I was scrambling to write a post for today. I opened my writing prompts book for help. This is what I chose for today. I hope it helps someone. The strength is present, just dig deeper for it.
Write about a moment when you felt proud of yourself.
It was May 1989. I was 18 years old. There was a large crowd of people in the stands, most I didn’t even know. But there was an almost two-year old little girl in the crowd. She’s part of why I felt so proud of myself. See it was my high school graduation and that little girl was my daughter. Walking across that stage meant many things to me. The journey to that day is one I’d like to share. 1987-88
Walking the halls my junior year of high school, with my stomach growing each week wasn’t as much of a proud feeling as walking across the graduation stage. There were the stares, the talk, the questions, the scandal, the rejection. There were supportive and nice folks as well, some that stepped up changed not only my life but my daughter’s as well. I’m grateful for all of them.
I didn’t get in this circumstance by myself but I did take responsibility, even if it was a struggle a lot of days. Having a large high school full of students and teachers know daily what you did with someone else at such a young age wasn’t an easy pill to swallow. But I did it because life mattered. That child I was carrying mattered.
I wasn’t a martyr, I wasn’t good at it, and I didn’t deserve a medal for continuing high school while pregnant. In fact, I wasn’t the first and I wasn’t the last pregnant teen there. I wasn’t the only one that year either.
My gift was not only delivering a healthy, beautiful little baby girl in June 1988. One of my gifts was the ability to finish high school, walk across the stage to obtain my diploma, and show that two year old it can be done. That there is strength within, even during the hardest of days. Also that dwelling on the mistake doesn’t make life better, but learning from it does.
One of the proudest moments in my life was walking across a stage to accept a piece of paper that I worked hard for. That gave me and my little family opportunities that I might not have had if I had quit high school. I had good support that I needed during this part of my life, that made a huge difference.
So. If you are reading this and you are a young teen that is pregnant or know someone that is a teen mother, or are one yourself I want you to know something. That life within in you or sitting on your lap matters, and so do YOU. You matter more than you know. Take the time to find strength, ask for help, stop and take deep breaths often. Don’t dwell on your mistake, but learn from it. Love your child. Love yourself. I’m praying for you and your family.
Grace is a gift,