The Power of 'What If'
Wednesday, July 22, 2020 1:56 PM

The Power of 'What If'

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 1:56 PM
Wednesday, July 22, 2020 1:56 PM

We all have “what if” moments in life. Any given “what if” could lead to a positive or negative scenario. In some cases, “what if” could literally make the difference between life and death.

It did for me.

In retrospect, “what if” can take on a whole new meaning.

Some memories are indelible. Like the day my pregnancy test was positive. I had always been the good girl, the smart girl, an authority-pleasing overachiever ... this could not be happening!

My world came crashing down. I fell apart, crying for what felt like hours. When my tears finally subsided, I made an emergency call to a confidante and, of course, started crying again. She immediately knew the reason. She assured me she could help–she knew of a “good abortion clinic.” She could make the arrangements for me, and I could make it go away, keep it a secret and go on with my life as planned.

In my situation, the opportunities for intervention were extremely limited. All I did was walk to the store, take a test, and make a phone call. Then save money, plan a cover story, and go to the clinic. It was all too easy.

The irony was both palpable and painful several years ago, when I was the keynote speaker for a Pregnancy Center fundraiser near my alma mater. When I researched their history, I learned they had a Center right down the street. I never knew they were there. That heartbreaking reality stirs up a world of “what if” scenarios ...

What if there had been an ICU Mobile Unit parked across the street from campus the day I took that dreaded walk to the store to buy a pregnancy test?

What if someone had been there to offer comfort and support, so I wasn’t alone in that critical moment?

What if there had been an ICU Mobile Unit parked outside the clinic the day my boyfriend drove me there because we felt trapped into an abortion?

Hypothetically, it was unthinkable. We were both Christians, after all.

We believed abortion was wrong–an innocent child’s life should not be taken because of someone else’s “mistake.” It’s stunning how different things appear when a hypothetical becomes reality, and the mistake is your own. We were upper-middle-class kids with good grades, big ambitions, and parents we didn’t want to disappoint. A teen pregnancy was an existential identity crisis. And once-unthinkable actions suddenly become justifiable options in a crisis.

What if we had stepped into an ICU Mobile Unit, desperate for a way out of our perceived disaster, and someone had been there to intervene with truth? Despite our overwhelming emotions, the truth was: we weren’t trapped. Our lives were not over. In fact, God had good plans for our lives–all three of our lives.

What if we had listened ... and believed? It could have changed everything.

That is the life-changing, life-saving power of mobile units.

That is why this work is so vitally important! ICU Mobile equips pregnancy centers and clinics to go beyond their four walls, wherever and whenever the needs are greatest. Working through these partnerships, this ministry is able to serve women, save lives and share the Gospel throughout the country.

What if an ICU Mobile Unit had been there for me, just off-campus or outside the clinic, and I received an ultrasound?

I believe that would have changed everything.

The beating of that tiny heart would’ve been irrefutable evidence of the truth I already knew, but couldn’t admit: God had given this child life. How could I deceive myself into believing his child was my choice?

What if I had enough love and support to make the right choice–to choose life?

Far too many women have “what if” moments like mine. Revisiting them can become a form of self-condemnation, which can grow into depression, addiction, or any number of self-destructive issues. I’m indescribably grateful God led me to a post-abortion Bible study at a Pregnancy Center, where I could understand and grieve the loss of my child, fully receive God’s forgiveness, release my guilt and shame, break destructive patterns, and experience transformative freedom.

That’s the life-giving power of redemption. With redeemed hearts, revisiting even the darkest “what if” moments doesn’t lead to oppression, it instead galvanizes us into action. That’s the path I choose.

It’s a blessing to help pro-life ministries like ICU Mobile save and change more lives ... every time I share my story, I know it honors the life of my child. And I’m grateful for that. But it doesn’t diminish the loss.

What if you had the power to help save women, and men, from ever experiencing that loss? What if you could be there in their moment of crisis, offering hope, truth and life-changing love?

You do. You can. As you give to support ICU Mobile, and pray for those on the front lines, “what if” becomes “what is.” And anything is possible.

By Lauren Roman

www.laurenroman.com

If you’d like to help ICU Mobile bring more hope into every community, please click here to donate.

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Beyond Receiving Christ
Tuesday, July 7, 2020 10:17 AM

Beyond Receiving Christ

Tuesday, July 7, 2020 10:17 AM
Tuesday, July 7, 2020 10:17 AM

News of Atheists turning to Christ doesn’t typically create much of a public stir. When God calls someone like Lee Strobel into his flock, God’s name goes up in lights. Not only did Lee abandon his atheist beginnings when he became a Christian, he wrote The Case for Christ, which reveals his journey to Christianity. The book was made into a movie and Lee took on speaking engagements and acting roles, and authored more books to reveal Christ for others.

