Thank you to Sheila Watson for so bravely sharing her story. When you put a face with an issue, it’s no longer just a Together project. It’s life changing.
Like most 22 year old college students, I was just months from graduation. I was full of life, hopes, and big dreams. I had so much to look forward to. I had applied for my dreams job and was planning to marry in the spring. Then the expected news came. I was pregnant. In an instant my future plans vanished.
I went home to tell my family. My mother gave me an option. Abortion. When I refused she cast me out, I couldn’t place a blemish on the family reputation.
Thankfully, through the help of strangers, they found a home for pregnant, unmarried mothers and took me there. Never had I ever felt so alone, unwanted, and ashamed.
I considered adoption, that’s what most of the girls were doing. But I couldn’t let go of that part of myself. I didn’t want to regret letting go of my child. And being the insecure person I was, I knew I couldn’t.
The reality was, was I was terrified. I thought my life was over and I had no idea how I would provide for myself, let alone a baby. This child growing inside of me depended on me and I had to figure things out.
Unfortunately, I was not in a close relationship with the Lord. Somehow, however,, I knew He was there, right beside me every hour of every day. In the prayers my house mother prayed over me and my unborn son.
He held us close during the time I was on 24 hour bed rest due to a too thin uterus. He was there in the prayers of a local ladies group. He was there while I was in labor having my son all alone. He was there when we returned to the home to be told they were closing their doors. He was there!
And I was too ashamed and embarrassed to reach out to Him. Like my family, I accepted the fact that I was no longer good enough for Him.
I am so grateful for organizations like In My Shoes. Homes that provide the safety and security these women need. For the counseling, and groups that come together in prayer, in donations, and in love for women and their children. To show them their worth and their options for not only their future, but the future as a parent.
Having a child is not what changed my life or my future. Becoming a mom was part of the life God designed for me.