Sunday, January 23, 2011

Birthed in Courage, Adopted in Love (Pam Stenzel’s Story)

Many have asked me who this co-author, speaker friend of mine is. Outside of being ridiculously fun and an avid Minnesota Twins & Vikings fan (reflecting impeccable taste :) ), she has an incredible story. And, today is the perfect day to share it.

Here it is in her words….

Forty-six years ago in Michigan a young woman became pregnant. She had a lot of difficult choices to make, maybe more so than some because she was raped. Abortion may have been legal in Michigan in the case of rape in the 1960’s, but this 15 year old girl chose to give her child life and then to place that child with an adoptive family. That child was me.

My biological father is a rapist. I don’t even know my ethnicity, but my life still has value and it isn’t worth any less than any of yours just because of how I was conceived. And, I do not believe that I deserved the death penalty because of the crime of my father. All of my life I have had to listen to the rhetoric that every child should be wanted and planned. I have heard people say, “I wouldn’t have an abortion that would be terrible but if it were rape, well then…?” I guess that means that I am a “mistake!” I don’t believe that. I believe that every child is wanted by someone, and I believe that God in His mercy had a plan for me.

I’ve asked all the tough questions. Did God plan me? Does God plan rape? I memorized the verses when I was little like “You loved me before the creation of the world” (John 17:24) and “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you” (Jeremiah 1:5). Did that mean me? I might not have all the answers to those difficult questions, but this is what I do know; I know that my God is so awesome and so amazing that He is capable of taking your worst pain, whether it was something that you chose or whether it was something that was done to you, and my God can make something very beautiful come from that. That is Amazing Grace – the ability of God to even take what Satan meant for evil and make something good come from that.

Please do not think for a moment that I would ever stand before anyone and justify rape by my existence. My existence does not justify rape. Never. Rape is still wrong. Rape is still a horrifying violation of another human being. What we can say very clearly though is that the behavior was wrong but the child is a gift from God, created in His image.

I’ve not met my birth mom but if I get that chance I’m going to wrap my arms around her and tell her that I love her because she loved me. She loved me enough to give me my life, and then loved me enough to give me the next most special gift that I was every given, and that is my family. I am eternally grateful for her selfless act of love.

(This story is shared in Nobody Told Me)

Pam’s personal story and passion for life prompted her to get involved in Pro-Life ministries. After years of counseling in a crisis pregnancy center, she learned a lot from her clients. She asked them what they could have been told before they had sex to help them make a better choice. And, with that information, she started a speaking career.

Let me tell you, she is incredibly talented. I’m pretty sure she could talk about the color of the sky and it would be completely captivating, but thankfully she is using her God-given gift to share a more important message about God’s heart and desire for all to experience His best.

Today is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday and in honor of Pam’s story and our book I’m giving away 5 copies of our book, Nobody Told Me. Here is how you can enter-

1) Leave a comment about what you would like this book.
2) Become a follower of this blog via Google or Networked Blogs
3) Tweet about the giveaway, including this link
4) Facebook about the giveaway with a link to this post http://bit.ly/gEcn2G

For each of these four things that you do, please leave a separate comment in the comments section of this blog post and I will use random.org to pick the winning numbers.

Be sure to leave our email with each entry so that I can contact you if you win!

There you have it! One person has four potential entries! This book (more info on our book encouraging abstinence & its complete message here) is perfect for students 12 and up, parents, youth ministry workers, mentors, crisis pregnancy center workers, etc., so don’t miss out! You can enter until Feb 1 at noon.

Also, know that Pam is going to appear live on EWTN tomorrow during the March for Life in Washington D.C.! And, I’m writing for a blog tour & ministry newsletters promoting the new book. If you have interest, please include that note in one of your entries. I’ll be sure to follow up with you! :)
*This contest is now closed for entries*


In honor of Pam's life & faith, the new book, & my opportunity from God to share, I'm linking this to -

53 comments:

  1. As an AP I worry about the messages that can come about when people discuss this sensitive topic, and how it will relate to my youngest child's birth story. Reading Pam's story I no longer have that worry about this book.

