Today we welcome a guest blog post. Cheryl recently wrote out a piece of her personal life experience, and wondered if it might help another family somewhere. Perhaps this encouragement is intended for you.
If you are wanting help as you face an unplanned pregnancy – your own or someone else’s – whatever your age – Avenue Women’s Center is here to serve you. With free services and support offered in our four DuPage County locations, we hope you will call, text, email, or chat today.
Her body language said it all. I’ve heard that 55% of communication is conveyed through body language. This was clearly the case. The living room she sat in had a sofa, loveseat and a single rocking chair. She chose to sit in the rocking chair with her knees bent and her arms hugging them. Her eyes were red and face was tear stained. One look and I could see she was scared; she was expecting a tongue lashing, or just all out rejection. Rejection is the #1 fear that we all have to deal with and this was certainly how she felt. She had just called me at work to announce she thought she was pregnant. Though my emotions were at a high, the sight of her defensive posture in the chair brought clarity. This was not the moment to turn away or cast judgment. She clearly knew our standards and values and this pregnancy was not what we wanted for our unmarried teenager. We could and would work through the details of this situation but what my daughter needed more than anything was love and to feel safe. I speak not of physical safety but emotional safety.
I remember walking across the room. At the time it seemed very far away to where she sat. I put my arms out and she fell into them. Love always outweighs fear. Yes, difficult conversations and difficult decisions were in her future. But 16 years later she has grown up to be a good and loving woman. It is through difficult times that the meaning of family is defined and that character is challenged to grow and to rise to the occasion. And happily she did step up.
If you had asked me to describe that day as it was happening I might have said: this is a disaster. But I would have been so wrong. In that moment, with emotions flooding us, it truly did seem that way. But looking in the rearview mirror I see something different. This was the moment my daughter took responsibility for herself and her decisions. She took a flying leap into parenthood and adulthood and with a lot of prayer landed on her feet. This was a turning point of epic proportions.
Some people may ask the question: how as a mom were you able to handle that situation without lashing out? The answer is this: Years before, I had worked as a volunteer for a crisis pregnancy center. I had sat face to face with many girls in similar situations. I had seen the tears and heard about their fear of rejection from their parents, the fear of the future, the fear of not knowing what to do, the shame at what others would say or think. Those years were preparation for the day I had to deal with this as a parent. Who would have guessed that as I thought I was volunteering there to help other girls who were in a crisis that I myself was being prepared to show my daughter the love and forgiveness that we all need. I find it so amazing how we each are taught and prepared for the difficulties in life.
Not to make it sound like I did everything right. That is not true. But I was able to minimize the damage that often comes from a mom’s mouth when we are hurt, angry and disappointed. I am grateful that I was enabled to respond in love.
What is the story that is being written for your pregnancy situation? Are you wishing that someone would stand – supportive – at your side? Each of the Avenue Women’s Center team members is here to do just that. We provide every client with care and nonjudgmental support. Our goal is that each woman will be empowered to navigate her pregnancy situation in a way that she will some day look back, confident that she made the best decisions she could at the time, knowing that she was fully supported through the process. Please contact us today. We are here to help you.The information provided here is general in nature. It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention. Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.