A Place to Lay Your Burdens Down

By Grace Ann Matocha, Client Services Coordinator

Some spaces, leave an indelible mark on our lives. I am a lover of books and words, and I relish when a novel so beautifully describes a place, brings it to life in such a way that it is practically a character. One such special place in my life (and many of yours) is Assurance. Due to the nature of our work here paired with the uniqueness of the last several years, I know many of you have not had the opportunity to tour our clinic. So, allow me to take you on our own little tour, that you may experience some measure of what we hope our clients experience and what the Lord does in this place.

When you enter the lobby of our Women’s Clinic, you are met with warm, cozy light. Depending on the season, a fireplace might be crackling on our TV screen, or a virtual aquarium full of schools of colorful fish. Plants sit atop the side tables and a portrait of a budding tree hangs on the far wall. You will be greeted at the front desk with a smile. Our clients often have paperwork that needs to be filled out, which they take to one of our blue and white tufted chairs lining the room. In some ways, our waiting room brings to mind the verse, “Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” (Romans 15:7) Just as we have been welcomed by Christ with open arms, we want to extend that same welcome to our clients.

Shortly after arriving, our clients are brought back to take a pregnancy test and to be seated in one of our client rooms. Along the way, they might catch a whiff of refreshing orange wafting from the diffuser that sits in the hallway. In the client room, a two-seater couch is set against windows through which natural light spills in. More lamplight creates a soft glow. Simple art adorns the walls, and a small vase of flowers adds a sweet, feminine touch. A plush, striped chair is angled toward the couch, where one of our advocates will sit to listen and provide compassion and care. An end table offers a box of tissues and a basket of crackers. If clients express any level of nausea, they will immediately be offered ginger ale or water.

Later, the care transitions to the ultrasound room which has a lamp in the corner, partly so it is not pitch black save for the screen; but it also makes the room softer somehow, less clinical or sterile. The walls, just like in the client rooms, are painted a serene, ocean blue, meant to evoke calm. It’s a sacred space, and you can feel it just standing in there. So many clients see and acknowledge life for the first time in their journey, and their emotions are scattered all across the spectrum in the aftermath. And that’s where our people come in again, to help them sift through the complex feelings.

Consider a passage from a favorite book of mine, Gentle and Lowly: “You don’t need to unburden or collect yourself and then come to Jesus. Your very burden is what qualifies you to come. No payment is required; he says, “I will give you rest.” His rest is gift, not transaction. Whether you are actively working hard to crowbar your life into smoothness (“labor”) or passively finding yourself weighed down by something outside your control (“heavy laden”), Jesus Christ’s desire that you find rest, that you come in out of the storm, outstrips even your own.”

Why do I write to describe our clinic to you? Certainly, it is to provide a little word tour of this precious place you support that holds broken and, Lord willing, healing stories. But it is also because I want you to envision exactly where we invite our clients to unburden themselves, just as Christ has invited us to lay our burdens at His feet. I want you to feel the atmosphere that has been cultivated over years and years of service and pruning that allows clients to have a respite, even if only for an hour or two. We have watched clients weep, sinking into the couch cushions as the tensions unravel from their bodies. We have heard their anger and their sorrow and their confusion. And we have watched many begin to have faith and hope.

When our clients leave, we ask for no payment, just as Jesus asks nothing of us. In fact, He paid the price for us. That’s where you come in.  Through your support of our ministry, you have covered the costs of care for our clients. Our prayers continue on with them as they leave the walls of our clinic. When you join us in daily prayer for our clients, though you may know far less about them, you join our team in the most powerful response we can offer.

Four years ago, I set foot in Assurance for the first time to receive a tour and hear about the services. God’s work within these walls was so palpable. I left with the knowledge (and the urging of the Holy Spirit) that I wanted to work with women in crisis, championing life. The Lord in His goodness saw fit to open a position for me here to advocate for the women, families and unborn of our community. Every day I get to offer a glimpse of Christ’s Great Love to our clients makes every moment of my day so worth it.

Now, I hope that you, too, will want to come for an in-person tour. Contact us at info@assurancecare.org–we would love to arrange a time to show you all that God is doing with your investments in Assurance.