So let’s address the elephant in the room… I’m pregnant at 20 years old and single. But hey, at least I passed the title of “Teen Mom” by a year. Oh, and I’m a Christian; which means I committed one of the worst sins out there, according to most religious and non-religious people. However, if these “Christians” were truly Christians they would know that everyone sins and sin leads to death. Romans 3:23-24 states: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” So why am I being criticized? Just because my sin is evident on my growing baby bump and ring-less finger? Most people can hide their sins easily but not me. We’re all sinners, and it’s time that people take the log out of their own eye before they judge the speck in another’s eye (Matthew 7:3). My intention of this blog is to open people’s eyes to this overlooked situation brought on by Christians and this fallen society, and to encourage other women like me involved in this epidemic.
In the beginning of the summer before my junior year of college, I was dealing with many troubles at home. I caught myself searching for love in all of the wrong places and found a short-lived sense of love from a guy I had been friends with for a while. Of course I knew I had made a huge mistake and it killed me spiritually. I hated myself every second of every day. I prayed for forgiveness constantly but it continued to haunt me and I knew I couldn’t let myself sit at home and dwell on it. I was playing basketball on scholarship at a Christian college, so I consumed myself with lifting weights, shooting, and playing at the gym in pick-up games. I spent around 3 or 4 hours at the gym daily. One night, during my 4th hour at the gym and my 5th pick-up game, I tore my ACL. For people who don’t know, this is a very important ligament in the knee that connects bones and is important in the support of the knee (I’m not a doctor, look it up). This meant I would have to have surgery and I would be out for about a year. After that I was forced to stay home and think. I began to have pregnancy symptoms like random morning sickness and obviously a late period but I was in denial. I didn’t want to believe it and I convinced myself that I wasn’t pregnant. I ended up having surgery on my knee and connected all of my pregnancy symptoms to the surgery and the chemical imbalance of the medications I was on. A few weeks after surgery I still didn’t have a period and I knew I couldn’t continue in denial. I talked to my mom about it and she stood by my side and supported me while I took the pregnancy test. When I saw the positive indication on the test, I immediately fell into my mom’s arms and cried like I’ve never cried before. I couldn’t even believe it. In shock mode, I instantly wanted an abortion. I wanted this problem to go away. Didn’t I have enough on my plate? The next day I went to a free clinic called “Birth Choice” and had a pregnancy test to confirm. There, they talked to me about my options: parenting, adoption, and abortion. They claimed to be pro-life, so they didn’t perform abortions but they educated women on abortion. As I talked to a volunteer there, they tried to convince me to keep the baby. Even after they informed me about all of the dangers of the abortion procedure my mind was still set on abortion. That day I made an appointment to have an abortion. My mom encouraged me to research my options on the internet so I did; I only looked at the positive outcomes of abortion. I made a pros and cons list of each option and abortion seemed to have the least cons and the most pros. I was in so much fear that I neglected prayer and didn’t read my Bible. I just told myself that God would forgive me after having an abortion. When the day of my appointment arrived, I found my mom at my bedside in a panic-attack. She knew me too well to know that I wasn’t bringing my problem to God and that I would regret my decision. After cancelling the appointment I decided to truly research every one of my options; the good and the bad repercussions of each. What I didn’t realize was how much abortion negatively impacts women. I read story after story of women that never forgave themselves. I came across a story of a woman that worked at Planned Parenthood and convinced many women to have an abortion every day. This woman eventually became saved by God and knew how big of a mistake she made. She was convicted of convincing women to sin. She was the cause of the hurt of these women… their everyday pain. Knowing that caused her to resent herself and her past actions. The last story that I will share is about a volleyball player at a Christian college who got pregnant and chose to keep the baby. Her coach and school forgave her and while she obviously couldn’t play volleyball, they allowed her to continue her education at that school. At the very end of this article there was a picture of her and her eventually-born child. It was the most beautiful picture I had ever seen and I knew that that could be me one day. That story is one of the reasons why I sit here today 20 weeks pregnant, excited to meet my baby boy or girl.
