"I Never Had The Courage to Actually Stand Up For What I Said I Believed About Abortion" -Ashleigh
Growing up, I always knew that abortion was wrong and had you asked, I would have told you I was against it. I went as far as to write my senior paper on defending the life of the unborn, but most of the time I was very hush-hush about my position if I ever found myself in a conversation about abortion. I would, uncomfortably acknowledge that it is wrong, that every life is precious and hold that life begins at conception but I would never go to battle for the unborn.
In October of 2016, Love Life came to my church in Concord, NC and shared what they call the Tragic Truth of abortion. They gave a presentation on how their ministry is practically meeting the needs of abortion minded families in Charlotte, standing up for those who have no voice and calling on the church to join them.
Prior to that Sunday, I had purposefully avoided the abortion clinic on Latrobe Drive. The youth group I worked with would partner with Cities4Life during the summer and spend a day or two praying outside of the clinic. I always found a way to be a leader for a different activity on those days because I thought it would be too uncomfortable. As a girl who wears her emotions on her sleeve, I knew I just wouldn’t be able to handle it. I have loved babies since I was four years old and though I have none of my own yet, I just didn’t think I could handle being there.
Despite my past apprehension, when Andre invited us to fill out the commitment card on our seat and commit to fast and pray with them and attend the prayer walk, I didn’t give it a second thought. The Holy Spirit made it very clear that this was something I was being called to do and I checked “yes” to attending the prayer walk.
I awoke the day of the walk still looking for an excuse not to go and considering Charlotte was experiencing the after effects of a hurricane, I thought that might be my ticket. The Holy Spirt reminded me I have a perfectly good raincoat and necessary attire so I finally decided I wasn’t getting out of this. I wasn’t sure what to expect during my first walk. I was alone, soaking wet, nervous and trying to let the Spirit lead my prayers. I’d never taken spiritual warfare seriously until that day. The entire walk, my heart, my mind and my spirit were being broken over what I saw and heard. I found it difficult to focus until I felt God, my Father, wrap His loving arms around me and tell me to just breathe and talk to Him.
Before I even made it home that day I knew this is where the Lord was calling me. There was no way I could have experienced what I did and just go on with my life without doing something. These babies, and their families, need the love and support of the church. They need people who are willing to stand up and fight for them. I was convicted of being silent for too long, for turning a blind eye simply because I don’t like confrontation. I had no doubt The Lord called me to start giving my time to Love Life.
At the beginning of the 2017 40 Week Journey of Hope, I had committed to being at Latrobe Drive one Saturday a month. I was completely out of my comfort zone with no control of anything and truly relying on God to lead the way. Since then, I’ve been able to bring along so many friends who previously avoided the topic or who never even knew the abortion center was right in our backyard.
Today, it feels like my entire circle of friends is volunteering with Love Life, serving in the mentor programor giving of their time out on the front lines, all working to bring an end to abortion. My mission now is to reach those outside of my circle and continue to spread the word of what God is doing through The Church. It leaves me speechless each and every week.
I serve with Love Life not because it’s morally good or makes me look like a better Christian. I serve because I not only want to see innocent lives saved from death on this earth but I want to see lives saved from eternal death. I want moms and dads to choose life for their babies, to hear that God is perfect, that He is worthy of our praise, that we as humankind have all sinned and fallen short of His glory (Romans 3:23) (whether by abortion, adultery, hate, lust, lying, thievery, idolization or envy) but that there is GOOD NEWS through Jesus Christ. That He came to earth as fully God and fully man (John 1:14), that He lived a perfect sinless life and became the ultimate sacrifice for all those who repent and put their trust in Him (John 3:16-18). That through His death, burial and resurrection we can have everlasting life with God the Father (Eph 2:1-10). I serve because I want to see the advancement of the Kingdom of Heaven, here on earth.
By the end of 2017, I was in full volunteer mode. I’m excited for the year to come and all that God is doing to awaken The Church. It’s an honor to partner with Love Life and I am committed to working with this ministry to bring about an end to abortion. All glory to God.
Ashleigh is one of the many volunteers who have said “YES” to getting connected beyond the prayer walk and working to build a culture of Love and Life that will result in an end to abortion and the orphan crisis. We are constantly seeking volunteers to serve in a number of crucial areas of ministry including our Mentor Program, Orphan Care and Front Lines ministires as well as our Saturday prayer walks. Learn more about how you can get connected and start making a difference today by clicking the link below.