Liz Miller, youth minister at St. Justin the Martyr and mother of four, delivered a resounding message of hope tonight for our keynote. She shared her testimony about when her water broke unexpectedly at 21 weeks with her third child. While Liz was in the hospital, her doctor said to her “I just want to make sure that you want to go on and try to bring this baby into the world.” Her son, Ezekiel (meaning “God will strengthen”) had a 15% chance of survival. He would probably have severe complications, but ignorance was bliss. Without hesitation, Liz and her husband responded with “Duh, yes, of course we do!”
Ezekiel was born at 27 weeks and five days and is thriving now at four years old. Their fourth baby, Stanley, was also born a few weeks early. When one of Stanley’s NICU nurses heard about Ezekiel’s story and saw how healthy he is now, she asked if she could borrow him to prove to doctors that kids like him should be given a chance to live!
What does it mean to be pro-life?
When we think of the words pro-life, most of us immediately think about being against abortion. But being pro-life is so much more than that. If you are pro-life, you have to stand up for the dignity of every person, from conception to natural death. If you are pro-life, you need to treat everyone as Christ would – help the poor, befriend the immigrant, don’t objectify people, take care of the elderly, stand up against the death penalty.
Why did God create you NOW?
The same God that created the stars, mountains, and oceans created you to be present here and now. Have you ever asked him why? Why he created you for this present time? Your life has a greater purpose than you could ever fathom. Knowing that your life has great purpose means that you are proactively seeking out what that purpose is. In order to do that, you should spend time in prayer, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the gifts He has given you, ask for understanding, seek knowledge, and sit in the wonder and awe of the gift that your life is. Before we moved into adoration, Liz challenged us to think about how we are going to choose to lay our lives down for the pro-life movement. Our God made you for something great; have the courage to pursue what that greatness is.
Be sure to check out the St. John Paull II Speech and read about the training he said you need to do to live the Christian life you are called to.
“How are you going to be a vessel of God to give dignity to all people, in the unique way that He wants you to?”
“Our words mean nothing if they do not have actions to go with them.”