For mine and Abby’s entire marriage, our motto has been “make it work.” We both had jobs, and we were usually able to keep up with the bills, but there were some tough times when we had to work a little harder to “make it work”. With a little help from our families, we were pretty good at taking care of ourselves. In fact, Abby had a habit of being a little too charitable, and was constantly helping others, even if it put us in a bit of a bind. There was one time though, when the tables were turned, and we had to rely on strangers to help us out. For me, it was a hard lesson in releasing control, and having faith that God would provide through others.
When Abby left Planned Parenthood, the sigh of relief didn’t last as long as you might think. Sure, she was out and I was happy. She was the happiest I had seen her in a long while, but now we were down to 1 paycheck. It was my paycheck, and it was a teacher’s paycheck. Not the greatest situation for family of 3 that was already maxed out on bills.
For years, the people outside Abby’s clinic were constantly telling her they could find her another job. So, when Abby decided to leave, it was time for them to put up or shut up. I had absolutely zero relationship with these people, good or bad. As far as I knew they were responsible for all the hate mail and death threats we had gotten. So you can probably imagine how I felt about letting these people take care of Abby during our transition. I was a bit pretty apprehensive.
I didn’t know what kind of job Abby’s new friends were trying to find for her. I wasn’t getting to spend as much time with the Coalition For Life folks as Abby was. She would come home in a great mood and talk about her day with her new friends. As happy as I was for her, my primary question was, “How’s the job search going?” I just could not let it go. I didn’t know if they were going to take care of Abby the way they said they would. I didn’t know how to trust people we considered the “enemy” for so long.
Don’t get me wrong folks, I was still very excited for Abby. I was enjoying our new conversations. It was very exciting to look at what was going on and see the divine intervention that was taking place. We were visiting new churches and meeting new people. But I still couldn’t shake that it was on US to make sure we landed on our feet.
I had no faith in anyone around me. That was until I had a very eye opening conversation with my sister. It had been several days since Abby had left Planned Parenthood. My sister and I are pretty close and I hadn’t kept her up to date. So we were having our usual check in and say hello conversation. My sister is pro life and always has been, so she was super excited about the whole thing. I told her how stressed I was about how we were going to find Abby work and handle the transition. What she said next, I will never forget. My sister told me to relax and trust in God. She said that we were doing His will and following Him. God honors faithfulness. I needed to let go and let Him take care of it.
We talked a little longer and hung up. The more I thought about her words the better I started to feel. I could feel the burden starting to lift off my shoulders. All of the sudden my mood was much better. I was able to go home and know that everything would be okay. Relearning to trust in God was going to be a challenge considering we were on the Abby and Doug plan for so long. God, speaking to me through my sister, was exactly what I need to prepare me for what was to come. It was time to let go of my own ideas of how, what, when, where, who, and how. Now I needed to just sit back and let everything just happen.
The next few days were awesome. I was able to get to know Shawn Carney and the Coalition crew more and more. Shawn had an excitement about him. One that I am sure came from his faith. I could also tell that he wanted to do right by Abby and make sure we were taken care of. It was good to know that I wasn’t the only person that wanted to take care of Abby.
When Planned Parenthood went public with Abby’s story, little did we know the crazy ride we were about to embark upon. We had no idea where things were headed at that point. Like it or not, we were going to need all the support we could get. I guess it was a good thing God revealed to me that I needed to relax and trust Him and our new friends. After all, it’s probably safe to say that none of this was ever my plan.
Solara: You know, you say you’ve been walking for thirty years, right?
Solara: Have you ever thought that maybe you were lost?
Solara: Well, how do you know that you’re walking in the right direction?
Eli: I walk by faith, not by sight.
Solara: [sighs] What does that mean?
Eli: It means that you know something even if you don’t know something.
Solara: That doesn’t make any sense.
Eli: It doesn’t have to make sense. It’s faith, it’s faith. It’s the flower of light in the field of darkness that’s giving me the strength to carry on. You understand?
Solara: Is that from your book?
Eli: No, it’s, uh, Johnny Cash, Live at Folsom Prison.
Denzel Washington and Mila Kunis in The Book of Eli