ministry...and He knows the plans for you!...plans for good, not harm...for a hope and a future. To Him be all Glory and Honor...forever and ever...AMEN!!