Grace House Ministries is committed to serving fathers with the same standard of compassion that we extend to mothers and children. It is our desire that he be equipped with the support and education he needs to have a positive impact on his growing family.
I recently found myself preparing to meet with a young man who had made an appointment for his girlfriend, *Lisa. *Tim was one of the dozens of young men we have met with since opening our new clinic facility in February of this year. Lisa was speaking with one of our volunteer advocates, but I could tell he needed someone to talk to as well.
As I sat down with him, I felt small compared to the seriousness of the matter to be discussed. Not only was the life of their unborn child at stake, but, no matter their decision, Tim and Lisa’s lives would be changed forever. Would he give my words any credibility? What did he most need to hear?
After only a few moments, I could tell Tim was overwhelmed by the decision in front of him. He was worried that his past conversations with Lisa might make her feel pressured into having an abortion, since she was considering parenting. He wanted to avoid putting any pressure on her. In fact, he shared his concern over the short-term and long-term negative impacts abortion might have on her, even if it was her decision. He told me the story of how a close relative had described her abortion experience to them as something she would never want to go through again.
But despite these concerns, abortion seemed to him like the only option which would allow them to continue in the direction of their goals.
Through the course of our conversation, I shared information with Tim about their child’s stage of development as well as all the options and resources available to them. As I watched his expression, the words I thought he might be looking for came to me.
“Having a baby will change your lives, but it doesn’t mean you have to give up on your plans for the future,” I told him.
He seemed to be listening intently, but the uncertainty was still plain on his face. Even after seeing their baby’s heart beat rapidly on the sonogram screen, Tim and Lisa seemed conflicted. The gravity of the situation was evident in their expressions. As they left the appointment, they reported being “undecided” about their decision.
A few days and many prayers later, we received word that Tim and Lisa had decided to parent and to participate in parenting classes through Grace House Pregnancy Center. I even had the opportunity to meet with Tim to encourage him as he prepares for his role as a father. He is now excited at the prospect and eager to learn. What a change from the uncertain young man I met in our clinic!
It is impossible to say what direction this story would have taken if Tim and Lisa had not received our services tailored to their circumstance. Tim was a voice in Lisa’s decision, and he was ready to be the support she needed once he had someone supporting him.
Client Services Coordinator of Options Clinic
*Name changed to protect the privacy of our clients.