Contributors Life matters

Trust: It’s become my word of the year for 2021

Debra Niesen is the archdiocesan consultant for the pro-life office.

For a few years now, my daughter and I have been choosing a “word of the year” to inspire and guide our actions.

After prayer and reflection, it became clear that my 2021 word needed to be “Trust.” Just a few weeks into 2021, I can already see why.

As we look at 2020 through a pro-life lens, there are clear highs and lows. 

We witnessed our country take unprecedented measures to protect and save lives from Covid-19. The collective protection and concern for our elderly and most vulnerable are incredible pro-life efforts!

In addition, national conversations and demonstrations on racism and social justice elevated awareness of the dignity of the human person and the evil of violence.

In spite of this good, we saw increased isolation, suicides and violence.  And, the destruction of unborn lives raged on, and possibly increased. Abortion providers were deemed “essential” to end life, not protect it.

The abortion industry continued its attack on the dignity of women’s lives by misleading or coercing them into thinking abortion was not only their only choice, but the responsible thing to do in times like these.   

Seventy-three percent of post-abortive women say they felt pressured — from a person, the abortion provider or a situation — to abort their child.

This year too many women suffered the trauma of an at-home chemical abortion alone, and, if they don’t know about God’s mercy, may suffer a lifetime of pain.

As people of life, we see the hypocrisy that many refuse to see — taking extreme actions to elevate and save some lives, while tolerating or ignoring the destruction of others.

We mourn the over 375,000 lives lost to Covid-19 and the loss of over 1,000,000 preborn Americans.

Further, we prepare for the consequences of electing the most pro-abortion administration in our history.

This reality can lead to despair if we let it. Instead, we have an opportunity to trust.

We trust that these trying and confusing times are part of God’s much greater plan. We know that God can and will bring good out of difficult situations; we simply need to trust and be open to his divine plan.

So we continue on. We will pray and stand for the legal protection of unborn children and the healing of all who have been affected by abortion.

We will pass the Kansas “Value Them Both” amendment. We will walk with mothers in need to show that a child never has to die to solve a problem.

The Holy Family provides us with the ultimate example of trust, and the ultimate pro-life story. Faced with an “unplanned pregnancy,” Mary no doubt was overwhelmed and frightened. Yet she said “yes.” Then, she went in haste to support another expectant mother, Elizabeth.

Joseph also faced a difficult situation in learning his betrothed was pregnant. He trusted the message of an angel and stayed to protect his wife and become the foster father of Jesus.

Their trust resulted in the greatest blessing to the world.

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Debra Niesen

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