It’s a word so many long to read, but one that wasn’t even on my radar.
I kept waiting for the “not” to appear before the word on my digital test as it had done before. I was only 4 days late. It couldn’t be.
Thats the word that remained. Because that’s what I was.
Suddenly, in those 3 little minutes while waiting for a pregnancy test, my whole life changed
My boyfriend and I were living together. I was 22, unmarried and underemployed. I didn’t have a college degree, didn’t know what I was doing in life and had none of the resources everyone says you need to be a parent. My boyfriend was a server at a restaurant, was completing his bachelor's degree, and was thinking about teaching someday. How could we afford to bring another person into this world?
Beyond the logistics, I had strayed from my church out of anger for the scandal that struck our community and couldn’t bear to walk back into the building, let alone tell everyone that I was now pregnant. What would they say?
What would my new parish think? At the church I had started attending, I was active in the music ministry; clearly I would have to stop. Who wants an unwed pregnant mother as a volunteer?
But that's not how my story ends. Praise God for his mercy. Praise God for his grace. Praise God for friends who were more like brothers and sisters who envelop you in hugs when you confess to them your sin. Praise God for the sacraments. Praise God that I was forgiven shortly thereafter through reconciliation, though all around me knew the sins I had confessed as I grew over the next few months.
Praise God for family who cares and supports through trial. Praise God for second chances. Praise God that over the next year and a half of discernment, my boyfriend became my husband and we later had three more children in marriage. And Praise God for this beautiful boy who God used to correct my path and bring me back to Him
By the grace of God, I was heard by many of my friends and understood. They embraced me and encouraged me, doing their best to protect me from those who would look down on a single woman with a growing belly, sitting in a pew by herself. Don't get me wrong, there were plenty who made it known that they disapproved of my actions, but the true friends stuck through the trial - including a Music Director who told me she hoped I would stay no matter what.
God knows what we need. I needed community, correction, and support. That was all provided. My life was, and is, far from perfect, but I know and trust that God has a plan for myself, and each of these beautiful lives I have the privilege of raising. I pray that they know how much they are loved. The circumstances of their coming into this world do not change that fact.
Each one of us is made for greatness. Allow the Holy Spirit to consume you and guide you on the path He has in store for you. He will never fail you. He will never let you down.
Know that if you find yourself single and pregnant, you are not alone. You are strong enough to make it through this pregnancy, and you can be a good mother- whether that means raising your child or choosing to allow another family to do so through adoption. This is not the end. Reach out to others for help and know that we are all in this journey together.
I'm praying for you, sister.
If you you find yourself facing an unplanned pregnancy, call the following phone number for more resources:
Aid to Women's 24 HOUR HOTLINE: 1-800-712-HELP (4357)