Knocked Down

The day I saw those two lines indicating a positive result on my pregnancy test, my whole world completely turned upside down. I was living every young girl’s worst nightmare. I’d become that girl.

It happened on my 21st birthday. Most people get to enjoy a few too many drinks and possibly a bad headache the day after. My experience was a little different. I ended up with more than a hangover.

When I found out I was pregnant, I was single, alone, and afraid. I literally felt I had no one to turn to. The weight of my own embarrassment, shame, self-hatred, and loss of self-worth was too much to bear.

It should be understood that one drunken night ending in a hook-up did not change my life. There were a lot of small events that got me to this point. Like the day I had my first illegal drink of alcohol. Or the day I lost my virginity to a guy I hardly knew. Or when I lost all self-respect and repeatedly got drunk and acted promiscuously. Or the days when I searched for guy after guy for security. The more miserable hook-ups I had, the more it fed into my thoughts of unworthiness and self-hate.

All of these things caused me to spiral out of control. So it’s no surprise that on my 21st birthday, I got drunk “justifiably” because it was my birthday, and had sex with some guy I didn’t really know. All those small things had finally built up to this point in my life.

Inside I was desperately screaming, “Who could possibly love me now?”

I didn’t tell a single soul I was pregnant and immediately scheduled an abortion, even though I knew to my very core it was wrong. I had never felt so alone. Inside I was desperately screaming, “Who could possibly love me now?”

The days leading up to my abortion appointment were horrible. I was flooded with guilt, depression, and loneliness. I couldn't eat or sleep, and I was avoiding everyone. Then, the weekend right before my scheduled abortion, something changed. I can't describe it very well, but I felt an ounce of hope and forgiveness. For the first time in over a month of depression, turmoil, and shame, I felt loved — in the midst of my brokenness. I realized that I didn't have to do this alone. I could reach out. Someone surely could be there for me.

That day changed me forever. I finally built up the courage to tell my parents I was pregnant. They didn’t condemn me, but instead embraced me, loved me, and supported me. I told my friends and they did not judge me even once. They loved me and affirmed me of my worth. For the first time, I actually felt like I was worth something, that even as a broken girl, I could be forgiven.

I am now proud to say I am 39 weeks pregnant with a beautiful little girl. Any day now I will get to hold this precious gift of life in my arms. During the process, I found a passion for helping others going through the same thing, so I became a volunteer advisor at our local Pregnancy Resource Center. I get to share my story with anyone and everyone, with just the small hope that another broken person can feel loved and know that they are valued. I’m so blessed that I somehow experienced the grace to understand that life is a gift, even in the midst of brokenness.

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Photo Credit Jernej Graj

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