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EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT: The One Who Was Left Behind

One final account is from the gal referenced earlier today, the one who was left behind in the rotunda encircled by protestors.

On Friday, July 12, 2013 I had the opportunity to head down to the Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas with my brother, sister-in-law, and a friend.  We knew we would be meeting others who were pro-life (and wearing blue shirts) down there, along with many who were pro-choice (wearing orange shirts).  In the past 24 hours there had been an influx of posts from the pro-choice side about how they were going to “take actions into their own hands” and had no concern about getting arrested.  Credible sources had warned us about potential acts of violence towards the Senate representatives and all of us “blue shirts”.  I had read pro-abortionists facebook posts about how they were going to bring jars of menstrual blood, feces, and urine to throw on others.  It was clear that safety was a primary concern and even with a heightened awareness, someone may still get hurt.

As we parked and were walking to the Capitol my brother said that people feel like we were going into battle.  I asked him if he felt that way and he didn’t.  In a way I felt like I was entering the battleground but also like I was already victorious, not in regards to the bill passing but in the fact that my King has already won the war.  The night before when I was in prayer I saw an image of the Capitol.  It was almost dusk and I was looking at the building from the south steps.  Even though there was still plenty of light outside, there was a cloud of darkness directly above the dome.  As I looked closer I realized that the cloud was composed of hundreds of evil spirits flying around and swooping down towards the Capitol.  I could tell that this was not because the Capitol was evil or even filled with evil people, but that each spirit was feeding off of the anger and hatred of those inside.  Just above the cloud of darkness I saw a thin layer of light.  The light was made up of several angels, no more than 20, who were present for those in need and directly in response to those who had called upon them.  Though the angels were few and their layer of light was thin, it was clear that they did not need an immensity of numbers because at the snap of a finger they could allow the true glory of God to burst forth through them and in a mere moment the radiation of His light would overpower all of the darkness, causing its existence to cease.  It was almost as if the angels were there as protectors, yet allowing the free will of humanity to be expressed at the same time.  I wasn’t sure what all this meant and even questioned if my own mind had conjured up the images.  By the time I was leaving the Capitol early Saturday morning, what I experienced had made it very clear that the image was directly from the Lord.

We entered the Capitol at about 6:30 p.m. and there were several orange shirts in the center of the rotunda yelling and chanting.  We headed directly to the West hallway and started waiting in line to get a seat in the gallery and observe the Senate.  We knew the media would heavily be covering the activities in the rotunda but we weren’t there to get noticed or make the news.  We needed as many blue shirts as possible in the Senate gallery to show those who would be voting to approve or deny the bill that the people desired for this bill to be passed.

Shortly after getting in line we received word that someone was outside with bottled water to pass out.  Since security would only allow us to bring in 1-2 bottles at a time, I began running water back and forth.  I would get a bottle or two and then run up several flights of stair to those who had been standing in line for hours to get in the gallery and see if they were thirsty.  People at the top had been in line for more than four hours.

After running water for almost two hours I was pretty tired as I ran into a group from my parish who was just coming through security.  I stepped off to the side and updated them on what had been going on.  A message had gone out on Facebook earlier about needing more blue in the rotunda and shortly after several pro-lifers showed up and began praying together in the rotunda.  Throughout the Capitol you could immediately tell the difference because everything became quiet.  You see, the pro-choicers would continually be chanting and whenever they got tired of the chant, they would just yell and scream as loud as they could for as long as they could.  Unfortunately, soon after the pro-lifers had entered the center of the rotunda, the president of Planned Parenthood entered the building and heading to the rotunda which instantly increased their numbers and their noise.

