I have known Angela for many years. I can honestly say she is one of the most God-seeking and God-loving followers of Christ I know. She is a true example of how you can hand your “mess” over to Jesus and He will use it to receive GREAT honor. I am thrilled she chose to share this part of her testimony with you. I cried twice while reading it: the redeeming grace of Christ evidenced in her story will tug at your heart strings for sure.
My prayer for you, reader and friend, as you read this testimony, is that you HEAR how good God is and you SEE how much He loves you no matter what!
So, there is something I’ve been thinking about for the last oh… ten years or so. What is it, you may ask? Well, when it comes down to it, I’ve probably thought about it the majority of my life. Its something that everyone has, whether they want it or not, and whether they know it or not.
Family. I come from the best family I know. I love them all more than they could ever realize. My family is pretty big too, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. My mom is the middle child of three, plus four step siblings, my dad is somewhere in the middle of 8, plus two step siblings. My grandparents, for the most part, came from big families too, with the exception of my moms dad, from what I understand. Some, or all, of my best memories come with a house full of family but more importantly love, when I say “house” I mean a small house, and when I say “full” I mean sometimes 80 people, sometimes 2, but always full of love.
Somewhere in my childhood I decided I never wanted to have kids, I would adopt or something, but never wanted to give birth to one. I didn’t want to go through all of that pain that it took to have a kid. Maybe that was selfish of me, who knows… I did however always want to get married.
Its funny how life happens though. Here I am, 32 years old with a 10 year old child of my own, one I gave birth to, and have never been married. I know it-life-didn’t just happen to be that way for me, but it has been the culmination of years of choices. Some good choices and some bad, but the choices were mine, and I take responsibility for all of them.
The younger I was the better choices I made it seems. I remember even signing one of those little red true love waits cards when I was young, either middle or high school, maybe both. It was one of those cards that said you promised to save yourself for marriage. But I can also tell you that I probably didn’t feel like this would be a difficult promise to keep. You see I wasn’t very confident in myself or what people thought of me. I’ve said before that I was a cute kid up until probably third grade. Third grade is when I started to wear glasses, had a noticeable overbite and buck teeth. Fifth grade is the first time I can really remember someone making fun of me because of it. This boy called me “beaver” because apparently there were similarities to my face and that of a beaver, what with the buckteeth and all… We didn’t call it bullying then, it was just “making fun,” and I’m pretty sure I never told my mom about it (tell your mom, dad or teacher).
All throughout school I was self-conscious of my looks. I graduated high school in May of ’99, and in July of that same year I had surgery to “fix” what was “wrong” with my mouth. The front teeth were perfectly aligned with the rest of my teeth, thanks to a year or two with braces. My Jaws had been broken and reset into place, the right place, and screws were used to hold them there, along with a couple of metal plates to help fix the overbite. Finally, in September of that year I felt normal again, but not normal, now I felt pretty, where before I felt like I looked like a beaver.
(I feel the need to add in here Psalm 139:13b-16a says that “You [God] knit me together in my mothers womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth your eyes saw my unformed body.” God doesn’t mess up when he makes us in our mothers wombs, he makes us perfectly for His use and for His glory. God made me to be the way I was in third grade for a reason, just like he made you the way he made you for a reason. You are fearfully and wonderfully made by the very hand of God!)
In September of ’99 I also turned 18 and became a little more independent, and more comfortable with myself. I rarely if ever saw the people I went to high school with who made me feel less than worth while. But to be honest, it may have been only that one boy in 5th grade that made fun of me, and the rest of it was in my head, I really don’t know. Either way, I felt like I belonged, I had a group friends that I didn’t feel like I defaulted in to. But this was also where I began to make bad choices, I must have thought I was really something!
On down the line a couple of years I was a happy girl, new friends. But I think I was still searching for acceptance, and affirmation and in order to get that I made bad choices. When I turned 21 I got pregnant. I didn’t want to accept the truth in the matter so I guess I tried to ignore it, I was scared to even go take the pregnancy test, much less buy it so that I could take it. I was just a scared girl… So when the time came for me to take the test, I can remember the moments that lead up to it distinctly, I sat in my car and I prayed.
They say that you get closer to God when you need him the most. I had been to church my whole life, I was baptized at about 9 years old. I went to church every Sunday morning. Mom made sure we were there. I went to some of the best churches, was a part of the best youth group, remember, I signed that card… that was in youth group. I never forgot that I signed that card, the one where I promised God, and myself that I would save myself for marriage. I guess I just stopped caring at some point. It became unimportant to me.
Back to the story now.. I sat in my car and prayed.
