Before you start reading, grab yourself a coffee and a snack. This post will be in several parts. But I urge you to take the time to read it. It's one of those stories that make you say, "Man! How can you not believe in God?"
After 4.5 years, I've decided to chronicle in detail one of God's biggest miracles in my life.
With his beautiful Mama's permission, I am honored to share this sweet little man's story. A story that could only have been orchestrated to perfection by God. A story that has strengthened my faith and blessed me beyond measure.
In September 2003, soon after my sister gave birth to a beautiful stillborn sweetie, I felt that the Lord was wanting us to move from Miami to Florida's west coast, where she lived. Miami was home to me. It was the place where I had grown up and where all of my friends and family lived. Scott and I both prayed about it and asked God that if it indeed was His will, then to open doors wide for us. Within 2 months, Scott had been offered a job transfer and our house sold for above list price. We made the move in December 2003.
Within a few months of being in our new town, my sister (the only family we now had here) packed up and moved with her family to another town about an hour north of us. To say that I was upset was an understatement. I had left both my two older sons behind and was now alone, caught in an adoption process with an Eastern European country that was going nowhere fast. I was angry at my sister. I felt depressed, alone and infuriated at myself for believing that God wanted me here, away from everyone and everything I loved. We had put everything we had into this move and there was no turning back.
Since at the time, the only young child in my life was Amanda, (she was 9 years old and at school) I spent my days alone. I longed for my family and my old life.
In January 2004, I began attending daily mass and became a member of the the Respect Life Ministry at our church. This ministry, although it had good intentions, was pretty much non-existent, except for it's name. No activities were ever planned. No one ever met and the few times I tried to organize something, it would be pretty much myself handling every aspect of it. Yet, my passion for the unborn continued. I prayed hard. I asked God that if it was truly Him that wanted me here, to please lead me to how He wanted me to serve because thus far, I thought the entire move was a total mistake. This went on for a couple of months.
One day, while in conversation with someone at my daughter's school, the talked somehow turned to abortions. I mentioned that I was a "member" of the RL ministry at our church, but that it was really just a name. The woman wrote down a number and said, "Call this girl. I think it's what you're looking for."
Not real sure of who or why I was calling, I followed up the next day. The girl told me her name was Martha and that she was a missionary living in the area for a few months while helping her sister out with her kids. We agreed to meet the next day.
I drove out to this large farm house. As I pulled into the long, gravel driveway, I saw five or six children playing. I parked, walked up the steps and knocked on the door. A young, red-headed pretty girl came to the door. I introduced myself and stepped inside.
As our talk continued, she explained to me that she's been doing pro-life missionary work with Human Life International since she was 16 years old, traveling to Africa, Asia and all over North and South America. She herself had no children. But her sister, a devout Catholic, homeschooling Mom, had 9 children ranging in ages 6 months to 11 years old.
While she spoke, I felt a surge of peace falling over me. This was the reason we had moved. This was where the Lord wanted me. Not at my church ministry. Not for my sister. He needed me to be His hands and feet here.
After about two hours, I left Martha's house armed with books, pamphlets, rosaries and soaked in the Holy Spirit. I was prepared now to continue what I had begun in Miami, sidewalk counseling at abortion clinics.
A little background. I had been sidewalk counseling about two years prior to moving to the west coast. I was always a prayer partner during my work there and really did not interact much with the pregnant Moms. I felt secure in my role as a prayer partner and always let someone else do the communication role as the girls walked into the clinics. My heart leaped with joy and thanksgiving during the times when they changed their minds and would walk right back out after stepping into the clinic. But even more so, when they'd speak to my prayer partner while I fervently asked God for a change in their hearts, and they wouldn't go in at all. I knew each and every time, God was at work big time!
I arrived home that evening and submerged myself in prayer and the bible. I felt a huge load had been removed from my shoulders as now I knew I had a purpose for being here. I could almost peek into His plan. I had no young children to care for, I had no distractions. It was only the Lord, myself, and the "job" He had assigned for me.
Two days later, I stood in front of the only abortion clinic remaining in Fort Myers, ardently praying with my rosary and prayer book in hand, while my prayer partner interacted with the women carrying God's precious treasures in their wombs.
Little did I know that less than a month later, the "job" would turn into an experience that would change my life forever.
*Please keep in mind while reading that every step of this journey was put together by our Lord, for His glory. I take no credit for any of it. I was only the vehicle He used for His purpose.
** No part of this story or blog or the related files may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the author and/or those involved.