Despite the oppositions increased numbers, I knew that there were still a handful of pro-lifers praying in the rotunda and surrounded by hundreds of angry orange shirts.  I knew they needed backup, but also knew I shouldn’t go in alone.  Mentioning this to those who had just arrived, a group of us decided to go in. The orange shirts were packed so closely together that it was near impossible to get through.  Honestly, from the ground floor you couldn’t even see any of the pro-lifers in the middle, but I knew they were still there and on occasion I could see a sign that had a pro-life motto on it.  I told the group that if they wanted to go in I would lead the way and to simply grab onto the back of my shirt and not let anyone separate us.  With two women behind me I methodically worked my way into the center of the group.  I will never forget what I experienced in the center of that piercingly-loud, hate-filled circle.

I had one person who was pro-life to my right and two or three that I could see were across from me, but otherwise I was completely surrounded by pro-choicers.  It took me a few moments to take in all in and do a self-check.

 

 

 

 

I began asking myself, why was I here?

 Why did I come into the center of this mob?

What good can I do?

What is the purpose of my presence here? 

My heart kept pressing into me, “The strongest emotion is love.  The strongest emotion is love.”  I started to evaluate myself.  Am I angry? No. Am I afraid? No. It took some time to determine the emotion that I was feeling since it is not one very common to me.  Joy.  In the midst of all of this, I was experiencing joy.

I wanted to share this joy with others.  A pro-choicer to my right held and orange sign that said, “God bless Texas Women.”  I leaned over and yelled that I liked her sign.  She smiled and then saw I was wearing a blue shirt and her smile quickly faded.  “That’s okay,” I thought, “I still love her and so does God. I pray He does bless her.”  I asked short, inquisitive questions to a couple of orange shirts around me asking what was written on their arms or if they were streaming a live video feed.  Most of their faces would soften as they offered a short, curt responses and then immediately an expression of anger would wash over their face as they returned to chanting.

One young woman in particular had my attention.  She had a focus, almost a fascination on aiming all of her yelling, screaming, and hate-filled chanting efforts towards one pro-life person at a time.  As a woman held a sign stating “It’s not about your womanhood, it’s about a CHILD WITH A SOUL in your womb who has a RIGHT TO LIVE!” the young lady in orange would get inches from her face, screaming the chants at her or simply yelling in her face.  At times, the woman holding the sign would lower it directly in front of her face which forced the young woman screaming at her to back up a bit.  At one point the pro-life man next to the woman started yelling, “God’s choice!” in response to their chant that asked, “Who’s choice?”  (Mind you, it was so loud that you had to yell just to hear your own thoughts.)  When he did this, several young women (including the most hostile one) began yelling in his face.  Most yelled their response to the chant at him, except for the woman who had already gained my attention who screamed at him, “F…. you!” over and over and over again.

She had my attention because all of her actions had an expression of hate rising up from within her.  I could see in her bodily expression how much anger she had towards us and how everything in her yearned to make us feel and experience that anger and hatred.  But she retained my focus because, in the brief seconds between chants and deafening screaming, she would have a wicked expression wash over her face and an evil smile was appear as she sought to stare-down the person she had aimed her screaming and chants at.  It was that evil smile repeatedly washing over her face that truly caught my attention.  She was taking joy in this!  She was truly having a good time in her plight seeking to break down, harm, and hinder all those who were not in-line and supportive of her beliefs.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m not saying that everyone who is pro-choice is evil or that yelling and chanting things are evil.  But the way this young woman was acting truly was not natural.  And the way in which she would be yelling and screaming with a feeling of hatred resonating from her body and then having that quickly morph into a morbid joy with a creepy smile.  It was clear to me that there was definitely something spiritual going on, particularly with her.  I witness several others who exuded this time of hatred but did not see a single who had the eerie smile or expressed the same wicked joy that she repeatedly showed.  Later I decided to take a picture of her so I could remember to pray for her.  I was amazed at how it turned out.  In this picture I feel that her soul is expressed in her facial expression, because at no time is this an expression that I saw come across her face.

