By Tim Von Dohlen

How A Vision Can Become A Reality

November 14, 2019

In my last article we looked at forming and accomplishing your vision, more on that later, and not worrying about being a people-pleaser. This month we look at someone whose actions demonstrate she cares more about the truth and doing what is right rather than worrying about what someone will think or say about her actions.

I am referring to Abby Johnson, a warrior in the battle to bring American culture back to the simple truth that a baby is a human being entitled to certain basic rights and protections. The movie “Unplanned” is about her life (if you haven’t seen it, you should go, and take all the family or get the video).

Consider one woman’s journey

Abby and her husband, Doug, will be the program for the St. John Paul II Life Center 9th Annual LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL GALA on November 21, 2019, at the Hyatt on the river in downtown Austin, Texas (get tickets or donate by going to

When Abby was about to have their 7th child, she got a telephone call from a concerned pregnant woman who told her “I will not have an abortion if you will take my child when born.”


It did not take Abby long to respond “yes!” So she and Doug got ready for their 7th and 8th child at the same time. Now that’s walking the walk!

The movie “Unplanned” has been tremendously more successful in the box office than the critics forecast, but it has been even more successful in the number of hearts changed and lives saved. This, even though the other side in Hollywood gave the movie an “R”rating which meant the trailer could only run before “R” rated movie audience and no one younger than 17 could see it without a parent’s permission!

Ashley Bratcher, the actress who plays Abby, explained, “We don’t have nudity, we don’t have sex, we don’t have language, so the only thing they could give us an “R” for is violence. So that means they [Hollywood movie rating officials] agree that abortion is a violent and disturbing act.”

A writer for the Washington Post, Marc Thiessen, wrote:

“the movie [Unplanned} was about redemption, forgiveness and hope for Abby as she went from a young Planned Parenthood manager to dedicated advocate for life and the movie is a testament to the power of prayer. Abby’s family prays for her to leave Planned Parenthood, but they never reject her. They know she is a good person who does not yet understand the evil of abortion. The film’s goal is to reach the millions like Abby by showing the humanity of the unborn child. This is why abortion supporters don’t want you to see “Unplanned”. See it anyway.”

A personal invitation

Please invite your friends and join us at the Hyatt in Austin on November 21 for a great program.

Our vision at the St. John Paul II Life Center is to save babies’ lives and to be involved in selected special projects that will have a positive multi-generational impact.

We are moving forward with great contributions from our supporters, board members and staff. As we look at the stages of successfully completing the JPII Life Center vision, we can also look at how Abby Johnson is moving forward with her vision.

Let’s compare Abby’s vision with the stages of understanding one’s vision that I wrote about last month.

The Five Steps from Vision to Reality

It took a shocking sight—seeing a 13-week baby try to avoid an abortionist’s efforts to end her


life—to get Abby to focus on the beauty of a human life. But that’s not unusual for the Holy Spirit to give individuals a wake-up call to what is the right thing for one to do in his or her life.

Truly, that moment was the birth of Abby’s vision (Stage 1) to quit Planned Parenthood and start a program to get other employees of Planned Parenthood to quit by helping those employees understand the horrors that take place with each abortion, which sadly damages the psyche of the woman having the abortion.

Abby’s preparation to take action (Stage 2) came over some passage of time, but through the prayers of her family for her and the 40 Days For Life persons praying outside Planned Parenthood for her heart to be changed, it happened. When Abby unexpectedly saw what happens in an abortion, she took action.

This had been the wilderness and struggle (Stage 3) for her because to accomplish the vision there will be a significant struggle, but that’s the proving ground of one’s faithfulness to God.

But when she reached out to Shawn Carney, the leader of the 40 Days For Life prayer group, for help, that’s when the realization of her vision (Stage 4) started accelerating and she could enjoy the fruits of her diligent preparation and God’s faithfulness.

However, that was not the end but more of new beginnings and vision (Stage 5) as she found herself challenged again with fresh vision from the Holy Spirit. You might say it continues to be a continual cycle of ever-expanding vision. God entrusted her with more, it took even greater amounts of preparation because the intensity of the battle increased for Abby.

My gratitude and hope

Thanks to Reverend Bob Gass for helping us learn about the stages of a God-directed vision which we can each find by following the Stages outlined.

Thanks to Abby Johnson for being a beacon of light.

The St. John Paul II Life Center in Austin, Texas, a Pregnancy Help Center and Ob/Gyn medical practice receives each woman seeking help without judgment and offers compassion and love in this difficult fearful time for them. Please reach out to for assistance if you or someone you know needs help.


SPECIAL NOTE FROM CATHOLIC BUSINESS JOURNAL:  We whole-heartedly encourage readers to be generous in supporting the St. John Paul II Life Center in Austin and, if possible, to attend their Gala next week.  We at Catholic Business Journal are doing likewise from our own personal funds, just fyi. That’s how strongly we believe in the remarkable work of the center that our long-time columnist Tim VonDohlen co-founded.


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