Forty years ago a single, young woman was about to give birth. She didn’t know how she could afford a child without her parents’ help. She hadn’t talked to her former boyfriend in months. She had no idea how to reach him, how to tell him she was having his child.
This young woman attended church some, yet her dialogue with God was stilted. How could God let this happen to her? What would her life be like now?
A baby girl was born, and upon holding her child this young lady knew things would be okay. Perhaps this baby was a gift, not a burden as she supposed.
This woman raised her daughter the best she could, and while she wanted to give her child more than she had . . . history has a way of repeating itself. When the daughter became a young woman, she found herself in the same situation—living at home, pregnant and scared.
The daughter knew she could raise this child. After all, her mom had done it. But what would her life be like? How could God let this happen to her?
If you haven’t guessed already. I was the daughter born to a single mom and as a teenager became a single mom myself. At age 17, God gave me a son. My boyfriend was out of the picture, and I faced raising a child alone with little education, no money and, maybe according to the world, little hope for my future.
Now if you take this story at face value, I am nothing more than a statistic. According to government research, most daughters of young mothers will be teen mothers themselves. They face lives of hardship, living on welfare for the most part — becoming a burden rather than an asset to society.
Yet, I am not a statistic. Why? Because God doesn’t do them.
As a 17-year-old pregnant teenager I prayed a simple prayer, “God, I have messed up my life big time. If you can do anything with it, please do.” I dedicated my life and my heart to him and things changed. I had hope in my heart and I started walking God’s way. God brought an amazing, Christian man into my life. John was a wonderful husband and a father to my son. When had a daughter and another one on the way, God did something else unexpected. He gave me the desire to write books.
My friend Cindy and I heard about the Mt. Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference, and I saved my money for a year to go. I attended as a 22-year-old young woman pregnant with my third baby. If anyone was unlikely to become a Christian writer that was me. Yet God had different plans. I started writing small. I got a lot of rejections, but soon more articles found their ways into magazines, and eventually books onto store shelves. More than that, I have a weekly support group for young moms, telling them that God has good plans for them. Plans to give them a hope in their future. Hope in God.
This year my heart is filled with Thanksgiving. I’m thankful for my mother who chose life for me. I’m thankful that when I questioned my future, God gave me hope.
I’m also thankful because the story doesn’t stop there. Two years ago a young woman chose our family to adopt her daughter when she faced a crisis pregnancy. As we find joy in raising this little girl, it’s another reminder that every life is a gift—and God can use our brokenness just as He can use our talents.
History has a way of repeating itself in families, but even more important that our history of mess-ups is God’s history of setting things right.
God has a history of seeing something no one else does . . . like seeing a king in a shepherd boy named David, seeing an apostle in a young zealot named Paul, and seeing a mighty warrior in a frightened nobody named Gideon. God’s X-ray eyes see right through any outward characteristics or national statistics. His X-ray eyes scan down to the heart.
Where have you felt you’ve fallen short of God’s perfect plan? Trust that God’s dream is to turn a mess-up into a miracle.
He’s a BIG God with BIG dreams.
A God who has made an agreement with us that is eternal, final, and sealed.
A God who is strong in our weakness.
A God who sees the future, sees the past and has a perfect plan for me . . . and for you.
It’s something we can all be thankful for.
*Photo credit: Image courtesy of Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net