This is a story of faith and grace.
Being a mom at 19 was not my plan. I had dreams, goals, and aspirations that I was working to reach. I was a college student studying elementary education and Bible. I was going to be a teacher. I was going to graduate college and get a job. Then I would think about starting a family and having kids. I was in love with Tim (who is now my hubby), and we were planning to get married after he graduated and have a happy life as a young married couple filled with nothing but love and skipping through fields of wildflowers (yeah, I had no idea what marriage was going to be like). I had all of these plans for my life and what I thought I wanted, but I had no clue what was really in store for me.
I got pregnant when I was 18. This changed everything. I was not married, I was living with my mom, and had three more years of school to finish. Everything I thought was certain wasn’t anymore. I was basically still a kid. I felt shame, guilt, and worry. I felt like I was being forced to abandon my youth and grow up way too fast. I had to give up my dreams and plans for my future. I was afraid of change and of the unknown. I was terrified about what others would think of me. I didn’t want this life that had suddenly been put before me, even if it was because of my own choices.
I am a Christian, and my faith has always been a huge part of my life and my identity. I love God, but I am also a broken person. I am a sinner in need of a savior. I did not fully grasp my need for God until I went through this extremely difficult time in my life. I felt alone, and I was very afraid of my life ahead. I was ashamed of my actions, and now everyone was going to see what I had done. I expected people to judge and reject me. But during this time, I grew closer to God, and I learned to completely trust in Him and give up trying to control it all.
Even though I felt like I didn’t know anything about being a wife or a mother, I walked into that stage of life with confidence. Shortly after I found out I was pregnant, Tim and I got married. We were both so young, and we didn’t feel ready to be parents. But we were prepared just in time. As a couple, we were surprised and overwhelmed by the amount of grace we received from others. We had so many people come around us to support us, teach us, encourage us, and surround us with love. Even still, marriage and parenthood don’t come without their challenges, but we love, learn, and trust that God will lead us.
When I was nineteen, I had our daughter, Brooklyn Rose. She changed everything. Through her birth, I found so much healing. Experiencing what it’s like to bring a life into this world- the pain, the work, the exhaustion, the truest form of raw human emotion, followed by immense and unfathomable joy. This experience changed me forever.
I chose to have a natural birth at a hospital with midwives and a doula. I was not very educated on birth at all, but I knew I wanted to try for a natural birth. I am so grateful for all of the people who supported me during labor. My husband, my mom, and my doula were by side through it all. They supported me and encouraged me through a pitocin-induced labor. This is exactly what every woman needs- a true and loving support system. Through all of my fear of what was happening, the doubt I had in my mind, and pure exhaustion, I knew everything was going to be okay because of those people reminding me of all I knew to be true and of God’s design and sovereignty.
My labor was only eight hours, and then she was here, and I was a mother.
My daughter is the essence of joy and a picture of God’s grace. He took our sin and turned it into something beautiful. I am so blessed to be her mama. Even though I did not want to be a mother at such a young age, I am so grateful that I am. Because of the struggles that I went through, my life is now so much richer. I have an amazing husband who loves me and leads me daily, a beautiful daughter who teaches me so much about life, a baby boy soon to be born, and a closer understanding and relationship with God. I also have a new passion and calling in life that I would not have discovered if I went with “my plan.” I am a doula, I support and encourage other moms through their labor and birth. I have the privilege to witness, time and time again, the miracle of life and birth. It’s truly a blessing and I am grateful.
Being a teen mom was definitely in my plan, but I love the life that I am living now, and I am so thankful for it everyday. My desire is that my story will encourage other people in similar situations that I was in. There is hope for everyone in any difficult time in life, no matter what happened or what you may have done. I am not identified by my actions or ashamed of my past. I am no longer a slave to shame, but am liberated, free, and made new.
Check out more of our story here: https://vimeo.com/218498851