It’s had to describe what it really was like in the rotunda.  Imagine being closely surrounded by hundreds of people who hate you and despise your beliefs, and everyone is only inches away from each other.  Then imagine 200 of their “closest friends” circling where y’all are like sharks (those on the outer ring of the circle weren’t allowed to stand due to it being a fire hazard, so they marched along the outside yelling, screaming, and chanting).  Now add three circular balconies directly above you that are also filled with more of their closest friends yelling, screaming and chanting.  Finally, add the acoustics of the Capitol which cause the voice of a single person talking to resonate and echo.  The temperature was easily over 100 degrees in the center of the group, where I was, due to the body heat and energy being exerted.  Their nonsensical yelling, and even their chanting, was so loud that others wearing orange shirts were plugging their ears, people in the wings of the Capitol had to talk loud or yell to hear each other, and earplugs were passed out to all of the Law Enforcement to prevent hearing damage. (Two days later my eardrums still feel like I just walked out of a concert where I had seats next to the speaker.)

During my time there I was praying.  Praying for so many things and so many people, mostly those whom I was surrounded by.  Praying for those who were hurting so intensely.  Praying that the Lord would use my sufferings for good.  And often, just standing in a prayerful presence, lacking words to express anything to my Father.  At times I would look up to the balconies above and see that I was surrounded by others in orange shirts, row-after-row.  But then I would see one or maybe two people wearing blue, overlooking the rotunda, often with rosary in hand or a piece of red-tape with “LIFE” written on it over their mouth or on their shirt.  This brought me such joy and such hope.  I knew that I was not alone.  It was almost as though I was looking into the heavens and seeing the saints interceding for me.  I would point to them and wave as a huge smile broke across my face, but they never saw me.  They have no idea how much their presence brought me strength.

Sometimes I would lift up a pro-life cardboard sign that someone had given me and I would turn it around so others could see before holding it flat above my head so those along the balconies could read it.  I knew that the balconies had the highest traffic so my hope was that someone in the opposition might see my sign and it would cause them to think twice about supporting abortion or, by the grace of God, bring about a conversion of heart.

I was constantly aware of my surroundings, due to the safety concerns, and kept an eye on the most aggressive and enraged pro-choice protesters along with where the other pro-lifers were nearest me and where the nearest State Patrolman was (constantly within 20 feet of me).  My brother tried to join me in the rotunda, as had more pro-lifers from my Church, but the law enforcement had closed off the doorways and refused to allow anyone else entrance.  Soon, the other pro-lifers got word that something was up and we should leave the rotunda.  Having been in several highly populated situations and experienced massacres and other traumatic events, I had learned to not trust rumors or unverified threats.  I decided that I would leave the center if: 1) I learned of a specific and direct threat, 2) if an officer notified me that I should leave for my own safety, or 3) if my family was fearing for my safety.  “Besides,” I thought, “There’s other pro-lifers here who are staying.”

As they left and I entered back into prayer I still experience an abundance of peace.  Someone of the opposition began a debate with me about the adoption rate in Texas, the sign I held said “Adoption NOT Abortion”, and how a baby in the womb isn’t alive and isn’t a baby.  I found it ironic that twice during our conversation (which consisted of us yelling at each other at the top of our lungs just so we could make out the words the other was saying) other women in orange shirts came up and told her to stop talking to me or that it wasn’t worth it.  Obviously, I couldn’t hear what they said, but I thought it was funny that they were trying to get her to stop talking to me.  I told her that I don’t understand their concern, even though it looks like we’re yelling I feel that we’re having a respectful discussion.  She nodded her head in agreement before yelling her next question.

As we finished and she went back to chanting I looked over at my fellow pro-lifers.  I saw a few orange shirts where they had been standing and thought they might have just gotten pushed back.  I looked around for their signs in the air and saw none.  And that’s when I realized: I was by myself in the midst of a angry mob of 400-500 pro-choicers with another 100+ circling around us.  This could turn very bad, very quickly.  I immediately recognized the seriousness of the situation, but I was not afraid.  I have always had the mindset that when God is ready for me, He’ll come and get me.  Or, even better, when I have finished my mission of spreading God’s love on earth, then He will take me Home.  If I was to die at the hands of a pro-choice mob, what a way to go!  Hopefully that would be considered martyrdom and God would grant me the blessing to go directly to heaven.  However, none of this was at the forefront of my mind.

