If Christ has not been raised…
“And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain….And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins….If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:14,17,19-20)
As Easter approaches, we can’t help but reflect on the impact of Christ’s resurrection. As a Christian organization, we seek to embody Christian principles in everything we do–which means we cannot ignore the resurrection!
The reality is this: If Christ is not risen, then Christianity does not matter. If Christianity does not matter, then none of what the Care Center does matters.
But because Christ is risen, we have hope. And because we have hope, we can offer that hope to those who need it. And that is what motivates us to serve women and men who feel hopeless in the midst of an unplanned pregnancy.
Offering hope beyond this life
Not long ago, a woman named Chelsie* came to us on the mobile unit. She discovered that she was pregnant with her fifth child. The father of the unborn child was no longer with her, and she felt completely alone and without hope for her future. She had already made the decision once before to let a family adopt one of her children. Chelsie admitted that she still struggled with that decision today, and it made her question if she could go through that painful process again.
Now, because her most recent partner posed a physical threat to both her and her children, she was living in a motel, barely getting by week to week. Her situation was serious, to say the least, and now the prospect of bringing yet another child into the world was almost more than she could bear. With great sadness, she said, “Abortion is my only choice.”
Chelsie knew her home pregnancy test was positive, but she had no idea how far along she was. After providing her with a pregnancy test and community resources, I performed an ultrasound scan. Chelsie was shocked and devastated at what she saw: a well-formed, very active baby, measuring at 17 weeks gestation.
I reminded Chelise that the child growing within her was not a mistake, and that, according to scripture, this child was “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139). I discussed with her what a 2nd trimester abortion procedure would consist of, and what the risks for her would be physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I also reminded her that, even though it might not feel like it, she had options available to her other than abortion.
After spending time discussing how we could help her as well as sharing other community resources that could help eliminate obstacles for her, Chelise allowed me to share the gospel message with her. I told her that Jesus Christ came to offer hope to a hopeless world. He lived a perfect life, died a sacrificial death, and was resurrected in order to pay the penalty for our sin, make us right before God, and give us the hope of a relationship with God, both here on earth and for eternity in heaven.
After our time together, Chelsie asked if she could keep a picture of her baby, and then she was gone. I’ve tried multiple times to reach out to her again, but have been unable to get in touch. My prayer is that because we offered to meet her physical needs, Chelsie will be receptive to the spiritual hope we shared with her.
A hope that changes everything
At the Care Center, we are under no illusions that the services we offer will magically make our clients’ problems go away. For many of these women, there are no easy decisions in front of them. But we are confident and convinced that by removing barriers, building relationships, and offering practical support, we can then offer the true hope found in Jesus Christ and his victory over sin and death.
In this life, there will be trouble, brokenness, and pain. And if our hope were in this world only, we should be pitied more than anyone else.
But Christ is alive. He is our hope.
And this changes everything.
[clickToTweet tweet=”In this life, there will be trouble, brokenness, and pain. And if our hope were in this world only, we should be pitied more than anyone else. But Christ is alive. He is our hope. And this changes everything. ” quote=”In this life, there will be trouble, brokenness, and pain. And if our hope were in this world only, we should be pitied more than anyone else. But Christ is alive. He is our hope. And this changes everything. “]
*Client’s name has been changed.
Charlotte Haywood is one of our staff RNs at GPCC. She has many years of experience in the public health arena, especially related to STD testing and treatment. Charlotte is married and is actively involved with her church family at Cornerstone Baptist Church.