Hope and Fear: Understanding the Heart of a Pregnant Woman

Video 5

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A woman who knows she is loved can do anything. Learn more about the fears and hopes of a pregnant woman and how to genuinely accompany her.

Scripture for Reflection

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18)

“For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’” (Isaiah 41:13)

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4)

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)

Reflection Questions 

  1. Was there a word, phrase, or idea that resonated with me? That was new to me?
  2. Sister Magdalene, SV says, “Fear is a natural response to a situation where you feel powerless and overwhelmed.” 
    • When have I felt powerless or overwhelmed? What were my particular fears? 
    • What fears do I hold onto now? Have I ever spoken about my fears with Jesus? Give yourself the space to reflect on this, and invite Jesus to shine his light into these places. His love casts out all fear.
  3. The fears of a pregnant woman in crisis are: the fear of being alone, the fear of being not enough, the fear of having to figure it all out, and the fear that there is no room in the hearts of others for the baby or herself. How have I experienced those fears in my own life, even if I have not experienced an unexpected pregnancy? Can I relate to this experience in some way?
  4. Sister Magdalene shares, “Jesus promised that ‘perfect love casts out all fear’. It’s really true. We see it all the time in our own hearts and in our missions. However, we must first know somebody before we can love that person. That’s why it is so important to know and understand the common fears that crowd and overwhelm a woman’s heart when she discovers that she is in an unplanned pregnancy.” 
    • Who is someone I have gotten to know more deeply over time? How has my love for that person changed as I have come to know him/her more deeply?
    • How has understanding more of the interior realities of a woman in crisis affected me? How does it change my understanding of what it means to accompany a woman in an unexpected pregnancy? 
  5. Has there been a time in my life when someone gave me love and support to help me out of a place of fear? How did that feel? What did I learn from that experience?
  6. When was a time in my life when I have made an act of faith in myself? Did others believe in me? How did that make me feel?
  7. Are there people in my life whom I might feel like the Lord is calling me to accompany and love in a more intentional way? 
  8. Is there a fruit from my prayer that I would like to share with others?

Discussion Questions

  1. Is there a fruit from your prayer that you would like to share with others?
  2. Discuss the five main fears of a woman who is pregnant and in crisis. Are any of them surprising to you? How do they impact your understanding of what is helpful to a woman in crisis?
  3. Sister Magdalene shares, “Women often tell us, ‘My boyfriend told me he would support me whatever I decide’. But no matter what he means by the statement, the woman hears in that: he really wants me to have an abortion.” How does this highlight the importance of language in affecting a woman’s decision for life or not? What does a woman really want to hear as she is struggling?
  4. Sister Grace Dominic, SV says, “We [Sisters of Life] try to help her see that she is not alone. … We are with her, others believe in her and want to assist her; many others have gone before her on a similar challenging but beautiful journey.” In light of the fears that a woman experiences, how does this approach help alleviate these fears? How does it help her to flourish?
  5. Sister Magdalene says, “Women have the incredible capacity to suffer for another. They are altruistic. Unfortunately, some women will even suffer an abortion in order to save a relationship.” In what ways does this quote shift your perspective of the choice a woman is making when she chooses abortion? Is she really free in her choice?
  6. How does understanding the interior realities of a woman in crisis affect you? Does it change or nuance your understanding of what it means to be pro-life?  
  7. What are some ways that you can help support and encourage women who are pregnant and struggling?


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