This post is a continuation. You can find Part 1 of this story here.
Facing the News
My husband, James, and I sat facing the young couple as they tried to find the words to say. I think we kind of figured what they were going to say, but we were hoping against hope that we were wrong. We held our breath as they struggled to get out the truth. Through tears, they told us they had messed up. They had been intimate with each other. And even though they had felt convicted and stopped a few months back, they thought Abby was pregnant.
I can still see James sitting there, eyes wide, mouth open in disbelief, speechless. He is usually quick-witted and hardly ever at a loss for words, but this news hit us both and it felt like the breath we were holding got knocked right out of both of us.
I never felt so many different emotions at once in all my life: anger, disbelief, disappointment, worry, sadness. This couldn’t really be happening, could it? No, not to our family. It just seemed so unreal and my brain wanted to deny it.
I felt like I was in a daze as I heard myself ask, “Are you sure you are? Did you take a test?”
“Well, no,” Abby answered and then said, “but I think I’ve been feeling the baby move.”
What!? This was almost more shocking news than the first. I knew that a pregnant woman doesn’t usually feel the baby move until about 18-20 weeks into the pregnancy. How could she be feeling the baby already? Sure enough–it was true. When Abby got an ultrasound a few weeks later, it confirmed she was over halfway done with the pregnancy. Questions flew out in all directions. Why didn’t she tell us sooner? How far along was she? How long had she known? How had we not noticed?!
Abby didn’t tell us sooner because she said she only knew she was pregnant herself for a few weeks. She had explained away any and all symptoms of pregnancy and mostly was in denial until those first fluttery movements got her attention. Then, she was scared half to death and kept it secret a little longer, trying to figure out what to do. We are so thankful she eventually came to us.
There were tears, hugs, and lots more questions. I think when James found his tongue one of the first things he said was they needed to get married. They both agreed with that. That’s why they had been working out a budget–to see what they would be needing financially to live on their own, plus a baby.
I couldn’t sleep that night. I tossed and turned and prayed and cried. It was a rough time. We didn’t tell anyone (not even our other children) for a week. That was a long week. I can only imagine how Abby had felt keeping it secret by herself. By the end of the week, I still felt all the negative emotions I had felt at first, but now I felt something new. I felt a peace that only God can give at times like this. I felt hope that even though things seemed really terrible right then, it would get better. And most surprisingly, I felt joy as the realization hit me that I was going to be a grandma! 🙂
The Body of Christ
We were worried and fearful about how others would react to our “news”. We first told our other children who took it well although the older ones understandably felt some of the same negative emotions we had felt. This life change would take some time to get used to for all of us.
After telling our kids, we called some relatives and close friends to let them know. My sweet mother-in-law’s response sticks out in my mind more than any other because of her gracious and utterly positive reply. I told her the situation and also explained that there would be a small family wedding in about three weeks. Her immediate response was, “I’ll make rolls!” There was no hint of sadness or disappointment in her voice. No judgment at all! Her response was refreshing and empowering! Yes, we would have Grandma’s famous homemade rolls at the wedding! Yes, we would! This was to be a celebration!
I decided the best way to get the news out to others (and squelch any rumors before they could start) was to make an open and honest announcement on Facebook. Turns out there was really no need to be worried or fearful about sharing our news because the response was overwhelmingly loving, supportive, and gracious. It was so amazing and humbling to see the Body of Christ in action and to be the recipient of such an awesome outpouring of God’s love through His people. Abby and Christian received so many wonderful wedding presents. Christian’s parents almost single-handedly planned and coordinated the wedding (in about three weeks!) which was a huge help since I had a lot on my plate with a nursing 5-month-old baby of my own at the time. The wedding was beautiful!
Then, about two months later, there was another outpouring of love with a fun baby shower at a dear friend’s house. We felt so supported, loved, and blessed!
Amelia Joy Masson was born beautiful and healthy on September 7, 2016. We can’t imagine life without her!
The culture we live in is saturated with a very different message than the values we, as Christian parents, tried to instill into our girl. The message is, “If it feels good, do it–don’t worry about consequences!” “If you haven’t had sex, you’re missing out!” “It’s only a physical act and you need to prove yourself!” Sex is everywhere–movies, magazines, video games, books, conversations at school, music, store ads, billboards–to name a few. Just about everywhere we turn the message is there screaming out for attention, putting the pressure on to give in to temptation. What’s a parent to do?
I’m here to tell you don’t give up instilling your values into your children! Don’t give up! Don’t compromise! Even if they make a mistake or bad choice, you can have peace knowing you did everything in your power to teach and train them….but, you better be teaching and training them. This is serious business and there are real consequences when this subject isn’t taken seriously whether by parent or child. The world is screaming its message. Are we telling our kids what the Bible has to say on the subject or are we silent? We must be diligent to teach and train and leave the results up to God.
We are so thankful for how Abby’s and Christian’s story has turned out so far. I know not all situations like this turn out as happy. If you or someone you know is in a dark place right now, please know God still has a good plan and can redeem any situation for His glory when we keep trusting Him and live His way. Life can get really rough sometimes, but there is always grace. Sometimes it shows up in the least expected places, like a cute little cottage in the country.
“He does not treat us as our sins deserve…” Psalm 103:10a