September 7, 2013. It was 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 things had drastically changed. My former abortion clinic was now closed. The sign had been taken down. The doors were locked. No one was in that building. And now, no one will ever walk through those doors seeking an abortion again. 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 didn't know how I would feel this day. As I walked up on 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. No more women would be lied to and manipulated for Planned Parenthood's gain. I was overwhelmed with the amount of lives I had helped to take while I was there for 8 years. Memories of walking in and out of our back metal fence...thousands of times. Thoughts of sitting in my office, looking out at the people praying for me...not understanding why 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. I prayed for them as I stood there. Prayed that they would one day reach out for healing. I think I even prayed for reconciliation between us. I had brought two roses, one read and one white. I placed one on the fence for my own child whose life was taken by abortion inside that facility. I placed the other 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? I was suddenly overwhelmed. I fell to my knees, weeping for these women and children. Hundreds of people were beginning to gather 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. It was now time to thank everyone who had sacrificed so much to see this moment happen. This was their dream. So many had sacrificed so much. I was blessed to be such a small part of it.
And so 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 with close. They WILL close. And you will be there to witness it...to see your dreams come to fruition.
We all have the opportunity to be a part of something that truly saves lives...40 Days for Life. If you have never participated, I encourage you to make the committment. No one loves praying outside an abortion clinic. It is a sad place. But even though it is uncomfortable, we MUST go. We must be there to bring Christ out to these places of desperation and hopelessness. And you will never go alone...God will be there with you.
You may wonder if your presence outside 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 in 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? But you 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 www.40DaysForLife.com.