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The Joy of Empowering Client Choices

Posted by Care Net on Jun 1, 2015 7:30:00 AM

Guest post by Susanne Maynes

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We often speak of being a “voice for the voiceless” in local pregnancy centers. We may think of speaking up for a child yet unborn; yet, sometimes it’s our clients who have lost their voice.

Tweet this: Don’t you love helping young women get their voices back? http://hubs.ly/y0RrD10

Eighteen-year-old “Callie”* nervously fingered her hair and glanced up at me. Her voice was soft and hesitant, as though she were afraid of coming up with the wrong answer to what we were talking about.  

“I don’t know what to do,” she said. “My parents told me if I ever got pregnant, they would cut off my college money. When I told my boyfriend that I might be pregnant, he told me I better have an abortion, or else we are done.”

Callie’s best friend had come with her to her pregnancy test appointment. When Callie’s test result showed positive, her girlfriend chided, “You better not get an abortion!”

It became evident to me that Callie lacked confidence and was stuck in a pattern of letting others do her decision-making for her. Now she faced a dilemma.

She had a major decision to make, and the significant voices in her life were conflicted with each other.

She was standing at the crossroads – without a voice.

The good news is, Callie was in a safe place. We shared accurate information with her without telling her what to do. We offered her emotional support without judgment.

With our support, Callie was able to make the courageous decision to keep her baby.

Callie had been terrified of her mother’s disapproval, yet her mom quickly became a doting grandmother. And though Callie and her boyfriend broke up, he stepped up to get involved in his little girl’s life and help in any way he could.

“You guys didn’t push me,” Callie shared with us later. “Everybody else was pushing me and telling me what I should do. You let me make up my own mind.”

When a woman makes one courageous choice, she is empowered to make more.We saw Callie again a couple of years after her pregnancy test visit. She was continuing her college education – the funds did not get cut off – and she came by to interview me for the purpose of an essay she was writing.

The young woman I saw before me was not the same girl I had spoken with years before. She smiled and spoke articulately. She shone with a confidence she had lacked before.

Callie had made a good choice. In the process, she found her voice.

As we speak up for the tiny, vulnerable unborn, how wonderful that we also get to come alongside their parents as well. When we help them speak out of the deepest place of their nurturing hearts, we have the privilege of participating in a double blessing.

By refusing to push an agenda, we get to help both mother and child have a voice.


*Name changed to protect client confidentiality.

Susanne Maynes is the Counseling Director at Life Choices Clinic in Lewiston, Idaho. She blogs at susannemaynes.com/ to help sincere but discouraged Christians find healing, gain insight and take heart so they can live out their faith with courageous compassion.

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