Merry Christmas! This year we have had the privilege of witnessing some amazing stories in the lives of the clients we serve – stories like Elizabeth’s, a young woman we had the opportunity to serve. Elizabeth’s story is a shining example of the difference The Hope Center is making in the lives of young women, men, and babies in High Country:

“For most of my life, I never dated. I used to joke that because I was inexperienced with that kind of love, I’d probably get pregnant in my first relationship. Well, two months into it, my self-prescribed prophecy came to light. My mother and friends assured me that the chances were slim considering the preventive measures I’d taken. However, when my cycle was off, I knew. The five home pregnancy tests were simply a formality.
I was pregnant, and I was terrified.

My whole self-reacted. I couldn’t have a baby. I was careful. I’d only ever been with one person. This would ruin my life. When I told my partner, he was even more scared and convinced we couldn’t do it. “We’re too young to be parents,” were his first words. At ASU Health Services, my pregnancy was confirmed for a sixth time. I cried and shared my fears with the doctor. That’s when she told me about HOPE. She said that no matter what I decided to do, I needed to find out how far along I was, and that HOPE gave free ultrasounds to women.

A week later, my baby’s father sat in the waiting room while I went in for the appointment. I cried more while talking with the staff, and I spent a lot of time trying to process and gather all the information I could.

By the time I left, I felt like I had their unconditional support. I was still confused about what was right for me, but I knew I had to come to that decision on my own. I put the folder that HOPE gave me with my pregnancy confirmation, the pictures of my six-week-old embryo, the small pack of prenatal vitamins, and the information about my options in a box on my desk and gave myself two weeks to make a decision.

At the end of a tumultuous and difficult three weeks, I decided to have the baby. For reasons that I still don’t fully understand, I let go of my fear and put faith in myself and my situation. Going through with the pregnancy was the hardest decision I have ever made, but I don’t regret it. It is incredibly important to remember that people who come through HOPE are facing one of the most challenging experiences of their lives.
Many things could go so terribly wrong or so terrifically right.

I am lucky. My situation has turned out well. The father of my child now assures me of his love for me and our soon-to-be-born baby boy. My family is supportive. My financial situation, though difficult, is manageable. My mental health and well-being have greatly improved from when I found out I was pregnant, and I have more belief every day that I’ll have a happy, healthy, little family that I never thought I wanted.

However, many women are not so lucky. They endure difficulties that far exceed mine or are unable to make the same decision that I made.
Regardless of the strong opinions surrounding the pregnancy options women consider, a considerate approach is essential.

What meant the most to me when I came to HOPE was that I never felt like the staff would judge me. If I had chosen not to keep my baby, I would have needed just as much, or more, compassionate support.

Sometimes it feels like hate, confusion, and unwillingness to compromise permeate our society; but I know that love—and the understanding, kindness, and empathy that come along with it—is absolutely the most necessary catalyst for HOPE.”

What an honor it has been for us to walk this part of Elizabeth’s journey with her! In looking towards 2019 I am filled with optimism and eagerness as we anticipate the women and men that God will bring through our doors for us to love, serve, and share hope with. Thank you for giving so generously and sustaining this ministry. It is through your generous giving that we can continue. Please consider contributing towards our end of year goal so that we can start 2019 off on a strong foundation and reach more women with unplanned pregnancies in the High Country.

With Warm Regards,
Molly Petrey
Executive Director