|Alveda King and Patti Palmer|
But it came vomiting out of me that one spring morning after I began toying with the idea of using it to get through to the women we were sidewalk counseling. I thought, "there must be something in my experience that could tear down a few bricks from their walls here". Another friend, Melanie, volunteered to help me work it out with pen and paper. This I did over a few days, through tears and over many pages. It seemed odd to me that this singular trauma was now confined to about 5 or 6 typed pages, but there it was in all of its technicolor ugliness. I felt proud of my efforts. I completed the mission.
Or so I thought.
Then the bargaining began. Though you will be pleased to know that I do not hear voices, I did receive a prompting coming from someplace within me to read the testimony to others who may not know how abortion actually hurts women. I don't mind public speaking, but this was a rather raw subject and I wasn't quite sure I could muster the courage necessary to deliver it. I told the Prompter that if an opportunity arrived in Chandler (a galaxy far, far away from my home), that maybe I would consider it. Prompter - which I now recognize to be the 3rd Person of the Holy Trinity - responded with an irresistible opportunity much further away than Chandler.
Payson is located about 75 miles to the Northeast of Phoenix and this is what called out to me over Twitter through a dear soul named Deacon Tom Fox. He and his pro-life group wanted to know how to get more involved in pro-life ministry and had heard about the sidewalk counseling efforts being formulated here in Phoenix. He did not know, at that time, that I had an abortion story. I felt that I could trust this man and over a few phone calls we arranged what was to be the "almighty delivering of the abortion testimony"...in Payson. He's not even in my Diocese for Goodness sake! With testimony in hand and some other pro-life resources, I transported myself up to Payson a few summers ago and told my story to Tom, his wife, Dee and about 16 other virtual strangers. I blubbered through most of it. These patient, holy people do not realize what was to flow from that summer day in 2009.
I boarded my 737 bound for DC last Sunday, the newly released book, "Unplanned" by Abby Johnson in hand, thanks to my friend Sheila. I was off to the March for Life with 12 others from Phoenix Silent No More to tell my testimony in front the Supreme Court. "Is this for real?" I thought to myself. As I have mentioned before, it is hard for one woman to share her abortion story. But there were 11 of us that were equipped and flying here to do this. Something much more supernatural is going on.
|Tanya, Rebecca, Patti, Linda, Brenda & Carol|
|Getting my book signed by Abby|
|Richard & Abby Johnson|
Wheels down in DC, I found my motley crew in the crypt church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Fitting! Covered in Our Lady's Mantle, (you'll hear more about that later), there we were among 10,000 other pro-life faithful. St. Raphael is a very effective intercessor by the way. Thanks Candida :-)
|Viv, Monica, Linda, renda, Karen, Margie, Tanya & Debbi|
|Karen O, me and "Alabama Kristy"|
|Tanya, Carol and Viv|
|Margie, Rudy, Karen O, David, Monica|
I am grateful to these sisters and brothers: Debbi, Monica, Viv, Carol, Patti, Karen O, Linda, Brenda, Richard, Tanya, Margie and Rudy. Grateful for their courageous witness. I think it was Viv who wrote an email to me later that said,
"It switched from us being tourists having a great time, getting to know each other, to getting inside your very souls; feeling your pain and sharing your emotions. I'm a changed person for the experience."
|Patti and Brenda|
There is a great need in our lifetime - right here and right now - to speak out boldly and strongly about abortion. But we must do so with unity and with love. We need to lock arms, plan well, fortify ourselves through prayer and sacraments and be willing to endure a little pain. (And if it's cold, dress in layers. Ha!) But it will be worth it.
Life always is.
There is power in a Word. Power in a story. Power to change a life....and power to change a hurting world.Way to go AZ Baker's Dozen...you are the needed leaven.