Kelli Carney Youth Minister
member of the pro-life generation
Love saves lives was the motto of the 2018 National March for Life in Washington, D.C., and the phrase has stuck with me ever since. Love saves lives. It seems simple. That love saves lives, but the reality of the matter is that it can feel more complicated.
God gives us free will so that we may love one another. Without free will, He would be controlling where we place our love. It is up to us to be compassionate, kind, and patient with all those we encounter. We can choose to be selfish and ignore the needs of those around us, or we can make sacrifices in order to build others up. Ultimately, love is a chain of choices that lead someone’s life to good.
“My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.” (1 John 3:18)
So how do we live out this love?
Kelli and other members of the Pro-Life generation at the Capital Building in DC.
I believe in order to live out this love completely, we need to be confident with ourselves. As the saying goes, “one cannot pour from an empty bucket.” We must recognize our worth and our strengths. If we cannot love whom God has made us to be, why should others believe our love for them is genuine? I have come a long way in this journey of loving myself. I have gone through stages of not having many friends. I have been rejected by many organizations and positions that I hoped would be a good experiences. I’ve wondered, “why am I not good enough?” Throughout college, I reflected a lot on what it means to be “enough.” Now, I can confidently say that I am enough because I am. I exist. God created me, all the way to the little lines in my fingerprints, in my mother’s womb.
"He made me unique, special, and in the image and likeness of Him. Because of that, I love myself..."
This belief, in turn, impacts my relationships with others. I love others because they are. They exist. They have worth and dignity because they, too, were created in the image and likeness of God. I take it as my daily mission to help others realize that their thoughts and feelings are valid. No one else knows what you are feeling better than the way you know yourself. It is easy to tell ourselves that we are overthinking or being dramatic, but hey, your experiences are your experiences. You are not making them up.
"Your story is worthy of being heard."
Terre Haute Highschool students at the March for Life in Indy (Jan, 2020).
Going back to 1 John 3:18, I could tell people “I love you!” and “You are loved!” all I want, but is that truly loving someone? No. We need to be there for our brothers and sisters. We need to be that listening ear, spending quality time, sharing in the joys, and sorrows of life. We need to serve each other in all that we do. A necessary step further is to call our closest brothers and sisters to a higher place, supporting them to choose truth on this journey towards Heaven. This consistent testimony to love and truth is how love spreads. It is contagious.
There should be an environment of love everywhere we go. I love the quote of Saint Teresa of Calcutta that says, “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” If we truly lived this out, abortion would be unthinkable. Suicide would never be an option. The elderly and the ill would want to live as long as possible.
“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”
- Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta
From conception to natural death, life is sacred, and life is beautiful. I believe we are the pro-life generation. I believe we can make abortion unthinkable in our lifetime. We can help bring suicide rates even lower. We can eliminate the mere thought of assisted suicide. Every time we speak out about the truth, we honor the dignity of every life that has been lost to abortion, suicide, attacks, and more. I have realized that we cannot remain silent out of fear. When we remain silent, more and more lives are lost every day. Speak out for them. Speak out now. Bring compassion, mercy, and acts of love wherever you go.
Live love now - because love saves lives.
**** If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States. Please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.