I remember the prayer, maybe not the exact words, but the prayer. It went like this:
“God, I don’t know if I’m pregnant or not (I knew). It could go either way when I go in there and take this test (at my friend Katie’s house) You could make it come up negative and that would be fine with me, or it could be positive and that’d be ok too… God IF this test come up positive I will do my best to raise this child to know you. I’ll have it in church whenever the doors are open, and I’ll bring it up t know you and love you too. I’m so sorry for being so stupid with myself and my body, and God I promise I will never be that stupid again! I’m so sorry” I went in my friends house and took the test, I came out a mother.
Then I had a new decision to make. The decision was basically do I keep the promises I just made to God? Do I start now or after I have the baby? Do I go to church where they might all support me or do I stay home for fear of being talked about?
I started then to keep the promises, I went to church and no one talked about me, they talked to me, they prayed for me and supported me. They loved me and my unborn child.
It was never a choice to me of whether to keep the baby or not, the decision was made on that when the baby was conceived. She was a life from that moment on. There was even a moment where that part was tested a bit. I remember the doctor sending me for another ultrasound because something was a little irregular according to how far along I was. So at this other ultrasound they explained to me that my child might have spina bifida. So they wanted to give me my “options.” This was the easiest decision, there was no option. No matter what I would have the baby I didn’t care what the doctor said was wrong with it, physically or developmentally, I would do my best to raise it the best I could no matter what. I really think that was the devil trying to “give” me an easy out of this whole motherhood thing.
But God (I just love that little phrase) in his infinite wisdom and mercy knew the choice I would make. Did you know that if your due date is a week off then the ultrasound can show that something is wrong with the baby that is not wrong at all? I learned that that day, I also learned that they won’t change a due date unless its two weeks off. Anyway…
When I had the baby, my beautiful daughter Lillie. I did just as I promised I took her to church every time the doors were open. Don’t tell anyone, but some of the time I even “used” the church as a free baby sitter.
Ok, before you start throwing stones at me, let me explain that…
I didn’t drop my daughter off on a Wednesday night and go club hopping or grocery shopping, I took her to the nursery and went to Bible Study. It was the best option for both of us. I trusted the people I left her in the nursery with, and I was able to get a little time away, with God. Technically I could have left her at home with my mom and gone to church, but my promise was that I would have her there whenever I could, whenever the doors were open, even as a baby. So we went, Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Wednesday evenings too. She loved going most of the time, and I was encouraged by the people and the pastor and more importantly grew in my spiritual walk with The Lord. You don’t know how nice it was to hear “I’m so proud of you, you’re doing a great job!” at church after having my daughter.
It soon became apparent that her father didn’t want to be in the picture, he doesn’t realize what he’s missing with her, but I suppose that’s his decision to make. So I started to hope that maybe by the time she turned 5 I would have met someone and gotten married. Maybe by then she would know what it was like to have a father… ok 7, 8, 9…. 10? Well, She will be 11 this summer, and I haven’t met “the one” and thats ok, because she knows the One now. She knows her Heavenly Father, the one who will never leave her or forsake her. The one who loves her for exactly who she is. The one who knows her every thought, and desire and prayer before she prays it. She is a great kid!
One time she was filling in some paper and it said
Mothers name: ___Angela___
Fathers name: _____________
I don’t know if you have ever dreaded your child having to fill in that line, I hope not, but I can say it scared me to death. What would she say there. Would she write “NA,” “None” or “Don’t have one.” The answer she gave almost made me cry, which I don’t do easily, and it also made me wonder.
Her paper said..
Fathers name: ___God____
She was probably six years old at this point, and she had accepted Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection as payment for her salvation. He is her father, her Heavenly Father. I don’t know if she will ever meet her earthly father, but I know that she knows her Heavenly Father, and thats all I can ask for.
I said earlier that when I was young I never wanted to give birth to a baby. I’m so glad that God knows what is best for me! I said I only wanted to adopt, and maybe one day that’ll be in the cards for me. I said that I wanted to one day get married, and I do still want that. I love my big family, they are so important to me, and would love for our family to grow more, by way of a marriage and kids. However, as much as I want all of these things what I really want is to be content with what I have. And the only thing I want to covet is a closer relationship with God. I know I have several friends who have been praying for me, that I’ll meet my future husband. And as much as I hope for that in the future what I really want is your prayers that I’ll be content with what I have and will focus on having that closer relationship with God. For a few weeks I’ve wanted to ask my friends to pray that God would remove the desire from me for a relationship because that desire has clouded my focus or my relationship with God, and the relationship you have with God, the closeness of that bond should be closer than any other relationship you have with anyone else. God’s not done with me yet, and he’s just getting started with Lillie, but I can’t wait to see what God holds in our future and where He takes us!