LIFE. This is my passion. My mission. My heartbeat. My calling. My life is dedicated to bind up the brokenhearted, and to stand up for those who have no voice, whether they are disabled, elderly, orphaned, unborn or considered “useless”. My life mission is to stand up for life, and to ensure that all people are cared for and loved, because they are uniquely created by God. My life mission is to play my part well in History: His Story. This is a story about the journey of my life, and how I have grown in my love for LIFE.
My passion for life began to grow in seventh grade, when I was invited to participate in the Right to Life of Indianapolis Essay Contest. Writing the essay caused me to evaluate why I claim to be pro-life and how much I needed to educate myself regarding what I believe. Consequently, the contest itself did not seem as important as actually digging deeper to define my convictions. For the next four years, I continued to research and write about people with disabilities, the physical and emotional effects of abortion, abortion regulations and laws, how the world would have been affected if I had been aborted and the prevention of teen pregnancies. Every year I entered, I was honored to place in the top five of my age group, even receiving the grand prize three years in a row. This has enabled me to attend the Celebrate Life banquet for the last five years. From the essay award money, I was able to sponsor two teen tables at the last two banquets, inviting many of my friends to come. Each speaker, from Jason Jones to Michael Reagan to Lila Rose, continually inspired me to dedicate my life to God, the Author of Life.
The process started with educating myself about pro-life issues, but continuing my education convicted me to live out my beliefs. In the summer of 2008, I was presented with the opportunity to engage with the disabled community. Lutheran Disabilities Ministries hosts a program called HandyCamp, inviting adults with disabilities to enjoy a week of games, crafts, worship, Bible study and special attention. My mom and I volunteered to be companions to the campers for one whole week, and I was paired up with a young lady named Annie. We laughed together, brushed our teeth together, cried together, talked about God together and learned a lot together. To be honest, HandyCamp was a challenge. I had never experienced spending an extended period of time with the disabled community, but it taught me more than I could have ever read in a book or heard from a speaker. I learned at HandyCamp what it truly looks like to respect the intrinsic value in people, instead of only considering what they can offer to society. When I went home, I left with a new appreciation of life and a new friend, Annie.
Living out my convictions grew to a desire to spread the word about the Author of Life and his plan for creation. In the fall of my junior year, I auditioned to be a part of BreakDown Indianapolis, a partner with EastGate Studios, led by...