Odessa's Story

Written by Sharlene Nystrom on Tuesday, 31 January 2012.

I would like to share this story with you because it shows that miracles do happen and that God does hear and answer prayer.

In late June, Lethbridge and District Pro-life received a call from a young, single mom of two who was very upset. She had just found out she was pregnant again. Although she loved both her children very much she didn't see how it was possible to care for another child alone. She was already working two jobs to support her and her children. She felt stuck, alone, and scared. She felt that abortion was her only option. She agreed to talk with our social worker, my friend Maaike. Several phone calls followed throughout that week; she was very emotional, unsure of what to do, and not open to meeting. Maaike asked if she would talk to me since I had been in a somewhat similar situation and was adopted myself but she declined this as well. All of us were very concerned, hoping and praying for a positive turnout.

After about a week of contact the young woman, whom I will call Odessa, called Maaike and said her mind was made up. "I know I will regret it," she said, "but I have decided to have an abortion." We were hurting for Odessa and her pre-born child and felt so helpless. What to do now? We kept praying for guidance, though it was hard to not be discouraged.

A few days later, on my way into Lethbridge, I felt the overwhelming need go to a store that was completely out of the way. I had prayed for direction but it made no sense. I knew that Odessa worked at one of these stores in town but I had no idea which one—there are about seven of them in town. I walked in with my kids, feeling foolish and doubting my former thoughts. I looked closely at every girl working, wondering "Is this her?" Then I heard “Odessa to cash” ring over the loudspeaker. From the corner of my eye I saw the girl I had just passed walk to the front of the store! Shaking, I headed to the front counter but when we got there, the girl was gone. Purchases in hand, we headed out to the van. I sat there for about 10 minutes feeling helpless. This was clearly an answer to prayer... but now what? Confused, I finished my errands and went home with a racing mind. I guess I was being taught to stop thinking that I could solve this on my own, and being shown that I was merely being used as a tool. And so I prayed for more direction.

Shortly after arriving home my mom stopped by unexpectedly with a grocery gift card. She knew nothing about what was going on but now I not only had a reason to go back to the store, but also a gift to show our support.

The next afternoon we had a wedding to attend but left early to first stop by the store.  Once again doubt filled my heart. Would she even be there? And what was I going to say? As we drove up I immediately saw her on till with another woman. There was a large number of customers in line. Despite my shaking legs I walked in and headed to the card department to try think of what to say. My heart pounded in my ears and all I could think was “What time I am afraid, I will put my trust in Thee” (Psalm 56:3).  As I walked to the counter, everyone was gone except Odessa.  I put down the gift card and tried not to panic. "Just the card?" she asked. My hands were also shaking now. "Actually no," I replied and asked her if her name was Odessa. I went on to tell her I was friends with Maaike and that we had been praying for her and how I had heard her name called the day before. Tears came to her eyes and she stared at me like I wasn't real. I handed her the gift card and said we would do anything we could to help her. "I believe everything happens for a reason," I concluded. She was nearly speechless. "So do I," she managed to say and thanked me. I turned and left. I got in the van and cried with amazement. Once again, God answered prayer and now there was nothing to do but wait and pray more.

For almost a month I heard nothing and it felt as though I was carrying around a large weight, until I received a voice message on my phone: "This is Odessa. I am just calling to say thank you. Please call me."  I immediately called her back... to hear the best news imaginable. She was keeping her baby! Odessa explained that she had an abortion booked and then I had come into the store. Also, a couple days later her sister had a miscarriage. "How could I possibly do this to my baby?" she said. I was overjoyed and thankful, and reassured her that we were going to be there for her every step of the way. Soon afterwards we met again and have many times since. We quickly became friends and I was thrilled when I got to attend the ultrasound appointments. How amazing to see an ultrasound of a living baby who was scheduled to be killed!

At the time of writing Odessa's baby boy is due in a week... Nothing short of a miracle!

Comments (1)

  • Johanna A.

    Johanna A.

    15 November 2012 at 07:57 |
    God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform;
    He plants His footsteps in the sea, And rides upon the storm.

    Deep in unfathomable mines, Of never failing skill
    He treasures up His bright designs, And works His sovereign will.

    Ye fearful saints. Fresh courage take; The clouds you so much dread
    Are big with mercy, and shall break In blessings on your head.

    Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, But trust Him for His grace;
    Behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face.

    His purposes will ripen fast, Unfolding ever hour;
    The bud may have a bitter taste, But sweet will be the flow’r.

    Blind unbelief is sure to err, And scan His work in vain;
    God is His own interpreter, And He will make it plain.

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