A New Lease On Life

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Living Stones Series: First Published in All Around Old Bridge Publication – January 2019

By Pastor Lloyd Pulley

"New year, new me!"

The time of the year has come where many seek to reinvent themselves. The gyms are full, the resolutions are made and people are hoping to finally realize lasting results! Every year we tell ourselves, "This is the year I will be a new me!"

Even though 95 percent of resolutions go unfulfilled, it is at least a step in the right direction. While seeing ourselves with fresh eyes is important, it can be even more important to see old issues through new eyes. One old, worn out issue is the pro-life/pro-choice controversy. The March for Life in Washington D.C. is on Friday, January 18th. At that march, tens of thousands will meet at the Capital to stand up for the lives of the unborn and speak on their behalf.

But for many, this idea may not be a very comfortable one. The "pro-life movement" quickly conjures images of angry people with graphic protest signs yelling at women entering abortion clinics. Yet the pro-choice image comes with the baggage of abortion representatives speaking of the value of selling baby parts for research.

I understand the driving idea behind the pro-life belief is the deep conviction that babies in the womb are living human beings. The more we learn about life inside the womb, the clearer it becomes that we are not merely dealing with unfeeling clumps of cells. Life is central to the very nature of God, the one who gives life and strictly warns mankind not to take it.

That being said, do those with that conviction take the time to hear the plight of women facing unplanned pregnancies? Pro-life leaders have been, at times, so concerned about the baby that they have neglected the mother. This oversight has led to a calloused disposition by many in the church. This attitude needs to be admitted and church leaders must apologize and make up for the hurts it has caused.

We ought to listen to this concern and look to go about pro-life ministry a bit differently. Rather than simply focusing on the baby, our main goal should be to reach the mother. Instead of coming down on would-be mothers and trying to make them feel shame for their choices, we want to come alongside them and support them. By empowering these women to make the choice for life, we help enable them to be the best version of themselves.

This has worked itself out in truly wonderful ways in our church. We have held baby showers for women who would not be able to afford baby essentials, worked to find housing for women who needed to get out of difficult or dangerous situations and helped women feel like the choice for life is possible. Rather than seeing pro-life ministry as something that helps women get through nine difficult months, we see pro-life ministry as supporting women through eighteen incredible years.

When we have the privilege of meeting a pregnant 16 or 17-year-old girl, our message to her has nothing to do with her past. Instead, we tell her that we are there for her and with her on this journey. This is the type of message we need to send. Anyone can make mistakes but will help you turn it into the best for both mother and child.

This is part of why, over the next year, we are focused on encouraging and providing free ultrasounds to women as well as connect them to people who want to provide continued support. By making meaningful connections, we have seen and heard many stories of women not just choosing life for their baby but finding true life for themselves.

Why not resolve this for the coming year? Beyond seeing the new you in the gym, resolve to look and notice the hearts of those around you that you can encourage. If you need a change of heart to do this well, this is where you need God’s hope to come into your life! We have watched God again and again bring hope into despair, light into darkness and healing into brokenness.

His help is closer than you might think. By reaching out to The Lord God, you just might find a whole new lease on life.

Marj Lancaster