Lee Strobel lives out the call to life as a Christ follower in a way that inspires us all to share our Savior. It wasn’t enough for him to receive the Gospel and go to church on Sundays. He knew within him that he must do more for the One who not only made him, but made Him for more. Lee went on to write many more books all for the glory of God.

As we explored speakers for our 2020 banquet, we recognized that Lee Strobel has a story like so many of us. Once lost in many ways, now standing on the solid foundation of Christ. As an organization that focuses on reaching women for Christ, we can learn much from Lee while we also bless him through sharing the work of our mobile units.

When we receive Christ, everything in our lives goes beyond accepting the invitation. We become transformed and we genuinely want others to experience the unconditional love, deep joy, and life-changing grace that can only be found in our Savior. Lee Strobel committed his life through his work to sharing the life saving gift He received and we are blessed that He has agreed to join us at our 2020 Fostering Life Together Banquet as our Keynote Speaker.

We would be honored to have you join us for an evening to celebrate life in Christ that leads to choosing life for so many women we reach every day. Please register here.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

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The Pro-Life Generation
Tuesday, June 23, 2020 7:49 PM

The Pro-Life Generation

Tuesday, June 23, 2020 7:49 PM
Tuesday, June 23, 2020 7:49 PM

To truly be a force for change in the pro-life movement, we must become louder and bolder than the pro-abortion movement, and never stop praying over what we’ve been called to do. Planned Parenthood has successfully amassed billions of dollars and taken millions of lives due to their ability to rally their supporters who believe in what they do.

As the ICU Mobile Fund Development Manager, I am able to support a national effort to save the lives of babies. The way ICU Mobile approaches the pro-life initiative is not to remain still and stagnant, waiting for women to find them. Sylvia Slifko chose to question the standard model for reaching abortion-minded women. She prayed over a vision to go to the women who needed help and God sent helpers to her side to make His calling over her life a reality.

It is no longer enough to wait behind the counter for a young woman, who is facing so many pressures and so many obstacles to seek us out. Our call is to go to her so that her choice for life can be made on her own grounds and with people who are willing to show up where she is. It can be prohibitive for someone with limited resources to seek out and get to a pregnancy center. When transportation and funds are low and, perhaps, she has limited support, we can offer a glimmer of hope for her situation.

In the midst of the pro-life generation there is disruption and louder voices and more money on the other side. Let’s face it, the prospect of bringing a child into our current societal conditions isn’t exactly inspiring. We are able to share the hope of the God of the universe with women and that is the changemaker for us and for them. With God on our side, we know that our message of hope through new life is one that can take away the feeling of desperation. Women have the power to change the trajectory of the world.

God granted women the blessing of forming new life within our bodies, delivering humanity into being and raising them up into a new generation of Christ followers. When given the opportunity, this is the message we share. Their strength, their ability, their importance in sustaining a society in which we must have the hope of new life. And, they won’t do it alone. We will be the ones to walk alongside them, guiding them to the resources they need, praying over them, and loving both mother and child.

Every generation can be the pro-life generation. This is not stereotype that defines a set of people born at a certain time. Being pro-life withstands time and can be ingrained within all our hearts if we remain faithful, if we boldly speak out on the sanctity of life, and if we are willing to put our time and money into that which we believe. The pro-life generation should not be David to Planned Parenthood’s Goliath. It’s time for a role reversal. Your dollars become the stones we need to take down the giant threatening the lives of all generations.

David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” - 1 Samuel 17:45

If you’d like to save generations in the name of Christ, please click here to donate.

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Beliefs Brought to You By...
Thursday, June 11, 2020 9:12 AM

Beliefs Brought to You By...

Thursday, June 11, 2020 9:12 AM
Thursday, June 11, 2020 9:12 AM

For centuries, humans have been compelled to idolize celebrities of all kinds. Actors, producers, musicians, social media influencers, speakers, authors…we love them even though most often we don’t truly know them. With the rapid rise in actors as producers, the heart of their productions reveals more about their character than ever before.

With any documentary or series, do your homework to learn who is behind it and what their political agendas include. For example, the documentary “What the Health “is produced by Joaquin Phoenix and Keegan Kuhn. Both men are animal rights activists and Phoenix is also a supporter of PETA and has received awards for his work with them. It’s easy to see why he would create a documentary that aims to show how damaging to our health it is to eat meat.

