September 7, 2013. It seemed like I was seeing my former Planned Parenthood clinic for the first time. The iron fence was still up. The automatic gate keeping unwelcome guests out of the parking lot was closed. It looked the same, yet it was so different.
My former abortion clinic was now closed. The sign had been removed. The doors were locked. No one was in that building. Never again will anyone walk through those doors seeking an abortion. No woman will ever be sold their lies again, not there. Not in Bryan, Texas.
I had returned to my old stomping grounds to celebrate, but also to pay tribute to those who had lost their lives inside that building, including one of my own children. I had no idea how I would feel on this day.
Upon walking up onto that all too familiar sidewalk I was overcome with joy, strangely mixed with grief. It was over. No more children would die inside those walls. Women would no longer be subject to the lies and manipulated for Planned Parenthood's gain. I was also overwhelmed with the amount of lives I had helped to take while I was there for 8 years.
Memories of walking into and out of our back metal fence thousands of times. Thoughts of sitting in my office, looking out at the people praying for me, and not understanding the reason they came out day after day. I couldn't stop thinking about the POC lab, the place where babies were pieced together and discarded like trash.
I thought about my old friends. I was sad that they faced unemployment, but elated that they were no longer participating in killing the unborn and wounding their mothers. As I stood there, I prayed for them, that they would one day reach out for healing. I think I even prayed for our reconciliation.
I carried two roses, one red and one white. I placed one on the fence for my own child. The other, I placed in memory of the thousands of lives that had been taken by my hands, my words, my lies. One single flower didn't seem like enough, but it was all I had to offer. How do you memorialize so many children?
Suddenly, I was overwhelmed. I fell to my knees, weeping for these women and children. Hundreds of people began to gather in order to pay tribute. I could hear them taking pictures of me as I cried.
I closed my eyes. This moment was not about me. None of the work that I do is ever about me. I was trying to tune out the noise of clicking cameras in the background. This was my time to mourn, to really feel that loss.
After about 15 minutes, I stood up and composed myself. Now, it was time to thank everyone who had sacrificed so much to see this moment happen. This was their dream. So many people had sacrificed so much. I was blessed to be such a small part of it.
That being said, this is my prayer, that all of you who sacrifice so much would experience this joy. You stand and pray with faith that the abortion clinics will close. They WILL close. And, you will be there to witness it, to see your dreams come to fruition.
Each of us has the opportunity to be a part of something that truly saves lives. For instance, 40 Days for Life. If you have never participated, I encourage you to make the commitment. No one loves praying outside of an abortion clinic. It is a sad place. Even though it’s uncomfortable, we MUST go. We must be there to bring Christ out to these places of despair. You won’t ever go alone because God will be there with you.
You might wonder if your presence outside of an abortion clinic makes a difference. Well, let me tell you what Planned Parenthood announced at the last national conference I attended. They said this, "Our no-show rate goes up to 75% when people are outside our clinics praying."
You see, when you come to pray, you are saving lives even if you don't know it. Women see you and instead of pulling into the parking lot, they drive right by. When you are on the sidewalk, women see you as an outward sign of their inward conscience.
Your presence shows them that the decision they are making is morally objectionable. Doesn't it feel good to know that you CAN save a baby from abortion? You just have to show up. You have to be present.
I am in this movement today because of ordinary people who took on an extraordinary task. My former abortion clinic is closed because of their sacrifice. Babies are alive because of them. Women are no longer being hurt by abortion in their community. You can do this. You can save a life. To find a location near you, visit 40DaysForLife.