God Made Me Stronger

shutterstock_112693924I never expected to be a  parent at this point in my life. I was career driven with a degree under my belt, and was working my way to the top of whichever path I chose. God, however,  had a different plan.

When I found myself completely alone and pregnant, I didn’t know where to turn. I didn’t know what to do. I had never believed abortion was the “right thing to do,” but I had never been faced with the decision. I had pressure from the biological father to “just get rid of it.” That would make sense, right? Seeing as he had a baby on the way already. Something within me said no. Something inside said to not give in.

I have never, and I mean NEVER prayed so hard in my life.

Everywhere and anyone I turned to, could not or would not help me. I lost close friends, and couldn’t yet tell my family.  I was uninsured, single, hormonal, alone, and very..oh so very..PREGNANT.  It seemed the more I looked, the more abortion became my only option. I prayed, “God I don’t think abortion is right, but what are my options!? I don’t know how to do this!” Screaming on my knees at times, asking, begging for an answer, I was hoping for a sign and a decision I could live with. On the fence with tears streaming down my face I cried for a sign, “God give me something! Tell me what to do!! Give me writing on the wall, anything, please!!” You know what? God gave me a billboard. YEAH, a billboard.

I called Real Choices and was relieved to hear they would see me. I remember crying there too; I cried the entire time, pouring out my heart. I was still considering abortion.

A woman was interning there and it was by divine intervention. With head in my hands she leaned in and with the most sincerity said, “You are so STRONG, and you CAN do this. God has a plan for you, and will help you.” She asked to stay in contact with me, and referred me to a support group “Embrace Grace.” She also prayed for me, again, and to this day those words changed my life.

I went on to get my first ultrasound. I was about six weeks pregnant. The technician asked if I wanted to hear the heart beat. Heart beat? Already?? It has a heart beat? Yes. Yes I do…

I bawled. Love rushed over me and I knew from that moment I would have that child and do my very best. I CAN do this. Her words replayed in my head, and I couldn’t stop crying. This was my answer. This was God speaking to me. This was my writing on the wall.

Even now I find myself asking God, “How am I supposed to do this?!” Being a parent is hard. Being a parent is very hard, alone. Most days I don’t feel like I’ve done a good job and pray I can give more tomorrow. I question why I’m doing this by myself, and wonder if I’m enough. I pray for a husband, and ask God “Why haven’t you sent him yet? Why am I alone?” Because even before I had Grayson, GOD MADE ME STRONGER. God knew the storm I was about to endure. He knew I would face adversities, so HE MADE ME STRONGER. He knew I would have to fall into Him to save myself and my child. He knew I would feel all alone; GOD MADE ME STRONGER.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11

So I continue on this journey. When I feel abandoned, I know I am never alone; He is with me. He gives me comfort, and has given me great joy.  God has surrounded me with a network of prayer warriors, and has provided every time I fall short. Even in my weakest moments, GOD MADE ME STRONGER.

written by Sarah Young, Embrace Grace Southlake bloom

New Beginnings

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The most pivotal moment of my life actually happened in a Walmart bathroom.

My friend bought me a pregnancy test because I had spent the night before hugging the toilet.  I stared in disbelief at the results. Pregnant.  I showed it to my boyfriend and he just kept staring at those 2 lines as well. This changes everything.

I spent a day or two just thinking about a “baby” and thinking about all of the things that may come, still clueless as to what it meant to even have a baby. The next morning I called some friends. I broke the news to them and they would say that I had “options” …  meaning that I didn’t have to HAVE a baby if I didn’t want to. I simply said “No, I don’t have any other options” …  and then it all began.

My first appointment was when I was 5 months pregnant. I remember them asking me how old I was. When I answered, “17,” there was just an awkward silence.

It took a while before my new reality really set in. There were times during my pregnancy that I was afraid, I would cry and worry about not having everything for the baby. I had all these lists and became so obsessed with having all that I needed and making sure that I was ready. I had a few baby clothes but still really no idea how much my life was about to change. But, the thing I really didn’t know is, I could have all the diapers and bottles I could find but I wasn’t going to be able to prepare myself for the days to come.

There were a lot of things that took place that should have given me a good idea that I would end up a single mother but during this time, I couldn’t really see that far ahead.

As all my friends were going off to college, I was in the hospital delivering a baby boy.

I had my son, Kade, on September 23, 2008. My delivery went perfect and I gave birth to the most perfect little thing I had ever seen. Minutes after giving birth, the nurses were checking the baby and I was just having a moment of being in awe of my son and how beautiful he was, reality abruptly interrupted my time of joy. My son’s dad asks, “Is there such a thing as post partum depression for guys?” I immediately thought, who asks that? I closed my eyes and asked, “why?” He answered, “I just don’t want them to bring him in here, I don’t know what to do.” At that moment, I knew that things were about to change. I’m about to be doing this alone.