Reese Witherspoon is one of America’s sweethearts who has played many roles about strong female characters that showcase a woman’s ability to change her circumstances and get what she wants. She’s a media darling. Women love her and respect her. She’s an actress, producer, entrepreneur, and even a mom. Now, she produces a show on Hulu that depicts her on-screen daughter’s abortion with Planned Parenthood’s brand proudly displayed in scenes witnessed by millions. Why? Because Witherspoon is pro-abortion. And her work shows it.

When we follow the careers and lives of celebrities, it’s natural to want to believe that they are just as good as the characters they play in movies. We hope that wholesome Elle Woods was created directly from the heart of Reese Witherspoon. That they are one and the same. And yet…

We must be diligent, guarding our minds by understanding what’s going on behind the curtains of the big screen. It’s not enough anymore to ask our kids “What is that movie rated?” before giving permission for them to see it. It’s no longer a question of PG or R. Now, we have to research it like a finals paper. Who is in it, what do they believe, how will their beliefs be woven into this piece of entertainment? It’s a tough time to be a Christian, a conservative, a believer in the sanctity of life.

Thankfully, not all is lost in Hollywood. We still have the likes of Chris Pratt, Kanye West, Benjamin Watson, Patricia Heaton, Tim Tebow, Justin Bieber and many others who are becoming brave enough to reveal their faith and their pro-life beliefs. Celebrities who will just as likely shout their support for life as the ones who will shout their abortions. Whether we like it or not, American celebrities have a strong impact on American minds. Choose carefully whom you will allow inside yours.

Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. Galatians 4:8

If you’d like to help us bring more hope into every community, please click here to donate.

 

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Wednesday, May 27, 2020 6:04 PM

To Be Seen

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 6:04 PM
Wednesday, May 27, 2020 6:04 PM

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

One of the greatest gifts the world has ever known was the birth of Jesus Christ. His love covers all of our insecurities, our mistakes, our misdirection’s and guides us to beautiful rivers of acceptance and forgiveness. He willingly came into our brokenness and offered the sweet salve of peace and salvation through relationship with Him. He came to us. He knew we were in need and had a plan.

ICU Mobile has a plan. A plan for women who have questions about their pregnancies, women who need understanding and who need a friend. Acting as the hands and feet of Jesus on the wheels of their mercy medical units, they also come to our world; our places where we are in need. Working with a local pregnancy center in the area, ICU Mobile finds its way to us; they heed the call. They meet us where we are in our personal journeys without any judgment, no awkward silences or disappointing glances. Only love.

I was once like so many of the women that ICU Mobile serves. Although I didn’t have a surprise pregnancy, I did have a very unplanned parenting path that included me being marginalized overnight and an ex-husband in jail. I was so young and afraid. I was embarking on a life journey that I had no way to navigate. No compass to show me the direction to go. I felt like the world was coming at me like a tsunami, and I didn’t have any life jackets for us. I didn’t have a job, or any college education. I was looking at a life that seemed to be filled with uphill battles, struggles with my children’s father, and not being able to pay the bills. When I thought of my future, I was depressed and overwhelmed. I knew that there were services out there for women like me, but I had no idea how to find them. Honestly, I didn’t have any time to try to find them. I was so busy doing life and trying to make sure the pantry was stocked with mac and cheese and peanut butter. At night, I was so physically drained and emotionally depleted I could barely keep my eyes open. I didn’t think I would be able to handle this situation.  How can I raise my children if I can’t even take care of myself?

It’s places like ICU Mobile that come and fill in the gaps. When you walk into a mobile unit, you won’t find a cold and impersonal atmosphere. You’ll find warmth of community and feel the support of relationship in a state-of-the-art capacity with certified physicians and nurses. ICU Mobile staff treats all clients with respect and dignity in their sensitive life circumstances. They understand and they are available to discuss your pregnancy questions (and provide ultrasounds), but also so many other topics that may be going through your mind. They have real answers. And, it’s not the type of answers that lead to more questions. It’s the type of answers that lead to solutions and creating a life plan that we can follow toward overcoming whatever may come our way. ICU Mobile can connect you to the organizations within your community that can support your needs from basic (like food and shelter) to more complex needs like long-term financial support and job placement. They are our advocates; they fight for us. We all need someone in our corner. I know, I did.

The name itself says it all: ICU Mobile literally means I SEE YOU. To be seen and accepted as we truly are is a beautiful thing. It tears down cultural, socioeconomic, and ethnicity walls. You are uniquely you. If you are uncertain about what to do with your pregnancy, and you want to be more than a number, more than just a face in a crowd, come be seen by ICU Mobile.

