When I start my shift at Birthright, I never know who I will talk to. It’s an unknown in a lot of ways. Will I be talking with a mother looking for emergency assistance? Will I be looking for a shelter for a homeless pregnant young girl? Will I be meeting with a scared pregnant girl who thinks abortion Is her only option?
Whatever comes my way during my time at Birthright, I realize how lucky I am to be there. Sometimes I only get a few minutes with a girl, because she has already decided what she’s going to do. She came for a pregnancy test and that’s all. She’s tuning everything out; she’s just there to save a few dollars.
Sometimes a girl needs a lot of time, time that others won’t give her. They are so much easier than the girl who won’t give you the time to explain how we can help.
So many nights after my shift these girls run through my head. I pray for them, and I pray for myself and ask God to give me the words to help them more next time. I ask God to give me the perfect words to reach the girl who has already decided that she won’t listen.
Life is a billion moments in a marvelous ongoing awareness experience. We human beings have so many God-given gifts. We’re able to communicate on so many levels, with our tone of voice, with our thoughts as they are expressed vocally. We have the power to touch people’s lives with a single smile or a single consoling remark. We have the power to give ourselves.
When I first started at Birthright, I thought I would actually be doing the giving. But as time went on, I realized how just being there, I was not so much the giver, but the receiver.
I understand now a little better how a little bit of good goes a long way. I guess you would call it the snowball or the ripple effect. I remember talking to a girl who decided against an abortion after a while. At first, that’s the only way she could think her way out of her predicament. With tears in my eyes, I told her, “This good will last forever.” She seemed untouched by my emotion. I figured I fumbled the words; I really didn’t know.
Then after some time, I knew that she was eons ahead of me in the wisdom department. She was the one facing the unknown hardships of bearing and raising a child alone with minimal education to back her up to pay the rent, groceries, clothing and utilities. She knew the good she was choosing.
She and others like her are my heroes. They deserve somebody to back them up when the chips are down. They deserve somebody to be there for them.
I feel privileged to answer the phone during my shift. I feel privileged to be there.
–A Birthright Volunteer