The road ahead wasn’t an easy one though, by far. I knew what I would lose: my scholarship, my basketball career, the Christian college that I had loved attending, etc. I knew about the public scrutiny I would have to endure. I knew that my family would have to endure the scrutiny as well. I knew the possibility of rejection by my own friends and family. I knew that raising a child by myself would hold many difficult challenges. I knew that being a single, Christian woman would make me feel alone. I knew all of these things, yet I chose life. I buckled up and said, “Okay God, let’s do this!” By choosing God’s way instead of my own, I have felt more grace and love than I have ever felt in my entire life. My basketball coach was instantly gracious and loving and has chosen to help me in any way he can, my teammates have loved me unconditionally and have been encouraging me every day, my family has fully embraced my pregnancy and is ecstatic to add another life to our family, my friends at home are already calling themselves ‘aunts’ and ‘uncles’, my parents have agreed to help take care of my child and help me finish school, and the college that I was attending is committed to help me take classes elsewhere and has allowed me to return for my senior year to graduate. I have been completely overwhelmed!!! If this isn’t grace, I don’t know what is.
This brings me to the next topic of discussion: abortion. After choosing life and spreading the news of a baby, members of my family have received comments from friends and coworkers that absolutely crush my heart. They have been told things like: “Dude, your sister is knocked up! Why wouldn’t she just have an abortion?” and “She is not even dating the guy, just have an abortion!” and “I can’t believe she would choose to end her life for this baby.” These comments honestly make me feel sick to my stomach. People don’t understand the hurt and pain that women endure for the rest of their lives after having an abortion. Ever since I have shared the news with people, women have opened up to me about having an abortion. These women share with me that their decision haunts them every day of their lives and some women do not allow themselves to have children later in life because they don’t think they are worthy of that gift. Men are so quick to tell their baby mama to have an abortion because they don’t think about the negative emotional effects that it has on the mother. I believe that every abortion clinic in America should be destroyed and in their place should be post-abortion recovery centers for women.
So here is my message:
1. To the single, pregnant women out there in my shoes: You can do this! God is forgiving and loves you all so much. Not to mention, He loves your baby too! Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” There are so many centers like Birth Choice out there that can help you with free counseling, free ultrasounds, and free parenting/baby classes. And remember, you are not alone. There are other women out there in your shoes that feel the same way. You just have to find them! And one last thing- there is always adoption! There are many couples out there who can’t get pregnant due to their physical anatomy and/or health concerns who would love to raise your child! This is a great secondary option for women who are not financially capable of raising their own child. There are open adoptions where you can choose the parents yourself, and you can even have the option of being a part of your child’s life through adoption.
2. To the people of today’s society: abortion is a very serious matter. Instead of only taking the baby into consideration, think about the mother. Value her feelings and emotions because this is not an easy decision. Also, before you become pro-life or pro-abortion, do your research. Take a look around you. How many people are on this earth because their mother chose life? Just by looking at the statistics, you can see that these people are all around you. Everyone is on this earth because their mother chose life. My mom’s best friend approached me and told me that she is here because her mom chose life. She is the godliest woman I know and if her mom chose abortion she wouldn’t be here.
3. To the Christians of the world: think before you judge. Your words, whether said out loud or in your heart hurt. As Christians, we are supposed to love one another as Jesus loves us (John 13:34). And remember, we all sin whether it’s visible or not. If you don’t want to be judged for your sin, don’t judge others for theirs. Like the phrase we hear so often, treat people the way you want to be treated.
I pray for all of the pregnant women out there who share these feelings of fear and shame, and I pray that I can be a voice for the voiceless- both Christian and non-Christian.
Like I said earlier, I am currently 20 weeks pregnant and my beautiful baby is due January 30th, 2015. If you want to stay updated on my pregnancy and life with my child, stay connected to my blog! And if you have further questions for me to answer, please comment below. I am an open book!