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Imagine the most freezing day you can remember.
That is what I remember about February 10th, 2017. It was so cold out it hurt my face.
It was a Friday and I had 2 hours between dropping my son off at pre-school, running ALL THE ERRANDS, accomplishing some of the at home to do list and getting back to his school on time to pick him up.
I felt overwhelmed (like I often do).
I also knew that this was the time I liked to give prayerful witness outside the local Planned Parenthood. It was on Fridays that the abortion doctor makes his rounds to their location. It is on Fridays where around 25 women come for their abortion appointments every week.
It is also on Fridays when my friend Mary stands outside and from the sidewalk offers help to the women and couples walking into the building. She takes the 30 seconds to 1 minute it takes for patients to walk from their car to the door to let it be known, there is a possible way to choose life. There is a community of people that will provide financial and emotional support for the next months, and the next few years.
Help is out there that most Americans have NO IDEA about.
I wanted to get my personal errands done . . . but I also wanted to help Mary. I wanted to also communicate the help and assistance that is offered with so much love and substance that this knowledge could truly give a woman with an abortion appointment the answer she desired more than that appointment.
But being realistic, I know I have a responsiblity to help my family first. The bills need to get paid and whatever else was on my to do list that day seemed like I should do those chores more than stand outside a clinic for an hour.
Still, I felt called to do something.
I had an idea. I texted Mary to make sure she was outside the local Planned Parenthood around 9:30 in the morning. She responded yes.
I drove to the nearest drive-thru Dunkin’ Donuts. I ordered 2 medium hot chocolates and one giant “box of joe” container of hot chocolate. I got 12 cups and lids and I drove to the Planned Parenthood.
I pulled over, got out of the car and gave the two medium hot chocolates to Mary. I suggested she offer some hot chocolate to the women walking into their appointments.
I mean, who in the world would want to talk outside on a day like this!?? It must be -30 out! If you are going to offer some alternatives, offer some hot chocolate so she can think of something other than frost bite!
I brought the box of hot chocolate that could give a dozen people a cup to the group praying the Rosary quietly outside the clinic.
I commended them for being outside praying on such a cold day. I hoped my gift would life their spirits.
I told Mary how sorry I was that I couldn’t stay. I probably told her “how much I had to do”.
Then I left. I drove away and started my to do list.
Then, at 11:00 am, I got a text message.
It was Mary. She wanted to know A Baby’s Breath’s address and phone number. A Baby’s Breath is the crisis pregnancy center I volunteer with – it is located extremely close to the Planned Parenthood.
I sent her the info as quickly as possible.
I was filled with curiosity. What was going on?????????
Eventually I spoke to Mary on the phone. She had called to a woman entering the clinic saying:
“My friend just brought me hot chocolate. She was here because she wants to adopt a sibling for her son. All you have to do is keep your baby safe for 7 more months.”
That initiation inspired the woman walking into the Planned Parenthood for her abortion appointment to stop, turn around, and listen to more of what Mary had to offer.
Mary explained there was a place just a few doors away that offered free ultra sounds.
The woman agreed to go with Mary and request one.
Did that woman have some hot chocolate you might wonder . . . No. As Mary told me, “that was long gone by then”. But, Mary also told me,
“That hot chocolate gave me the good opening line that drew her to me 🙂 “
In early October, after months of not really talking to Mary, I received another text:
The woman who turned away from abortion the day in February when you brought me hot chocolate just delivered a baby girl!”
Not only did Mary give this young mother hope on that cold day in February, Mary developed a relationship with her. She helped her so much a long the way, that when her daughter was born, she felt compelled to share the joy with Mary.
I know the crisis pregnancy center offered the young mom to be help as well as Mary who works with another pro-life organization. I don’t know if she took any help, other than that day.
My guess is many women walking into an abortion appointment are looking for a reason to turn around and never look back.
This baby girl and her mama are two people that make me think my guess is correct.
I love this memory, because it reminds me that every little thing we do in love, matters.
Giving an hour to pray outside a clinic matters. Lifting the spirits of those praying outside the clinics matter.
And lives are saved by those standing outside the clinics (another story here: God Hears Us: A Spiritual Adoption Miracle
Does this young mother struggle today? I don’t know? But I know Mary, and she probably checks in with her every once in a while and reminds her that she would love to help her.
Is God calling you to be a “Mary”?
Is God calling you to be a “hot chocolate deliverer”?
Will you seriously consider offering a prayerful witness to life? What a wonderful act to do this Lent – you can, and don’t have to feel alone!
Take a minute now and go to The 40 Days for Life Website
Donate an hour of your time. Pray for our country and our world.
And maybe, witness a miracle . . .
In the mood for hot chocolate now?
Amazon Prime has some!
Hot Chocolate – and Amazon Prime!
I am in love with this story, Amy. You inspire me to want to adopt someday myself, and to be more active in the pro-life movement, even just by donating hot chocolate! Thank you for your inspiration.
Amy, this is so beautiful! I am constantly trying to think of ways that I can make a difference in the pro life movement. What you did was so simple, and yet a life was saved because of it! Thank you for sharing this story.
This story is so beautiful! <3 Thanks for sharing (and for encouraging me today!)
Laura @ Life is Beautiful says
Tears. This was so beautiful, and a good motivation for me as 40 Days for Life begins…I may not be able to be out there with my toddler and my third trimester belly but I can do SOMETHING. It also makes me think I need to go back to doing ultrasounds for my local pregnancy center.
Amy, you always inspire me so much for your passion for ministry and your energy and love for the world.
Thank you so much Laura! I love that you did ultrasounds at your local pregnancy center – what a beautiful way to give!
Such a wonderful story!