“Over and over again my family and friends told me not to have this baby”
Written by: Donna and Chad Allen
It was going to be the best year ever! Going into my Senior year in high school, I had worked very hard in previous years so that I could enjoy all of the Senior activities and events with my childhood friends and classmates. I was President of the Girl’s Athletic Association, Director of School Assemblies, on Student Council, a cheerleader and I was voted “Best All Around”. It was an amazing time of excitement and anticipation regarding my future. I was sure to receive various Athletic and Academic scholarships that would help me select the college of my choice – my future was destined to be incredible. I was eager, optimistic and ready to live out my dreams!
In June the summer before my Senior year, my world was rocked and would never be the same. I was 17 when my dad, my mentor and major source of emotional support, died from Cancer. A week after his passing… in an attempt for life to “feel” normal, I attended Cheer camp at a major University. I took advantage of the opportunity to run away from my new reality. Once at camp, I found myself numb and more confused. During the day I went through the motions of happiness and laughter, but at night I would find a quiet place to be alone and I would cry uncontrollably. I didn’t really know how to deal with my loss.
In December of my Senior year, my boyfriend’s friend made a doctor’s appointment for me. I had to squeeze it in between school and a basketball game I had to cheer for that night. I’ll NEVER forget the examination or what it felt like when everyone left the room. There I sat in my cheerleading outfit, alone….so afraid and so ashamed. When the doctor returned to tell me that I was pregnant, the very next thing he said was, “You know…you don’t have to have this baby.” He then proceeded to tell me that I had just made a mistake and I should consider abortion. Being told I was pregnant and in the same breath being told to have an abortion was absolutely disturbing. I thank God that He spoke to my heart and mind right then and there. I was a believer, although I was not following Christ as a teenager. But I knew it was the Lord speaking into my life during this time of uncertainty. I also knew that an abortion was not going to be my decision for this baby.
My mother was only 49 years old and still mourning the loss of her husband when I had to tell her my news. I was so scared and worried about what she would say… but nothing could have prepared me for the way she looked at me. Her eyes were still filled with sadness and heartache – but now after my news, she also had this look of extreme disappointment and anger. Facing my boyfriend’s parents did not go well either. They insisted I get an abortion – after all I was ruining their son’s life. Over and over again my family and friends told me not to have this baby. They told me that I didn’t need to sacrifice everything to become “that pregnant girl in high school” with a shattered reputation. I was told to make the “right” decision to protect my future and not let this “accident” or this “problem” shatter my dreams.
To this day I am extremely thankful for the God given strength and determination to have my baby. I’m also grateful that today when a woman faces an unplanned pregnancy, there are so many resources of support available to help guide them through their pregnancy. These pro-life pregnancy centers are filled with loving staff who will partner with you and affirm your choice of life - you will not be alone and uniformed like I was. Be blessed sweet women and seek what is right and true because you need to believe that a miracle has been given to you, this child, this baby is your gift to the world. Stand your ground and do what you know is right for you and your baby!!!
I am a survivor of the challenges that came with an unplanned pregnancy, and so is my sweet, wonderful, amazing son. I thank and praise God that He was my inner voice, the hope in the midst of my crisis. So, if you are pregnant…. Please embrace the fact that you have been given a gift, a child, a human being, regardless of your situation or circumstances. Don’t listen to what the world will suggest you do out of selfishness or convenience. Giving birth to a child is not only a God given miracle, but I can strongly testify and assure you that your child WILL have an impact and make a difference in this world by their existence.
These are the words that my courageous mom wrote just a couple year ago when I asked her to capture her story so that we could share it at a church service on Sanctity of Life Sunday. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to walk in her shoes during her pregnancy, and then going it alone as a single mom of a young child for a few years. But I do know this, because of my mom’s brave determination to have her child, lives have been changed. How was she to know at the time of her pregnancy that the baby boy she was carrying would grow up and share the Gospel of Jesus with hundreds, maybe even thousands of people all over the world during the course of his lifetime?
SO, to the brave women who are taking on the challenges of parenting a child from an unplanned pregnancy, and to the brave men who will stand by the mother of their child from an unplanned pregnancy, and to those who lead and serve in, pray for and financially support pro-life pregnancy centers, keep doing it! You never know the impact that just one of those children will have on their family, their city, the world and the kingdom of Christ.
Lead Pastor – Cuyahoga Valley Church