By: Cheryl Wilson
I heard about Pregnancy Resource Centers back in the 80’s, but never investigated fully what they were. When we moved here from California in 1989 I met a couple who were involved with the Caring Pregnancy Center. Still, I didn’t pay much attention.
Shortly after our daughter was born in September, 1990, God began to softly whisper that He wanted me to volunteer at CPC. I was working full-time (from home) and our benefits were through my job, AND I was a new mom. So what could I do? Why, ignore Him, of course!
However, over the next 8 months His prompting grew stronger, and I tried to continue to ignore it. I’d since learned that this was one of those pro-life places for women with a "crisis" pregnancy. Well, I’d never had one of those, so I knew I would be of no use to such a ministry.
One morning while I was having quiet time I felt so heavy with conviction that I’d been running from Him, but at the same time I was angry with Him for hounding me! Surely He understood my predicament! I reminded Him that I had to work full-time and couldn’t volunteer, so if He wanted me there he’d better figure something out.
The company I worked for was based in Connecticut, but I was with its California subsidiary. Two short weeks after reminding my awesome & faithful heavenly Father that He would need to figure something out if He wanted me volunteering, I got a call from my boss. Something about taxes…my residency in Washington state…too expensive…blah blah blah. He was very sorry but they were going to have to let me go.
Not amused. The God of the universe, and this is what You come up with?! Fine. I’ll just keep ignoring You, because now I have to found another job so my family can have health benefits!
Well, long story short, my awesome & faithful heavenly Father did not allow me to continue to ignore Him. My husband and I prayed and agreed I would be a stay-at-home mommy now, as that was really where my heart was. We would just have to trust God to provide. And after an additional 8 months I ran out of excuses and finally got up the courage to talk with the Director of CPC about volunteering.
Although I hated leaving my daughter, I loved volunteering at CPC. I had to completely depend upon His leading in order to minister to each young woman that came to CPC, and because of that I grew closer in my walk with Him. But in all honesty, I hated the days when a young woman would have a positive pregnancy test, and instead of being filled with joy she was scared, or angry, and was adamant about her decision to abort her baby. I would go home crying out to God, asking Him where He was and why didn’t He soften that mama’s heart? Why did He let me fail? Where were THY words that could’ve been spoken to change her mind?
And then something very terrible happened. In the span of one year I suffered two miscarriages. My heart became resentful toward these young women, whom I now perceived as cold and heartless, and undeserving of ever being blessed with a baby.
I hated the ugliness that I saw within my own heart, so I called the Director to let her know that I needed time for God to heal and soften my heart. He is faithful…
Over the years there were times when I was unable to volunteer ~ two, three years at a stretch. But for some reason my heart remained. And while I was volunteering the summer of 2004, I was asked to come on staff temporarily. The Director of 11 years was retiring at the end of the year, and by that fall I knew God was calling me to become the new Director. Believe it or not, I attempted to ignore Him again!
I have been Director since January 2005. It has been challenging and rewarding, exhausting and exhilarating. And while I have no clue how much God has used me to touch the lives of others through this ministry, I do know that my life has been forever changed because of my involvement.
The women who come through our door each have a story. Most are from a culture that is not too dissimilar to that of what Paul encountered in his travels. These young women desperately need to know of the unconditional love and saving grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ. We may have one encounter to share His love with them, or they may become a client whom we get to mentor and minister to weekly. In every encounter we desire to be His hands and feet.
I remind my fellow Christians that we are ALL ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and if you want God to use you, just have a willing heart (sometimes that takes a bit of prodding!) And pray. I am so grateful that He is so faithful to equip us when He calls us!
If you’d like to know specific opportunities about volunteering at CPC ~ give me a call (636-3333) or come talk to me, and sign up for our newsletter so you know about miscellaneous opportunities that arise.
Caring Pregnancy Center