Read Clint Decker’s January HOPE FOR TODAY column.  Read it here, go to our blog or listen to it as a podcast.

Jill, a high school senior, took the emotional wrenching drive to the clinic. Nervously she sat, seeming unsure of herself. It felt like there was no other way to handle her unplanned pregnancy.

There are millions who can identify with Jill. It might be a pregnant college girl and boyfriend who are not ready for the challenges of parenthood, a pregnant single mom who cannot afford another child or a couple who knows the baby they are carrying will likely have a life-long disability.

Hope is that intangible thing you need when you feel overwhelmed by your circumstances.  It is that gentle voice inside that in our moment of crisis, challenges us to believe in someone that is greater than our self.

If you are pregnant, living in a very difficult set of circumstances and wondering what to do, let me say, “There is hope!”

Have hope for your baby.  Any ultrasound or a simple hand on the belly will prove it is not just an “it” or blob of tissue.  You.  Are.  Carrying.  Life!  Let your mind dream of what your baby could grow up and become.  Imagine. Dream great dreams for that little one you are carrying.

Have hope for yourself.  Choosing an abortion tosses those dreams away and will etch a tragic memory on the walls of your mind.  This baby can be a new beginning.  Like the start of a new year.  Determine to accept this child and be the very best father or mother your baby could ever have.  Another way is adoption.  Perhaps you could fulfill the wish of a couple out there.  Maybe there is a loving husband and wife who would welcome your baby into their home.

Have hope through forgiveness.  Maybe you have already had an abortion and the sense of guilt and shame weighs heavy on your shoulders.  What can you do to find relief from this burden?

Centuries ago, Jesus provided a way for complete forgiveness.  His sacrificial death on a cross atoned for all our sin.  His blood that was shed covered our sin, removed it and washed us clean.  The atoning work of Jesus and the relief it brings is waiting for you.  If you call out to Him, He stands ready to forgive.  God says, “I will be merciful toward their iniquities

[sins], and I will remember their sins no more” (Hebrews 8:12).  Imagine having your sins remembered no more.  The peace.  The joy.  May Jesus be your hope for today and in the choices you face.