So i have finally made it to the end of this particular little series. This post is more of a "post script". It is my heart that my story will serve only to bring truth to light, and glory to God. :) i know... pretty high aspirations for one girl's story, but i know my Papa - and He can make feasts out of loaves and fishes, and so i brought Him mine. If you want to read the other pieces, you can find them here:
PART 1 - courage
PART 2 - rescue
PART 3 - life
PART 4 - bereft
PART 5 - truth
There are a few things my parents did right that are worth expressing here for others to take from what they will. My parents raised me knowing and understanding the intrinsic value of human life. i have no doubt that's why when a friend tried to suggest that i abort my precious baby, i literally felt the vomit rise in my throat and i stopped them before the words could be uttered. i knew that despite my desperate circumstances, my baby had as much a right to her wild and crazy life - as i had to mine.
Parents, raise your sons and daughters to value life.
To my boys (and my girls),
i want you to read my pain. Your daddy used to play that Blue Rodeo song, "i never meant to make you cry..." and i know that he regretted the way that the decisions we made together caused us (especially me - as the one carrying the little one) so much sorrow. If you love her, prove it by waiting.
My pastor - in his wisdom - asked me to refrain from being in ministry in the church for a while after our wedding. We needed his gentle discipline and rebuke. i am grateful that he talked to us about our sin - rather than ignoring it (which i'm sure would have been easier). He allowed us to bring truth to the surface and begin healing by first cleaning our wounds and putting on fresh dressing, y'know?
Pastors, tend your flocks.
So many women reached out to me as i stumbled from being a girl to a married mother. i thought that every time one did, she needed to see my shame - to see that i wasn't proud of myself - to understand that i knew i was dead wrong. Church, this is a heavy burden for a girl full of repentance to bear. If she misses you in her long line of apologies, have grace for her. If she can't stand to bring it up again... and again, and again, and again... understand that her Father is dealing with her - and your kindnesses won't spoil her. She doesn't need to be beat down. Trust me. She needs your mercy. Be the hands and feet - this is one of those times to just *do*. My sister jess calls it, "the gospel in boots"... Can you be the one wearing them?
Friends and family,
i remember a phone call that i got from my uncle. He chose not to give me a sermon that night (though, believe you me; i got a few really good sermons in that time of my life that were invaluable to me). Instead he spoke in a slow low tone - as though to a wild animal - pretending not to hear that there were only horrible choking sobs on the other end of the line, he kept up the conversation all by himself. He told me how my grandma goose sure loved babies - and it didn't matter how they came into being or under what circumstances - but that she was always excited for a new one. He was sure she would have been excited for mine too, if she had been there. He told me that his wife would have given an arm... or a leg too... if she could have had a child - and that i was sure blessed to be having one. He gently prodded me about neil - telling me we were lucky to have that kind of love....
And i didn't record that conversation in my journal.
But i remember it.
Those types of kindnesses were rare. Honestly? Most people ignored us, unsure how to proceed (this was true both for me and for Neil)- i don't blame them. The awkwardness was of our own making. But to have someone gently reach out - and not even allow the guilty apologies to begin to be spoken, but instead to speak love - was a balm to my hurting lonely heart at a very difficult time in my life.
Friends? If you can, be kind.
Dear pregnant, scared, single mama -
i'm crying again even now writing this.
Maybe we can cry together.
i want you to understand that the baby? The baby is not the sin. The baby - your son or daughter - is a gift from God. Yes. A gift. From God. The little one you're carrying - was conceived by the will of God - and was created in His very image. How amazing is that?
The sin? That can be taken care of - washed clean and healed... But you need to begin now - to take away the ugly rotten lies that want to cling to your wounds and make them fester and rot. You need to acknowledge your sin to your Papa. He loves you, precious daughter of the King. There can be sorrow with this repentance... but it won't last forever - just watch what He will do. He has plans for you, and one of those plans is for you to carry this little one. i can't pretend to know where He will take you beyond that - but know that if you allow Him to cleanse your wounds - you can have an intimacy in your relationship with Him that will only grow until you think you could burst. Maybe you've been told that if you carry or keep this baby, your life is over. i want you to know that this bend in the road isn't the end of your life... but it is the very sweet beginning of your child's. Your choices right now affect you both - be wise and compassionate. You won't regret it.
You are a mama.
i don't know if you will choose, like me, to be the best (broken, imperfect) mama to your little one as you can be, or if you will choose adoption for your darling child - but i do know that God has a plan for your little one, and that your loving protection right now is life-saving, life-changing, life-sustaining.
You are a humbled hero.
You have the character to do this hard thing.
If you need help, or don't know where to turn - contact your local crisis pregnancy care center... even... contact me on this blog - and i will do what i can to help you find the help you need.
You are not alone.
i love you.
And so does your Creator.