When I was pregnant with Danika, my mom starting bringing me to church. Although that was a great thing and what my heart desperately needed, it was so hard.
I lacked the ring on my finger that said it was okay for me to be pregnant and as a result, there were always 1 of 4 reactions when someone talked to me.
1) They pursed their lips to keep their mouths closed. But their eyes told me what they were thinking. “Oh….she’s not married.” and judgement would smack me in the face leaving a mark on my heart.
2) They’d do a double look. They’d look me up and down analyzing everything about me. My hair color, clothes, looks and my tattoos. Again I could feel the judgment seep out from their eyes and body language.
“Oh she’s one of those.”
3) They’d ask a million personal questions to get dirt and gossip.
Who’s the father? Are you going to get married? What brought you to this point? Are you giving it up for adoption? Are you doing this alone? Are you Christian? Are you sure you’re ready to go to church?
4) Pity. They’d look at me and just feel sorry for me. But not in the understanding way but the “Oh you poor lost soul.”
Of course, these were only the reactions I received when people actually decided to talk to me. Most didn’t.
I was painfully aware that I wore my sin where EVERYONE could see open to their criticism, judgement and glares. For some reason, people did not find it wrong to openly tell me their opinions in my life and my baby.
For those of you who see someone in the state I was in, I have some advice for you. It is a piece of advice based off of how I would have liked to have been treated.
If you are willing, I would like you to take the time and imagine.
Imagine…being pregnant with hormones, mood swings, sickness, fatigue, soreness, and so much more. And then add in the other feelings of being judged, pity, resentment, anger, fear of going places, self-consciousness and so much more.
THEN factor in that you have no “significant other” to tell you you look beautiful or that what people said or how they looked at you was wrong. Imagine there being no one to hold you at night as you cry yourself to sleep because you have to go to a place where you will be judged yet again.
Yes, I have made a mistake so subtle that the whole world can see it but if those who follow Christ are the most judgmental among the throng why would I want to run to God?
Please don’t lead those who are in the position I was in away from the God who will bring them comfort.
On that same note, I BEG you to PLEASE be gracious and understanding. Please listen to these women as friends and as human beings that are scared beyond measure and feel very alone. Take time to meet them where they are and don’t judge! I know that judging people is all too easy and all too common in this society but be above that. Be the one that this beautiful woman can talk to and speak peace and joy into her life rather than pain, misery and guilt.
My advice for people who are in the “unmarried and pregnant” category is…don’t opt for abortion. Please stick out the pregnancy. My daughter is my shining star and brings more joy to my life than I ever could have imagined possible…
Stick it out and when you know someone is talking about you or when you know they are analyzing how you look as a way to explain why you’re pregnant… look away, ask God to help you forgive them, then cry out to someone who will listen. God, your heavenly Father! He sees you, He understands you. He knows you! He does not despise you for mistakes. He does not hold any sins against you. He will bring you joy when the road is tough and seems unbearable.
Trust me, I’ve been through it. There is so much hope waiting for you on the other side.
Blessings and Love,
Your Sister In Christ