There is Hope: Lessons Learned Among Sunshine and Rosaries

As I explained at the beginning of the summer, I was given the amazing opportunity to be an intern for the Catholic Pro-Life Committee of North Texas. This summer, I have worked as a sidewalk counselor and worked alongside other counselors in the Texas heat in an effort to offer help the women entering and exiting an abortion clinic. This job has taught me more than I ever imagined; it was the hardest and most worthwhile thing I have ever done.

There were days that the sun shined in my face and I wondered if I was doing any good. I would be sweaty, hot, and sometimes wonder why the heck I didn’t choose an easy, low stress, indoor job.

There were days when I would say countless Hail Marys in a row, hoping God would give me or others the right words and the strength to say them.

There were days when it seemed like there was no hope, no one would walk over, they would ignore help. They would head inside where surgeons would kill their child.

But there were also instances which gave me faith. God knows what He is doing. Whenever I would start to despair and feel hopeless, God reminded me that there is hope, abortion can be conquered, and every victory (no matter how small) is worthwhile.

Something which greatly impacted me was the joy the sidewalk counselors have for their work. They see it all and are witnesses to nearly every tragedy known to man. Yet they smile. They laugh. They have joy in their hearts and are out there because of love. They feel a calling to love others. It is truly breathtaking to work alongside them.

As my internship comes to an end I am forever thankful for the opportunity I was given this summer. I knew God was calling me to do something for others this summer and I am just grateful that I was able to fulfill that calling. The lessons I have learned this summer will never be forgotten.

What I didn’t fully realize before this summer was that the women who come to the abortion clinic are not there because they are “pro-choice” they are there because they feel they have no choice. They are there because their families are pressuring them. They are there because they are told by society that this is not “the right time” to have a baby. They are there because they are scared. Knowing this will help me better serve the Pro-Life movement.

I also learned how strong I was and how much I needed God to help me. Watching women walk out of that clinic obviously having just received an abortion is one of the hardest things I experienced. I continually asked Jesus for strength.

I learned that I can make difference, how every small in the world. Those who know me well know I am very shy. It is very difficult to for me to approach and talk with complete strangers. I feel I became more comfortable speaking with others. I will never forget one of my last days where I, having a discouraging day thus far, decided to make the effort to speak to a woman walking towards the clinic. She walked towards me and I was able to speak to her and she ended up walking with me to the crisis pregnancy center, saying she was not going to go back to the abortion clinic. I will never forget that feeling, of my first solo “save.” It was a moment I will look back on and treasure forever. God was able to speak through me and save that woman’s baby!

This was the hardest yet most fulfilling job I have ever had. Keep the other sidewalk counselors in your prayers as they continue their year-round work. They are truly heroes.

–Mary Grace

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