13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
In December of 1995, I was 18 years old and living in a loft townhouse with my high school sweetheart. I worked in the mall at a pizza place and had no immediate plans to pursue college. My boyfriend was working at KFC and part time at the pizza place. We didn’t have much money or time.
In the beginning of December we became engaged, bought the dress, had the alterations to the dress started, and had secured a location for August 31, 1996. On Christmas day we announced our engagement to our families. My side of course, jokingly high fived my fiancee and said, “We wondered when you’d make an honest woman out of her!” Though they were kidding, I knew deep in my heart I had gone against the Lord and that I was indeed, living in sin.
Two weeks later, while talking to my boss about a co-worker who was quitting due to an unplanned pregnancy, it dawned on me that I was late. Panic filled me as I thought about the fact that I too needed to go purchase a pregnancy test. With the busyness of the holiday season and one of my best friend’s wedding, I had paid no attention to what was going on with my own body.
At the end of my shift, I walked down to Target and purchased the first pregnancy test I had ever had to buy. Silently praying that what I suspected, wouldn’t be true. I had always wanted to be a mom, but not quite this soon! I was the responsible one. I was the smart one. I knew better! How could I have let this happen to me?
I walked home to our apartment and took the test. Alone. My fiancee was still at work and would be until the late hours of the night. I’ve heard so many women say the wait was the longest three minutes of their life. Not so for me. The two pink lines showed up almost instantly. || Surely this test was faulty. I mean, this just could not be true!
The next day we bought another test.
“I bet that test is wrong. They’re not always accurate, right?” Aaron asked me.
“No, I’m pretty sure they are fairly accurate but I have no idea. I’ve never had to take one!” I replied. I knew in my heart the real answer.
“We’ve always been so careful…” I whispered.
The second test confirmed what I already knew to be true. I was pregnant. At 18 years old, I was pregnant. Pregnant.
Aaron threw the pregnancy test across the apartment and left for a walk. Overwhelmed by the responsibility that had been laid in our laps, I crawled into bed and pulled the covers up over my head. I wept for hours. Body shaking sobs overtook me. The future that now laid before us was terrifying and I had no idea how we were going to survive it. Or if we would.
Will he leave me now?
Will I have to do this alone?
How can this be happening?
After that first day, I was okay with the fact that I was going to be a mom. I even allowed myself to get excited about the coming baby. Aaron took a little while longer to warm to the idea. Totally understandable.
The task of telling our parents wasn’t something we looked forward to. My Mom had been traveling when we got our news so I had to call her. I broke down and cried telling her the news. I remember her response, “You know you have other options, right?”
“No, Mom. I don’t,” was the only response I could utter. I had really never imagined that these would be the circumstances in which I’d announce a pregnancy. It wasn’t the way I’d always dreamed. Sitting around the table, smiling from ear to ear, announcing a planned baby. An announcement where everyone is excited and joyful. This just wasn’t how it was supposed to be.
Aaron also told his parents over the phone. I’m not certain how they reacted but I’m sure it was with about as much enthusiasm as could be expected.
With a confirmed pregnancy and a due date of days away from our original wedding date, we had a decision to make. Would we marry before baby, with me all glorious and pregnant or post baby? I was not going to be unwed when I delivered our child. I’d already messed up and I wasn’t going to be an unmarried 19 year old when I gave birth! Being 19 and pregnant was enough. I also refused to be huge and pregnant when we got married! I’d found the perfect dress and I was going to wear it!
We moved the wedding date to Friday, March 1st. My mom and I shopped until I was ready to drop (which was about 5 minutes before we ever began). She took charge of the wedding and was amazing. She would tell me about her decoration ideas and I would tell her to go with it. I was so exhausted, I almost didn’t care. I also knew my mother’s ability to organize and decorate and knew I could trust her to make it a beautiful and special day. Which of course she did!
While my wedding day was slightly altered from how I had originally dreamed, it was still perfect for us. Instead of sipping champagne, we toasted with sparkling cider. Instead of focusing totally on being joyous and happy, I was choking back morning sickness through out the day. It still managed to be a magical and perfect day.
My husband and I have now been married almost
15 18+ (as of 2014) years. Our son is 18 (as of 2014) and we have never looked back or regretted our decision to allow his life to take place. While I know abortion is often an option or a thought for young women who become pregnant unexpectedly, it was never even a smidgen of a thought. I also knew that the child I grew within my body was one that I would love and become so attached to, that adoption would never be a possibility.
It hasn’t been an easy road. I’ve experienced some nasty looks and comments from being a teen mom. I have watched as folks calculate our anniversary date with our son’s age. I have felt the sting of shame for living in sin and having premarital sex. I didn’t make the best decisions but I’m proud of myself for the person I’ve become through the trials. Best of all, I know I have been redeemed and forgiven by the only One who matters and I am forever thankful.
We’ve been broke. We have struggled. Not one day has ever gone by where I have regretted my life or the choices that God has made for me. It’s not how I would have written my life story (it is now) but it is perfectly whole in God’s divine plan. And everyday, I look at my son and see God’s grace and mercy. His ways are not our ways but boy, the joy that would have been missed if I had been allowed to write my own story.
* We are now the proud parents of four beautiful children*
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11