Disclaimer: The emotion shared here may upset you – it is not the most socially acceptable emotion to the circumstance. This is also not the most socially acceptable circumstance. In an attempt to be true and honest to my past I will not alter or omit for social acceptance.
Exhilarating! Fun! Carefree! This is how life is supposed to be as you enter adulthood, right!? Oh it was for me! As I graduated from my teen-hood to adult-hood, I was living life as it was intended – going out to dance clubs, hanging out with friends (especially boys), having a little drink here and there, and a job to pay for it all. That’s how it worked, right?
My story is no different from many people’s: I graduated high school (a semester early – OK so that’s a little different…), returned home from college (to attend my own high school senior prom – OK so that’s a little different…), I got a summer job (and moved to Alaska instead of going back to college – OK so that’s a little different…).
Well, I did some things that were certainly consistent with many people: I prioritized fun over just about everything else, I drank alcohol for fun, I went to night clubs to dance the night away and I found myself in promiscuously compromising situations – more than once.
Just like many 19 year olds, I thought that as long as my parents didn’t know what was going on, it’s OK. I can’t really get in trouble anymore – it’s not like they could ground me or anything – we didn’t even live in the same town. I was careful – I never hurt anyone. At least that’s what I thought. I had no clue the damage I was doing to myself and my future relationships.
In the winter of 2000, I was cruising in my white 1980s Ford Taurus down a main street in Lubbock, Texas. I was belting out whatever awful song was on the radio at the time when it hit me. I had no explanation why it hit me then or there, but at that moment I knew. I didn’t have any sickness or pain. I didn’t have any symptoms. I hadn’t missed a cycle, but I knew…
I drove straight to the closest Walgreens and bought a test (a 2 pack to be exact). I remember avoiding the eyes of the clerk – I was already embarrassed and ashamed – as if he/she could tell that I had done something I shouldn’t have. I then drove straight home in silence with what I can only imagine was a deer in the headlights expression on my face. I darted upstairs to my bathroom and took the test. It confirmed what I already knew – positive. Uh-oh. Just to be sure I took the second test the next morning – yep, still positive. Still uh-oh.
Of course then I did what anyone in my situation would do. I lied and called in “sick” to work and had my roommate drive me to a local pregnancy center where I took yet another test. Still positive… I think they tried to talk to me about my “options”, but I don’t really remember. All I can remember is seeing the “positive” result on the piece of paper they handed me and knowing that my life was about to change forever.
I was in such an emotional fog that I don’t remember what transpired over the remainder of that day, but I do remember the feelings of confusion, dread, anxiety, shame and shock that accompanied me everywhere I went. What had I done? What in the world was I thinking? Oh boy… Now everyone will know the kind of lifestyle I’ve been living. What on earth am I going to do?
What I’ve learned:
- I was not invincible as we often think we are, especially at a young age.
- Actions do have consequences/outcomes, even if they are not apparent at the time.
- The decisions I made and the actions I took were shaping me as a young woman.
- Just because my parents don’t see me and can’t ground me doesn’t mean that my Heavenly Father isn’t watching what I do.
- What decisions have you made throughout your life that have shaped who you have become?
- What consequences/outcomes have you experienced as a result of your decisions?
- How do you live your life today? Are you still invincible?
- What consequences/outcomes can you expect as a result of how you live today? Do any of these consequences/outcomes affect others?
- Would you live differently or make different decisions if you knew that your Heavenly Father was watching you? How so?
If you need prayer, please contact me privately – I would love to pray for you.