No one tells you about the intense feeling of shame that overwhelms you when you find out that you are pregnant at seventeen. It has a crippling effect and at times it can take your breath away. You're embarrassed because now you have to reveal to the world that you made a mistake. You had unprotected sex (against your better judgment) and now you have to pay the price.
I understand that the circumstances behind each teen-pregnancy is different. Some girls are in love, others barely know the father of the child, some get pregnant on purpose, and others are sadly forced to have intercourse against their will. The list goes on and on. This is simply my story, and it's one out of millions. I don't think I'm alone when I say that "shame" is a feeling that most teen mothers experience.
I remember being frightened about all of the uncertainties of life. I did't know how my parents would react, or my how my boyfriend's family would take the news. Neither one of us was employed, and I was still in high school. How were we going to support our baby? Like flood-waters the problems rushed in. The doubt and fear was almost unbearable. All I wanted to do was curl up into a ball on the floor and imagine my problems would miraculously disappear. As we all know, life doesn't work that way. We either fight, or we give-up. It came to my surprise to learn that I'm a fighter. I would fight for my new family. I would take responsibility for my actions and I would provide for my baby. This was my life and nothing was going to change it so I had to make the best of it. We all have choices to make and I could either let the shame destroy me, or I could let it drive me. I could prove to my family and friends that my circumstances wouldn't defeat me.
My mind was willing but what I didn't know yet was that my flesh wouldn't be up to the task. My heart needed an immense amount of healing and my life wouldn't succeed without help from the One who was ultimately in charge. I would be a child flung into an adult world and I was equipped with nothing more than some adolescent emotions and a young man of twenty-one that I was hoping would be my Knight in Shining Armor. This kind of naive idealism was setting me up for plenty of disappointments.
My saving Grace had come before all this...before I was pregnant, before I met my boyfriend. It had begun with a prayer that I had said in faith in sincerity. It began when I was fifteen, and maybe even before then. My story had already been written, and God would be using my teen pregnancy to grow me. For it is written...
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives."
Genesis 50:20 NIV
The sin of having sex before I was married was what satan had intended on using to destroy me. The temptation and compromise I was lured into was supposed to diminish my hope and make me feel so ashamed that there would be no way that God would take me back into His loving arms. Why would He? I was a mess. The enemy is a liar and his only agenda is to make us feel like unwanted, unloved, unworthy things that can't possibly be forgiven for our mistakes. But God says...
"Do not be afraid: you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth..."
Isaiah 54:4 NIV
God's plan for our lives is so much more than we can dream up ourselves. Let Him grow you and mold you. There is no shame in Christ, only love.