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  2. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. I would love to read more!

    Tina Fisher
    tinafisher5@gmail.com

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  3. I tweeted about this post.

    tinafisher5

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  4. As a woman who had an abortion she deeply regrets I fight alongside Pam in the prolife movement. I have met her in person but have not yet read her book! Would love to read her personal story as those that advocate abortion frequently bring rape into the argument.
    Pam has much to teach us all!!

    I put your post on my facebook as well!!

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  5. Thanks for posting. This is a wonderful story that truly gets to the heart of the matter in a straight forward and loving way. I read it this morning on the heels of reading an article by Jeff Cavins where he says, "The way of Christ poses a problem for modern man. If modern man is going to be happy he will have to focus his attention on doing things that will make him feel good. Jesus presents us with a way of life that is contrary to this, but results in true happiness. The difference between our worldview as Christians and the worldview of those who are focused on their own happiness, is that our attitude takes into consideration the fact that God has the greater end in mind when he says to walk in his word. The greater end we strive for is perfection of life, character and soul."

    Pam's mother certainly had a greater end in mind. She looked past the modern definition of happiness and saw that true happiness lies in self sacrificing love. May God continue to bless Pam, her mother, you and all the hearts you touch today in sharing this amazing story.

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  6. I would like this book because it seems like an interesting book about a life saved as apposed to destroyed. Also, the authors share the same faith that I have. It seems like a clean appropriate book to read.

    carson.waldrop@gmail.com

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  7. I followed

    carson.waldrop@gmail.com

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  8. As a child born to a teen mom and a former teen mom myself I know the importance of this message. I have shared Pam's dvd "Sex Still Has a Price Tag" with many parents of teens and even took a group of girls to see her speak in person. This information needs to get out not only to all the teens out there but to their parents as well who have no clue what today's kids are facing. Keep up the good work!

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  9. Shared on FB! Thank you! Mia

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  10. Wow! Those powerful words need to be shared. I would like to win this book.

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  11. I'm a new follower of your blog.

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  12. I have thought about those tough questions myself. I would love to win a copy of this book to see more about what Pam has to say.

    ~Jennifer

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  13. Wow! I started following your blog in Networked Blogs before I got to the end of the post! I'm following!

    ~Jennifer

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  14. I posted it on Facebook (twice---on my personal profile AND on my blog's "fan" page!).

    ~Jennifer

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  15. I think it's amazing that I stumbled on this site today! Perhaps not a stumble afterall, but God directed! I followed the link from a Holy Experience....
    I saw Pam speak, I think it was her anyway....when I was a young girl...in Wisconsin...like maybe 15 or 20 years ago? Is that possible?
    See, I was adopted and it was Pam's story that helped me figure out God's plan for my life. Shortly after I heard her speak, and through the help of leaders from our local Campus Life Organization...I gave my life to the Lord. Thank you Pam for sharing your story! Can you please pass this on to her!?
    Thank you!

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  16. I would like to read this book because I hope it would help give me answers I can share wtih people who believe that "abortion is OK in cases of rape or incest."

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  17. Wow, this sounds like quite a story!

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  18. I would love to read this book because I am working on a talk about Reclaiming the Gift of Sex. I want to encourage parents to start the dialog about sex at an early age (age appropriately) so that 1. we don't try in one talk to teach a new culture to our kids when they are surrounded by sex from a young age. 2. we are available to our children to discuss those issues without embarrassment. 3. So kids can understand that sex really is a gift and not something "dirty"

    Can't wait to read this book!

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  19. I have followed you on facebook through networked blogs. My e-mail is available under the contact section of my website!

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  20. Sounds like a book that needs to be read. I would love to win a copy of this book.

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  21. I would love to win this book and give to my granddaughter whom I feel is beginning to feel a lot of peer pressure from so called "friends". Thank you for this ownderful post and thank both of you girls for the ook.

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  22. Following this blog on Network Blogging!

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  23. What an incredibly beautiful story. I never knew that about Pam and think that we serve such an AMAZING God!! Wow!

