Since moving to the United States in 1994, I’d always lived in North Phoenix. When I took the job at Planned Parenthood, a long drive to work was part of the journey. Years later, when they offered to transfer me to a clinic near my home – I took the opportunity. I was a young mom, and it made life easier. It also kept me closer to my church (maybe God was telling me something).
My family and I were parishioners at St. Joseph and St. Joan of Arc Catholic Churches, and I’d often recognize people praying on the sidewalk, near my clinic. Father Kline, Pastor of St. Joan of Arc, and a group of parishioners would pray there twice a week and every day during 40 Days for Life. I wondered if they recognized me.
Little did I know, they were praying for me.
One day in 2015 during 40 Days for Life, someone left a Divine Mercy prayer card on my windshield. Like all religious contraband, we were required to turn it in to Planned Parenthood Headquarters. But this time I didn’t. Something about it attracted me; so I kept it on my desk.
Years later, in the Fall of 2017 as I was closing the Northeast Phoenix location (due to lost Title X funding), I stopped by the clinic to turn in the keys. I discovered that same Divine Mercy card still on my desk. As I put it in my pocket and finished my final walk through, I had an uneasy feeling. Little did I know, my whole life was about to change.
As I drove to Planned Parent Headquarters to address my complaints about the abortionist and critical health and safety violations I’d observed, I had time to think. I had a bad feeling as I entered the building, and knew something wasn’t right. I held the Divine Mercy card close and I prayed: “Jesus en ti confio, guide and show me the way; you more than anyone else knows what my family and I need.”
I walked into an ambush.
Planned Parenthood never intended to see my evidence, and fired me on the spot. I’d been set up. They hid narcotics in my desk, and claimed that I mismanaged medication, my staff and my job. They intimidated me and knew that outside of the Federation, I had few other options. I pressed the Divine Mercy card close in my pocket, and prayed. How was I going to feed my kids? I gave 17 years of my life to Planned Parenthood, they’d just named me Employee of the Year, I’d never done anything wrong. I felt betrayed and mistreated by a company that I had trust in.
Maybe… my ‘trust’ was in the wrong thing.
That day at Planned Parenthood was the beginning of my journey. God used them to show me that my trust needed to be in Him. Since that day whenever I feel hopeless or lost, especially during my trial against Planned Parenthood, I’ve prayed for Jesus’ Divine Mercy. I trust in Him, not me.
The prayer that I said as I walked into Headquarters that day was heard, as were the prayers of everyone who prayed outside the clinic for 17 years for me. To this day, I remain close with Fr. Kline, and am eternally grateful for the prayers that saved me.
I never could have gotten through any of this without Jesus, and His Divine Mercy.
– Mayra Rodriguez