Saturday, September 07, 2013

The Journey - Teen Mama

Some of the best and most promising moments of our lives come when we least expect them. And often we don't recognize how precious they are, not right off at least. There are times when we need to pause and wait and to reflect before we understand that something shocking or even frightening may be a gift.

That was us nearly fifteen years ago . . . the day our seventeen-year-old daughter said, "Mom. Dad. I'm pregnant."

It was a Fall evening when Sarah drove down our driveway. Her boyfriend's car followed. And next our pastor's. I knew something was up and it couldn't be good.

Our daughter and her boyfriend barely looked at us as my husband and I greeted our pastor. We all sat in the front room and waited, I didn't know for what. 

I'm sure the pastor began our time with a prayer - to be honest I can't remember. I was scared about what was coming. My memory begins when Sarah said the words parents never want to hear from their teenagers.

"I'm pregnant."

She could have told us something worse, like she had AIDS, but at that moment being pregnant was bad enough. I looked at my husband. What did we say? We didn't say anything at first. We were trying to process. Now what would her life look like? And what about ours? What would our friends think?

I felt as if I'd been caught unprepared, but that wasn't true. God had prepared me for this time. And the Holy Spirit was with us and made Himself known that night. Although we were faced with a heart-wrenching and difficult situation, God was faithful.

The pastor helped get us started talking. The 'kids" of course were very sorry for what had happened, but we didn't tarry there long. We needed to move forward and figure out what to do next. 

First off we recognized that the "kids" had made a good choice by going to our pastor. It revealed wisdom and maturity. Thank you, Lord!

By the grace of God my husband and I did not go off on a tirade against the "kids".  Although I'll admit there was a sorrowful storm going on inside my heart. My daughter's childhood had been snatched away. I knew what was ahead would be difficult and painful, no matter what path she chose.

We listened while our daughter and her fellow talked. They asked for forgiveness and guidance. And told us that they'd already decided they wanted to keep the baby. We did discuss adoption, but that was an absolute, no. They were determined they could be good parents, although at that time they didn't really have a clue what that meant. 

They were about to learn.

That night was one of the most disappointing of my life. It was one of great heartache. I went to bed reeling from what I'd just learned, trying to grasp what it would mean to us all. And I wondered what I had done wrong. Why had my child strayed? My husband and I had strived to be good parents. We'd provided a stable and loving home - a place where truth and love were shared openly. It was a home filled with grace and we lived out our faith in the open without pretense.

What had gone wrong?

I have no answers, except to say that every one of us is tempted by sin. And as it turns out, we are all sinners and there are consequences for our sins. But our loving Father has a way of redeeming and creating something beautiful out of our messes.

Although that "awful" night was filled with disappointment and heartache it also brimmed over with love and grace. 

What could have been one of the worst nights of our life was transformed - it became beautiful and precious. We shared tears and prayers. We found peace and better understood the depth of God's love for us and our love for one another.

That night our seventeen-year-old daughter climbed into my husbands lap and he held her close as they wept together. I've never forgotten the gentleness and love my husband offered our daughter nor her need to be loved and forgiven. To this day, it is one of my most cherished memories.

I'm sure there are those who believe that abortion would have been a good solution to Sarah's dilemma. And that it would have been better if she could have quickly resolved the issue of her pregnancy and moved on. We don't agree. 

We heard from a few who thought we were unwise not to force Sarah to give up the baby for adoption. Certainly a seventeen-year-old was not mature enough to be a mother. Adoption is a good answer for some, but our daughter chose another way. She chose to grow up early, to become a mother. 

Her choice meant she would lose her youthful freedom and Greg and I would have obligations we hadn't counted on, but I'm so thankful she made the choice she did. We got a little fellow named Corey who has blessed our lives.

It's been nearly fifteen years and Sarah grew up. She was and is a good Mom. She did have to let go of all the fun of high school and college, though she did manage to finish her education later. And I know she would never recommend becoming a teen-age parent, but she shares a special relationship with her first son and even trying to imagine life without him in it would be impossible for her. She found joy and fulfillment in the role of mother . . . even at seventeen.

My husband and I have been blessed with seven grandchildren . . . so far. We love them all, but we know that it's possible we might never have known our first. That would have been a tragedy.

We've never regretted having Corey in our lives, not even for one moment. He's always been bright and fun and full of love. He's made our lives better. 

Sarah & Corey now.

Life is precious. Our children are precious. They are gifts from God. 

Our family has had its share of sorrows and sometimes life has handed us things we felt we couldn't bear, but it's still been good. And it's been made richer because of people like Corey and our daughter Sarah.

Love each other.



  1. Anonymous12:56 AM

    Beautiful post Bonnie. Thank you for sharing. Ollie xx

  2. You're welcome, Ollie. I think the Lord wants us to share our life stories with one another. For as He says, "All things are common to man." We do understand each other's weaknesses and needs.

    God's grace to you.

  3. Anonymous5:28 PM

    I loved the part where she climbed up in her daddy's lap, ohhhh, so tender. With God, all things really are possible, and by golly--you've proved it more than once! Just so love God's grace 'n mercy--and the joy He's brought us all! Thanks for sharing your life...

  4. Patti, I love how you express yourself. Thank you for warming my heart. God truly is always good.

    Bless you, gal.

  5. Anonymous11:39 AM

    Hi Bonnie. Glad you kept Corey. I've always tho't how I couldn't are to have given up one of my children or grandchildren. Babies are a gift from GOD even when they aren't expected. I had my first baby before I was 17 . I had decided to marry at 16 and got pregnant first thing, which shows I didn"t know enough about birth control. But, no way could I have made a choice to give her up. Problem was I had asthma and had to move away from folks so no chance to finish my schooling. I took care of my home, husband, and baby just fine. I had learned to cook from helping at home and the other home work. Now days, I get mad at the phycologists , lawyers, etc. who let kids get by with everything, even murder by saying they don't understand the consequences of what they have done. I don't believe this. I went on to have 4 children. I now have 12 grands and 18 greats. Each one is a blessing. God bless Sarah and Corey and the rest of the family. Maxie

  6. Wow! Eighteen great-grandchildren - amazing.

    You have quite a story. Sixteen is so young to be a wife and mother. So thankful you made it. And how blessed you must be with all the family you have.

    Love to you and all the family.