Working in the Valley of the Shadow of Death

A day in the life of a CompassCare Nurse

I glanced at the appointment calendar and it looked like it would be a busy afternoon. I’m grateful for my fellow nurses. Julie, who I am working with today, took the first patient back to one of the exam rooms as I sat at the reception desk, completing some data entry. A woman came into the office and I greeted her, “Welcome to CompassCare!  How can I help you?” Obviously distraught, the woman explained that she thinks her 14-year-old daughter might be pregnant. “Twenty years ago, I was pregnant and didn’t know what to do. You guys helped me so much and I’m hoping you can help her too!” She went on to say, “I think she’s planning on getting an abortion.” She began to weep and added, “She can’t do that. She will regret it for the rest of her life.”

I discovered that her daughter, Alice, was outside in the car, waiting for her mom to drive her home. I explained to Alice’s mom that I could see her right away, if Alice were willing to come in to the office.  Mom left and returned with her frightened and shaken young daughter. The pregnancy test was positive and the ultrasound displayed a healthy 6½-week-old baby. Alice hardly knew what to say but she admitted to me she felt overwhelmed. She decided to wait a week and talk with her mom before making a final decision regarding the outcome of her pregnancy.

As I escorted Alice to the door, I saw that Jillian, a patient I had last week, had arrived for her return appointment. I invited Jillian back and she happily followed me into the exam room. “How are you doing, Jillian?” I asked her. She replied, “I’m fine. I wanted to let you know that after thinking long and hard about it, I’ve decided to go forward with an abortion.” I quietly suggested a follow-up ultrasound to confirm that the pregnancy is still viable and she agreed. Jillian said very little during the exam, which revealed a tiny 8-week-old baby.

Afterwards we sat down to talk and with tears in her eyes, Jillian hung her head and said, “It’s hard, but I have to go through with the abortion.” Wanting to gently challenge her statement, I asked, “What is making that decision so hard for you.” Her reply was startling, “Well, just look at [him]. There’s a heartbeat. [He’s] alive. If I have an abortion it will be like I’m killing my own child.” Jillian shook her head, not sure how to handle the raging conflict going on inside her heart. I handed her a printed ultrasound image of her baby. She sighed, tipping her head back to rest on the wall behind her, “I guess I better take some more time and think this through.”

Ellen walked in soon after for Jillian’s appointment. After walking her back to the exam room, I inquired mildly, “What has brought you into CompassCare today?” Ellen replied, “Well, I’m pregnant and I just can’t have a baby right now. Also…the father of the baby is forcing me to have an abortion.” After talking with Ellen about her situation, I performed an ultrasound. Ellen was well into her second trimester and significantly further along than she originally thought. She was overwhelmed by the image she saw on the monitor, seeing a heart, spine, nose, fingers, and toes. After a few minutes, Ellen finally spoke, “I’m scared and alone and I don’t know what to do.” I assured her that she had come to the right place and shared several valuable resources with her, including a church she could connect with in her neighborhood for much needed support.

Finally, I explained to Ellen that God loved her and provided a way for her to know Him through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. Ellen eagerly took my hand as she prayed to receive Christ as her Savior. At the close of the appointment, Ellen wiped away tears and said, “I’m so glad I came. I needed to hear what you had to say today!”

Alice took the week, talked with her mom, and returned to CompassCare declaring that she was not going to abort, but carry her baby to term, saying “I feel so much better now!” I called Jillian for a follow-up and she informed me that she is still pregnant and that she would most likely continue her pregnancy. I also spoke with Ellen a week after her appointment and she has reached out to several of the referrals CompassCare gave her. She joyfully informed me that she is now planning to parent!

2 comments on “Working in the Valley of the Shadow of Death”

  1. Jody McRonald Reply

    I am so grateful for the work that the Lord can and is doing through all of you at Compass Care……Thank you so much for sharing these amazing testimonies!!! Praise be to God!

  2. Michele H. Egan-Sturtevant Reply

    Hi , after reading the article I realized how ignorant I was about compass care. Wow! You have 2 nurses on duty at one time and actual “appointments”! People here in Rochester really rely on compass care! that’s wonderful because compass care is pro-life!
    The article was easy to read for me so I received the point of the title right off the bat. Thank you compass care. Thank you for helping to care for the young and older pregnant woman in our community- God takes care of you and you take care of pregnant people that have it in their minds that they “just might have an abortion.

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