I wish I could find words to express the combination of anger and sadness that I feel after reading the article about you in the New York Times.
I have a few things in common with you: I am a Christian, I am pro-life, I went to a private, Christian junior high and high school and even taught at a very small, private Christian school. I am also pregnant, outside of marriage, and had to face a similar decision that you did.
I found out I was pregnant back in November while my now fiancé and I were struggling in our relationship and on a “break.” I work at Save the Storks, a pro-life organization, and both my fiancé and I come from conservative Christian families. When I found out I was pregnant, I was terrified–terrified of how our parents would react, how our friends would react, how the Church as a whole would react.
My closest friends and sister were the first people I told and they all responded with nothing but love. However, even with support from them, I was still terrified. For the first few days after I found out, I went through all of the options in my head and for a split second–even working for a pro-life organization–I considered abortion.
I didn’t want to feel the shame and scrutiny from our families or the Church. When I told my fiancé, he expressed the same fears. At the time, he and I weren’t together. He was finishing his last semester of college and we were going to figure out our relationship later on. How would we be able to raise a child together when we didn’t even know where our relationship was heading?
We had no idea what to do. After a ton of prayer and more tears that I can even guess, I learned where my fear was coming from and made the choice to keep my baby.
See, my fear came from my past. My fear arose from who I used to be and where I came from–a student at a private school with a GPA and reputation to uphold. An athlete whose main focus was getting into college on a scholarship and not letting anything stand in the way of that or my graduation. A teacher at a private school who would have done anything to keep my job.
I knew that the me of the past would have looked at all of those circumstances and allowed the lies of the abortion industry to cloud my judgment. I know that me five or more years ago probably would have hidden this “problem” and gotten an abortion just so I didn’t have to deal with the shame, not walking at graduation, or even getting fired from my job.
Unfortunately, there are many Christians out there, like you have experienced, that say they are pro-life until they have a pregnant 18 year-old senior at their Christian school.
For that, I want to apologize. I am so sorry that you have experienced exactly what I was fearful of when I learned that I was pregnant. I’m sorry that you have been treated with such a lack of love and compassion from people who are supposed to protect and support you.
I am also sorry for them–that they have forgotten what true grace and love looks like. That their actions have made you question whether your decision for life was the right one or not.
Let me tell you this, with all certainty: you made the right choice.
Maybe it was the same for you and maybe not, but when I chose to keep my baby, I knew that her life had already been laid out before her. I knew that whatever I had planned for my life paled in comparison to what God had planned for me and what He was already doing for me.
This may not have been “my plan” but I had so much more peace when I realized that God had this planned for me and I knew He had complete control. Because of that realization, I was at peace with the fact that my daughter had a life already planned for her that is better than anything I could ever imagine.
You chose life for your baby boy. You chose a life that has already been planned and laid out for him. God knew his name before you even knew he was being formed inside of you.
Please, don’t ever feel like you have made the wrong choice. The opinions, beliefs, shame, and negativity that you have gotten from your school do not matter–what matters is your choice to embrace to what God has called you to.
At 27-years-old, I can honestly say that I admire you. I admire the wisdom and boldness you have shown in this decision. Had 18-year-old me been faced with this decision, she would not have had the same courage as you.
It breaks my heart that there are Christians in this world that would dare question God’s call on your life, my life, or anyone else in our situation just because we chose life for our babies. I know that one day, your son will be so grateful for your choice to let him live and fulfill whatever God has called him to. Choosing life is never the wrong decision.
As I’m writing this, I am just over seven weeks away from meeting my baby girl. I have the support of my parents who are so excited to have grandbaby number five on the way. I have a sister who is so excited to finally be an aunt, with her four children who can’t wait to have a new cousin. I have my soon to be in-laws who are so excited to have another grandchild. and I have my fiancé, who is more excited everyday to finally become a dad and meet his baby girl.
I know you have your parents who are standing behind you and have supported you through this time. I wish that I could be there at the graduation ceremony that your parents are holding for you, just to hug you and tell you how much I admire and look up to you for this decision.
I wish that I could be there to talk with you face-to-face and tell you how much I cherish your heart and the love that I know you already have for your son.
Please know that there are many other women and girls like us who have found themselves in an unexpected pregnancy and chose life, despite what outsiders would say.
I don’t know you, but I truly cherish who you are as a person and the mother you are going to be. You are fulfilling the very purpose that God gave you when you were still in your mother’s womb.
I will end with some of the same encouragement that I wrote in the journal I started for my daughter–things that I have had to remind myself of almost daily in this journey: You are are strong, Maddi. You are beautiful. You are loved. You have been chosen and called for a purpose that is far beyond your imagination.
No one will ever take those things away from you.
From a different state, halfway across the country, I am standing with you and cheering you on as you transition into motherhood and your God-given destiny.
From another sister in Christ and also soon-to-be mom,