The Pregnant Bride

 

It’s been 15 years…15 years!  I’d like to say that it feels just like yesterday, but the truth is, it feels like a lifetime ago.  The person I am today vaguely looks like the person I was then.  So what takes me back to that place?  Recently, I have seen a trend on Facebook.  There are numerous reveal parties, birth announcements, “We’re expecting!” announcements and the like all over the place.  That in and of itself, is not unusual.  What I find unusual is the number of unmarried couples that are posting these announcements.  It used to be, “First comes love, then comes marriage.  Now here comes Lorissa pushing a baby carriage.”  At least that is what we used to sing on the playground. Times are changing now for sure.  There is no judgment here.  Why?  Because 15 years ago, before the time of Facebook, I was that girl and honestly, I don’t know what I would have done.  Would I have posted for all to see?  I don’t know.  Yet, a little part of me aches every time I see another post.

Though I am no longer that 22 year-old college student, staring down at a pink line on a pregnancy test, wondering what I am going to do, the thoughts and feelings of that moment are still fresh in my mind, when I allow myself to go back.  As I type these words, the sick feeling in my stomach returns.  The heaviness in my chest as though I am being crushed under a huge boulder is still as real as it was then.  Oh what I wouldn’t give to go back and talk to that me…to wrap me in my arms and tell me that though things are going to be hard…I mean really, really hard…it’s going to be ok.  So as I’ve seen post after post, it’s had me thinking…what would I say if I could go back and have a conversation with that 22 year-old me…the pregnant bride?  The pregnant bride getting ready to walk down the aisle in my candlelight colored dress, because I didn’t feel worthy of wearing white.  The pregnant bride carrying the big bouquet of flowers, trying to cover my ever-growing baby bump.  The pregnant bride who pulled together a budget wedding in a few short months, because I couldn’t ask my parents for more on such short notice.  The pregnant bride who had one bridesmaid, because I had ostracized everyone else in the last few months, as I hid in shame.  The pregnant bride who was about to reveal the truth about why I was getting married to a lot of unsuspecting wedding guests.  The pregnant bride who had never intended to get married and have children, especially at 22.

 


If I could have, this is what I would have said…

 

Dear Pregnant Bride,

First things first.  The baby growing inside of you right now is a blessing!  No matter how he/she was conceived, he/she is a gift from God and I am so proud of you for protecting that life that is now growing inside of you!  Abortion may or may not have crossed your mind.  People will tell you it’s ok and that it is your right to decide.  It’s your body, right?  But, inside of your glorious body is another glorious body that is fearfully and wonderfully made by our Creator.  This child is not an accident or a mistake, though his/her conception may seem that way.  The baby growing within your womb is precious and will never be a mistake, though at times you may feel that way.  Protect that gift!  God has chosen You, a mere mortal, to bring another life into this world!  He has given you the gift of motherhood!  How amazing!  There are others who would give the world to know the feeling…treasure it.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

Psalm 139: 13-14

Second, you are amazing!  Being a mom is one of the hardest things you will ever do, if not the hardest.   You are strong!  Giving birth…well…you will see, but it’s so worth the pain.  You can do it!  You are worthy of good things!  Having a child out-of wedlock is not God’s plan.  And His plan was a good plan.  He knew what He was doing when He decided to put a man and a woman together and join them in marriage.  It was also a good plan that children were to be a result of joining together in marriage.  Children deserve to have a mom and a dad who love God, love each other, and love their children.  That was God’s plan and it was good, very good.  However, sin entered the picture even in the midst of that good plan in the Garden of Eden and here we are.  We are all sinners, but God!  God is so good!  He gave His Son to us to save us from that sin and because of that sacrifice, you are worthy!  You are not defined by your sin or your failure.  This wasn’t how you envisioned your life, but God will redeem you and this situation, if you let Him.  You don’t have to live in shame or regret.  You are worthy of good things, so don’t settle in life because you don’t feel worthy of better.  God has great plans for you, even though they look nothing like the plans you had.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came through Christ Jesus.”

Romans 3:23-24

“The heart of a man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.