As a lone soul in the midst of hundreds chanting against my beliefs, fighting against what I know is right, I looked up to the balconies.  I was searching for my one or two blue shirts that brought me hope…and I found none.  I did a full 360, turning around to adequately get my bearings.  Here I was in the middle of hundreds of people in orange shirts, yelling and screaming at me, many turning and chanting directly in my face, in my ear, at my back.  Above me the balconies were lined with more people in orange shirts joining in the chants and deafening yells.  Very few times in my life have I experienced spiritual warfare and seen evil manifested in such a tangible, physical way as I did during my time in the center of the rotunda.

Though I was by myself in the midst of a sea of orange, I knew that I was not alone.  This would have been an apt time to despair, to give in to fear and run out of the rotunda; but that was not what God was calling me to.  I knew there were hundreds of pro-lifers in the Senate Gallery.  I knew there were hundreds more in line and even more in overflow rooms in the basement.  What truly gave me courage was when I thought of all of those who were praying for us tonight.  Christians throughout Texas who were unable to be at the Capitol.  Christians throughout the nation who were lifting us up in prayer during this great battle.  Their prayers were my strength.  Though I was surrounded by opposition and could not even hear my own thoughts, a grin spread across my face because I knew I was not alone.  The other day someone called me Joan of Arc because of these actions.  I now have a much stronger grasp on the graces Joan of Arc must have received in order to live our her faith the way she did.  None of this was on my own accord, it was completely rooted in our Lord.

I continued to pray as I watched the expressions of those around me.  Their cheers were so loud that I could barely hear my own thoughts.  I would silently pray Hail Mary’s, Our Father’s, Memorare’s, and St. Michael’s Prayer but would rarely finish the prayer, getting distracted partway through.  Then Scriptures began flowing through my mind.  “Yay, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil, for the Lord is with me.” (Psalm 23:4)  I looked up and couldn’t help but think of how Jesus said we would be persecuted, hated, and insulted because of Him; and doing all of this for the sake of the Lord just increased my joy.  Only later did I learn that the Gospel reading for that day was Matthew 10:16-23.  “Jesus said to his Apostles:

“Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves. But beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to another. Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”

As I continued to peacefully pray in the midst of vile and hate-filled yelling I received a text from my brother expressing a concern for my safety.  At that point I decided to leave since I did not want to worry my family.  I easily made my wade out of the sea of orange and up a couple flights of stairs where my group was still waiting in line to get in the gallery.  I arrived as they were beginning the second decade of the Rosary, meditating on the sorrowful mysteries.

As we continued to pray rumors began to spread about the pro-choicers planning to riot or attack pro-lifers soon and several moved to the basement of the Capitol and locked themselves in overflow rooms or Senators offices for their safety.  We did not have any confirmed reports of violence and none of the officers expressed a specific concern for our safety so we decided to hold the line and continue to be a prayerful presence, though we knew it wasn’t likely we would get into the Senate Gallery before the vote.  The numbers of our group slowly began to grow as a smaller groups of pro-lifers began to join ours which set them at peace to have strength in numbers.  In the midst of all this tension I couldn’t but think that the evil one may have been using it to distract us from why we were there and what was important.  But I had a plan of action.

 

I reached into my backpack and took out a bag full of Starbursts.  I began walking around the third floor rotunda offering Starbursts to everyone.  Several pro-lifers would give a “thank you” smile and take a couple, without ever interrupting their prayer.  Some pro-choicers faces would light up when I offered and then they would look down and see my shirt color before declining.  My favorite reaction was when a young man in his twenties who was pro-choice expressed his surprise that I was offering him Starbursts despite his shirt color.  I told him, “Hey, Starbursts don’t discriminate and neither do it.”  Then I paused and looked in the bag before adding, “But I don’t see any blue in here!”  It gave us a good laugh and was great to see some people smile and relax a bit in the midst of this chaos.