    I can only imagine how truly incredible your book is and it would bring me joy just to read your words. :) I'm just SO happy for both of you and how the Lord is using you to share about the importance of choices.

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  24. I would love to have this book for myself and my two teenage daughters. your story touched my soul, I was never told, but tell my girls everyday how important their life is to God and what he wants for them.

    Denise
    mommiesmemorie@yahoo.com

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  25. i am a new follower from Scripture Dig.

    Denise
    mommiesmemorie@yahoo.cm

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  26. I also tweeted about this giveaway!

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  27. I think i was brought to this blog for a reason! Thank you!
    patricka9@hotmail.com

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  28. I posted it on my FaceBook page for teens: RadRev Girls. lynn@lynncowell.com

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  29. I posted it on my organization for teen girls FaceBook page: Radical Revolution lynn@lynncowell.com

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  30. I posted on my personal FB page: Lynn Martin Cowell lynn@lynncowell.com

    I also have a book for teens coming out in April "His Revolutionary Love; Jesus' Radical Pursuit of You". Coming alongside you to invest in girls!

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  31. Hi, I'm Destiny and I'm training to help begin an abstinence ed program at the pregnancy center I volunteer at here in Michigan. I think this book will be a great encouragement and cutting edge tool in my training and in educating in the school system. I would love a copy! I'll share this blog on my Facebook, too.

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  32. Oops. I realized you have no way to reach me in the above post. destinyeldred@yahoo.com. Thanks!

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  33. We are in the process of adopting a 13 yr old girl. I would love to read this book. Thank you. valandjoshreid@yahoo.com

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  34. This is a topic that needs to be shared, openly discussed, and routinely revisited - not just by teens, but by churches, parents, mentors. Kudos to you for embracing this topic. My daughter is a pre-teen, but an avid reader. I will definitely share this with her and with my neices and nephews. This material is missing from their lives. I would love to win a copy! I could gift it to a teen.

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  35. I am now a follower! My blog is at urbanelementsmag.blogspot.com. I review some of the books I read there!

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  36. I added a link on my facebook page and a comment about this blogsite and the book!

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  37. I would love a copy of this book to share with my younger cousins who sadly aren't being told the truth about sex by anyone else.

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  38. I also became a follower through google. (my email address is on my profile)

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  39. I found out about this book through Stephanie Shott's blog. SOunds like a winner! I have a 13 year old and I think this would be great to share with her. We have great communication, but there is always room for improvement!

    I'll tweet this, too and become a blog follower. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of the book!

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  40. I am a youth pastor's wife and very concerned about the peer pressure to engage in sexual activities. This seems to be a huge pitfall for our christian students. I would love to give your book to our students-another voice of truth will be helpful.

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  41. rjmartinez5@msn.com - Jacque's email

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  42. We have met you twice at Lovefest in CA and your messages have touched our whole youth group. Even though you won't be there this year... we have 40 people going from our church and 2 more wish they could but they are sold out. I would love a copy of your book!
    marlayna.hamann@verizon.net

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  43. Hoping noon is central time!

    I would love this book for my teenage daughters. I have heard Pam's story before and she is amazing.

    mama2six at bresnan dot net

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  44. I am following on Google. Thank you so much!

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  45. I have posted your link and my thoughts about it on fb.

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  46. Your link has now been linked on my tweet. Thank you for writing the book and thank you for helping me to share it with everyone. I'm so grateful to have this resource available to my children.

    Sincerely,

    Traci Smith

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  47. Lastly, the reason that I would like to read and share this book with our children is because this is knowledge that I was not taught as a young person. After coming to know Christ, it took me many years to understand why abstinence was his plan. I came to know Christ in December of 1999, but it has only been in the past couple of years that I understand how life with my husband would have been drastically different had I waited to share myself only with him. I now understood how and why giving myself to other men changed who I was supposed to be in this marriage.

    I look forward to reading your book.

    Traci

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  48. I wanted to thank you for this very good read!! I definitely enjoyed every bit of it.
    I've got you book-marked to check out new stuff you post…
    my web page > abhishek bachchan songs

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