Fear is everywhere. I experience it regularly in my own life. I’m afraid of not having enough time, afraid of what people think of me. Working at Lifeline in itself was scary because although I love to write, I didn’t know if I would do a good job at writing in English, which is my second language.
So I understand what it feels like to live in fear. I think of what it would feel like to be cut short in my trajectory toward my dreams. I imagine what a woman facing an unexpected pregnancy may feel. The fear of childbirth, the fear of not being able to provide financially once the baby is born or pay for the hospital bill. The fear of not being emotionally stable enough to raise a child. And more importantly, the fear of having to do it all alone and not being able to achieve her life goals.
I see these women crossing our doors occasionally, and even though I’m not the one interacting with them, I can sense the anguish under the surface. Perhaps that girl feels like her body is a traitor that went against her inner desire to prevent pregnancy. She and her partner may have used contraception, but here she is nevertheless. And she is left wrestling with her fears, on her own, after her boyfriend decided to jump ship.
Women facing these uncertain situations are often scared. Some of their fears are justified, as boyfriends do leave, jobs are lost, and pregnancy is not always without complications. But other times, those fears are pure products of the imagination. It is our goal here at Lifeline to try to untangle the situation and find a positive, life-affirming solution.
Outside of our doors, women are often presented with the option of having an abortion. It is pushed as the logical conclusion, and for the woman who is trying to reclaim power over her body and her life, the temptation may be very strong. I do believe, though, that even in cases where she is not clearly expressing fear, it is there. It may be covered with an attitude of carelessness or even aggressiveness, and so she may be blind to the emotion triggering these reactions, but it is there.
Whenever I feel fear, I try to quiet my mind and anchor myself in the present moment. It’s not easy, and it’s not a “one-time and done” thing, but I find comfort in our Lord’s message that “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18) For me, the feared punishment is to be a disappointment if I don’t achieve what my mind is set on. For the pregnant woman, it may be to have her life disrupted, her education or love life interrupted. And fear itself is a punishment. It drains the body of its energy and leaves us tired and empty.
In all that, though, we can find peace in God’s unconditional love. Because He loves us so much, He gives us His spirit, and His Spirit brings us peace. There is no fear in love because love starts living inside of us. When abortion leads to a dead-end, love brings forth joy, hope, and freedom from fear. It is what allows the pregnant woman to make peace with her body and her reality. To accept the pregnancy and move forward, not by wanting to turn back the clock (which is impossible), but by picturing a brighter future for the first time.
In this Easter season, we ask you to join us in prayer for the scared woman going through an unexpected pregnancy. Please pray with us that she lets go of what oppresses her and takes up Jesus’s cross (Mark 8:34), for His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). Pray that the kind of peace that surpasses all understanding rushes through her and gives her the courage to welcome her new reality. Pray that she finds support and comfort along the way, through the staff at Lifeline, through the people in her life, and above all, through the Lord. This Easter, He is resurrected, and so is she.
Thank you all who are supporting us in our mission to save and change lives. We greatly value all our supporters offer, whether it is through material and financial donations, volunteering, or praying for us and our clients, because each one of them makes a difference. We would like to invite you to check our “get involved” tab on top of the page to learn more about ways to partner with us.
Written by Elodie Takamiya.