Staff Series: Life-Giving Choices

Choices. Who doesn’t like choices? The word itself has become a huge part of what we expect as a society today. We want choices when it comes to our clothes, our vehicles, our entertainment, our homes, our medical providers, even our food preferences. Choices are available to us no matter our economic status.

Then there’s the whole line of clichés. Make wise choices. Make good choices. Make the right choices. Life itself is full of choices. Sometimes there can be so many choices that we become overwhelmed. Knowing what the right choice is can be difficult.

That’s why Choices Clinic is here for our community. It goes much deeper than a crisis pregnancy center. Our goal at Choices Clinic is to help others make life-giving choices that honor God. From the local high school student learning about STI education and abstinence, to the expectant mother weeping in the counseling room… we are praying for them to hear God’s voice. We are partnering with them.

Recently, I was counseling a client whose intake paperwork stated that she desired a closer walk with God. That gave me the opportunity to share the love of Jesus with her. She then made the choice to accept Christ as her savior. What a privilege to be the one to pray with that client!

I have also had the honor of counseling expectant mothers who were so scared; abortion seemed to be their only choice. However, after presenting them with true choices and educational material, they chose life.

I want you to know that although our supporters are not physically present while this work is taking place, they are a vital part of this work. This ministry would not exist without you – our supporters, donors, and partners. You have a part of this beautiful ministry – this ministry that strives to empower people to make life-giving choices.

– Delora

Staff Series: One Life At A Time

She was 17 years old. She was scared, ashamed, nervous and confused, yet she had feelings of excitement and joy. It was difficult to explain all the mixed emotions that were running rampant through her mind.

She was pregnant.

Being a mother held huge responsibilities but also huge blessings. What would she do? How would she do it? Why did this have to happen? What would her parents think? What would other people think? Was it ok to be excited at a time like this, a time when it feels like your life is being turned upside down? When you know that you are too young and too inexperienced at life for yourself and now you have a new life to be responsible for?

What choice would she make? So many whats, so many hows, so many whys.

This particular young, scared, but very brave mom chose LIFE…. And it was MY life she chose. I am forever thankful for the choice that she made.

My name is Jonna, and I am the Client Services Coordinator here at Choices Clinic. At Choices, we often encounter young women who have a similar story as my mom’s. I admire the bravery and strength that my mom exhibited, despite the difficulty of her circumstances. I am appreciative of the people in her life who encouraged her, supported her, and loved her during a very scary, uncertain time in her life.

My heart’s desire is to be here to help, to encourage, and to love the young women who come through our doors. I want to be an advocate for them just like someone was there for my mom.

These young women’s situations may differ, but often the emotions are the same. They come in scared, confused, embarrassed, and afraid. They need a listening ear and a caring heart, and that is exactly what we want to be for them. We want to hear their story. We want to listen to them. We want to get to know them. We want to help them sort out all the whats, hows, and whys by sharing information and truths with them. We want to build relationships.

Moreover, our relationship doesn’t end with them as soon as they make their choice. We don’t abandon the relationships formed with young moms after they choose life for their child, leaving them alone to figure it out on their own. We don’t stop loving and caring for the young girl who believed the lies of the enemy. Our mission and our purpose is to share biblical truths and Christ’s love to all that come through our doors. We want them to know the hope, grace, and forgiveness that Jesus offers to us all.

At Choices, we offer a variety of services. Our goal is that those scared, confused, young women will come through our doors and experience Christ like love and care while they are here. That their life will be changed from when they first walked through our doors. That they will feel loved and valued. That they will be empowered. It starts with trust as relationships are built. Only then can information be shared and women can be empowered. That is where real change takes place.

I am thankful to be part of God’s work here at Choices… helping to make a difference, one life at a time.

