Kristina Nicole Newbauer

She walked into the crisis pregnancy center. Beneath her tough exterior, she was timid.

“I need a pregnancy test,” she said when she finally made eye contact with me. I sat with her as we waited for the test results. They were positive. She started to cry, her body shaking as she tried to catch her breath.

“I can’t do this,” she pleaded. I sat quietly, not wanting to interrupt all that was stirring in her heart. “I can’t have this baby,” she sobbed. She took a deep breath. “I was raped.” She stared straight into my eyes with a look of desperation and hopelessness.

I realized that God had allowed our paths to cross for a reason. I looked at her with every ounce of compassion I could muster and said, “It’s OK to be scared.”

I had given her permission to grieve, and she cried harder. She opened up about her fears and her concerns about raising her baby. Offering hope isn’t about having the perfect words. It’s about sharing the gift of yourself by just being there.

I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. . . . I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling.
1 Corinthians 2:1b, 3 (NRSV)



THINK ABOUT IT: How would you offer comfort to a friend in a similar situation? How would you want a friend to help you?

—from devozine (May/June 2011). Copyright © 2011 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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