fbpx

Archive for September, 2017

The Trouble with Trust

Trust is hard.

Especially when you’re expected to put 100% firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone else and you’re an independent person. It doesn’t come naturally to many of us. We like to control everything. Too often we’d rather take matters into our own hands, handle it ourselves, and take all responsibility rather than let someone else have the opportunity to mess things up. Sometimes, and I mean sometimes, it’s okay to do those things if we need to and we are able.

But we can’t do it all. We just can’t. For some, that’s hard to accept, but we have Jesus for that. Aren’t we supposed to trust Him with our whole hearts? Yet, it’s still so hard to “let go and let God” at times. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Sounds easy enough, but so many of us (myself included) struggle with turning things over to God. He is the one we should trust more than anyone in the world. After all, no one loves us more. He tells us He will take care of us, He will make our paths straight. It is His word. We have to have faith, because faith IS trusting in God.

We were reminded of this trust when a client came to one of our centers recently to take a pregnancy test.

She had circled “undecided” on her paperwork under the statement, “If my pregnancy test is positive, I am considering: (circle one).” When she went back to the counseling room with a volunteer, she began to open up and talk to the volunteer about her life and the situation she might be in.

This young girl is a Christian with a lot of family support. In the fall, she has plans to attend college. This client recently broke up with her boyfriend of six years, who she thought she was going to marry. After the break up, she visited an old friend and they had unprotected sex.

The counseling segment had come to a close and it was time to take a pregnancy test. As they stood in the bathroom waiting for the test to be complete, two faint pink lines appeared. The client confirmed the test read positive, and panic started taking over. She had gotten pregnant while visiting her friend.

Back in the counseling room, it was obvious to the volunteer this client was upset and in shock. The girl indicated she might want to have an abortion, so the volunteer asked if she could share her own personal story of abortion with her. When she agreed, the volunteer told the young client, “After years of asking myself why I made that decision twice, I found the reason was actually quite simple. I refused to trust God. Because I couldn’t see how things would work out, I took things into my own hands.” The volunteer then explained that God is a big God, and He will make a way for us when we can’t see one for ourselves. The volunteer then shared with the client, “We don’t know how many children God will bless us with. After I had two abortions, I never had any children.”

Something resonated with that young girl. Tears streamed down her face sympathizing with the volunteer. As they prayed together, the client wept, so much so, the top of her shirt was wet from tears. When she left the center that day, her mind was made up. She circled “parenting” on her exit paperwork.

It’s so easy for us to focus on the “now” when we are in unforeseen situations, but God is thinking ahead. God wants us to have a full and abundant life, He only asks that we believe in Him and trust Him.

“Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.” Isaiah 26:4

Continue Reading No Comments

God’s Beautiful Orchestration

You’ve heard it time and time again, “God has a plan.” You may have even heard stories from people who had created a grand, detailed plan for their life, but quickly realized God had something else in mind for them.

It’s usually unexpected.

It’s usually not popular.

But in the end, it’s worth it.

This was the case for one of Life Centers’ center directors. For several years, it had been on Beth’s* heart to donate a kidney to someone in need. She had a friend who donated a kidney a few years ago, and she immediately knew, “This is something I could do. I can see myself doing this.” Years went by, and the opportunity never presented itself for Beth to donate, but the feeling of wanting to help someone in that capacity never went away. God had put this on her heart, and she knew it.

Recently, her son was scrolling through Instagram and saw a post one of his friends made about their dad, Mark* needing a kidney. Not knowing his mom had always wanted to help someone in this way, he mentioned this to her because Mark was an old family acquaintance. Beth’s son and Mark’s son played sports together years ago, and that was the extent of their relationship. Not long after Beth’s son told her the news, she read the story in the Indy Star about Mark needing a kidney.

She felt God’s tug on her heart urging her to act. She thought, “Well, why not at least see if I’m a match.” Beth had blood work done, days went by, and she finally received the phone call. She wasn’t a match. The nurse on the other end of the phone said, “Even though you aren’t a match, you could still help him.” Then the nurse proceeded to tell her about the Paired Kidney Exchange program. She told Beth that she and Mark could enter the program together as a pair, and this program would search for cases throughout the United States where the donor in each pair is compatible with the recipient in another pair (or multiple pairs). By exchanging donors, a compatible match for both recipients can be found.

After pushback from her family, (Beth’s kids worried about their mom, Beth’s husband worried about his wife) Beth agreed. This was bigger than her. She knew it. Her kids knew it. Her husband knew it, and they didn’t want to interfere with God’s plan. Beth explained, “Why wouldn’t I? Why wouldn’t I help someone have an abundant life?”

Beth endured 6 months of evaluations before she was entered into the program in May as Mark’s “pair.” Mark could not have entered this program without someone pairing with him. When Beth decided to do this, she was very careful with whom she told. She didn’t want accolades. She didn’t want the attention. “It was God, not me,” Beth said. Without Mark knowing who his pair was, he was entered into the Paired Kidney Exchange program with Beth.

Two months had passed. Beth and her family sold and bought a house in July, and she gets the call. Beth is told she and Mark have been matched; surgery is in two weeks. Two weeks. For Beth, this may not have been the ideal time to undergo surgery. She was moving her family into a new house, and packing up their old one, but it was God’s ideal time. “God asked me to do one thing, just one thing, so I did it. It didn’t matter if it worked with my timeline, I knew God would take care of the details. I just had to say yes to Him.”

