This story begins with a woman sitting alone at the hospital hearing the news that she’s pregnant. The news took her by surprise but the next words she heard were even more shocking. She stared through bleary eyes as the doctor explained the high risks of her pregnancy. He told her the pregnancy was unsafe and her best option was to terminate. The woman sat and contemplated this news. She was already a mother of two and in her second marriage. Her two young girls who were already in counseling for the abuse of their father (her first husband). She considered her current marriage she knew was coming to an end, making her a single mother. She knew her husband didn’t want another child. The doctor’s recommendation loomed over her as she was left alone to make a decision she never thought she would have to make.
As she considered her options, voices in her head echoed the words that society often throws toward women facing her situation.
“You aren’t prepared for another child.”
“You can’t afford another child.”
“Children shouldn’t be raised without a father.”
“This is what’s best for you.”
“This is the right thing to do.”
“What kind of life will you have if you have this baby?”
“Don’t you think the baby is better off aborted than forced to be born to struggle throughout life?”
Despite the pressure she received, this woman chose to continue her pregnancy. This baby would inspire life the moment her mother chose to let life happen. Although the doctor had warned her of the danger of this pregnancy, she had a healthy baby with no complications. Then, six months after the birth she was divorced. She was a single mother raising three young children on her own. Although she went against the voices by choosing life for her baby, they did not relent after she made her choice. The accusations returned again from a society that preaches women’s empowerment she heard things like:
“You and your children will never amount to anything.”
“Your children will only know a life of struggle.”
“Your children will just be another negative statistic”
Her choice for life was met with accusations that she was a bad mother for adding to her family’s struggle. And in her life, she saw the truth of the words that were spoken over her. She and her children did struggle. She remarried multiple times and suffered at the hands of abuse. Her children grew up with multiple alcoholic and abusive stepfathers. She and her children faced evictions, repossessions, unpaid bills that shut off their utilities, and countless other difficulties.
Overwhelmed but not overcome.
What society didn’t know was that she was writing her own story. A story that would inspire life.These words they had written over her had not written her off. Society had failed to recognize the resilience that comes with being a woman; a mother. Just as this woman chose to rise above opinions and choose life, she chose again throughout life to rise above her circumstances. When her husband beat her head into the concrete for being more intelligent than him, she rose above. In the ’80s and ’90s when sales was a man’s world, she rose to the top. She sat in board rooms with executives from top companies such as Pepsi, Dupont, Sears, and Aramark. This mother closed million-dollar deals. She was invited to the White House to meet the president and attend local government events including dinners with the mayor.
When society taunted and shamed her for choosing life, she rose above. As she rose she taught her three daughters how to rise. She showed them that strength could inspire life. She showed her daughters that life circumstances do not determine the outcome. Ultimately, society was wrong about that woman’s ability to handle an unplanned pregnancy.
As I sat on a flight headed to Arizona for a Pregnancy Center Gala, I thought about that woman and her courageous decision to choose life for her baby against all odds. I thought about how I was on my way to a gala to celebrate life and the part I played in it.
Without her courage more than three decades earlier I would not be on that plane headed back to the very state where my life began. I would not have helped launch a Stork Bus that will empower more women to choose life and create the next inspiring story. I wouldn’t have been there if she had followed the doctor’s recommendation and society’s pressures to abort. It would have been my life that got terminated.
The woman in the story I just shared, she’s my mom. And the baby that would suffer and have a horrible life according to statistics, that’s me. Did I struggle in life? Absolutely. Do I regret having a life to live because of those struggles? Not a chance. When I look back at my life, I remember the heartache and the abuse. I remember alcoholism, addiction, mental illness, and experiencing death. I recalled the poverty, evictions, and changing schools every couple of years. The different stepfathers in and out of my life. I remember that my birth father never wanted me and rejected me over and over again.
I also remember the story that society didn’t predict. My mother always rising above our circumstances and never quitting. I watched her as she never settled for failure or dwelled on regret. So, when it was my turn to rise above, I followed my mom’s example and exceeded society’s expectations.
A Legacy of Rising Above
All of those struggles are the very situations that now magnify the victories in my life. I was able to attend a private college on academic and athletic scholarships. While there, I graduated as a four-time All-American Athlete with an above-average GPA. I lived overseas as a missionary, started a nonprofit, and climbed the ladder at a billion-dollar corporation. When diagnosed with brain cancer, I held tight to the strength I learned from my mom and the faith I had in the Lord and I overcame brain cancer not once, but twice.
And I now work for one of the top pro-life organizations in the country where I help women create stories of hope and empowerment when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. I get to help women like my mom, so they can be the strength that raises the next inspiring stories like mine.
Society might have been right about the struggle my family and I would face but they were not right about the outcome that followed the struggles. Taking society’s advice would have ended my life. A life that is full of hope. A life that has impacted countless people.
Societal Pressure continues…
Society continues pressuring women to end life by convincing them that they are not capable and that life is not worth the struggle they could face. Society is robbing women of the chance to show the world how resilient and capable they are. Women have the power to rise above and not allow circumstances to determine their fate. There is so much value in the lives they raise and those they pass their strength onto. It is time to rise up with women in unplanned pregnancies and say enough to pro-abortionists who attempt to hide their strength and extinguish their legacy. We can show them that their story can inspire life too.
Satan’s attacks on my life started in the womb but looking back I know that I was created for such a time as this. I was created for the year Roe v. Wade was overturned. The year manufacturing, supply chains, and inflation were at their worst. I was created to rise above the circumstances and help Save the Storks build three times the amount of Stork Bus ever built in a single year.
I was born to inspire life.