prayer and thanksgiving


It never fails, or more likely, I should say, He never fails. The minute that I start to feel a little down about not having any outright opportunities to share my testimony with others, as I don’t have any speaking events scheduled now until January, and even then, the events have been a bit slow coming in, the Lord reminds me that it isn’t about how many speeches I give, or how many people fill the audience, it’s about how even just one person’s life is touched by my life, by my story of God’s grace.

I can admit it. Although I was certainly very busy with both working full time in social work and then speaking at various events across the U.S. in October and the beginning of November, I loved each and every minute of it, and caught the fire of spreading the Word with the world. And if you’ve experienced it yourself, you know that once you’ve caught the fire of speaking the truth and bearing witness, you simply can’t stop, you don’t want to stop. I was feeling pretty down last week about all of this, even though I was simultaneously happy with the prospect of being home more over the holidays with my husband and daughter. My mild sadness and disappointment thankfully didn’t last long, however, as the Lord sent me reminder after reminder of what is really important in my ministry-touching one life at a time.

I am thankful not just because Thanksgiving is right around the corner, but every day of the year, that the Lord has given me the opportunity to bear witness to the truth about abortion and his grace and glory. Likewise, I am thankful for being able to reach out and touch the hearts and minds of people around the world, and that they allow themselves to be touched by my life and story. I am most grateful, also, that I have I am so blessed to get to know people, even those that I’ve never met personally, and share fellowship in the Lord and our personal beliefs about protecting and respecting life for all.

The more that I think about it, that is probably what had me feeling the most down last week–the fact that I wasn’t scheduled for any events that would enable me to sit down and have a heart to heart with folks about how abortion had touched their life and mine, for a good while, which is my favorite part of ministry. I know, I know, I don’t have to have an event scheduled in order to minister to others, but that’s just where my mind was at least week. I guess I was throwing myself a little pity party, even though I knew that there was nothing to be feeling pitiful about. Anyway, back to the subject at hand….as I mentioned earlier, just when I was slipping into my own self-pity, the Lord sent me numerous reminders of what ministry truly is. Here are just a few small excerpts of notes and emails that I received over the last week from both folks that I’ve been blessed to meet, and those that I have yet to meet. Thank you, Lord, for the reminder of what’s truly important, and thank you to all of my wonderful friends out there who have had the courage to share their innermost thoughts and feelings with me–this post goes out to all of you!

Excerpt from a note that I received from a college student at the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor, where I had spoken on November 11th:

…I want to thank you for allowing God to use you in such a way-you are such a blessing. Your impact on me was outstanding, and I know that you really touched hearts on our campus…I believe that my meeting you is not just a coincidence. I feel God has used this encounter with you to push me in my pursuit of pro-life activity. I will admit that this year has been very hard for me, because earlier in the semester it felt like nobody cared about the devastation of abortion. It can get very discouragaing, but God has shown to be faithful. I just want to encourage you because you really are making a difference! You were like an answered prayer for our group…”

Excerpt from an email from a fellow pro-lifer working on an event in their Catholic parish:

Melissa, may God bless you and your family during this Thanksgiving holiday. I am truly very grateful for your witness. I have never gone to the pro life march in Washington, but I am seriously thinking of going this year and I think in no small way because people like yourself
whom stand tall and strong in the face of this wave of evil that grips so many in society.”

Excerpt from an email comment that I received:

I read your message and was truly moved. I was raised to respect life and the gift that God give you is the sweet face beside you this is love from him to us!…God bless you for being here to tell your story, because so many are not!…Stay blessed in God and he will forever shine a light on your life…I see that already in your smile!

If those blessings and kind words weren’t enough, I received an email last week from a young woman who I had met recently at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, who, herself, had had an abortion as a teenager, and although she had done some major healing and found her faith again, had not yet found a way to use her experience to impact the world around her. After meeting with me, she has now talked with the college’s chaplain about being a support to other post-abortive students on campus and starting a post-abortive bible study. Tears were literally streaming down my face when I got that email. They were both tears of joy for her and what the Lord is doing in her life, but also tears of gratitude and wonder at how the Lord blesses us with such emails and letters when we most need it.

In keeping with the spirit of thankfulness, here are a couple of my favorite Thanksgiving quotes:

Thankfulness depends on what is in your heart, not what is in your hand.

True thanksgiving means that we need to thank God for what He has done for us & not to tell Him what we have done for Him._—George R. Hendrick