I had just started my senior year of high school. Everything was falling in place to be the best year yet. I was crazy in love with my boyfriend, I had great friends, I loved all my extracurricular activities, I was lined up to be accepted to my number one college pick, everything was great. Everything was perfect. Then things changed. In two minutes my whole world turned completely upside down.
I was a month into my senior year of high school when I found out I was pregnant. Terrified. Ashamed. Crushed. When I saw the test was positive, I couldn’t pick myself up off the floor. I couldn’t stop the tears. What was I going to do? What is my boyfriend going to say? My parents are going to be so mad. I was 17 years old. I was a baby, how could I have a baby? I knew nothing about life, about parenting, about marriage. I couldn’t be a mother. This can’t be happening. The thought of telling my parents was paralyzing, I couldn’t move. Everything had changed so quickly.
When I told my boyfriend, he was shocked. All his dreams and plans flew out the window. He had just started college, he was just figuring out what he wanted to do with his life, and then it was suddenly decided for him. What were his parents going to say? How was his little sister going to react? She’s going to hate me. His whole family will, my whole family will. There was so much fear in my life, so many questions. I had no idea what I was going to do. Telling my parents that I was pregnant was without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever done. The disappointment in my dads voice, the tears in my mom eyes, it was devastating. I was such a failure. Things would never be the same.
I was in a dark place. I was confused, I was lonely, I was embarrassed. I couldn’t pray. No way the Lord wanted to talk to me. He was disgraced by me. I knew having sex was wrong, I heard the Lord tell me not to do it, and I ignored Him. I blew my chance to be right with the Lord. I was on my own now.
The weeks went by, a baby growing inside me. Still no idea what I was going to do. I couldn’t get rid of it, but I definitely couldn’t keep it. There were so many voices coming at me from all sides. But one voice kept standing out to me, one thought kept coming to the front of my mind. Redemption. Redemption. Redemption.The Lord kept speaking that word into my life. I kept hearing it. But I didn’t think it was for me. There’s no way it could be for me. I knew the Lord had the power to redeem any sin, any mistake. But I didn’t think He could fix this one. I knew that Jesus died for sins, but not this one. The enemy had me surrounded with lies. He told me that my life was over. I had gone too far. I was on my own. I believed them all. Every lie that was spoken to me, I believed.
But the Lord was fighting for me. Every second, every moment, He was there. Redemption was never far from where I was. I see that now, but I didn’t see it then. One day it had gotten to be too much. I was tired. I was tired from all the voices, all the opinions, all the pressure. So much pressure. I thought maybe enough time had passed that the Lord would be willing to hear me. So I quit listening to all the voices, I was quiet, I was still. I asked Jesus to forgive me, and to show me what to do. And from the second I said His name, I felt different. Everything didn’t get better right away, all my problems didn’t disappear, but something was different. Something was definitely different.
I wasn’t alone. I had felt so distant from everyone around me. I felt like no one understood what I was going through. There were always people coming up to me to tell me that they supported me, but I always felt alone. Then the Lord showed me He was there. He was with me and for me, and He loved me so much. He loved the baby too. He had plans for her. He had plans for me too. At first I thought my dreams were over. I thought that everything I wanted was gone. I feared that my whole identity would be a teen wife and mom. I feared growing up in such a short amount of time, and all the fun I was missing out on. But the Lord revealed new dreams to me, put others on hold, and fulfilled so much more. He taught me how to be a child of God. He taught me how to dream for His glory. But most importantly, He showed me that my identity is in Him and Him alone. I am defined by Him, not by what I didn’t get to do or what I missed out on.
I am not ashamed. I spent a lot of time hiding. I stayed inside with my daughter. I would only go out to see family. I didn’t want to make any mom friends because I feared their judgement. I even lied about my age, a lot. I didn’t want to be a teen mom, I just wanted to be a mom. But the Lord redeemed me. He turned my guilt and shame into a blessing. He taught how to mother fearlessly and love fiercely.
I can’t imagine my life being any different than how it is. I wouldn’t want it to be. God took my sin and turned it into the best thing that has ever happened to me. Something that was full of shame and regret into something beautiful. I am now married to the best man, and I have two beautiful children. I am so thankful to the Lord for who He is. His grace and mercies are never ending. He is so good.
Thanks for reading the beginning of my story. I hope it brought you some encouragement. No matter what you’re going through in life, the Lord is with you always. He can redeem any shame, and is ready to forgive any sin, all you have to do is ask.
“The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of the Lord stands forever.” Isaiah 40:8