What follows is a rather typical experience in the life of a peer counselor, or patient care advocate, at a local pregnancy center. Lovingly penned to share a particular encounter, it reflects the impact that your local center has in your own community…
You never know when someone will touch your heart and how God will guide your hand…
It was a regular Tuesday afternoon. I had just come in for my four hours as a Patient Care Advocate, or PCA, at my local pregnancy center. A young lady was waiting in the reception area. I asked her if she had signed in and then told her someone would be with her in a moment. I privately did not think it would be me since I had just arrived and hadn’t gotten up to speed as of yet. But as God would have it, everyone else was busy so I came out and introduced myself to Ashley (not her real name) and took her back to a counseling room.
During the initial paperwork I found out that Ashley was 19 years old and in a serious tw0-year relationship with the potential father of the baby. He knew that she might be pregnant and was happy about it. Ashley was a full-time college student and stated that she didn’t feel as if she had any major financial or emotional stresses except that her divorced parents might be disappointed and angry with her. However, when asked about her intentions should she be pregnant, she stated that either she would parent or have an abortion and that she was 50/50 about the decision at that time.
Adoption was definitively not an option. Ashley asked me if we performed abortions. I told her that we neither performed or referred for abortion, but that I could give her abortion education. She said no. The pregnancy test was positive and it was estimated that Ashley was seven weeks into her pregnancy. She insisted that this could not be right, that she could not be that far along. The medical staff offered her an ultrasound to help clarify the issue. The medical director could not see her that day so we scheduled her for the next day at 1:30pm. She left with the brochure “Before You Decide” and my assurances that we were there for her, whatever she decided.
I worried through the rest of the afternoon that Ashley would not come back the next day and that she might indeed schedule an abortion. The nagging concern continued into the evening and I went to bed saying a prayer for Ashley and her baby before I fell asleep. That night I had a very real dream of meeting Ashley the next day and of holding her hand and talking with her during the ultrasound. Ashley was smiling in the dream. I felt calm and comforted during the dream and awakened from it that way but with the clear command that I did indeed need to come in that day, even though it was not my regularly scheduled time.
I often have vivid dreams that are very real but never have I had such a clear feeling that I must do something specific upon awakening. I admit that my own selfishness, and perhaps the Devil, kept me thinking throughout the morning that maybe I didn’t really need to go. After all, I had lots to do and all of the counselors were wonderful and dedicated and maybe even Ashley would be better off talking with one of them. As the time neared for Ashley’s appointment, I even called the receptionist to see if she had shown up.
Finally, I got in the car and drove to the center. Everyone was happy but surprised to see me. I told them why I was there. They, too, were amazed at the dream. I was thrilled when Ashley showed up. I told her how happy I was that she was there and asked if I might accompany her during the ultrasound and she said yes. She seemed much happier that day. Our wonderful medical director worked her magic and there was Ashley’s baby on the screen – so very tiny and yet so very alive with a strong beating heart. The medical director explained that Ashley was more like 6 weeks into her pregnancy and pointed out the yolk sac and the tiny baby and how the image on the ultrasound at this point in the pregnancy resembled a diamond ring with the sac being the band and the baby the diamond on the band – what a beautiful analogy!
Ashley smiled and asked good questions throughout the procedure and looked happily at the photos that the medical director so wisely placed in a card with the caption “An Image of Life’ on it. It was then that I noticed and commented on the beautiful engagement ring Ashley wore on her left ring finger. Ashley and I went back to the counseling room and I asked her how she felt. She said she was still undecided but that she was looking forward to showing baby’s father the photos. I commented that she now had a beautiful diamond ring on her finger and a beautiful living ring inside her. She smiled at the analogy and laughed and looked at the photos again. I asked her how she felt about the baby and she said she still was undecided as to what she was going to do.
Then, I told her that I had dreamed about her the night before. She laughed a little and said, “Now, you’re scaring me!” I told her how it was a happy and comforting dream and that she had truly touched my heart. I was so very happy to be there with her, grateful that she had talked with me and allowed me to be with her during the ultrasound. Beyond that I didn’t know what to say – my intellect said “use your training and say more” but my heart said “just leave it at that, your being here is what was asked.” When I hugged Ashley goodbye, I told her I loved her and that I hoped to hear from her. And then I cried a little as I am now telling this story. As of this writing I do not know what Ashley’s decision is but I thank the Lord who gave me the dream I had and the opportunity to fulfill it. I pray that my dream for Ashley and her baby come true.
Let Georgia Right to Life help YOU get plugged in to local prolife activities through your local Georgia Right to Life Chapter. YOU can make a difference! Contact Suzanne Ward, Public Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.