Do you have a support system? Do you have someone that would “go to bat” for you? Is there someone right now that comes to mind that would do absolutely anything for you? I suspect these questions are quickly answered and most, if not all of you have someone in mind. This is true for many of us. We have been blessed with a spouse, a sibling, or a friend that has always been there and will always be there for us. Sadly, many of our patients at HOPE do not share this story. Many of our patients have no one that is willing to stand with them in the valleys, but in these times of despair and desperation we are often surprised as what we know as common is altered and we become witnesses to something truly amazing as we see a support system rise up to stand with a woman in crisis.
This was the theme of HOPE last week as we were blessed to encounter some amazing people willing to stand with their friend when others would not. This started with a walk-in pregnancy test. Many of these walk-ins visit HOPE alone. This is typically an illustration of how they view the world…a very lonely one. This particular walk-in, however, was different. She had a friend come with her; a friend that chose to love instead of judge; a friend that was willing to place their own life behind that of their loved one.
This love was immediately put into action once our nurse revealed a positive pregnancy test. The patient acted somewhat discouraged and in shock, saying, “I cannot do this…I am not ready for a baby!” This discouragement was met with love by a friend as support was given; support that sounded like this, “We can do this…I am here for you!” This was truly a blessing to see, but we still had no idea what decision would be made. Would this friend continue this stance and encouragement once they left the doors of HOPE? Would this patient continue to seek counsel from a friend? We had no way of knowing, but we were happy to schedule a follow up ultrasound praying this patient would come back.
I am happy to report that this patient came back for her follow up, although this visit was a bit different than her last. We were able to witness the support team of one grow to five! It was truly heartwarming to see this group of friends rally around this patient in crisis. They were not there to judge or pick apart. They were there to love and encourage. They were willing to go into the storm with their friend and not wait for the storm to subside. We watched in tears as this group of friends stood in the parking lot hugging, laughing, and crying over the life they were able to see via an ultrasound.
We were blessed to see this type of support twice last week. The second case was different. This time we did not see a patient. Instead, we were blessed to see a friend; a friend in tears and in need of help. We had a young lady walk in our doors pleading for her pregnant friend and her intentions of having an abortion.
Think about that. This friend cared enough about her friend that she was willing to walk into our doors asking what she could do. She was willing to go wherever she needed to in hopes that her friend would find the love and care she needed. This young lady cared deeply about life and the unborn child her friend was carrying. Her love, however, did not stop at the womb. It was also very clear that she cared deeply about her friend and her future.
I am so happy this young lady found her way to HOPE and to our front desk where she was met by our staff; a staff willing, able, and ready to do some prayer work when needed. This young lady was heartbroken and at a loss for what to do next. In this loss she did what believers should do; she asked for prayer. She requested we include her friend in our prayers as she turned to leave. Our front desk staff said that we would, but then they stopped this young lady and asked if they could pray for her and her friend right then and there. This question was answered with a resounding ‘yes’ and prayer time was had in the lobby of HOPE.
The two stories above are just a glimpse into what happens at HOPE on a daily basis. I share them with you so that you can see how important a support system is. Are you that friend that needs to stand when part of your “crew” is in crisis? Are you that friend that can take needs to the Throne when someone is facing a tough time? So many of the patients we see at HOPE are without support. They are left to face their deepest valleys alone. This must change if we are to ever see love triumph. I praise God for the friends discussed here today and for those that choose to stand when no one else will. Be that friend today and be willing to go into the storms with those you love…a life just may depend on it.
posted by Andrew Wood, Executive Director of Hope Resource Center