Trust in God – he has a plan

Leah Kinney and her father, Scott Kinney, stand outside the Emma Goldman Clinic in Iowa City with Bishop Thomas Zinkula on April 6.

By Leah Kinney

The first time God spoke to me about abortion was in the summer of 2012. My parents and I were leaving Lake Okoboji after a weeklong vacation, but they had one more surprise for me before going back home. We headed north towards the Minnesota border and stopped in West Bend, Iowa, to visit the Grotto of the Redemption.

The grotto is a beautiful shrine made of rocks and crystals from around the world. It includes many sculptures portraying important biblical scenes and statues of Jesus, Mary and disciples. I remember walking around in great awe and feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit. We walked around for quite a while before I stumbled upon a headstone near a cove of stones. I walked up to the headstone and read this:
“A voice was heard in Ramah sobbing and loudly lamenting. It was Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted because they were no more.” (Matthew 2:18 In memory of the unborn victims of abortion, dedicated by Knights of Columbus Council 3032, West Bend, 1999.)

I remember reading this over and over again and trying to grasp all the emotions I was feeling. I had always known abortion was wrong and considered myself pro-life, but nothing more than that in regards to abortion. Being able to see a physical symbol of the innocent lives lost to abortion made me realize I could be doing more.


This past January, those opportunities to do more were revealed to me. After joining Tau Omega, a Catholic service fraternity at the University of Iowa, I was introduced to Johnson County Right to Life. I started going to their monthly meetings and I could hear God calling me to get involved. In fact, a couple weeks ago, I stood on the sidewalk for the first time to pray. I have had both good and powerful experiences praying in front of the clinic and I know I’m doing the right thing. I will continue to pray in the weeks, months and years ahead for the lives of the unborn and their mothers.

On April 6, Bishop Thomas Zinkula joined us in prayer outside of the Emma Goldman Clinic in Iowa City. Leading up to the prayer vigil, I was nervous and concerned about all the things that could possibly go wrong. But I trusted in God and knew he had a plan. As I walked up to the sidewalk that Saturday morning, I felt his presence and a sense of peace.

When everyone else started to arrive, I could not believe how many people were there! Not just adults, but clergy, students and children. I greeted Bishop Zinkula and he led us in an opening prayer. My friends and I led the Culture of Life Rosary, and it was so encouraging to hear so many people come together to pray as one.

I am so blessed and thankful to Bishop Zinkula for giving up his time to come and pray with us, but more importantly having his support on such a tragic issue. We may never know who was touched by all our prayers that day, but prayer is powerful and can do amazing things! If you feel called to get more involved or want to learn about 40 Days for Life, visit their website at

(Leah Kinney is a University of Iowa student and member of Tau Omega, a Catholic service fraternity at the University of Iowa. Her home parish is St. Mary-Pella.)

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