I met Val Shannon while recording a promotional video for a local pregnancy resource center, the Women's Resource Center of Hancock County. We met Val at her home to have her share some of her testimony from nearly 17 years earlier. Between lighting, camera settings, camera angles, and audio setup concerns, I began to hear Val's testimony--really hear it.
She grew up in a Christ-centered home. She knew the key Bible verses, all the Sunday School songs, and church was like her second home. However, by the time she reached junior high (or middle school), she began to question her faith. By high school, she began drinking, experimenting with drugs, and, as she says, "enjoyed arguing with people who believed in God."
In the summer before going into her Senior year of high school, Val visited the Women's Resource Center to get a free pregnancy test. The results? PREGNANT. Not what she wanted to hear. All her life, she had placed a high value on life and the life of the unborn. But now, her beliefs faced her reality. She decided she was planning to abort her unborn child, but first, she spoke with a woman who shared her experience of abortion. Her mind was reeling with thoughts, emotions, and implications of her choices.
Just a block or so down the street from the Women's Resource Center was a Planned Parenthood. Through a friend, God directed her to the Resource Center and NOT Planned Parenthood. A local doctor provided free ultrasound testing to women in Val's situation. Hearing her baby's heartbeat brought Val back to the center--this was her baby. Life is precious and a gift. Who was she to abort her baby because it might be an easier choice for her and her future plans?
Val chose life.
Today, her son teases her and says, "Mom, if it wasn't for me you would probably be in jail." Seventeen years later, Val has a beautiful family, and a loving husband, and she and her family love the Lord. Her life may not have taken the easiest path, or the path she would have chosen, but it led to a beautiful place. A place with no regrets, no "I shouldn't have's", and a place where she can see how God was with her every step of the way.