Oh, God! This can’t be happening again. I had been arguing with my then-boyfriend for weeks. He swore I had to be pregnant and I swore I had the flu. I took everything from Dayquil to Echinacea and I just wasn’t getting any better. I took the quiz to shut him up so I could barf in peace, but there was no peace to be had.
Two tiny pink lines rocked my world to the core. No. It was wrong. It had to be wrong. I had just miscarried over the winter and we had been so careful… Right? Wait, how far along was I? Seriously? Caught up in making up, we messed up. Once. And joked about how we didn’t want to go through last winter again. And I’m sobbing. Then puking. Sobbing again. Begging God to let it be wrong. I mean, don’t we all cry out to God when we’re desperate?
I couldn’t keep it. The miscarriage was too painful, I couldn’t live through that again. My relationship was unstable at best. I was told I wasn’t fun anymore… ever since February. I was so depressed that he bought me a dog. A dog. Idiot. Here I was, barely into my 22nd year, with all the hope for my future dangling on a half-hearted promise that we could just go find a justice of the peace and make it legit. Stop crying.
Nope. The tears came and my broken heart was crushed as I steeled myself and made the appointment that would rid me of this indiscretion that I knew I was unable to care for on my own. He promised to go with me and he did. I drove. The Clearwater traffic was a much-needed distraction as I sought out a place I didn’t want to find. But I found it. Eight foot high privacy fencing around the parking lot, chain link fence with barbed wire around the building, bars on the windows.
Where is the door? How do you find your way into a fortress when the entrance isn’t marked and everything is locked up tight? Wait, there’s a door. It’s locked too. Knock, knock, knock. The door opened cautiously and a middle-aged woman in scrubs poked her head out. I told her I couldn’t find the entrance and she ushered me in through the back door. She locked the deadbolt behind us. I turned and saw a young girl (young? I was only 22 and she looked like a child) in a large recliner curled up in the fetal position. Such irony. She was stoned from the drugs they gave her to relax and she was weeping quietly. The nurse smiled at me and said that this was the recovery area.
She led us down a hallway, locked doors on every side. I startled when I heard a vacuum-like machine turn on. I froze in the hallway, staring at the door. The nurse gently took my elbow, told me not to be afraid of the equipment and that after I signed in at the front desk, I’d be given a “cocktail” to help me relax. We passed three more recliners with two young girls being set up at the bar. They were crying softly, too. Eyes down. Shame. Fear. Hopelessness. Desperation all around.
The nurse led us through the door into the waiting room. “Just sign in on the sheet and we’ll be with you shortly.” The room was small, cozy and full to standing room only. More girls younger than myself. Some alone. Others with boyfriends. All scared. I grabbed the pen. Where do I sign in? Shaking. Stop shaking. I couldn’t remember how to spell my name. I looked at him. Tears. Will they ever stop? I can’t do this. Please don’t make me do this. I dropped the pen and buried my face in his chest. Please, I can’t do this.
Look, it’s the front door. He took my hand, walked me outside, promised me he’d be by my side if I really wanted to keep it. I knew it wasn’t true, but it was what I needed to hear. I sat in the car and cried. Ugly mixture of panic and relief. Now what?
A few days later I found myself at a Crisis Pregnancy Center after work. I was there to discuss my options. By options, I mean there’s only adoption because I still knew I couldn’t raise a kid. She’s nice. Well dressed. I felt comfortable with her. She would help me. This nice, well-dressed lady would help me find a good home for this baby. Why is she talking about Jesus? That was the last thing I needed right then. A sermon. Great. Yeah, lady, I think I’ll go to Heaven. I mean, clearly I’ve made a lot of bad choices, but I am not a bad person. Perfection? What do you mean I would have to be perfect to be accepted by God? Lady, when are we going to talk about adoptive parents?
What? Wait. I have been in and out of churches for years. Why didn’t anybody tell me why Christ died on the cross? Why am I just now hearing this? He loves me that much? I’m not horrible, but I am not worth dying for. What do you mean he thinks I am? My heart was pounding. I listened intently. For a time, I forgot about the child within. I wanted that forgiveness. I wanted to start anew. She prayed with me, gave me a small Bible, some pamphlets, and told me something about being able to do all things through Christ. I was confused. I was pregnant. I wasn’t set up with adoptive parents. All I had was this unborn child and Jesus.
That child is now a ‘tween. Beautiful, intelligent, loving and adores Jesus. He walked me through the literal shadow of death and into his loving arms, and he saved my daughter in the process.