For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14 NIV
I lifted the yellow baby brush, gently gliding it through his soft hair. He was beautiful, eight pounds twelve ounces. Looking into his dark-brown olive eyes, I cradled him as he cooed and gurgled.
How did I get here?
A mom at eighteen? I had no clue what I was in for. Thank God for a supportive family.
It was my senior year. We all remember high school, the drama, the cliques, the inclusions and exclusions. I joined clubs and went to parties. All was going according to plan. Then things changed. Friends moved away, dropped out, drifted apart. I was vulnerable, searching for something to fill the empty places.
I began working at a grocery store as a cashier. There was this older guy in the produce department. He flirted with me, and the attention made me blush. He asked me out and there you go, the beginning of over-my-head.
When we build relationships on physical attraction, the foundation is foolishly built upon the sand. tweet that
It was nearing Christmastime and I came down with the flu, or so I thought. It was my mother who first realized this flu might eventually need a name. We did the test.
Home pregnancy tests back then didn’t have lines, they had donuts. If a donut shape appeared, the test was positive. I would never look at a donut the same way again.
I told him. We made plans to marry.
What was happening to me?
I felt shame. I felt branded. I was no longer a high school girl going to parties, I was that pregnant girl who had to leave school to plan a shot-gun wedding, minus the shot-gun.
I wouldn’t go anywhere, and as the baby grew, my shame grew too.
Sin may be fun for a season, but what we hide in darkness, will be exposed by the light. tweet that
I loved my baby and that never changed, but something did change, or rather someone. This man I planned to marry wasn’t who he portrayed himself to be. My engagement ended.
I now know God had other plans for who my future husband would be.
Fast forward two years and I meet the man I was meant to marry. The man who cared for my son, and made me feel loved and treasured.
As my son grew, I was proud of him every moment of his life. Still, I couldn’t shake the shame of my teenage pregnancy. I cringed as people did the math in their heads, even as I got older.
Teenage moms can feel a loss of identity. I longed to fit in with friends, but I just didn’t anymore. They were going to parties and planning college, while I was breastfeeding and changing diapers.
I felt like what I did made me who I was, that pregnant girl. Then I met Jesus, and the truth set me free.
What we did in the past doesn’t make us who we are; it’s what Jesus did for us that confirms our identity.
Jesus had already taken my shame to the cross, it just took me a while to find that out.
When Jesus overcame our shame, years of disgrace were replaced by grace. tweet that
I shared this story while speaking at a women’s event. After stepping from the stage, countless women couldn’t wait to say “me too.” This is why we need to tell our stories; because we overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.
When we share how God brings beauty from ashes, our past story becomes part of our grace story.
So goodbye shame, Jesus took you away, and I will gladly step into the light and tell others about it. My fearfully and wonderfully made son is now thirty-five. I’m fifty-three. I’m smiling as you do the math.
This post was included in a compilation of encouraging posts on Kelly Balarie’s blog. Please visit her site by clicking the link below. I know you will be blessed by the other writers, and the words God has given them to share:
Blessings to you beyond measure, and thanks for stopping by.
Forever Walking Deeper and shame-free In Him,