By Bethany Joiner
The words I had been dreading rang in my ears, “You’re pregnant.” To me my life was ruined, and looking ahead I could only see an endless list of decisions that I had to make and questions that I had to answer for myself. It was the summer after my junior year in college and I was scheduled to leave for Buenos Aires in 3 weeks to study abroad, celebrate my 21st birthday overseas, and finish my degree. I had everything planned out the way I wanted it to go; I would figure out the church thing later—after I got my degree, or after I got a real job, or after I had a family… The point was, not now.
As I returned to Dallas, I told the father-to-be that I was keeping our child and that whether or not he wanted to be a part of that was a decision he needed to make. He promised he would stick it out, and I put my faith in our relationship and that his support would get me through. As we tried to handle the mess we had created, his struggle with alcohol and drug abuse began to dissolve that trust and I realized I was in it alone. I had to do it myself—I didn’t know where else to look.
“Stop looking around—look up.” My dad’s words made me realize for the first time that the only place that I could put all of my faith and trust was in the God who created me and chased after my heart as I pursued everything but Him. And slowly but surely, as every other bridge and support in my life crumbled, I realized that while the Bible never promises that trouble won’t come, it does promise that God will be faithful in giving us the endurance to glorify Him in our circumstances.
Psalm 119:105 was a passage I read over and over: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” A lamp sheds light on the path immediately at your feet; it doesn’t reveal the obstacles down the road. God gives us the strength to get through each day and I learned to trust that while I didn’t know how I would get through tomorrow, or my pregnancy, or being a single mother, I knew that God would care for me today—and that when tomorrow came, in that day I would be prepared. God used my bad decision to reveal His unfailing love, mercy, and faithfulness in my life.
Jeremiah 29:11 says: “‘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.’” As the proud mother of a three-year-old, I can look back on the road that I’ve walked and know that I never walked alone, and that God always keeps His promises.
If you find yourslef in an unplanned pregancy, check out Watermark's unexpected pregnacy ministry and how they can help you navigate this season.