I became pregnant at nineteen.
Allow me to give you the back story. My parents were separated, divorced, yet on and off again and again. My mom was Hispanic and Catholic and my dad had anger issues and grew up in a terribly abusive situation (that I learned of in my 30’s). I grew up scared, insecure, feeling unloved and even hated by my family. My childhood was one of violence, inconsistency, sexism, and confusion. When I became 12, I had realized that my parents we “crazy” and lacked any ability to manage their own lives much less mine. They would let my brother (who was a year older than myself) do things like date and live freely and when I’d protest they would say, “he’s older than you.” So the next year when I was that age I would mention that last year when my brother was my age he could “_____.” That never worked. If I got caught speaking to a boy (at the age of 11 was the first time I recall but many times after) I would get beat with a belt or smacked around.
You could image how angry I became. I had no power, no autonomy, and no voice.
My mom would follow me and try to catch me doing “things.”
My dad would tell me how worthless and stupid I was in front of everyone.
This was the perfect recipe for a hateful preteen and destructive teenager.
Here I went, on the path to getting free. There really is nothing worse than being in this powerless state and cycle of abuse. On my own at least I knew that I could choose the ways I was going to live. Self-destruction mode hit. I was fearless, strong-willed, rebellious and the fact that I knew I couldn’t make my parents love me made me hell-bent on making them hate me. I was okay with being hated. I was rude and mean and truthful to a fault.
But inside, I was naive and broken seeking peace and love. To rest in someone’s presence.
Men were that for me. I met many men who liked me, even at age 13 I remember my friends’ uncle’s having crushes on me. Everywhere I went, I was sexually harassed so that I thought it was a normal part of life.
God’s saving grace for me was that I was a bad-ass. I was tough on men and anyone else who tried to get something from me. I didn’t trust anyone. I just enjoyed the attention.
So when I met the guy who eventually got me pregnant it was because he was also a bad-ass. Tattoos, big muscles and he would throw down with anyone who even looked at me. He protected me and that I had never known. He gave me everything he had.
He was in and out of jail throughout the 3 years we were together and wanted to marry me. I wrote him in jail when I could, I never visited and told him if he wanted to be with me he should stay out of jail. But we had a “connection.” Two damaged people I guess.
On one of his stays in jail that lasted about 8 months, I prayed and told God I wouldn’t go see him if he let him get out. Well, the next week or so I received a letter that he would be getting out soon and immediately knew that I would go see him.
Turns out he got me pregnant on purpose thinking that I would be trapped.
I went through denial and 7 pregnancy tests before I accepted that I was pregnant.
Our relationship was unhealthy. Fighting ALL the time, drama and the long distance aspect made it more intense. I broke up with him all the time and he would cry or threaten that he would kill himself so I’d stay. Eventually, though I really couldn’t take the drama and fighting and I was enjoying the baby growing inside of me and being pregnant. It was so beautiful and the contrast between the life I had created and the Life she deserved became evident beyond anything I could ignore. So when I was 3 months pregnant I told him, “your stupid if you kill yourself, but that’s your choice.”
The beautiful part is that I always believed in God but always did what I wanted and for the first time in my life I knew that if I believe in God that I need to make the decision based on that belief. Friends and some family had some advice: have an abortion, get married to him. The advice to get married was from my grandma, I told my mom, “HELL NO, I’m keeping my baby and chalking up my losses!”
When I was pregnant with my daughter, God came into my life and revealed to me in almost an out of body experience, that he loved me. I felt His presence. All the times he had protected me, reached out to me and guided that stubborn me flashed before my eyes and I realized that this baby was a gift from Him. Such an undeserving woman. I gave my life to God that day in my bedroom, alone, not a Christian person in my life. I had no idea what to do. I stopped every obvious sin, smoking, drinking, all the evil things that I believed were washed away and I began cleansing my life.
The problem was that after a while I was empty. Sin was trying to have its way with me again. I eventually came to realize and can express it better now, that I had emptied myself but had not nourished my Spirit. I had not filled myself with God and fell easy prey to sin.
While I was pregnant I was proposed to three times and I refused to even consider it because I knew that God had a better plan for me. One was a friend of mine who I had known for years who was a marine. He said that if I married him he’d get more money from the military and he could take care of me. That was kind but no. I was certain, 100% certain that God had a better plan. Another was my friends’ boyfriend (weird I know!) Obviously NO! And the other was the baby’s other biological half, NO! In my life as a single mother, I had three other opportunities to be married, one was a thoughtful and kind man who worked as a marine biologist. Another man was a millionaire who owned many large hotels. He was already married but changed wives every four years and said I could be his next wife and after the four years, I would be set for life. And the other a man who worked for the oil company who was also very well off. All of these opportunities tempted me ever so slightly, yet I knew that God was amazing and after all, he owns the whole world. I am also a very passionate and honest woman so I never could do something that required of me to pretend. There were times I wish I could have and even tried hard to do so but it proved itself to be a physical, mental and emotional impossibility for me. I couldn’t sell out. To the millionaire wife hopper: I told him to his face that I could never do that because I believe in God. “He said, “I do too.” And I replied with, “yeah well, I also deserve better and I’m not afraid of the future.”
It’s difficult to exploit a woman who is sold out for God.
Another date went like this: this young man put his hand on my thigh. I’m guessing he was hitting on me for a while. I became irritated that he was trying to manipulate me so I said, “Well, you like me right?” Would you buy me a car or put my name on your mortgage or credit cards?” He replied, “No, I hardly know you.” I said, “Exactly. Now get your hand off my thigh.”
Obviously, I have shared in this blog my successes but I must be honest that I had many failures leading me to the strength that I had in these situations.
The fight is continual but it’s 100% worth it to keep getting back up and back in the ring.
Ladies! We are told that we can’t want anything or we are gold diggers, shallow and all the like. But we can want EVERYTHING! Independence, Freedom and True Love. All can be found in the purest form in Christ. He truly supplies it all. If we find a life partner, great. But if not that’s wonderful as well. We need to rebel against the world and our own lies from within and be truly SOLD OUT for God, who gave everything to be with us.