As we neared midnight we knew that the time to vote had arrived.  We were just around the corner from the Senate doors at the one spot where I was unable to get Wifi so I could stream the Senate’s live feed.  So I went with a friend to stand by the stairs right outside the Senate doors.  Just before midnight several people wearing orange walked out the doors.  We were anxious to hear what was happening but no one would talk to us.  Eventually we overheard that they had not yet voted.  About five minutes later the doors opened again and many people in blue and orange were leaving.  I walked up to the first woman who came out, an older woman in navy blue who looked exhausted, and asked her, “Did they vote?!”  She slowly nodded her head.  “Well?!” I eagerly asked.  She turned her head and looked at me.  “Did it pass?!” I inquired.  Quietly she said, “It passed.”  I asked her again to confirm and she slowly nodded her head.

An eruption of excitement burst forth from my body.  I turned towards the hundred people waiting by the staircase and I yelled, “IT PASSED!”  Instantly my feet were taking me towards my brother and friends praying by the balcony and, catching my brothers eyes, I yelled, “IT PASSED!”  As I came upon the balcony I looked around and expected people to have already known the news, but it was clear they hadn’t.  So at the top of my lungs I screamed, “IT PASSED!!!  IT PASSED!!!  IT PASSED!!!”  Almost instantaneously pro-choicers began booing which made it impossible for those across the rotunda balcony to hear me.  So as I continued to yell, I threw a giant thumbs up sign in the air and began catching the eye contact of all those in line.  I truly felt like Paul Revere.

I wish I was able to videotape and take pictures of what I saw in those moments so I could show you.  I will never forget the expressions that overcame peoples faces that night.  As I made eye contact with those waiting in line for the gallery and they understood what I was saying, it was like watching a wave of joy pour over all of those pro-lifers who had been praying and fighting so hard for this moment.  Their prayerful expressions turned into wide, joy-filled, rejoicing smiles as they threw their hands in the air and gave me a “thumbs up” sign.  It was clear that they weren’t joyful because we had “won” but because this would save lives of unborn children who aren’t able to speak for themselves.  I looked back to my group of friends and I saw people hugging, crying, patting each others backs, and saying prayers of thanksgiving to the Lord.  As people continued to flow out from the Senate Gallery we stayed in line and thanked all those who represented us and held their seat for so many hours, showing the Senate our support for this bill.

As we walked out of the Capitol I snapped a quick picture of the rotunda.  Instead of a pro-choice mob filled with angry protesters, there were only a couple of dozen orange shirts left in there and they looked confused and utterly deflated in their loss.

The Prayer Warrior Upstairs

Throughout several hours of the night there was one man on the top balcony of the rotunda who was living out the actions of a saint.  He stood on the north side of the rotunda and during the entire night, every time I looked up there he had his eyes closed and his arms outstretched prayer over all those who were present.  I don’t know who he is, what he was praying, or where he is from but on behalf of my group and myself, I want to say,

“Thank you.” 

Thank you for being a prayerful presence. 

Thank you for being a sign of hope and peace. 

Thank you for being consistently in prayer despite the continued chaos. 

Thank you for allowing your actions to speak louder than words. 

Thank you for expressing the love of Christ to all those who saw you. 

Thank you for giving me somewhere to look that would bolster my Christ-centered courage. 

Thank you for repeatedly giving my group a visual reference of joy and hope.

 

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EYEWITNESS Accounts from The Capitol in Austin: The Night SB1 Passed

As I wrap up posts on the events that happened during the second session at the Capitol, I wanted to leave you with stories and videos shared by friends and acquaintances, some of whom were with the group who went with me that I wrote about in my previous post. Though the first post is incredibly long, I have broken it up with video between posts. Personal testimony paints a vivid picture of what happened. I hope you enjoy these accounts, one of which will be featured later today.

