so much more than i "expected"

So, I got this idea last week to ask for birthday gifts for myself. Ye have not because ye ask not, right? No, seriously. God had laid it on my heart that it would be really cool if I could donate copies of Expecting to women who were facing unplanned pregnancies. My hope and prayer is that a woman scared and hurting and contemplating abortion would see and read the beautiful details of the miracle of life–and choose life for her unborn baby.

I was expecting (nervously hoping, really) that at least a handful of my friends would donate a book, so I wouldn’t feel dumb for suggesting it (clearly a lie from the devil trying to make this about me when it’s anything but).

I was expecting to be able to take a stack of 10 or so books to our local pregnancy clinic, knowing that I (along with some of you) might be playing a small part in saving a baby and encouraging a mom.

I was not expecting to receive donations for 122 (ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-TWO) books (and counting).

I was not expecting a friend to tell me about a crisis pregnancy center in Estonia whose founders were in Columbus this very week (I gave them the 5 books I had on hand).

I was not expecting so many people to thank me for giving them an opportunity to be a part of this “amazing ministry.”

I was not expecting women to e-mail me with their personal stories about abortion and adoption and forgiveness and regret and redemption.

I should’ve known though. God is always up to something, isn’t He? And in my experience, He loves to work in ways we aren’t expecting.

I’m just going to share one story today and more next week. One woman (whom I’ve never met but we’ve chatted online) e-mailed me and said, I’d like to donate three books–one for each of my children. One in elementary school, one a toddler and one I aborted 15 years ago. “I knew one day I would regret my decision,” she said, “and sure enough I do.  I am so thankful for God’s love and forgiveness.  I keep telling myself that if God can forgive me then I have to forgive myself.  I think I forgive myself, but that forgiveness doesn’t replace the emptiness.  It’s my goal to have such a relationship with my two children that they would tell me if anything like this ever happened to them.”

We kept talking, and she said, “I have felt for a long time that the only way I will only have peace with my soul is to actively know that I am working towards the prevention of abortion. And it’s not only for me–so I can sleep at night–it’s for everything and everyone BUT me! For God and all those little babies, all of God’s sweet, sweet children!”

And one thing she said really stuck out to me, “You’ve inspired something in me that I’ve always tried to keep buried. That’s the definition of a friend.” God inspired it in her–I’m just glad He used me to do it. When I got the idea to donate books, I thought about the babies and I thought about the pregnant women, but I never even thought of the healing this could bring to someone who had an abortion in the past.

Our God wants to move in big ways in our lives. He’s just waiting for the invitation. A prayer. Our surrender. Believing that His plans, even if we can’t see them, are ultimately better than our own. Praise His Name!

I want anyone who is still interested to have the chance to donate a book. I buy them from the publisher–40 to a box. I had a few here but was hoping I might need more, so I ordered a box. Well, then I had to order another one. And then another one. And I would love to order another and another. They do cost me a little over $8 apiece, but I’m just asking for $5. (God will take care of the rest–He has so far!) Click here to donate, or you can e-mail me, and I’ll send you my address if you’d rather send a check. I’ll write your first name on the From line (unless you ask me not to), and I ask that you be in prayer for the woman who receives your book.

Seriously. I’m in awe of all God has done in just 6 days. Unbelievable. Thanks so much for being a part of it!

10 thoughts on “so much more than i "expected"

  1. Pingback: Marla Taviano » a girl, her unborn baby, and our big God

  2. Pingback: Marla Taviano » a girl, her unborn baby, and our big God

  3. Rebecca

    I can only imagine how many women can (finally!) start healing from this post. How awesome is that?!?!? Praying over this blog and all those beautiful books written by a beautiful soul.

  4. Valerie

    I talked to Beth down at Heartbeats, she’s one of the care coordinators…. she said that they would be glad to accept donated books for the women who come in there and have a need. She said they could distribute them one of two ways either give them to a few females individually or, they have a “resource library” that the ladies are able to borrow books from to read and keep them as long as they’d like, this way we may be able to get the books into more hands!!

    She’s also asked if I’d like to come back and volunteer down there as they have a shortage of medical staff to run tests, check vitals, do dopplers, schedule, and counsel. So, I’m going to start doing this for now one day per week and go from there.

    So, if you’d like to donate to that center if you wanted I could just pick the books up and deliver in person 🙂

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