Because Beth said “yes” to God, 18 lives were changed. Nine people in grave need of a kidney were donated one through the chain Beth and Mark were a part of. “This was God’s orchestration,” said Beth. There’s no other way to explain it.

Beth’s kidney went to a young woman in New York City. Mark’s kidney came from a man in Maryland.

Today, Mark knows it was Beth who paired with him to be able to enter this life saving program. Had she not, Mark could still be waiting for a match. Beth agreed to meet Mark at the family’s request. They are in close contact today and will forever be intertwined through this beautiful orchestration God fulfilled.

Has God shown you a plan for your life that took you by surprise? Share it in the comments below!

*Names have been changed

Continue Reading No Comments

Executive Director Tom Shevlot Talks New Center Updates, Spanish Language Program

Listen as Tom talks to Coach and Debbie about Life Centers’ 2017 Walk + Run for Life. Tom also shares updates about the two new centers that will be opening soon in Boone and Hamilton County. A Spanish language program is also underway. Listen to find out why this program is vital for Life Centers to continue changing lives and saving babies.

Continue Reading No Comments

Abortion Minded

Abortion minded. That is what Allie* circled as she filled out her paperwork after she walked into one of our pregnancy centers. Allie had already been to a different center in town, but made an appointment with one of our centers afterward. They had confirmed her pregnancy with an ultrasound.

For a young, single girl, what a heavy weight to be carrying around. I can only imagine her fear of the unknown, anxiety, and confusion toward the life altering choice she would soon have to make since her test came back with two pink lines.

When Allie went back to the counseling room with the Center Director, Lesley*, they began discussing her three options: parenting, adoption, and abortion. After the director finished going into detail about each of her options, she could tell Allie was really struggling. Lesley felt a nudge from the Lord to tell Allie about her own story; a story of abortion at a young age. She could tell Allie was listening and very engaged.

In that room their connection continued to strengthen. Allie told Lesley she thinks God has been trying to talk to her. Recently, Allie was in a room where she noticed the Ten Commandments on a rug. All of the commandments were covered and could not easily be read. All but one. “Thou Shall Not Kill.”

Do you have goosebumps yet? That is powerful. That is God.

Allie got it. She could see that God was talking to her. He knew she was planning on ending the life of her unborn child.

After praying together, their counseling session came to an end. Lesley left the room to schedule Allie’s ultrasound. After going over the details of the scheduled appointment, Allie left. Back in her office, Lesley noticed a note on her desk. It said, “God brought me to you. I’ve made my decision, I’m keeping my baby.”

Allie chose life in the counseling room that day. Being able to connect with Lesley and hearing her story, Allie was given what she needed to choose life for her baby.

God was working through the placement of the Ten Commandments on the rug that day. God was working through Lesley as she told Allie her own story of abortion. God was and is working. Have you experienced a hidden, or not so hidden message from God? Please share your story in the comments section below.

*Names have been changed

Continue Reading No Comments

2017 Walk + Run For Life To Benefit Two New Centers

It’s hard to believe that the end of summer is here and school is back in session. 2017 has been a year of change at Life Centers. It’s been exciting for our staff, volunteers, and many of our supporters to see how God continues to bless this ministry.

On July 31st, we celebrated our 35th year of serving mothers, fathers, and families here in central Indiana as they sought out Life Centers for help when facing pregnancy related decisions. A conservative estimate is that over the past 35 years, over 50,000 babies have been born to mothers who visited one of our pregnancy centers. In addition, thousands have made spiritual decisions by accepting Christ in their life as their Savior. 

We also took an important step in meeting the needs of the communities in Boone and Hamilton County by opening two full-time centers, one in each of these counties. Life Centers will be the only full-time faith based pregnancy resource center in these two counties. These centers meet the needs of so many mothers who seek out Life Centers in their time of need, and I want to personally thank those donors who responded to our appeal seeking seed funding to make this dream a reality.  We cannot thank you enough for your generosity and faithful support.

Lastly, our annual Walk/Run for Life will be held on two dates at two locations. Our Indianapolis event will be on September 30th at Eagle Creek Park.  The second event will be held on Oct. 14th in Lebanon at Memorial Park. These two events are of particular importance, as all funds raised will go directly to support our two new centers. Opening a full-time center is expensive, especially in the areas where the need is the greatest.  So, the simple ask is this:  If you are unable to participate in raising funds by walking or running at one of our events, would you prayerfully consider making a direct contribution to this event to help us cover the operating costs of running these two centers? 

Our goal this year is to raise $150,000, and we’d like to ask you to celebrate our 35th birthday with us by making a donation in recognition of our historical legacy.  A $100 donation covers the cost of a counseling session and a pregnancy test.  A $250 donation pays for an ultrasound and a newborn baby bundle which is comprised of baby supplies any new mother would need for their newborn.  A $500 donation helps cover the cost of one month’s worth of utilities for both centers. Please visit https://lifecenters.com/give/online-donations/ to make a donation.

As I’ve shared with you over the past three years, the approach we take with every dollar donated is to scrutinize every expense to ensure we are honoring our donor commitment to you, and that we are wise and fiscally responsible for the treasure you chose to share with us.

Thank you for the difference you make in the lives of mothers and their babies who seek us out for help.

Tom

Continue Reading No Comments

We chooseLife Centerscompassion