“I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.”- Psalm 34:4.
This scripture accurately describes how I got closer to God when I fell pregnant- I was desperat, I cried out to him and He freed me from all the fears I had.
Let me give you a little background. I grew up in a Christian family. We went to church literally every Sunday (whether someone was dying or not) and I honestly did not enjoy the 3 hour services our church had. I dreaded going to church at times because it was basically forced upon me. In my household, we did not have choices. My father made choices for us and that was that.Going to church for me was basically a routine set by my father, which I had no choice but to follow.
Like many other Christians, I worshipped, prayed and went to church (but for me it was more out of routine). I never really understood why I do these things or who God was to me. As I grew older, I had some deeper spiritual encounters with God however I was not spiritually strong enough to connect deeper with God. I believe that was because I did not really know Him on a personal level.
When I moved to Durban I felt like I was finally free from being forced so I took a break from going to church. I felt the disconnection after some time so I occasionally went to a local church. My understanding of who God was got better and I now wanted to actually get to know God. However I did not have that deep, burning passion and desire for God. I just wanted that feeling of connecting to a higher power. I was very lost during that time, so this also served as a place of safety.
I finally found a church that ignited that desire in my heart and I started yearning for Christ even more. However as I mentioned, I was very lost and broken so there was also that. My relationship with God was basically mediocre and I was comfortable with that. As long as I go to church, pray and know that I am not going to hell when I die, that was good enough for me.
I had many deeper underlying issues in my life that needed to be dealt with but I hid them. I stored them for later. They would occasionally creep out from the storage and haunt me, and I would find something to distract myself from facing them.
At some point I met a guy and after some convincing fell in love and before you know it we were intimate. My relationship with this guy was broken in so many ways but due to the fact that I had given him a deep part of me (my purity) I could not leave him. There were times where every part of my being wanted to leave him but I could not. He was broken, and in my trying to fix him (while I was broken too), I broke myself even further and could no longer see a way out of this relationship.
When I finally gained courage to let go slowly, I found out I was pregnant. Could this get any worse? I suspected I was pregnant but believed I was not because there is no way I could be pregnant. I did a test and to my surprise, it was positive.
At this point I knew it was over for me. I had always believed that the one mistake I will never make is getting pregnant out of wedlock. I knew so many people who were in such situations and how tough this journey was for them and it scared me, yet here I was, in that very same situation I feared. I had just started college, I had just started connecting with God spiritually, I was just about to walk away from a broken relationship that took so much courage to get out of, and now I was pregnant with child of a man that I wanted nothing to do with anymore. Screw My Life!
You can imagine what was going through my mind. The father made it pretty clear that there was no way he was going to have a child and that there were options out there. I think we all know what those “options” were. At other times we both tried to believe that this would work and were too guilty to go the abortion route. I was terrified of the thought of raising a child alone. Like I was not ready in any way possible. After much discussion and convincing, I finally decided that I would go for an abortion. I once went through great lengths to stop a friend from having an abortion yet there I was, considering it.
The night before I went to the clinic, I knelt down and prayed to God. I cried and told God what I was about to do and that if He cared for me and the child I was carrying, then he better stop me from doing it. That morning I woke up, trying to block any thoughts trying to convince me otherwise, and I went to a safe abortion clinic. I went in and it was empty, my body cringed when I got inside. I went straight to the receptionist and asked her how much a pregnancy blood test cost, she gave me the details, I thanked her and left the building. I could not get myself to do it. And I believe that was the Holy Spirit that spoke to me that day.
I went home and said, “well God if you won’t let me do this, you better make sure you take care of us.” And He did exactly that.
I prepared myself for the worst. How much my family and everyone around me would be disappointed. How everything I ever wanted was going to fall apart and basically how screwed life was going to be. Every night I cried to God out of desperation and little did I know that this was my point of submission and surrender that was going to start the greatest relationship between myself and God.
And listen, He took care of me and my daughter. It was tough, I cried a lot, I gave up a lot. It was difficult, but God was (and still is) with me every step of the way. I never felt a point where God told me that I only came to him out of desperation and not because I really loved Him. That is what I expected. All I felt was a love from my caring father who wanted only the best for me.
The journey moving forward has been tough, but God’s love for me made me the best mother to my child and carried me through the difficult journey. I love and enjoy being a mother now more than anything. Yes, this may not have been what I was hoping my life would look like but I chose to trust God to rewrite my story and I chose to make the most of this part of my life. I have absolute assurance that even at my worst, even when I fail Him, God will never stop loving me…..and you.