She Loves Out Loud: Abortion Survivor and Her Mom on Prayer, Adoption and Depending on God

Barbara Culwell and her daughter Claire.

By Nancy Flory Published on November 4, 2019

On February 15, 2020, She Loves Out Loud prayer movement will be hosted by churches and small groups nationwide. It is a time for women to pray in unity for the healing of hearts, for the future of children and for America. Started by Diane Strack, She Loves Out Loud will host Christian leaders at strategic locations across the U.S. For more information, visit SheLovesOutLoud.org.

The Stream is profiling some of the women — women like you and me — who will be taking part in what is destined to be a powerful and profound day. 

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“Lord, I want to be able to be content and thankful no matter what my circumstances will be,” Barbara Culwell wrote in her journal years ago. “You are still faithful and care about me even if I don’t have a baby. I want to be able to trust you with that even though it is hard. I’ve already learned a lot from it.”

Barbara and her husband, Warren, struggled with infertility for years before turning to adoption. When they adopted Claire, they knew she was a miracle. They just didn’t know how much of a miracle she was.

Claire wasn’t necessarily wanted by her birth family, but she was “very wanted and prayed for and loved through adoption,” she told The Stream. 

When Claire was a teenager, she decided to find her birth mother. When she did, she found out that her then-13-year-old mother had been forced to have an abortion when her own mother discovered she was pregnant. The abortion was successful. What Claire’s mom didn’t realize was that she was carrying twins and it was Claire’s brother who was aborted. By the time Claire’s birth mother found out she was still pregnant, it was too late for another abortion. She gave birth to a 3-pound baby girl and placed her for adoption.

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Barbara trusted God for giving her and her husband the baby that He wanted them to have. “Lord, is this the baby You want for us?” Barbara remembers asking. The answer was “Yes.” Two years later, Barbara and Warren adopted their second daughter.

Answered Prayer

Prayer has always been a part of Barbara’s life. “Both of our children have been huge answers to prayer of Him providing exactly who he wanted us to have in our family.”

“We are all in awe at God’s handiwork in our lives that is far beyond what we could ask or think!” Barbara added. “It encourages me to continue to trust Him and honestly and ask Him and trust Him even when I don’t quite understand what He is up to. … I think like probably most people think, ‘Yeah, God has a purpose for my child,’ but then hearing that, what she survived, it was like even a bigger megaphone of like, ‘Wow, God really has a purpose for her life.’”

That purpose, says Claire, is to share her story of abortion survival. A natural introvert, Claire says she literally prays her way onto the stage or wherever God leads her to share her testimony. “I have to pray and be completely dependent on God in that moment as I share my story because otherwise it’s so out of my comfort zone and so out of my natural strength for me to be able to say ‘yes’ and go where God calls me to go.”

She Loves Out Loud

Both women will participate in She Loves Out Loud — the prayer movement that will culminate on February 15, 2020, across the country with women praying in unity for healing of hearts, America’s children and the future of the U.S. Claire and Barbara will be interviewed about their experience with adoption and how Claire was spared from abortion. 

Claire “just wanted to be able to kind of share my story a little bit with hopes that women and men and families who have been affected by abortion or adoption or anything related to that, that they could maybe identify a little bit with what I have experienced, what my family has, and turn to prayer and turn to God.

“So it’s all about me pointing people to Him rather than just telling a story about myself.”

“I think of women confidently just praying to God, crying out to God in their agony but really trust in a great God ready to hear their needs … and problems and our dreams, whatever they are,” said Barbara of the movement. “Just women willing to know that God is so much bigger, that He loves us and He’s good and He cares about our heartache and our trouble.” Barbara wants “to see women really fervently clinging to our great God.”

For more information about the prayer movement and how to get involved, click here.

 

 

Nancy Flory is an associate editor at The Stream. You can follow her @NancyFlory3, and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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