Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Why I left Law Enforcement

I'm so excited to have the husband share a little of his heart on the blog today. Ladies and gentleman, my husband, Jesse. 


I’m currently sitting in the San Francisco airport, waiting to fly out to Washington DC for the March for Life. This event kickstarts the first day of my new job as the Director of Affiliate Development for Save the Storks. It has been a complete whirlwind over the last several weeks preparing to move my family out from Northern California to Colorado Springs. Dealing with movers, cleaning out the house, mapping a future financial plan, and tying up loose ends at my former place of employment has not left me with much time to think or contemplate how I got here.


As some of you know, last week I ended my time as a police officer for the Santa Rosa Police Department. It was an incredible job, and one that I did not anticipate leaving. You see, I didn’t leave police work because I did not enjoy the job anymore. 

I did not leave law enforcement because I felt like I wasn’t given opportunity to pursue my interests within the field. Quite the contrary; during my 7.5 year tenure there I was able to work on the Highway Criminal Interdiction Team, work as an undercover Narcotics Detective for several years, and had just been selected to be a Field Training Officer. 

I did not leave because of the current climate of disrespect, distrust, and dangerous violence towards police officers in this country. Being a police officer has always been a thankless job with numerous dangers. I know that the vast majority of men and women that I worked with in law enforcement care about their community and willingly risk their lives to uphold the Constitution and protect others. This current climate would not have swayed me from doing what I believed was right. Although, I do believe my wife will now sleep better at night, knowing that I am not in harms way. Haha.  

The reason I left law enforcement was to pursue a new calling; a new mission to serve and protect. Part of a law enforcement officers job is to protect those who cannot protect themselves. We live in a world full of injustice, where people prey on the weak and helpless. Numerous groups of people are persecuted for various factors, and are oftentimes denied the most basic of human rights; the right to live. But we live in America, right? The land of the free? We’ve learned from the mistakes of our past, and no longer allow this sort of injustice to thrive in our borders, right? This is mostly true unless you happen to be an unborn child. 

I remember seeing my children on an ultrasound when they were approximately 12 weeks old and marveling had how much of an individual human being they already were. Even as someone who was already pro-life, I was still shocked by how developed my children already were at this stage of pregnancy. I remember the first time that I held my beautiful daughter Reese, and how my heart completely burst with love for this beautiful creature. I could not imagine the world without her there. I was also completely in awe of the strength and dedication displayed by my wife during the delivery process. As someone who has been a part of some intense events, witnessing the live birth of my children is still one of the most incredibly intense and amazing things I have seen.


It has always filled me with incredible sadness that the miracle I was able to experience has been intentionally destroyed millions of times over in this country. Worse is that many of the people allowing themselves to subjugate their unborn children to murder, are not fully aware of the actions that they are taking. They have bought the lie that that they are simply removing an unwanted problem that is an appendage of their own body, and not an individual human being. They have also bought the lie that this action will actually enhance their life. 

When confronted with this injustice, I felt completely helpless. I had no idea how to effectively work to save the lives of not only these unborn children but also the mothers who carried them. Arguing seemed generally fruitless, protesting appeared to fall on deaf ears and often times alienated those we we're trying to reach, and trying to change the law and force people to stop this senselessness had also failed. Even more difficult for my position is that, as a man, I do not have the same physical burden/privilege as a woman when it comes to this issue. This simple fact alone oftentimes led me to stay on the periphery of this issue. Where I found limited success was being in relationship with people and truly caring for them. From this position I was able to speak into their lives and give Godly direction as it pertained to this issue. 

In the fall of 2015, I went to a presentation at our church for an organization called Save the Storks. There a man named Jeff Gilbert shared the vision for this non-profit ministry to effectively face the injustice of abortion. Starting from a place of grief and brokenness, this organization turned to God to provide them with creative ways to lovingly change the hearts and minds of abortion minded women. They developed the concept of putting a luxury Mercedes van, equipped with an ultrasound machine, and placing it at the front door of an abortion clinic. From this position, they were able to effectively approach abortion minded women with grace and truth about the choice they were making. When many of these women see their unborn child in the womb, they choose life. Of course, many of these women are pregnant in less than ideal circumstances, so this organization partners with local pregnancy resource centers to help provide adoption services, free pre-natal care, clothing, diapers, and much more. This was just a facet of how this organization was utilizing creative methods to reach people. The best part about it; it was working. Four out of five women boarding a Save the Storks bus were making a choice for life. 


As I thought about it, I realized why it was having such an effect. Quite simply, the organization aligned their thought process with the teachings of Jesus. Jesus would often meet people involved in situations or lifestyles that were societally and morally unacceptable. He did not lash out in judgement against them, but he also did not ignore the issue at hand. Instead he lived with them, dined with them, cared for them, and lovingly shared the truth about the negative decisions they were making. He then instructed them to stop and told them how to. 

My wife and I were completely blown away by the presentation. Both of us felt compelled to be a part of what this organization was doing. Even at that time, I had no idea that our desire to come alongside this ministry, would mean me actually leaving my job and joining this ministry. While I am nervous about the change, and will miss certain things about my old job, I can rest assured that I am exactly where God wants me to be. I am excited to begin the privileged work of saving lives, not only for this life but for eternity. 

Please keep my family and I in your thoughts and prayers, and consider supporting us in our transition into full time ministry with this incredible organization. 


2 comments:

  1. Dear Jesse,
    I know this was not an easy decision, and I am so proud of you and Ashley for making this transition. I have watched you two from your courting days, and what I've seen is a couple who seeks God's will for their lives. You have been blessed with a beautiful family, and I pray that God will use you mightily as you serve Him. It is a joy and a privilege to know you! Hugs, Jackie

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