The parking lot was empty. Just an old building, falling apart but sturdy on the foundation. She just couldn’t hold it in anymore. The tears started to cumulate and the choking feeling in her throat had to be released. She laid her head on the steering wheel and cried. The baby was sound asleep in the back seat and the one forming in her womb stirred. “God, I need food to feed my babies and the church pantry is closed. What do I do?”
It was just two years ago, drunk and no worries in the world. All that mattered was satisfying her desire to fill the void. To feel beautiful and wanted.
The pregnancy test showed positive and all she could do was stare at it and murmur “No, No, No…” She wanted a baby, eventually, but not now, not like this. After all, she did just go through a divorce, at the ripe age of 19. The baby daddy was someone she only knew for a few months.
When she sat on the examining table, the doctor confirmed that she was indeed expecting. He asked what she wanted to do. She was paralyzed with fear but she knew in her heart and soul that she was going to have this baby and to do whatever it took to raise her. It didn’t occur to her to terminate.
The odds were against her. Oh! they were very much against her!
Unmarried. No permanent place of her own. No job. Just a 20 year old college girl trying to find her place in this world.
Leaving that doctor’s office she made a promise to her baby and to herself. She placed her shaky palm on her womb and whispered, “No matter what happens, little one, I promise you that I will give you everything I never had, I promise you that I will protect you and love you.”
That day she and the baby daddy found a place to live and started on journey that would not be comfortable, a journey that would encompass growing pains, hardships, heartaches, and redemption.
Two years later and she was expecting her second child. There wasn’t enough money for the month, and not enough government subsidies to assist with the necessities of life. She knew that a church offered food to families in need. It was closed and she just couldn’t hold it in anymore. Hopeless. Empty. Angry. Angry for letting her life be exactly what she didn’t want it to be. She stared in the reflection of the rear view mirror, eyes swollen and tear stains on her cheeks. She had to admit that she was falling into the same footsteps as her own mother. She stared into those eyes and murmured, “No, No, No… I will not let this happen.”
She left that parking lot, feeling a lot like that old building- falling apart, empty but had a sturdy foundation. That foundation was love, grit, determination, and faith.
A few years later, with a lot of therapy, support groups, faith and facing some Giants along the way, she made a life for herself and her children.
If you ask her today about her “why,” about what makes her so strong and why she works so hard. She’ll tell you their names are Stacy and Kevin. Fourteen years later, God said, “Well, since you love them so much, let’s bring Avery along to spread even more joy, to remind you that children are not an inconvenience, they are the symbol of love, hope and wonder. They are a blessing as you are to me.” There are days I disagree with God when these kids drive me to my breaking point sometimes… but they truly did save my life.
And how true! Because of my children, I learned what God’s love was all about. I may have lived my life backwards, but I would not want it any other way. I cannot imagine a world without my Stacy and Kevin and Avery. After that day at the parking lot, I no longer wondered where food was coming from. Don’t get me wrong, I still hunger. I hunger for more joy, love, peace and faith for the remainder of my life.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mamas out there. Doesn’t matter how your children came into your life, you love them and will do anything for them. I promise you that you are doing better than you think you are.
Also don’t forget to use condoms or don’t forget to take your birth control pills people. 😉 After all, are we not all a product of druken sex? 🙂 That was a joke…