Inspiring Hope by loving people, encouraging them, helping them to become the best versions of themselves

By Melissa Ohden

Editor’s note. Melissa survived a prostaglandin abortion in 1977. She has spoken around the world, including at many National Right to Life convention, and written many articles, including for NRL News.

Inspire Hope.

This was the theme of a banquet for the Hope Pregnancy Center in Pontiac, Illinois, which I spoke at recently.

Seems fitting, considering the name of their Pregnancy Center, right?

But as I met the staff, the board, the clients, and the supporters of their ministry, I came to the realization that it was so much more than just a play on words.

It’s the mission of the ministry. It’s our mission in the pro-life movement. It’s part of my mission as a speaker and a writer—to inspire hope.

We all know what it’s like to feel hopeless at one point or another. To think that a circumstance is never going to change. That there’s no way out.

We all know what it’s like to feel alone. Like no one can understand what you’ve gone through, what you’re currently going through.

We all know what it’s like to think that your hopes and dreams for the future are unreachable. Unattainable.

As Christians, we all know what it’s like to doubt God’s continued faithfulness. To question the fact that He wants more for us and has more planned for us than we can even begin to imagine.

I think we also know what it’s like to feel unequipped to serve Him. Like we’ve made too many mistakes. Like we don’t have enough skill, enough time, enough finances to do what He’s placing on our hearts to do.

That’s fear. That’s anxiety. That’s self-doubt. That’s hopelessness.

And it’s to be expected, given the circumstances of living in this broken, broken world.

But what if, in the time of your loneliness, your time of difficulty, someone came alongside you and encouraged you? What if someone told you that no matter how hard things are right now, brighter days can come?

What if someone told you that there were people who could help you overcome your obstacles and reach your goals? Even help you reach greater ones? What if people acknowledged your strengths and encouraged you to use them, no matter how unprepared you felt for using them?

This is inspiring hope.

Speaking life into people by loving them, encouraging them, helping them to become the best versions of themselves. This is the work of not only Hope Pregnancy Center, but pregnancy centers across our nation and around the world.

This is the work of the pro-life movement. Speaking truth about life, the impact of abortion, and advocating for and implementing programs that support women and men, unborn children and families.

And yes, this is my work, too. To say that no matter how difficult life is, there’s always an opportunity with life. That love and forgiveness will transform your life and the lives you touch. That saying yes to God, serving Him, sharing your story with others changes countless lives.

We live in a world where despair runs rampant. Where people are quick to tear one another down but slow in building another up.

If you aren’t yet inspiring hope, maybe today’s the day that you can begin. You don’t have to write a book like me, but there’s always something you can do. Start by looking at your own family. Who can you love, forgive, encourage?

Is there a friend or colleague that could use a kind word? My goal each day is to reach out to at least one person and provide them encouragement.

Is there a local organization like a pregnancy center that you could volunteer some time at? Pray for? Give to?

When you inspire hope in others, a curious thing happens…that hope rebounds and resounds within you, too.

Inspire hope. Let’s do it. Together.