In In August of 2014 I was asked if I would be interested in being the key note speaker for Reach Out Pregnancy Center’s 2015 fund raising banquet. I would be speaking on the topics of adoption and the experience of Nora’s prenatal trisomy 18 diagnosis. I was only 2 months removed from having said “see you later” to Nora. It was all still so raw. Could I actually get up on a stage and talk about that?? In front of PEOPLE?? Emotions aside — this was WAY out of my comfort zone! Perhaps it might come as a shock to you if you don’t know me personally, OR if you know me REALLY well – but I am quite the introvert. “What?? But she’s so outspoken on her blog!!??” I thrive in my quiet alone time where I am most creative, where I write, where I am energized and inspired. Being in social settings is often awkward and difficult for me, exacerbated by the instances where people take offense to my quietness and quests for solitude. “I used to think you were such a b***h before I really got to know you!” is a sentiment shared with me from time to time! I’ve finally gotten past the point of feeling like there is something wrong with me and embrace the fact that this is part of who I am. This is how God made me. With that said, I know that it’s not healthy to close myself off from community and friendships. So I force myself to step “dangerously” out of my comfort zone and interact with others (which I DO love once I’m out doing it) — and to get up on stages and deliver speeches now, apparently!!!
I agreed to do this speech for Reach Out Pregnancy Center. I got hijacked by the Holy Spirit who spoke through my mouth and excitedly exclaimed, “Sure! I’d be DELIGHTED to be the key note speaker for the Reach Out Pregnancy Center fund raising banquet in May!”
If I’m going to get up on a stage and speak publicly about anything, you can be assured that it is something I am hugely passionate about and/or that my invitation for God to USE ME has been accepted.
The banquet wasn’t until wayyyyy next May which was “FOREVER” away – so I had plenty of time to put a speech together and practice it backwards and forward, weeding out all the “ums” and “uhs” and “ers” (almost). Then like 5 minutes later May 12th was upon us.
“Not in my power, not to my glory – but YOURS,” I prayed over and over again as the banquet began.
I was doing just fine until the video montage was presented! I knew they were going to do something with my voice over and the pictures and videos I had provided… but I hadn’t seen it yet. It completely exceeded my expectations and was incredibly powerful. It took excessive, excessive strength not to completely fall apart watching it — and then to PULL. IT. TOGETHER. as I walked up onto the stage…
Perhaps one could say that it’s easy to choose life when you’re happily married and you have all of your finances together… or to continue forward when you don’t have a terrifying prenatal diagnosis attached to your pregnancy.
It might not be easy to choose life when everything is completely upside down, but I have the right to say that it is not impossible either. Here are two “unplanned pregnancies” that I once regarded as absolute catastrophes. Two times I wanted to run screaming out of my skin and leave each “complicated mess” far behind.
Each of these “unplanned pregnancies” turned out to be extraordinary gifts. To such an extreme that I will climb out from my safe introverted little shell, up onto a stage in front of a crowd of people to share the beauty and blessed sorrow of these disguised treasures.
To quote Martin Luther King, “There is nothing to be afraid of if you believe and know that the cause for which you stand for is right. You are ready to face anything and you face it with a humble smile… because you know that all of eternity stands with you and the angels stand beside you.”