I was seventeen years old. He was eighteen. We were both afraid of what would happen, as we had no plans to marry. We began to argue about whether to have an abortion. I didn’t want to, but I did consider it. He offered to make an appointment, but for once in my life, I felt like I had something to live for.

Although I was fearful of my parent’s response and of what the future might hold for me, I wanted to carry this baby, my baby, and began to push the father away.

The thought of telling my parents was overwhelming. I knew they would be devastated. Our family was prominent in the church with my dad being a worship leader. I wanted to wait to tell them until I was further along. I needed more time to find a way. At the same time, my best friend was also expecting. She was further along and couldn’t keep her secret any more. Reluctantly, I agreed to tell our parents together. Our plan was to head to Seattle and stay with one of her friends while she left a note for her parents which would naturally get to mine.

When we got to her friend’s house, unannounced, my friend explained our situation. She let us in but only to call our parents then said we should go back home. Her response was unexpected, but my friend called and spoke to her mom. As soon as she hung up, I drove us to my sister’s apartment, not far from where we were. It was about ten o’clock at night. I told my sister of my pregnancy and she said we needed to call home. I didn’t want to be the one to tell my parents so she did it for me. I’m pretty sure they already knew.

My parents were clearly disappointed at first. They had a vision for my future and news of my pregnancy made it seem as if all their hopes and dreams for me were suddenly taken away.

I spoke with my mom briefly. I don’t remember exactly what she said, but I do remember she was more loving than I expected. I didn’t speak with my dad, but I knew he was not happy. I had trouble falling asleep that night. Yet, it was a huge relief knowing my secret was out.

When we finally arrived home, we were directed to sit at the family table. Our parents sat on each end. We both sat in the middle, heads hung in shame. There were words spoken followed by an awkward silence. Our family dog broke the silence by lapping up water from her bowl. My friend and I could not hold back our nervous laughter. Our parents did not see the humor. In fact, it made them angry.

My friend went home with her parents and I ran to my room crying. My mom soon followed. I remember the sweater she was wearing that day. It had navy blue and green horizontal stripes, but it was my mother’s soft voice telling me everything was going to be okay that I remember the most. It wasn’t long until my dad came around too…

You can read more of my personal story in the book, “Starting Point—Journeys of Teen Moms Who Overcame” compiled by Tiffany Stadler. Learn how God met me in my pain as I carried a great deal of guilt and shame and his urging to let it go. I am still learning to accept the grace God has for me and it is a beautiful thing. To learn more about Starting Point, watch the promo video or check out Starting Point’s Facebook page.

Starting Point is a powerful testament of God’s love, mercy and grace.