The following is one woman’s account of her experience in the gallery when protestors disrupted the gallery by chaining themselves to the railing. If you’ll recall from my previous post, this was the incident that the trooper with the bolt cutters in our elevator was rushing to get to.

She writes: A Catholic priest standing in front of me in line was grabbed from behind, while praying the rosary, by a washed up hippie woman who tried to pull him backwards and started cussing him out. I went and got two DPS officers and they talked to her. She behaved until they had to leave because of something going down in another area. Then she started making strange sounds every time she’d look at the priest, shake her head and say a few more cuss words. We had a woman putting a vulgar sign with a vagina on it in our faces (including my 14 year old daughter, six year old daughter, nine and 11 year old sons). Several of the orange shirts tried to scream in our faces, but DPS was right on that! In the circle outside the chambers, the orange shirts were screaming/howling/chanting all day/night. There was a small group of blue in the center holding signs and staying silent. The orange tried to hold up a giant banner that said: “my body, my choice” that would have covered the circle…

::below is video of the protestors attempting to cover the small

circle of pro-lifers praying in the middle of the rotunda::

…but the blues held up their arms and blocked them (LOL). The orange then tried to push/grab them and DPS jumped in and stopped them. Later on, my 14 year old daughter saw several activists putting feces in a bottle in the bathroom and mix with water. The plan was to dump it on the senators but DPS was tipped off and took the bottles. Here is some other information that I think needs to be investigated. Several activist were able to get into the chamber with bicycle chains and chain themselves to the railing, we all had to go through metal detectors and have our bags x-rayed just to get into the building HOW did they get that through? It makes me wonder if they had help either from a senate staff member or a senator. So, we think these activists were from California because they were sitting next to my 14 year daughter before the incident, and were talking about living in CA and going to school there. What they did: two of them rushed the railing and used the bike chains to chain themselves. Two men in dresses and adult diapers stood up and tried to stop the cops from getting to the chained women. One of the chained women had a trash sack filled with a red colored liquid and tried to dump it onto the senators below (they also threatened to jump off the balcony). However, these people learned you don’t mess with Texas, y’all! Our DPS officers had bolt cutters and quickly carried them out. These men had white dresses on smeared with blood and my poor daughter and another teen girl in blue beside her had a terrible view of this. When the police lifted these men up by the arms and legs, their dresses went up and their legs were open. These men had adult diapers on and had smeared fake blood all over their crotch. It made my daughter and this other teen girl sick and they had to turn away. The police had to shove my daughter out of the way to get to these chained women but they apologized to her when they did it and said they had to get there fast (how cool is that?). Let me clarify, I was sitting across from this; I saw it go down, but my daughter was beside them because there weren’t any open seats to seat us all together. I actually said “what the hell” louder than I should have but it slipped out, I’m not proud of it, but it startled me. I think the trash sack was smuggled inside one of adult diapers because our bags were thoroughly searched and all food/drink were taken including cough drops and tampons. This was a coordinated event because several people in orange throughout the chamber got out their phones and started filming seconds before this went down. Each time right BEFORE a woman would stand up and start singing “all we are saying is give us a choice” those same phones would go up and start recording. We also heard a gun had been brought in as well but the police found it.

I have to say, most of the people in orange were polite and courteous with us. They shared water/snacks, offered jackets to my six year old daughter when she got cold. I saw quite a few orange shirts that said “revolution nothing less” and others had a uterus/Fallopian tubes and “come and take them” on them. See, this whole “choice” thing all comes down to casual sex and sex outside marriage. They have made it about genitilia, the parts needed for conception, but not the baby that results. ~Amy, Waxahachie, TX

Here is another account by a friend who went with me on Friday evening.