My relationship with my boyfriend began to unravel over the next few weeks and months. There were times he would be missing completely for days at a time, only to find out later that he was struggling with drugs. It was an ugly pattern of me forgiving him and accepting him back into our lives, and then he would be gone again for days and weeks.

I had a roller coaster of emotions and I had to get my focus off of the unhealthy relationship I was in.  I decided I needed to go back to school and be able to provide for my son. As I got a job and kept busy at school, I became less and less dependent on Kade’s dad. I got my own apartment and things were hard. It was in this struggle that I found myself and found the Lord … but it took something way bigger than this to draw me as close to God as He wanted.

In December of 2010, Kade and I were on our way to my parent’s to drop him off so I could go to work. We were waiting in a turn lane and a dump truck was coming from the other direction. He didn’t see us and attempted to do a U-turn and hit us head on. The impact sent my car spinning across the lanes. As the car stopped, I took a breath and looked back at my son. Kade was unconscious. 

The front of my car was on my lap.  I struggled to get out of the car and as I made it out, I fell to the ground.  I began screaming for someone to help my baby. Onlookers ran up and asked me if he was asleep. I knew he was awake before the crash and I told them no. I kept trying to get up and run to my son but every time I tried, I would see stars and start to black out. I kept telling myself to stay awake and go help my baby.

A lady ran up to me and hugged me and in that moment I felt the strangest thing I had ever felt.  It was like an electric charge go into me from her and I just stood up. As I made my way to my son, the ambulance pulled up to get us. Kade was still unconscious the whole trip to the hospital. They didn’t know the severity of his condition until we were situated and tests were ran. They told me that he had a concussion from the impact and a hemorrhage in his brain (which is a fancy word for bleeding in his brain) and that he broke his orbital bone, above his eye. They were stabilizing him and running tests and it took everything I had in me to stay strong. I had hurt my leg and my hand but I just prayed to God over and over and over to please make me strong, selfless and to do whatever I needed for Kade. I would deal with my injuries later on just please help my baby.

For 3 days, I had to help them hold my son down while putting drops in his eye, draw his blood, everything. I just kept praying, for strength, patience and courage. And, that’s EXACTLY what God gave me. I became this person I never knew I could be. I became strong and stable, everything that I needed to be in that moment.

Shortly after, Kade made a full recovery and I felt a strong calling from God on our lives. I knew He had saved us and I started to reach out to the friends I had that were involved in church. I started getting to know the Lord on a level that I had never known. I admit I was overwhelmed at first but every time I would leave worship, I would feel this HOPE that I had never felt before. I started to study the Word of God and I began to turn into a person I never knew I could be. I found myself eager to learn more about God. The more I got to know Him, the stronger I became. I felt myself changing from the inside out. I became a better friend, a better mother and a better person.

I continued to bring Kade to church and he became better and better too. I can tell you that God has led me through the wilderness several times but I know now that He was there the WHOLE TIME. He never left me alone; I just didn’t see it at the time. Life started to get better and God started to provide for me, just as He had promised. Now, even though I’m a single mom, working full time and going to school, getting NO child support from the father of my child and no help from anyone except myself, I am still happy and content. I feel so happy and blessed in this season and I am so thankful for all that I have been through.

I know how much God loves me and what he wants for my life, I know that he loves my son and he has created a man for Kade and I who loves us deeply. I no longer have to subject myself to unhealthy situations or circumstances. I stand firm in my beliefs and I know that Kade and I will end up exactly where we are meant to be because this path we are on is the one the Lord set out for us. He is so faithful and so amazing. I feel confident and sure that no matter the circumstances or hardships I face that I can always look to God, I can always take His hand and He will lead me to where I’m meant to be. I have never in my life felt so happy, hopeful or sure that knowing Jesus and seeking Him is exactly what I was made to do. So now, at 22, I lift my heart and my household up to Jesus and I can honestly say, He has His hand on my son and I.

I will never, ever be the same. I am now using my life as a living sacrifice to glorify God and I can truly say the best is yet to come.

Have you ever had a crisis turn into a blessing? How did it change you? 

Written by Dylan Deutsch

A quick hello.

We are so excited to announce our new Embrace Grace blog! We will have a fun variety of unique topics that will not only cater to just teen or young moms but also anyone that has a heart for LIFE. I am consistently and constantly amazed by the strength these young moms have – choosing life for their babies no matter what the world might say or think. Their selfless and courageous decision is inspiring. I feel so blessed to be able to walk alongside so many girls during this miraculous season in their lives. I have front row seats to miracles that God is doing in these young girls’ hearts.

Follow us. Bookmark us. Check back often. We will be posting articles about hot topics for teen/young moms as well as having inspirational testimonials posted by girls that once walked in your shoes, and some that are even still walking it out right now.

Are there any issues that are heavy on your hearts right now that you would be interested in reading about? We always love suggestions!