As a freshman in college, I found myself pregnant. And I truly believed my life was OVER! This thought became a self-fulfilling prophecy as I discarded the 7-year plan that I’d created for myself, thinking of it as nothing more than words on a sheet of filler paper. In my mind, each rung of the ladder on the way down felt like the ultimate setback: dropping out of college, facing shame and judgment from friends, disappointing my parents and sisters, disappointing myself, and above all, believing that I’d disappointed God. As a cradle Catholic, I knew I’d messed up big time! The enemy was having a party and I was the guest of honor. He was telling me that I would never recover, and I was listening. However, God had other plans. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20 literally defines my journey that has ultimately led to me working at the Pregnancy Aid Clinic as Director of Operations and Client Care.
My mission with PAC began six years ago, when I started as a volunteer at the Hapeville clinic. At that time, I was enrolled at Catholic University working on my Master’s in Social Work and going through a divorce after 32 years of marriage. I was an auto-pilot but found comfort and support at PAC, the same comfort and support that the staff gives its clients. I loved everything about being at the Pregnancy Aid Clinic, from advocating, to organizing the boutique, to the staff. I loved being in an environment with genuine, God-loving folks, where daily prayer and speaking of the goodness of our Lord was the norm. I did not realize at that time that God was preparing me for something bigger and better, and that He was using my setback as a set-up for my comeback. I just knew that I was supposed to share my experience of being a teen mom – the good and the not-so-good – with clients, and that I would affect lives of the clients, especially clients who were abortion-minded. Whereas as a teen mom I was judged for having a child out of wedlock (You intended to harm me…), sharing my testimony with clients at PAC offered proof of God’s grace and affected clients such they many had a change of heart from wanting an abortion to choosing to have their baby (but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives).
In May 2018, I proudly checked-off two accomplishments from the 7-year plan that I created when I was eighteen: I graduated with my Master’s in Social Work, and three days later, I landed my dream job as Director of Operations and Client Care at the Pregnancy Aid Clinic! My meeting regarding employment with former #CEOextraordinaire, Marla Brown, left me speechless, primarily because the events that were unfolding in my life were confirmation of an encounter that I’d had with the Holy Spirit three years prior.
Recently, I read the stats of a 2017 Gallup Poll that says only 15% of people love their job. I’m so grateful to be a part of that minority! As Director of Operations and Client Care, I utilize my training as a Social Worker as well as my innate ability to connect and empathize with others. What’s more, what started as an unplanned, untimely, or what many termed an “unwanted” pregnancy prepared me to find happiness and my calling at the Pregnancy Aid Clinic. Whether I am advocating, accompanying a client in the ultrasound room, or praying with staff for abortion-determined clients, I recognize that my journey has come full circle, and that what The Enemy intended to harm me, God intended for good. My goal is to continue to grow in my spirituality, and to use every resource that God has provided to save lives and to enhance human well-being.
I am thankful that I can share my personal story with clients of how God has shown up and shown out in my life! If we think about it, we all have a story and have had very personal encounters with the Holy Spirit. We need only to be still and to listen. God’s Word and His promises are the reason that I chose life for my now 35-year old daughter, the best decision I could have ever made! God has a plan for us all, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). Hindsight being 20/20, when I wondered how I endured “the saddest and most troublesome times in my life,” I know now that it was that God was carrying me! #FootprintsInTheSand
Michele is such a wonderful asset to PAC. She attends Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Atlanta and lives her faith. She has been blessed with 2 children and 2 grandchildren! God is good.