Last night I went to the capital.  That sounds simple, right?  Sadly, that doesn’t really capture what happened last night in Austin.  I think it would be more fitting to say I visited the third ring of hell or I was in a warzone.  I seriously think I need to make a T-shirt that says “I survived HB 2”.   I knew the groups of pro aborts were going in with the intent to be disruptive, disrespectful, and angry.  I might add they succeeded on all counts.  So why go?  Why knowingly walk into the wolves den?  Let me just say, I am not trying to be a martyr here. I believe every life conceived is worth protecting.  Every life.  So what’s a gal to do?  She partners up with some awesome folks from her parish and she goes to the capital. I was nervous all day with all the reports coming out of Austin and on social media; feces and urine being confiscated, people planning to flash the senate, talks of throwing blood and feminine products. Who makes this stuff up?!  We didn’t know if they were just trying to scare us into not showing up or if this was really going to happen.  Then I got to my parish.  Peace began to replace the fear.  The more friends that showed up, the more my peace grew. In popped a dear friend who announced to us that even though she could not join us, she was coming to pray before the Blessed Sacrament for us.  I could feel God’s hand now.   I knew I wanted……no, needed our priest to pray over us before we left.  A priest with the Legionaries of Christ who had just wrapped a boys camp my sons attended was about to leave to head home as our associate pastor finished up his day. They both agreed to pray over us and bless us. That’s when you know you are doing what God has called you to do; when all the pieces fall into place.   I could feel God’s armor being placed on us.  We loaded up the van and headed to Austin. As we approached the capital grounds, it was apparent we would be outnumbered.  No big deal.  We knew that going in.  We knew many pro-life supporters were focusing on getting into the senate gallery to watch the debate and see this bill pass.  You could hear the screaming once the doors opened. We quickly ran into familiar faces who gave us the low down and what has happened so far.  There was a small group of pro-life supporters who were completely and overwhelming encircled by a screaming, angry pro-abortion mob.  I use the word mob not to be disrespectful but to articulate how it felt, what it looked like.  In short, the scene was crazy. Frankly, I think I am being gracious by saying it was a mob. It was decided they needed us in there to pray for them so in we went.  We first stood on the outside of the circle.

::video of walking into the circle::

I couldn’t even see the pro-lifers if it weren’t for their signs held high.  The sound in that room was positively deafening.  I could barely hear myself think.  My ears were hurting just by stepping in the rotunda.  That is when my heart broke.  I stood watching grown men and women screaming, some sounding more like animals than people.  They even howled at times all for the “right” to kill unborn children.  I was dumbstruck.  Did they get that?!  Did they see how insane this was?  They were screaming so they could kill defenseless babies.  What does one even do with that?  You pray.  It’s all you can do.  Our group decided we needed to get as close to the pro-lifers in the third ring of hell.  The funny thing about that, the pro aborts didn’t want us to get in.  I am not really sure why.  I thought everyone was free to stand for their beliefs, I thought it was my choice (that’s what they kept screaming in our ears anyway).  A group of women in orange made it their mission to block us out.  They would watch us and purposely move in front or bump us if need be.  I knew going in that there would be no way I would engage in conversation with the pro abort group.  I had heard too many reports about how they were willing to go to jail for this.  I was NOT going to be calling my husband to come bail me out!  I was going to pray peacefully and silently.  That was before I saw the aggressiveness of the other group.  I didn’t think twice when my friends tried to move closer and I stepped between them and the orange shirt lady, allowing them to pass.

::video below of what it was like in the middle of the rotunda::

The orange shirt lady didn’t like that very much and yelled at me “you bumped me!!!!!!”  Of course I didn’t.  She ran right into me because she didn’t see me.  Her friend started yelling at me, “why are you here?!!!!! Why do you hate us?!!”.  And just like that my plan of keeping my mouth zipped and not engaging evaporated before my eyes.  Sure there were many eloquent things I could have said.  Here was my chance for my voice to be heard and share with them why I am always and unapologetically prolife.

However, in the third ring of hell, there is no conversation. 

There is no reasoning. 

There is no friendly debate.

