You Changed My Life

Written by Lindsay Guard, Life Choices Education Director

Hello!” she warmly greeted me, as I walked into a welcoming church building that also houses a school. I was on my way to teach a series of middle school presentations on the topic of healthy relationships and biblical sexuality. This is a topic I hold near to my heart, because it radically influenced my life over two decades ago when Life Choices Pregnancy Medical Center spoke in my high school health class.

“The school office is to your left.” the woman continued, and with a genuine smile, she pointed me across the hall from the church front office. Her warm brown eyes met mine. ‘She looks familiar,’ I thought as I thanked her and continued on my way. I checked in at the school office and was led upstairs, through a long hallway of classrooms, and finally to a room at the end of the hallway which had been transformed into a lounge for students. ‘How cool,’ I thought looking around at a classroom furnished with comfy couches, vibrant paint on the walls, speakers for music, a large projection screen, and what looked like an area for storing, preparing and enjoying snacks and fellowship.

The teaching staff throughout the school seemed energized and vibrant – a stark contrast from the typical public school setting I had become accustomed to observing on my way to presentations throughout my first semester on the job. I had recently left a high-paying, long-term career position to step into a position of not just success – but significance. It’s been the best decision I could’ve made.

“Hi Mrs. Guard, thank you for being here! We thought this environment might be a little more relaxed and comfortable for the students. Are you okay with this?” the lead teacher asked as she greeted me from the doorway. “Absolutely!” I said. She continued, “Make yourself at home, the students will be here in about five minutes.”

I began taking out supplies for the first series of lessons for the day as a lively, echoing sound of bustling middle school students filled the hallway. They grew louder before coming to a whispering hush at the door. Quickly and quietly, students began entering, and a surge of nervous excitement filled the room in anticipation of what was to come. ‘Holy Spirit have Your way.’ I prayed in my heart, and began sharing about our organization, getting to know each student, and sharing my testimony. The days were filled with interactive and engaging lessons on having a vision for the future, developing strategies that lead to success, honoring and setting personal boundaries, practicing refusal skills to get out of unsafe situations, forming and maintaining healthy relationships, and the importance of making choices for optimal life outcomes.

By the last day, my heart was overjoyed by the work God did in the hearts of these young ones. It’s the best part of my job and the reason I am so grateful to be part of this great work! On my way out of the building on the last day, someone shared with me that the person working at the church office used to work for Life Choices years ago. Because of this, I stopped to thank her on my way out. When our eyes met, it finally dawned on me that the reason she had originally looked familiar to me was because she was the person who spoke into my life over twenty years ago as she presented to my high school class on behalf of Life Choices. “You changed my life,” I said through welled-up tears that began streaming down my face. As we were reacquainted with memories of days long ago, I couldn’t help but think of how different my life could have ended up without her influence at such a key stage of developmental impact in my life.

I had, through the years, observed deep pain in beloved friends facing unplanned pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and heartache beyond belief – wishing they had the influence of Sexual Risk Avoidance education in their schools growing up. How grateful I am to have been a recipient of the Education Department minsitry at Life Choices, and how thankful I am that I now get to serve as our Education Director (Thank You, God!).

We may not fully grasp the tremendous impact we make on others through this life-affirming ministry. Whether it’s sowing a seed financially, praying faithfully, or sharing about our ministry with others, I want to wholeheartedly thank you for joining us in this Christ-centered, life-affirming work. Together, may all we put our hands to prosper & succeed – to the glory of our almighty Lord.