“You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” –A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

 

Shannon is the author of The Bounce-Back Woman, Ignite, and Single Moms 101. Along with being an author and speaker, Shannon is a featured contributor of Keep the Faith radio.  She also writes for Lifeway's HomeLife magazine and other various publications including as Crosswalk and iBelieve.com.  

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Product Placement: More Than Athletic Wear and Soft Drinks
Friday, May 8, 2020 11:51 AM

Product Placement: More Than Athletic Wear and Soft Drinks

Friday, May 8, 2020 11:51 AM
Friday, May 8, 2020 11:51 AM

The culture of life and how we define it, our morals, our values, our decisions around what is right and wrong, is being attacked consistently and ruthlessly. The victims aren’t even aware they are victims and they become younger by the day.

Shows and movies on streaming services are more bold than prime time TV and theater movies. They push the envelope with violence, sex, and moral values. This push translates in product placement as well. Over the years we’ve grown used to and, likely, unaffected by the brand names we see in on-screen images. From soft drinks and athletic brands, to department stores and fashion, America’s corporate giants flood our TV and movie watching with their brands and they pay to make that happen. Just like with any other ad placement, business is given the opportunity to pay to have their brand seen and heard in front of millions.

Planned Parenthood has joined the circle of corporate giants who is paying to be seen by larger audiences. Abortion is becoming an act that is commonplace in storylines featuring young women – teenagers – who wish to hide pregnancy from their parents or simply “deal with this and move forward empowered.”  Planned Parenthood is capitalizing on this trend and making sure they are the go-to, household name brand that is chosen by teens and young women across the country.

We’re no longer being lured to choose one brand of running shoes over another. We’re subliminally sold on choosing Planned Parenthood as our abortion provider of choice over the local abortion clinic. We can no longer simply shake our heads at these bold actions and bold messages.

Our ministry is focused on saving two lives. The life of the unborn child and the eternal life of the woman facing the most desperate time of her life. We would be ecstatic of we could place the ICU Mobile name on the biggest screens with the biggest celebrity names all over the country to widen the impact of our multi-faceted life-saving efforts. And yet, that’s not where we want to be. We want to be on the streets, in the neighborhoods, in the most accessible places where every woman facing an unplanned pregnancy can find us. We want to see her face-to-face and offer a kind smile, gently hold her hands while we pray with her, and see the light in her eyes when she experiences the indescribable gift of Christ and a choice for life for both her and her baby.

To us, product placement means an ICU Mobile unit in every community. To women everywhere, we want every mobile unit to be a clear and bold message of hope.

We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 1:3

If you’d like to help us bring more hope into every community, please click here to donate.

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Sunday, July 21, 2019 5:26 PM

Unplanned Isn't the Same as Unwanted

Sunday, July 21, 2019 5:26 PM
Sunday, July 21, 2019 5:26 PM

According to statistics, almost half of the pregnancies in America are unplanned. According to scripture, absolutely 100% of pregnancies are planned by God. 

 

Many women who are surprised by a positive pregnancy test continue on with the pregnancy, ready and willing to care for a baby they never expected but that they joyfully welcome. We rejoice with them as they accept that even though they may have planned on 3 children, God’s plans are almost never the same as our own. For those women who are devastated by an unplanned pregnancy, there is hope for them, too.

 

As our ministry sets out each day to reach women who have found themselves in an unthinkable situation, our prayer is to have the message and the heart that relays God’s love for them. We want to help them consider that an unexpected baby is God moving within her life for a purpose greater than what she can understand at that moment. The one thing we do know, is that purpose will eventually be revealed. Probably not that day, maybe not by the time the baby is born, but at the right time, God will make it be known to each woman the purpose He has for her and her child.

 

With the loudness of the pro-choice/pro-abortion movement, sometimes it can be difficult for some women to hear that message of hope. There are so many messages coming from the media, Planned Parenthood, and women’s rights organizations that tell women that if they didn’t plan that baby, then they shouldn’t want that baby. Our message of hope must become louder than their message of despair. 

 

Through Mary, God showed us centuries ago that even the most unlikely and undesirable circumstances of an unexpected pregnancy great blessing and prosperity can come from it. Each time we park a mobile unit in a neighborhood, and even one woman steps on board, we have confident hope that she will see just how planned and expected her baby really is. 

 

“…but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:31

 

Feeling led to support the mission of mobile ultrasound? We invite you to visit our secure donation page at https://www.icumobile.org/donate. Your financial support is an answered prayer to our team and encouragement to the women we serve. 

 

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