Statistically speaking I was in a bad place at the age of seventeen. I felt like the odds were stacked against me...and they were. Some of the statistics for unwed teen mothers are as follows:
- Young women who are teen mothers are less likely to attain a high school diploma by age 22 than those who are not (fifty-one percent compared to 89 percent).
- Less than two percent of teen mothers complete college by age 30.
- When earnings are compared over the first 15 years of motherhood, women who were teen mothers earn significantly less than women who were not. Teen mothers are also more likely to be on welfare.
- Teen parents are at risk of subsequent pregnancy: over one fifth of births to teens in the U.S. are second births. About one-fourth of teenage mothers have a second child within two years of their first birth. Subsequent pregnancies can compound educational and financial difficulties for young women.
- Children of teen mothers are more likely to be born prematurely and/or at low birth weight than children of older mothers, placing them at higher risk for other health problems.
God is not of this world and He is the maker of miracles. Jesus says...
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Matthew 11: 28-30 NIV
Wow! What a promise! Jesus said that He would handle it all for me, all I needed to do was release it into His hands. In return for all of my troubles he would give me peace. I was sold! I knew that I didn't have the strength or the courage to face my difficult future alone. In my heart of hearts, I knew that my boyfriend wouldn't be up to the task either. We needed help from the only one strong enough to carry our load. That person was Jesus.
All too often we think that we can handle the obstacles ourselves. Then we end up feeling depleted and resentful. God says we don't have to go at it alone. He is our helper. He will do the dirty work. When we lay our burdens at His feet He is there to pick them up. He knew what it was like to feel overwhelmed and hurt. He drew His strength from His Father and He asks us to do the same.
Remember that towering city named Jericho? Joshua probably looked up at those walls wondering how on God's green earth was he going to get inside that city. From a human standpoint the odds were certainly against him. But that was just it, God was going to do all the dirty work. All Joshua had to do was have faith and obey God's orders and God would deliver on His promise. It didn't take any explosive devices, ropes, or battering rams. All it would take was a shout unto the Lord.
"When the people heard the sound of the rams' horns, they shouted as loud as they could.
Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites charged straight into the town and captured it."
Joshua 6: 20
I imagine that the Israelites were awe struck! The impossible had just taken place and all at the hands of the Lord. So you know that wall? The one that looms above you? Don't stand in it's shadow, overcome by how large it is. Give it to God to tear down. Watch it turn to dust before your very eyes. All you have to do is shout unto the Lord.