When Your Teen Becomes Pregnant

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Image courtesy of Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot/freedigitalphotos.net

After my divorce, I spent twelve years as a single parent. Over time, it became easier, and we fell into a rhythm of life that worked for us. But I kept an eye out for the right man to step into the father role for my daughters. I dated, but most men didn’t rate a second date. Of those who did, I allowed only a few to stick around beyond a third date.

I was a package deal. If I sniffed out troubles early on, I kicked the guy to the curb. I wanted my girls to experience a good father, one who didn’t use violence to control you. A man who cared and provided for his children and demonstrated the true love of a father. In the absence of this man, I relied on my father and men from church.

I did eventually find the man who would step into that role, but you can’t rely on a person to fix a situation, especially one that had been developing long before he entered the picture.  The only one who can fix something is God.

I believe He brought my husband into my life at this critical point, a time when I would need him to stand with me through tough times.

At the age of fifteen, my younger daughter became pregnant. After all I had done to try and teach her right from wrong, she chose to ignore my guidance and got involved with a boy whose family had very loose morals.

When I met my ex-husband, my parents strongly disapproved, driving me toward him, not away, so I vowed not to make that mistake. It was not easy. We caught her in a few lies related to the boyfriend. This only angered her more. No matter what we said or did, we never seemed to get it right.

One evening she ran away. We looked everywhere. Called the police. When we called her boyfriend’s mother she told me she wasn’t at their house and that her son was missing, too.

The woman lied. My daughter was at her house and spent the night with her boyfriend. What a nightmare.

Any surprise she became pregnant? I hoped it wouldn’t happen, but I wasn’t a fool.

I had vowed to not make the mistakes my parents made in this same situation, yet here I was. I tried to show more compassion than I felt I had received as a teen, so I found a Christian counselor to help her navigate this frightening time.

As she pondered her options, I worried.

She was too young to raise the child alone or to get married, although she didn’t seem to want to do that.

Should we raise this child as our own? Our daughter had become stubborn and difficult over the last few years. What would life be like if she and the child remained with us? Who would be legally responsible?

Her father, my abusive ex, offered to raise the child. I put my foot down on that idea, shocked that she even considered it.

We didn’t believe in abortion, so that wasn’t going to happen.

The last option, the one she eventually chose, was adoption.

And here’s where the ray of light, the silver lining, appeared in this situation.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

My brother and his wife could not conceive and had begun looking into adoption. It took time for my daughter to decide, but she chose them to adopt the baby, a beautiful boy. She fulfilled their desire for a child, he remained part of the family he was born into, and my daughter had the opportunity to move forward in her life and still know her son.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

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How Christian Fellowship Saved Me

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.  John 13:35

If you’ve been reading my journey to faith posts, I hope something about my last two posts, Single Parenting: It Takes a Village and Sick Children and Single Parenting, struck you.  If you missed it, then let me shed some light on the story for you:

 

I finally had a church family where I belonged.

The previous churches I belonged to loved me, but they had no place for me to fit in, to participate with the membership.

When I got my divorce, the church we attended was getting to know us as part of the young marrieds class.  Suddenly, I didn’t belong in that class.  There was a small group of singles, but I got the impression I would not be welcome there. No one ever said that to me, but no one ever invited me, either.  People stepped back. They didn’t know what to say, so they said nothing.  In fact, when I did finally meet a single man in the church, an elder warned him that he might not want to associate with me since I had been divorced twice.  This made me very sad since, one, it wasn’t true, and two, I realized I was unclean in this elder’s eyes.

I found my acceptance and social life outside of the church.

Eventually, I moved back to my hometown, but I had changed churches and no longer attended my parents’ church.  The church I attended was small, but most people in this small town knew my family, so I rode on family reputation.  I probably needed that after the last church. This congregation loved us, they accepted us, but there was no one my age or even close to it. I had the only children in the congregation.  I stayed because deep inside, I knew there was something in this church’s beliefs that I needed, but…

I found my social life outside of the church.

Group shot in Gatlinburg.

Then, I moved to Atlanta.  I had operated more as a “Count me present, I’m here” Christian up to this point, but this church had a place for me.  They didn’t point out my shortcomings, instead they accepted me as I was. They invited me to do things with them.   They had activities I could participate in. There were singles my age and as well as several single parents in this church.  It became my favorite place to be. Why? I had the love and fellowship I needed in the church.  I didn’t have to find it elsewhere.

Is it any surprise that I finally began to look at my faith in a new light?  Is it any surprise that I grew closer to God?  Is it any surprise that I recommitted my life to Christ?

I challenge you to take a look around you.  Maybe your church has accepted people who don’t fit the norm, but have you included them?  Do they have a place to go on Friday and Saturday when it gets lonely?  Do they have friends to meet for lunch or dinner or to just talk to?  That’s where the real saving happens: fellowship with other Christians.

NOTE:  I know I promised a post on single parents’ disease, but God revealed this truth to me in the
past week, and I wanted to share it.  Next post will be single parents’ disease.