Hope in the Midst of Fear

When I first met “Amy,” I could tell quickly that she had carried a burden of pain for a long time in her short years. Her words came slowly at first; then, they began to pour like a waterfall. Amy kept apologizing for talking so much, stating that this was the first time in her life she’d felt safe enough to share her story. I reassured Amy that she didn’t need to apologize—she was safe and cared for at Assurance.

Amy was a recovering drug addict. She’d been clean for over a year, and she was making strides to achieve her goals of going to school, getting a job, and finding stable housing. Amy shared that she’d become involved with drugs after having an abortion as a young teenager. She hadn’t wanted to have the abortion but had been pressured by her family to have one. Amy’s hands trembled, and she stared at the floor. The guilt and grief from her abortion haunted her, and she looked up at me with tear-filled eyes and said, “I hate abortion. I hate that I ever had an abortion, but I’m so scared that I’m not going to be able to provide for this new baby. I feel like I have no other choice than to have another abortion!” She wept because she wanted this baby but seemed blinded by the obstacles she thought would prohibit her from keeping her baby. As we talked, I silently prayed that God would give her the vision to see and hear ways of overcoming those obstacles rather than being chained by them.

Amy and I talked about her grief, about healing, and about hope in the midst of fear. She was initially hesitant to get an ultrasound, but she agreed. As she watched her baby come to life on the screen, she laughed and smiled. For the first time that day, she felt some joy. Afterward, though, Amy wept heavily as the weight sank back in. She gave me permission to pray with her before she left, and as we prayed, her hands stopped trembling for the first time since she’d walked into our office. When she left Assurance, she was calmer but still very undecided.

Two weeks went by; my phone calls went unanswered. I continued to pray and hope, but as the days passed, I began to grow more concerned. Finally, almost three weeks later, Amy called me. She was still pregnant and still very much undecided. She started a new job, and for the first time, I detected a trace of hope and excitement in her voice. She told me she was still considering abortion because she didn’t have stable and affordable housing but that getting this job was making her more strongly consider parenting.

I called a few times in the following weeks, and again I didn’t reach Amy. Finally, two weeks later, she answered. She said she was now strongly considering abortion because the father of the baby wanted her to abort. I continued to pray for the client, asking that she would have a new hope – a hope for this baby and for God’s provision in her life.

Two more weeks passed. It had now been almost a month and a half since Amy first came to Assurance. She called. She had decided to keep her baby! She wanted an OB referral, and she laughed as she told me how, as soon as she’d decided to keep her baby, she started to see things differently. Suddenly, she was asking, “How can I make this work?” rather than telling herself, “This will never work!” She had started working a second job, she was going to be moving into an apartment in a month, and her one employer was already talking to her about promoting her and giving her a raise.

Over the past few months, I have continued to talk with Amy periodically. Each phone call, she sounds at peace and excited. She knows now that she is having a baby boy, and she talks with joy and enthusiasm about how each step, though difficult, has been worth it. Her circumstances are still challenging at times, but she has found hope in the midst of it all.