Oh gosh, I know I will not get through this without many tears, but here we go! So when I found out I was pregnant a thousand things crossed my mind at once. I saw my life flash before my eyes and I saw it ending in complete despair. I felt like I was trapped against a wall and a knife. If I had an abortion I would have to deal with the pain, heartache and regret for the rest of my life and the very big reality that one day I would have to stand before my Jesus and give an account for my actions. On the other hand if I chose to keep this baby that meant that I would have to have a lot of really hard conversations with those I loved and loved me. I couldn’t even imagine having the courage to share with those who I looked up to and looked up to me. I was afraid to tell my parents, my former job and my small group girls!
How in the world was I was suppose to find the courage and strength to tell a group of high school sophomores that their small group fell short and was having a baby!?! The thought of having that conversation and being rejected by them put knots in my stomach. I have walked with many of these girls since they were fourth graders and now they are sophomores in high school!! I have swatched them love and help the wounded. I have watched them overcome trials of many kinds with such strong faith, but I just had no idea on how they would reacted to my news. I trusted that they were mature enough to handle the news, but I just did not want to let them down.
Weeks after accepting the news that a new baby named Harmon was on his/her was way I met with the women’s student director from my former church and shared all that had been going on in my world. At that point I had told my family and my closest friends and I had just been terminated for being pregnant out of wedlock. Harmon’s dad had made it very clear that he wanted me to have an abortion and I was not going to have his support. Life had been really hard at that point and somehow I had manage to attend a couple of small group weekly meetings while holding back the tears for two hours. After every small group that month I would get back in my car and cry all the way home because these girls meant so much to me, and telling them that I was stepping down as their leader and was having a baby just killed me.
“Follow me as I follow Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1) rang in my head as a calling that I had fallen short of. How could I look at the girls that I for almost six years pointed to Jesus and now I was going to tell them that I had fallen short of God’s perfect standard and had a really tangible consequence. I had not lead by perfect example in the area of purity and could not say, “Follow me as I follow Christ”
An email finally went out to parents and girls requesting to meet with them ALL to share some news. Not only did I have to find the courage to tell the girls, I had to tell their parents too! I sat in the hot chair looking out at beautiful young faces that waited earlerly for me to share. I saw the look of wonder in their mom’s eyes. Somehow through it all I had a peace that transcends all understanding and manage to just spit it out. I told them baby Harmon was on his/her way and filled in the blanks of the story. I walked them through what find out the news was like, going to the doctor and turning down an abortion after it being suggested three times. I shared all that the Lord had taught me through those long weeks and the hope I had that Jesus was going to make it all better. I asked for their forgiveness for not being the kind of leader that could live out what it truly means to, “Follow me as I follow Jesus”.
The forgave me and did so much more than that. They loved me through the mess and were genuinely excited for me. They even thanked me for sharing the rawness of life with them. They valued life!
I saw tears roll precious cheeks as I told them I had to step down as their leader and walk through this new road of motherhood. Through the heartache these lovely ladies took the time to encourage me, remind me of my purpose and how much they loved me. They even said they were proud of the way I handled things and admire my strength and faithfulness to Jesus. (give me a second, I’m sobbing). Like I said, I have watched these girls love the wounded and their love for me is no different. They loved me despite my mess because they understand grace, mercy, compassion and the love of Jesus. When I found out I was pregnant I thought the Lord was going to take away my ability and calling to make disciples. I was wrong, completely wrong. Although I am no longer their official small group leader I still get to watch these girls grow into young women who love and fear the Lord. I get to share the rawness of life with them without having to sugarcoat anything because they can handle it. They walk faithfully with Jesus and He RADIATES through them!!
As a disciple maker I could not be more proud of the way these girls, my girls have handled Harmon’s extisitances. The world we live in is broken but the God we serve is BIG and mighty to redeem. I cannot wait to see how these girls engage the world for the Kingdom and turn around to disciples. Harmon is one lucky guy! He will have the best babysitters ever!
I truly am thankful that their parents gave me the opportunity to share my story with them. They too have been rock stars in loving me through this season. Jesus said, “The world will know who my disciples are by the way you love one another”. As a parent to be I pray nothing more than for Harmon to love Jesus and people unconditionally! I am beyond grateful to watch that prayer lived out by these gals and their parents!
PS: I think it is important to know that they were not all at my babyshower so they were not all pictured!