I read somewhere today that half the abortion facilities in Texas have closed in the past year. I haven’t snooped around on that number too much to verify it’s correct, but based on what I’ve been seeing for the past year, I’d say that sounds about right.
Some of those closings felt like A Big Stinkin’ Deal. They were all a big deal, but some felt closer to home than others. When I heard the facility in Bryan College Station was closing, my first reaction was disbelief. I never really thought I’d hear that news. It’s still a weird thought. I saw a picture from the Brazos Valley Coalition for Life, a picture of the Planned Parenthood sign coming down and everything, and there I was still trying to believe it was actually shut.
Sometimes I still forget it’s gone. I forget there’s a realtor’s sign hanging from the fence where pro-lifers kept vigil for so many, many hours.
Then I heard the one in Beaumont closed. Again, my first reaction was disbelief. Even when I saw those pictures, I was thinking, “Really?!? Are we sure we’re not missing something?”
Next I heard the biggest late-term abortionist in Houston, owner of two notorious facilities, was planning to shut down one of his facilities, and I confess, I still have trouble totally buying that story.
But on Monday, June 9th, I got a text from my sweet friend Katie.
Corpus Christi’s lone abortionist was shutting down.
Eduardo Aquino, a man whose name I was familiar with long before I’d ever even heard of HCL, (or, for that matter, Planned Parenthood) was closing his doors. For good.
I read that text, and I remembered kneeling outside that facility in the rain as a college student. I remembered standing outside as a pre-teen before my family uprooted and moved to Houston. I remembered marching to that facility with my parents when my younger sisters were still babies, and then I realized I didn’t even know how young I was in my first memory of that abortion facility. It just seemed like it had always been there.
And I didn’t believe it. I didn’t believe it was closing.
More specifically, I suddenly realized I didn’t believe it could be closing.
I realized that, and it pierced me to the heart.
“Isn’t this what I do every day? Try to end abortion? Isn’t this my whole career? My whole professional life? My whole goal? How can I not believe it’s possible for the thing I say I work for every day to actually happen?”
Shot full of holes.
I named my blog “Stalwart Heart” a long time ago because that’s what I wanted to be. It’s what I needed to be: a heart which “no tribulation can overcome.” People who do work like this, really any ministry work, full-time have to have that. God truly knows – there’s plenty of tribulation to go around. Many times you have to just keep flying anyway, even when you’re shot full of holes. There are many people who have done and will do this years longer than me. But no matter what length of time you serve, it takes a certain amount of mettle. And that mettle is gonna get shot through. Full. Of. Holes.
Stalwart Heart is what I have needed, and what I have needed to be.
But not forever. There is, as I have hoped for a long time, really a season for everything. Seasons change, and they have different names.
My own name is changing. I’ll go from Richardson, which I have loved, to Hanson, which I do love and will love more than I can even imagine. I thought about it a lot, and I realized I felt the blog needed to have a name change, too.
Stalwart Heart has been an amazing season. A season that grew me in ways I couldn’t have known were possible. And God’s grace answering my prayer for a stalwart heart has kept me going much, much longer than I thought possible, shot full of holes and all.
It’s just not who I’ll be anymore.
I’ve thought a lot about what kind of home I want to be.
You didn’t misread that – as my sweet Gina friend likes to remind me Venerable Fulton Sheen says: “A man is a journey, a woman is a place.”
Alex tells me that all the time, too. When we start our home together, in many ways, I am the home. So, what kind of home do I want to give my husband?
A joyful one. A peaceful one. A restful one. A nurturing one. I want our home to be an oasis for him. I want it to be a place where things are rightly ordered, where “the will of God is done, as He wishes, when He wishes, because He wishes.”
How am I going to do that?
Well, I’m not totally sure.
But, I feel more and more lately that a really good place to start would be NOT having so much disbelief when God hears and answers prayers.
Amazed gratitude, heck yes! Disbelief? Uhmmm…no.
If stuff was happening just because I tried hard, and some other peeps tried hard, and we were trying hard together, that would be pretty mind-blowing. Disbelief would be okay for that, I think.
But if I try hard, and other peeps try hard, and we try hard together, and we all PRAY LIKE CRAZY, and stuff happens…I should have known that “hope does not disappoint.” I should have known that. I should have known that when we cried out, He would hear us.
So, if I want to learn to be a good home, I need to learn to be.
Not always striving, not always fighting, not always limping along even when I’m shot full of holes. Just being. Just resting on the fact that I do my bit, and then in and around and through that, God does a whole lot more.
The seasons are changing. So is my name. So will the blog’s…but for that, you’ll have to wait a little bit longer. Just keep an eye out.