When I became pregnant with my oldest daughter at 16 years old I had a lot of difficult decisions to make.
I guess the first decision I had to make was whether or not I was going to raise my child. The option of abortion was there, but I knew in my heart that wasn’t an option for me. When I was in sixth grade I did a group project with my friends for school and the topic was abortion. From that point on I knew it was not something I would ever be OK with doing, and I know that all the truth that was revealed to me during that project was what stopped me from even considering abortion for longer than a single minute. It was completely out of the question for me.
Next I had to decide if adoption was something I could do. It was more of an option but I think I was at a place where most women are in thinking there is no way we could ever hand our baby over to someone else. I still feel it would’ve been the hardest thing I could have ever done, and yet I think it would have been a noble option. I feel the support system I had helped me to have the courage to pass up this option. In all honesty, even though I was only 16 years old, I knew what kind of mother I wanted to be. If I didn’t have the opportunity to be that type of mother then I would have went out of my way to make sure that my daughter had someone that could be the mother she deserved. I’m not saying I am the perfect mother, but I had the opportunity to be the mother I had hoped to be thanks to my amazing support system.
So I decided to move forward in being a mother. It wasn’t the easiest decision to make, but I knew without a doubt in my heart that it was what I wanted to do with all my heart.
I remember going to the clinic to get my prenatal vitamins. To my surprise, I didn’t realize you had to see the doctor on a regular basis while you were pregnant. I remember my mom driving me home and I was looking at the bottle of prenatal vitamins, and I remember the shock wearing away while the reality of the life that was growing inside of me grew. Tears filled my eyes. Love filled my heart. I was so scared. But there was still no doubt.
The school I went to had a program for teens who were pregnant. About every month they would come in and they woul talk with you about your baby’s development, how to take care of yourself and the baby, and they would have activities for us to do to help give us a vision for the future.
At one of our first meetings they gave us a little tiny plastic baby that represented a 12 week old baby in the womb. I remember looking a that little model baby and I was in awe of the life that was growing inside of me. I would lie in bed at night staring at that little baby. I carried it with me everywhere as a reminder and for “good luck.” In fact, I still have that little plastic baby tucked away in a safe place till this day.
Throughout my entire pregnancy well meaning people threw statistics at me, telling me what my odds were. They probably had no idea that their words and unbelief were discouraging to me, but I was determined to become the mom I knew I wanted to be. I don’t blame them for that, and I understand they were just trying to paint a realistic picture for me.
Through all the discouragement I had to make difficult choices.
One day on the way to school my friends were in the car and they were smoking cigarettes. I had stopped smoking because I had this vision engrained in my head from the “pregnant girl class at school” of a baby bottle with cigarettes, alcohol, and everything bad and good in it. They used it as an illustration that whatever I put into my body goes into the baby’s body, too. So as my friends were smoking cigarettes, I rolled down the car window all the way, and it was WINTER. My friends were so angry with me, it was shortly after that incident that we were no longer friends.
I lost all of my friends.
I think that was one of the hardest parts. But I knew I couldn’t expect for them to understand what it meant to become a mother. The choice to not be friends with them anymore was simply because if I had to make a choice between my friends and the health of my baby, well I was going to choose the health of my baby. But being alone after the fact was so difficult.
I was 16 and had no friends. In the world of high school you are utterly alone. It doesn’t matter if you have a boyfriend or a family that loves and cares for you, when you have no friends you literally feel like you have nobody.
But I had no regrets.
I think back on this time in my life and I wonder how I can go back to that 16 year old girl who had no doubt, and no regrets.
How can I be the girl who doesn’t doubt in her heart what is true, noble, right, and worthy?
Truth be told, my daughter was worth every sacrifice I had to make in order to make sure that she was healthy and safe.
I loved her so much the minute I found out she existed that I couldn’t bear the thought of losing her.
After 9 months of poor medical care, losing all my friends, and 33 hours of labor ending in a c-section, she was here. I couldn’t hold her for several hours, all I could do was see her dad holding her.
At the end of it all she was most definitely worth it.
They wheeled me back to my room while my baby stayed in the nursery.
I was exhausted and after seeing everyone that visited the hospital I was so tired I fell asleep.
When I woke up I looked at the clock and realized I could finally hold my baby.
Words can’t even express how excited I was to hold my baby.
In that moment I am guessing I felt what most women feel when they hold their firstborn child for the first time. You love them so much, and in that new beginning you wonder how you ever lived without them before they were born!
In the days to come my love for her grew more and more. I cried tears because I felt unworthy to be her mom. My heart strived everyday to be the best mom that I could be. I was willing to sacrifice everything for her.
Now that my daughter is almost 18 years old, I look at teen moms with their little ones and all I can think about is how brave they are. I know what they’ve said “yes” to. I have a general idea of what they’ve just come through and what they are about to go through. I know the courage it took for them to be the best mom they could be for the baby that they had brought into the world.
I want to be that girl again.
I want to be brave enough to make those difficult choices and to create a new life that is better.
Sometimes when we are birthing something new in our life we need to make those difficult choices.
We need to stand up to our own unbelief and the discouraging words spoken by those who truly mean well.
We will need to make those sacrifices in order to protect our integrity, and the health of whatever new thing we are “birthing” into our life.
Sometimes we need to distance ourselves from the old things that would prevent us from experiencing a NEW LIFE!
It’s not easy, but it is worth it. Just like when you hold your newborn baby in your arms, you will feel brave again, and know without a doubt that this new life was so very worth it!
Love is selfless and it is constantly pursuing ways to bridge the gap of disconnection in the world. Love brings freedom, not only to us, but also to those around us. When we are walking in love we desire the best for people. In this four week mini Bible Study come and explore what unconditional love looks like in your life today.