I am a routine person; schedules, calendars and lists guide my life. In fact, spontaneity is not a word any of my friends would use to describe me. Hold on to that thought.
One Sunday, my eyes fell upon an ad in the Church bulletin announcing a new mentoring program offered by Catholic Charities. The program matched volunteer women with young girls who had chosen life and were struggling to raise their babies while going to school and learning parenting skills. The ad hung on my refrigerator for weeks. I worked full time, most of the time 50-55 hours a week and I was all but drained when I got home. Every time I saw the ad hanging in plain sight, it gnawed at me. Should I step out of my comfort zone a bit and add something new? Could I find time for this? This was not on my schedule and what did I have to offer a young girl any way; I was the mother of two grown sons.
One day, I felt an urge to dial the number. Within a few minutes, I found myself speaking to the woman in charge of the Mentoring Program. Listening to the need for mentors and hearing her describe the program and what was expected of a mentor, I knew it was something I wanted to do. I attended a training session and within a few weeks, I met a teenage girl with a precious baby daughter around 9 months old. They lived in a 4-plex apartment building owned by Catholic Charities and, with the help of the organization, were trying to find their way, just the two of them.
For a year and a half, they were part of my life. I visited them every week and we talked about what she was doing and her future plans. She would ask my advice on life issues and as our relationship grew, so did my respect for her. She could have made other decisions, but she chose life! I reminded her often of the strength I saw in her and how inspiring it was to see someone of her age respect the gift of life for what it is, a gift from God. The two of them were each other’s world and the love they shared was precious.
Eventually, she got her GED, transitioned out of the mentoring program and moved. I still have a framed picture of them and pray that they are doing well. I will never forget them. Funny thing, during the discernment process, I thought what did I have to offer a young girl with a baby. Never did I consider what would they have to offer me. I saw a young lady, with all the uncertainties about her future, be certain about two things. She was a Daughter of God and the life that grew inside her was HIs gift. Knowing this, there was only one thing she could do. She Chose Life!