It showed up on my Facebook feed one day. A friend of mine had liked the story. Right there, in front of me, and it took me back to when I was 16 years old. That happens sometimes, the simplest thing will come into eyesight or cross my path and it will take me back 26 years.
Back to a time, when I thought I knew it all, yet felt desperate and rejected. A time when something was growing inside of me and I never once thought abortion was an option. Not because I was of Christian faith and it was a sin, but more that it would not be allowed and if so the guilt would kill me. I was raised when we mess up, you dealt with the consequences! Those last couple lines, they might shocked those that know me now, but didn’t then. You know my heart, you know what matters.
It was a time when I felt more love from my Mother than I ever had and more disappointment from my Step-dad than I thought I could bear. Most days were spent with all eyes on me, as my stomach grew and I walked those High School halls. Oh, I felt determined and somewhat snotty I was going to finish school and graduate! No stopping me! It didn’t matter the stares or some shame filled days I felt, or the difficulty of passing the “sperm donor” who acted as though I didn’t exist. The people that never gave me a minute of time before, all of a sudden were very interested in little ol’ me and my bundle sweetness inside me. Not everyone was like that, but there were some, I’m not naive. The child growing inside of me, I grew to love with each passing day. By the way, I did graduate the following May with my class and I did attend both my proms!
The 16 year old pregnant unwed teen. That was me in 1987, my Junior year. I recall it was Christmas break and I started wearing maternity clothes. Mostly hand me downs from my oldest sister from when she was pregnant. No fancy trend clothes for me! Sadly, that year, I wasn’t the only one. I think there may have been 5 or 6 pregnant girls, I can’t recall exactly now. We had a support group, with a good counselor. That was a wonderful thing to have let me tell you!
Either way, the creation within me, was birthed on June 21, 1988.
I could give you a list of reasons why I found myself pregnant at the young age of 16, but I am not going to. Instead I will tell you sometimes I feel guilty. Guilty because it seems like I live a very different life and have different beliefs now. Perhaps they were always in my inner core, I mean I did choose life. I knew life was the choice, no matter the hardships that lie ahead. I chose to have sex and I needed to take responsibility! That was engrained in my head from birth I do believe. I’m grateful for that because it got me something pretty great, my daughter.
It wasn’t easy being a pregnant teen or single Mother, but I had a supportive family, friends, and God was always there. I wasn’t appreciating that last one at the time, but I do now. I have repented of my sin, and know that choosing to bring this life to full term was meant to be. I know I made the right choice.
I haven’t written on this particular subject before. There may be periodic posts regarding being a teen Mother. All I know is, perhaps, even 26 years later, I can help someone see that life is a gift, even if it was created outside of marriage. That life is sometimes hard and lovely at the same time and that forgiveness is within reach.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
Grace is a gift,