“I Chose Life and God Changed Mine”: Finding Unexpected Joy in an Unplanned Pregnancy

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When Unplanned Pregnancy Becomes Reality

Lauren Urrea felt her world shatter into a million pieces as she saw the result of her pregnancy test. The reality of her unplanned pregnancy caused her to question her most foundational beliefs about God, family, career, and most importantly, life itself.

Graduation from Virginia Tech was a few months away and medical schools were awaiting her arrival. She was so close to fulfilling her dream of being a medical missionary in Latin America. Active in her church and campus CRU programs, her reputation was spotless.

But the positive pregnancy test in her shaky hand made Lauren realized her life would never be the same.

“My dreams were far too big for something like [pregnancy].” Lauren Said, “I was filled with overwhelming fear, guilt, shame and anger at myself for allowing this to happen. I knew better.”

Does an unplanned pregnancy hinder a woman from fulfilling her dream?

Lauren and her boyfriend, Mateo, struggled to process their unplanned pregnancy. Initially, helplessness, hopelessness and uncertainty filled their hearts. As they wrestled with pregnancy options, Lauren heard an ad for Blue Ridge Women’s Center. She called their office and made an appointment for that afternoon.

“[My client advocate] shared the truth about my pregnancy with us and reminded me about God’s love for me and the growing baby inside of me. She was ultimately the first voice of reason to silence my very small, but existent thoughts of abortion.”

Lauren always considered herself pro-life. But now, the immense pressure she felt seemed to change the equation.

For the first time, abortion’s promise to cover past mistakes waged war against Lauren’s biblical conviction that love—not abortion—“covers a multitude of sins.”

Lauren’s internal battel is not uncommon among believers. Guttmacher Institute discovered that 54 percent of women seeking abortion in an unplanned pregnancy identify themselves as Christians.

Is the redemptive promises of love greater than the quick coverup of a mistake through abortion?

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“As Christians, we work so hard to maintain this image of Christ-like faith, that when our innate sinful nature pushes through, it’s easy to be tempted to go to extreme measures to cover it up,” Lauren said. “I had a lot of things that I thought I had ruined for myself, like my relationship with my family. I thought it would never be the same.”

Nevertheless, Lauren chose life.

Upon hearing the news, Lauren’s family immediately stepped in to help her financially and emotionally. The unplanned pregnancy did not stop Mateo or her church community from supporting Lauren either.  And in the summer of 2011, a beautiful child named Adrianna Grace was born.

Lauren and Mateo married in 2013. And by December 2015 Lauren completed training as a physician assistant.

Today Lauren lives in the fulfillment of all the dreams as a mother, a wife and a full-time physician assistant.

Serving Others facing Unplanned Pregnancy

Lauren’s desire to help others grew as a result of her unplanned experience. Now she spends her lunch breaks walking from her Elkin, N.C., clinic next door to Life Line Pregnancy Help Center, where she volunteers as a sonographer. She finds great joy by giving each young woman facing a situation like hers a chance to meet her baby for the first time via ultrasound.

“With each ultrasound I perform, I am reminded of God’s unconditional love, grace and faithfulness in my own life.” 

“I’ve been able to relate to other girls, to uplift them and encourage them that I got through it and it made me a better person and it made my life better,” Lauren said.

During her pregnancy, Lauren started a blog (now book), which she titled, “I Chose Life and God Changed Mine.” Though she started it as a private journaling method, Lauren published her story to try and inspire others. Her goal is to help other women to not only choose life, but to embrace their God-given journey to motherhood.

From Unexpected Pregnancy to Unexpected Joy.

“My hope is that my testimony would not only shine a light on God’s incredible grace and forgiveness but that it would be an encouragement to anyone who is suffering grief and trials of their own,” Lauren said. “God is always using our trials to mold and strengthen our faith with a plan that only He knows, but He promises to bring us joy.”

“The joy I have now is a result of my life’s greatest struggle so far.”

 

This article was originally published on Pregnancy Help News and was written by Jay Hobbs edited by Natasha Smith.