Finding Answers at the Foot of the Cross


Mary Schaad // Tales From the Trenches

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June 16  

As a mother, I sometimes feel like a failure if I do not have all the answers, whether it is a homework question or what to do when one of my autistic sons is having a meltdown. My maternal instincts are supposed to kick in, and I am supposed to be able to fix things (although in those situations I am usually looking around for another adult to step in and take charge).

A few weeks ago, God gave me a gentle reminder that a lot of the time I am not going to have all the answers, nor am I supposed to have all the answers. God spoke to me in the form of a scared woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. It was a Wednesday morning, and I was volunteering as the receptionist at Birth Choice Pregnancy Center in Dallas when the young woman came in. Normally I do not have much more interaction with the clients than taking their temperature and checking them in. As per usual, I did not do anything more for this woman, but I did notice the clear look of distress on her face. The counselor took her back to a room, and I did not think much more about it until much later when I saw her leaving—less distressed, but in tears. 

After she left, the counselor told me that the woman was upset and scared, and that their conversation was very strained. Eventually the counselor asked if she was a Christian, and after the woman replied that she was Catholic, the counselor led her to the Eucharistic chapel which is conveniently located in the office area. The counselor continued that they both first sat in the back, then the woman went up to the front to pray. It was there that she began to cry. It was in that moment the counselor realized that the woman did not need free diapers, parenting classes, or advice—she just needed Jesus. When the counselor could not find the answers, she brought her right to the foot of the cross, to the one who could give the answers. This woman just needed to put her head on Christ’s chest and to hear him say, “It’s all right, I’m still here.”

I am not undermining the importance of the counseling and resources offered at pregnancy centers, but this situation did remind me that it is not up to us humans to have all the answers, nor are we supposed to. It was a beautiful reminder of what we need and what is important. Taking this situation back home to my life as a mother helps me to turn to Jesus when I need answers or comfort and to teach my children to do the same.

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