This summer, I was in
at the first ever Prolife Women’s Conference. There were over 500 amazing women there from all walks of life and I had the privilege of getting to know many of them. I’ve been to so many conferences (mainly writing conferences), I consider myself an “introduction pro” at this point. What does it take to be a pro at introducing yourself? Dallas
It goes something like this.
“Hi, I want to meet you,” I say and introduce myself to a total stranger.
In any other setting, this would be creepy, but at a conference it just breaks the ice and everybody gets to know each other.
So, I was going around shaking hands, getting to know the ladies and the number one question I wanted to ask was “Why are you here?”
Everybody at a prolife women’s conference has a heartfelt story to share . . . and every story I heard made a profound impact on me.
Getting to know people makes conferences a party. The first writing conference I went to in
, I remember thinking, “Ok, Laura. You’ve left your family, paid thousands of dollars to be here, you better make this worth it.” New York City
At times it was challenging, putting myself out there. Remember the three steps:
These things can be exhausting, especially if someone thinks you’re weird, but once I start with these three steps, everything works out.
So, I was asking the women at the prolife women’s conference,“Why are you here?”
Everybody had a story.
Some women volunteered at pregnancy centers, others were involved in politics. I met researchers and policy makers. I met women who regretted their abortion and women horrified at what abortion did to children and women. If I could write every story I heard, it would make an incredible collection. I instantly loved every woman I met because no one goes to an event like this for themselves. They go for a bigger cause. They go to do something amazing.
After getting to know a few people, I found the cards turned when finally, someone asked me, “Why are you here?”
Why am I here? I had to dig deep for the answer.
At first, I wanted to say, “I’m a writer.” Yes, I’m a writer looking for an angle, a writer who has a mother who’s been writing about the unborn for over 30 years. It's only natural I'm a writer. A writer is a title with a bit of clout. Yes, I was there because I am a writer, but it was more than that.
“I’m passionate about the unborn.” Yes, that had a better feel. I am passionate about protecting children, any and every unborn child should have a chance at life. But many people care about children? Why did I care about children in such a way that I would leave my family and spend thousands of dollars to be here?
That’s when I found the answer, and I was so very happy to share it.
“I’m here because when I was 42, I had a baby,” I said, and as I spoke my voice cracked.
Canyon and I setting up shop at Merchant Square. He's my best little buddy.
“He is the best thing that every happened to me. I'm here to represent him.”
No, I didn’t have a badge or a title from an organization. I wasn’t involved in a daily outreach. I didn’t have an agenda. I had a baby.
Throughout the conference, I became very comfortable with my answer. “I’m here because I have a baby,” and the more times I said it, the more I loved my cause. It was enough.
“I have a baby who completely changed my life.”
I’m not sure if it’s because I used that one-liner so many times or because I love the answer, but lately I find myself asking the question “Why are you here?” I might be helping my kids with homework or attempting to make a healthy dinner.
Why are you here?
Because I love my family.
Because my family deserves healthy food.
Because I love being a mom.
Because trying, even if I fall short, makes me happy.
I’ve been running for a few months. Some days I love it while other days, not so much.
Why are you here?
Because I want to be strong.
Because I love my body.
Because running pushes myself to do hard things.
I know talking about abortion makes some people uncomfortable. I would never want to push friends away because of politics, but to me, abortion isn’t political. It’s just, I had this baby . . . and I love him so much.
I want every woman to know their baby is just as special, that if they give their baby a chance they will know what I know . . . that a baby is more valuable, more life-changing and more important than anything else in life.
Having a baby is hard and messy. Some days, I wonder how I’m going to do it, but I have this internal motivation deep in my heart that will never burn out. It tells me my baby is worth it, that I will never regret raising my baby and that in his smile, in his laughter, I’ve found my greatest joy.
Why am I here?