Proverbs 16:9

Third, marrying that boy is going to be one of the best decisions you have ever made.  He loves God.  He loves you and he will love your baby.  Marriage is hard…I mean really, really hard; especially when you weren’t quite ready for that stage in life.  Two independent people, living two different lives, coming into one house and one life takes a lot of work.  There will be days you want to kill him and wonder how you ever found this boy even slightly appealing.  Other days, you will look at him and see he’s grown into an amazing man and wonder how you ever lived without him.  Just FYI, there will be days he will probably think those same thoughts about you.  Marriage is never 50/50.  It is always 100/100.  When God said, “Two will become one flesh,” He meant it.  That means sacrificing for your husband, putting his needs before your own, looking out for what is best for him, and loving him like you love yourself.  Loving ain’t easy, Sister, but it’s a command, so quit being selfish and self-centered!  The sooner you figure this out, the happier you will be!

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

Genesis 2:24

You won’t become an “adult” until you are in your 30’s, and you will mourn the loss of your 20’s.  You may not even want to acknowledge 30 when it comes along, but by 40, you will look at life with a smile.  Life will not look like you thought it would.  After driving a minivan with kids, it’s really hard to go back to anything else (I know, I said I would never drive a minivan, but, it’s true!).  You may think that you missed out on life by having kids young, but really, the benefits are far greater than you ever could have imagined.  You have the energy to play.  You aren’t so far removed from those teen years that when your kids reach that age, you won’t forget what it’s like.  There will still be plenty of life left when the kids are gone to enjoy being married to your best friend and hopefully, you will have some money to do those things you missed out on in your 20’s.  Another bonus, you will be a lot smarter while doing them!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity.”

Jeremiah 29:11-14a

Lastly, though certainly not least, I want to say it again.  God has great plans for you!  They are better than you could have planned yourself.  Trust Him, even when it looks like all is wrong and nothing in life is as you pictured.  His ways are always better.  Go to Him first.  Don’t try to do life on your own.  There will be good days and bad days.  Take the good with the bad and know His mercies are new every morning.  Live life to the fullest.  Don’t look back and dwell on your failures.  God does not see you as you were or even how you are now, He sees you as you will be…holy and righteous, made perfect by the image of His Son.

“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”

Lamentations 3:22-24

So…Never give up!  Keep going!  Keep moving forward!  Life is a journey…enjoy the ride!  You may not be traveling the path you would have chosen, but with God at the wheel, be sure that you are right where you are supposed to be.  He’s got this!

Much Love and Many Hugs!

The few years older, slightly more experienced, and hopefully a little wiser me…


So, dear friend, if you are reading this and find yourself in a similar situation or know someone who is, be encouraged.  Your story may not be the same as mine, but the message is the same.  Life happens.  Sin happens…but God!  God is in the redemption business.  You don’t have to be defined by your mistakes.  Let God refine you through them.  He is a Master at making beauty from ashes and giving you a message through your mess.  Your story may be a little messy, but I don’t know many personal stories that aren’t.  Never be afraid to tell your story.  You never know who may need to hear it!

Many Blessings!

 

 

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Comments

  1. Tammy Unger says:

    This is beautiful Lorisssa and beautifully written. I know the Lord will use it to bless many. May you be ABUNDANTLY blessed for stepping out in faith and courage to share.

  2. Cheryl Meyer says:

    You’re words are amazing and so true! You’re right, it does seem like a lifetime ago but 27 years really isn’t that long either! Thank you for sharing your story, it was a blessing to me (who has walked in those shoes) and is a blessing to those who are walking in those shoes now. It’s not always easy to share that time in our lives and some think it would be best to just sweep that time under a rug but to those that are scared and not sure what their future will hold…it’s priceless and words they need to hear. So thank you for standing up and sharing that it’s not the end of the world, God has a better plan.

  3. Dana Hueston says:

    thanks for sharing….God’s plans are so above ours….HIS love is so amazing…

  4. Kelli Sailors says:

    So well written Lorissa and I’m passing it on as I know a few young ladies who can beneift greatly from the wisdom shared in this letter. It’s beautiful…I’ve known several girls that have gotten pregnant before marriage or have planned not to be married and found themselves in this situation. Too many people beat them up verbally or family deserts them. Your letter is a fine testiment of who God is and the plans he has for us. Thank you for sharing your story.

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