Dear Pastor Susan,
I just read your blog about not awakening love before its time. I’m a college student and I believe I have met the man I will marry. We’ve talked about it and have a plan. As soon as school is over and we find jobs we will be getting married. We are both Christians and were raised in Christian homes. We knew better but things went a little too far once and I just found out that I am pregnant. I didn’t know what to do and I was scared so I told my mom. She was really mad but now she thinks I need to have an abortion and not tell anyone even my boyfriend. She says she hopes I’ve learned my lesson and can go back and finish school and put this all behind me. This does sound like a good way to go but why do I feel so bad?
I’ve edited your question a little to keep everything anonymous because you aren’t the first girl to find yourself in this situation and you won’t be the last either.
I want to say this as carefully as possible but I can’t find the words exactly to be as tactful as I want to be. So, let me just get this out there. Your mom is wrong. I know it sounds good, to just get this situation behind you and move on but the fact is you won’t ever be able to put this behind you. You’ll always think about the “what-ifs” and because you know Jesus, you’ll find that it will be hard for you to find forgiveness for yourself. You have three decisions to make and they are all forever decisions.
The first decision is to have an abortion. Trust me, when I tell you that I understand your mom’s perspective. She is trying to save you and the family the shame and heartache. Only you can’t undo decisions. See, God can and will forgive the indiscretion of a night of fornication but the consequence stands as is. A child is on its way. If you decide to abort, you’ll live with the decision forever and it will have lasting effects on your life. There is no way of getting around this.
The second decision, and my choice if I were you, would be to put the baby up for adoption to a two parent established home. This will be the most gut-wrenching decision you will ever have to make but the most profound act of love as well. Rather than drag this child through the mess of single parenting, daycare, finishing school and all the drama that will ensue, you will lovingly place this child in the arms of a family who is prepared to love and care for a child. You will satisfy a baby hunger in a couple’s lives and yes, this too will have forever effects on your life.
The third option is to keep the baby, hope your boyfriend does the right thing and try to make a loving home. Your chances of divorce are high, given your age, but nothing is impossible with God. Without jobs, life will be difficult, but not impossible, and if you are both committed you’ll walk it through. Keeping God as the third strand in the cord that binds your marriage together, will be critical. Either way, this is a lasting effect on your life as well. Dreams will have to be altered and a new path made.
These moments of decisions are what I call, Where the Rubber Meets the Road moments. These moments tell us whether we believe the word of the Lord, and walk in faith, or we throw out what we know about God to feed our flesh. While your mother’s suggestion sounds good, the feelings you have are the prompting of the Holy Spirit. God will never force His will on you and yet, He awaits your decision. Do you and your family believe that God will never leave you or forsake you or is it a nice thought? Submission is only submission until we disagree.
Finally, as a woman who found herself in your shoes, in her youth, I understand your heartache. I wasn’t intimately acquainted with the Lord back then and I dragged my son through a series of youthful ignorant mishaps. I love this child more than breath itself and would lay my life down for him, if it is ever required, but he inappropriately bears the scars of my mistakes. There is no easy answer. Each decision will leave lasting impressions that you will have to live with. My hope is that you allow God to guide you through this process and that you are open to His will. My heart goes out to you and I will be praying for you.