Thursday, June 23, 2011

How the lost got found

It is always an exciting time when one of our residents is close to the end of her pregnancy.  But, with her delivery  so near we know that she will be leaving us and moving forward with her life.  I wanted to share her story with you... in her words.  Please keep her in your prayers as she has a long journey ahead of her.  We will miss you Maggie!
(* name was changed)

~ Janelle

Maggie’s testimony
          I have always considered myself a Christian; however I wasn’t exactly living the “Christian life.” I was rebelling against God, and trying to “do my own thing.” I knew what I was doing was wrong, but I didn’t care. And my dad would always tell me “I am scared for you, because you do not fear God;” this was a very true statement. I really didn’t care all that much. It all started around the time I met my baby’s father.
I was eighteen, about to turn nineteen, and had just graduated high school, and about to go to college that fall. I pretty much had it made. But when Sam* and I met, it was an instant connection; he taught me so much, not saying that’s a good thing. We spent as much time together as we could, which wasn’t hard for me because I could drive. But it got to the point where I was skipping some of my classes to see him, and if you know anything about college tuition, it is NOT cheap! So it was basically a waste of money. And the days I would go to school, I’d leave early in the morning and go over to his apartment and stay till school started, then when classes ended I went back to his place. Things between us got very physical, very fast. I really didn’t think too much of it, until I took a pregnancy test, and it came back positive. I was scared, surprised, and somewhat excited at the same time.
 I remember telling him that I was pregnant, and right off the bat, he did not believe me. I had to go over to his apartment one day and show him the test results. After that, things pretty much fell apart. He even cheated on me with another girl, and I was dumb enough to take him back. My life was so messed up, and things only got worse when I had to tell my parents; I remember the hurt and disappointment on their faces when I told them. I felt like my life was over, little did I know God had a plan for me. I can remember calling the crisis pregnancy center, looking for some way to make everything better. I met with one of the ladies and started a counseling session with her. One of my sessions, she offered me some free information about “Mother Goose Adoption” and “Liberty Godparent Home” I wasn’t too sure about either but I took the information home and talked with my parents about it. They said to pray about my decision, I did, and we all came to an agreement that LGH might be what’s best for me and the baby. Not too long after I had made the decision to go there, I finally told Sam* where I was going; he didn’t like the idea very much, and tried to convince me not to go. I didn’t listen to him, I had a feeling I would get the proper help I needed. So I got in touch with the admissions coordinator, and we set a date to come by. She said they wanted me to come by my twentieth week. I packed everything for my five month stay, and pretty soon I was on my way to Lynchburg, VA. My dad and I arrived sometime in the afternoon, and when we arrived, Mrs. Ruby gave us a quick tour; it looked really nice, but it just wasn’t home though. My dad and I said our goodbyes, it was the saddest I had ever seen him, but he assured me that time would go by fast, and before I knew it, I’d be back home with the family.
Adjusting to my new lifestyle wasn’t as easy as I’d thought it’d be. There were so many rules and regulations, things I wasn’t used too at all. Not only that, I didn’t get along with some of the girls, so that made my stay even harder. But I prayed and cried to God every night asking Him to give me the strength I needed to make it through, and God has never let me down. Time as my dad said did go by pretty fast, especially when my twenty-one days were over. Everyone was so supportive and understanding of my situation; they sent me letters and talked to me on the phone and offered me all kinds of encouraging advice. It wasn’t long before I got to be very close with some of the girls here; they were all really nice and understood exactly what I was going through. It was nice that people knew what it was like and we all had the same thing in common, our pregnancy.
The staff definitely helped me out too, especially my caseworker and counselor. We talked about my decision to parent or place; I found myself going back and forth a lot, so I prayed and asked God to show me what I should do. It wasn’t long before He started showing me signs, and right away I knew what I should do. So I started to meet with my adoption caseworker and we started working on an adoption plan. It was heartbreaking to think about placing my baby, but I knew it was in his best interest. Now that it’s May, and I have less than a month before he’s born, I realize I can do it after all; all I needed was help from God. I’m very excited to meet my son, and to give him the most amazing home I can. He means everything to me. And I am so thankful for LGH and all the people who dedicate their time to it, they’re doing an absolutely terrific job making sure that we’re all taken care of and we can leave the ministry knowing exactly what we are going to do. And I cannot wait to see what God has in store for me after this.

Monday, June 20, 2011

What Does God say about “Identity Theft”?

“Who am I?” rang softly into my ear as I drove away from my house the other evening. My neck needed rubbed, my tummy said it needed fed and my yawn was proof that the youth in my son’s side of the argument had more strength than mine. His last words spoofed my inner submission as I nodded to myself while rolling my eyes; he was probably right. His only foundation for wanting to do something a normal 17 year old who want to do was, well, because he wanted to. My response was nothing short of the spill on making mature decisions even when we have to make the sacrifice of our own wants. He, of course argued that just because I was a mother at 16 and didn’t get to be who I wanted to be— that I shouldn’t restrain him from whom he wants to be. The nerve! How can I look at this young man who I practically gave my teenage life to and argue with that? It was my choice, my mistake and once again I was reminded of how foolish I was then and how late I was now. I left before finishing the conversation and my frustration turned to hurt.

Tears began to fill my eyes as I continued to drive. “Is this it Lord? Is my life supposed to turn out this way? I feel robbed, stolen from and need to know who I am.” As I got to my office and typed in some obscure search titles, I came across an intriguing title; “The Story of the Sad Sadness” by author unknown. Umm yes! Of course I clicked. I was the sad saddest person and felt like a complete failure as a mother.

Take a moment and read through the words that took me back to .... Hope.

The stone plaque on my desk read somberly to me in that moment. Romans 5:5 “…and hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” He is my hope. How many times do we feel like the grey figure trying to help our children with tough love or guidance? They run, they hide, they argue. But this verse says that God is our hope and loves us enough to pour out the Holy Spirit into our hearts! Only Satan wants us to believe that we are worthless. He wants us to buy into the lies that we are marked and bonded to the things that have us impounded by regret. John 10:10 says “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Satan wants to steal our identity, but God wants to restore it. With God as our hope we can live life to the fullest and find confidence in a savior that tells us exactly who we are!

We are happy to have Tasha Brown share her thoughts with us as a guest blogger.  In 1993, Tasha and I met when we were both facing the crisis of an unplanned pregnancy.  In 2010, our paths crossed again and together we co-authored a book about our journey titled Released & Delivered ©2010