Staff Series: More Than Diapers

Hi, Brittany here! Thanks for tuning in to our new blog series! If there is one message that I would like to get out to the community about Choices Clinic, it is that we are SO much more than the “free diaper” place. Don’t get me wrong: free diapers, clothes, and other baby items are a big part of our Material Assistance Program through which our clients can earn baby items by attending group classes on various topics to help them through the pregnancy. Just last year, our clients earned over 250 baby items through this program! Donations made by churches that hold baby showers for us and individuals who donate items are greatly appreciated because our clients are definitely blessed by this ministry.

However, in the past 3 years that I have worked here, I have seen God work in tremendous ways! From providing the funding which allowed us to add medical services, to opening the door for us to teach at a local high school, and EVERYTHING in between, God is growing this ministry! I feel like I could ramble all day (and I probably will if you call me) about how we are not only giving out free diapers here at Choices. In fact, we’re not even “just” saving babies; we are transforming families by supporting the women through any situation they may face during their pregnancy and beyond as well as reaching the men through our new Male Mentoring Program. We are leading people to the redeeming, healing love our Savior Jesus Christ offers us. We are educating our community youth on the physical and emotional damage that sexual relationships and pornography causes.

So, you see, Choices is SO much more than the “free diaper” place! God has provided the “A-team” staff for such a time as this and we are SO excited to see how God will bless this ministry in the next few years. We are constantly seeking creative ways to reach potential clients, and we want to become the FIRST choice in our community for anyone who needs help making “life choices.” If you are looking for an organization to plug into, pray about plugging into Choices! We would love to have you partner in transforming lives in our community!

Staff Series: Beauty in the Blah

Hi everyone! Hmmm, that didn’t sound too Southern of me. Let’s try this again.

Hey y’all!

There, that’s better.

Let me introduce myself. I’m Mackenzie Hurt, the Administrative Assistant here at Choices Clinic. I like to think of myself as a small-town-Southerner-in-training. I’m a Virginia native who moved to Southern Mississippi for my husband’s work a year ago. Since then, I’ve become integrated in the downtown Laurel community, and found myself volunteering at Choices Clinic as a client advocate. Before long, the position for Administrative Assistant became available, and I eagerly accepted the job.

Our latest endeavor here at Choices is to blog on our supporter site to key you in on what happens here at Choices. And it just so happens I was chosen to kick off this “staff series” of blog posts. Heavens knows why!? Kidding, blogging is one of my favorite pastimes. Here at Choices, we want to share life’s happenings with you – whether that’s a client testimony, an event Choices is involved in, or a lesson learned through the everyday tasks at the office. There is beauty to be found in the good, the bad, and the blah.

As of late, I’ve been thinking about how God has gifted us each differently. When you work at a non-profit, no matter what your “title” is, you have the privilege of wearing all sorts of different hats. For instance, I’m the Administrative Assistant. That means I answer phones, reply to e-mails, make more spreadsheets than I care to admit, and do my best to keep the office in order. But I’ve also had the opportunity to teach at Laurel’s local public high school on boundaries and self-care, build relationships with clients at our Empowerment series, and interact with local college students at JCJC dorm meetings.

At times, these different roles feel exciting and important. Teaching at a high school is a prime example. I was fearful of public speaking, but given the significance and timeliness of the topic of boundaries and self-care, I pushed past my fear and shared my experiences and life lessons with Laurel’s high school students. But at other times, some of the tasks can feel mundane, and, to be brutally honest, insignificant. Shredding paper? Taking out the trash? Ordering more envelopes?

I’m here to tell you something: all work is God’s work. God gave us gifts in order to create, and we are made in His image, the greatest Creator of all time! It’s our joy to create as we live out our callings. In his book Every Good Endeavor, Timothy Keller states “work of all kinds, whether with the hands or the mind, evidences our dignity as human beings – because it reflects the image of God the Creator in us” (48). Though our gifts and talents and creations may look different, they all play a role and matter in God’s kingdom.

So whether I’m entering data on a spreadsheet or meeting with a woman who is facing an unplanned pregnancy, I am encouraged by the truth that it is all kingdom work and brings glory to God.