I found this quote from a Martin Luther King, Jr. sermon,
“Only when it is dark enough can you see the stars”
I immediately thought about the challenging situations that have affected many of you, the Claris family, in the last few months. Loved ones passing away unexpectedly from heart attack, suicide, and fentanyl overdose. Children experiencing mental health crises and addiction. A few weeks ago, we collectively watched a football player collapse on national TV, and within minutes people around the nation joined hands and prayed for a player they have never met. These difficult moments make us more aware of the fragility and preciousness of life, and they also have the power to bring us closer together. As Dr. King phrased it, they help us see the stars, the hope that is present during the dark times. But what about an unexpected pregnancy?
I was recently speaking with a couple whose decision to continue their unintended pregnancy resulted in a job loss and the severing of some friendships. I could see hurt on their faces, especially when they said: “if we’d chosen abortion, we’d still have a job and these friendships.” Whether we realize it or not, our response to the news of an unexpected pregnancy sends a message that can be encouraging and life-giving or discouraging and even damaging. While these messages are often unintentional, they are deeply felt by those who are wrestling with or walking out these pregnancy decisions.
In this case, actions directed at this young couple suggested that her visibly growing belly, their baby, was a problem. For them, coming to Claris Health was a breath of fresh air. They were able to get an appointment immediately and to see that this pregnancy was a viable, healthy baby boy. Even more importantly, our medical and support team asked how they were feeling, what options they were considering, and how we could help. This hopeful response, with the support of families, allowed them to also be excited about their future regardless of the many challenges that were still ahead of them.
I ask you to please consider taking the next step with us in 2023. Volunteer. Give. Share. But most importantly, if you engage someone that is in an unexpected pregnancy ask yourself, “how can I help?” How can I respond in a way that does not force people to feel as if they must choose between their life and the life of their child. Let’s speak hope over their futures and wrap our arms around them in support.
Taltha Phillips, CEO