::below is video of a clearly agitated woman and her aggressive actions towards anyone who doesn’t agree with her choice to abort::

I looked at her and simply said “I am just standing here.  I don’t hate you.”  I know.  Powerful, right?  She apologized and let me be.  They continued to scream all around us and you could feel their breath on our necks and heads.  We were packed in, it was hot and smelly.  I could see a young man in the middle of this group.  He was wearing blue and holding a prolife sign.  There was a girl in orange leaning up against him and pushing with all her weight.  She screamed, she yelled, she whistled and kept pushing that young man.   We tried praying as a group even though some of us were separated from each other.  I kept looking up and taking it all in. All around me and above me were angry voices.  They hated what I believed.  They hated what I stood for.  I could feel every ounce of hate they had for me as I stood there.  It was a heavy burden.   I couldn’t pray a rosary though I clutched those beads in my hand.  My friends prayed a Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  I couldn’t.  I couldn’t concentrate long enough.  I couldn’t stop looking at the angry faces.  “Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like Yours”.  That is all I could pray over and over and over in my head.  Women in orange turned to my friend and told her to leave.  I wanted to ask her why.  Why is she allowed to voice her views and we are not?  My friend was calm, smiling, stood her ground.  I looked at my other friend who had a man screaming in her ear, bumping her, putting his sign so close it was practically on her head.  Why was it ok for this man to bully my friend?!  Why did no one have a problem with this?  Are women only to be protected when they are pro-choice?  How could he be there to defend a woman’s choice then try to intimidate any woman who did not think like him?  Am I the only one seeing the irony here? 

Then it was like time stopped; a total grace-filled moment.

I looked at my friends and was completely overwhelmed with how completely and utterly beautiful they were. 

They were here. 

They were standing up for babies who had no voice.

They were standing up for women who need to be encouraged to nurture life and not destroy it.

They were sincere. 

They were being a light in an incredibly dark place. 

There was no shouting or pushing back from them. 

They endured those insults with a smile. 

And this wasn’t just any smile. 

They had the most peaceful, accepting smiles on their faces as they radiated the love of Christ.

Tears started to come and I fought them back.  It made me think of the Blessed Mother and her complete acceptance of God’s will, her complete submission.  I can honestly say I have never seen more beautiful women in all my life.  I am so very thankful God permitted me that moment.  We got the text that it was time to go before the crowd got worse.  It was hard to consider what “worse” would look like.  We told our friends it was time to go. One chose to stay.  I was worried for her but she couldn’t be swayed.  As I walked away, I made eye contact with the young man in the blue shirt who still had someone on his back pushing him.  He wasn’t angry and it surprised me.  He seemed to be at peace.  I mouthed “thank you” to him and he smiled.  I left wishing I could do more to help him.

The rest of the evening went well as we left the three ring circus and headed to the basement to watch debate and the vote.  By the time the senators voted, our room was full of only prolife supporters.  It was beautiful to be there and celebrate with them.  There was a group of young girls who traveled up from the valley to be a part of this.  They were supposed to be on their way home but couldn’t bring themselves to leave.  The joy in their eyes and the smile on their faces was priceless.  That is the way I will remember last night; the faces.  There were the faces of those beautiful young girls from the valley who were so happy when the bill passed. There were the angry pro-abortion faces screaming at me even when I tried smiling at them.  There were the beautiful faces of my friends as they tried to show the pro aborts love, kindness, and resolve.  There was the strong and confident face of the pro-life young man standing in the center of the rotunda enduring screams and shoving as I caught his eye to say thank you.  There were the faces that wouldn’t even look at me as I offered my place in line at the bathroom to a pro-abortion woman. There were the faces of DPS troopers who were clearly concerned.  There was the face of my senator, tired and worried as he quickly walked away from the crowds surrounded by DPS troopers.  Lastly I will remember the faces of our parish group as we pulled into St. Williams parking lot and all walked into the adoration chapel to thank God.  There was joy but most importantly there was peace.  We went to the capital last night and came back with peace. ~ D, Georgetown

Video of reaction from Texas Alliance for Life, submitted by and used with permission by Tony Tovar

So, what happened to the one left behind in the rotunda? You can read her story here.