I don’t always have time to write about all of the events that I speak at, but they are always memorable for one reason or another. And although my speaking at St. Joseph’s parish in Anthon, Iowa, on October 22nd, seemed on first glance to be just another small event on my part (less than 50 present), it was certainly a mighty one.

I was very blessed to have my husband, daughter, mother and Aunt Nadine, present, along with a number of my mother and aunt’s friends and acquaintances, which always makes an event eventful to me! There were a number of CCD students present, along with their parents, which I always enjoy, also.

I learned long ago, never to take for granted that the audience members where I speak, even in a church or parish, are pro-life, and so I started off my time with them by letting them know that I wasn’t there to convince them to be pro-life or shame or blame anyone for their personal beliefs or for having had an abortion or encouraging or supporting a woman in having one. Just like I always do, I encouraged them to simply keep an open heart and mind as I shared my testimony with them.

Having my family present when I speak always makes me emotional, and having a shrieking toddler wanting her mommy that night kept me grounded and my time with them pretty light, but I think that all of the little idiosyncrasies made the evening a down to earth meeting and an up close and personal look at the reality of abortion on our lives.

I met a number of wonderful people in Anthon that night, including a young lady who shared with me that she had two other siblings who had passed away from parental neglect, and could therefore relate to me about what it was like to be a survivor and be grateful for life. As if that wasn’t enough, I later found out from my mother that one of the adult women present that night was pro-choice, and came to the event out of her own curiosity to hear me speak. The day after the event at St. Joseph’s, this woman shared with her closest friends that although she came to the parish that evening pro-choice, she experienced a conversion that evening when hearing me speak, and now was pro-life!

Beautiful, isn’t it, that this woman kept an open heart and mind and let my story resonate in her soul?! It is moments like this, impacts like this, that I don’t always hear about when I share my story around the world. I am certainly grateful that this woman experienced a conversion of the heart and mind, and even more so that she was willing to share this conversion with others, so that they, too, could be impacted by it. Getting the opportunity to hear about it, myself….well, that’s just icing on the cake.