“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”- Dr. Maya Angelou
I remember the day I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. I was 17 years old with plans to enter the Navy. Worst day of my life…
…so, I thought.
I was in denial for the longest. I asked God, “Why me?’ How am I going to tell my family? How will I make it? What if he doesn’t stay? Lord, I cannot do this.” When it was time to tell my mom, I told her on the night of her anniversary party because I figured she couldn’t kill me with everyone around. When I revealed the news, it was as if I zoned out into another world. All I could hear was crying and yelling about how “hard it’s going to be” and how disappointed she was. I thought she was going to smack me across my face but she refrained and just walked away.
After about 10 minutes, which seemed like 10 hours, she came back with tears in her eyes, gave me a hug and said “I’m sorry, I just don’t want you to end up like me. I had better plans for your life. It’s going to be hard and he may not stay with you. Being a single parent is not easy.”
I was so lost, depressed and empty. I remember hearing of how people spoke negatively of me at school for being pregnant. I wasn’t the only one pregnant but to me… I felt that the focus was on me because of how embarrassed I was all together. People at church didn’t want me to come back because they were in fear of me being a “bad influence” on the other girls. Some of my family talked about me and how I wasn’t going to amount to anything (“what is she going to do now?”). Gosh, that was one of the darkest places in my life during that time.
I could go on about the details of that part in my life but I just wanted to reflect on the painful part of that experience, for you to understand the joy of it. God had other plans for my life. When I felt like an outcast, when I was talked about, shamed and many other things I experienced during that time, he favored my life and gave me a boost of determination and perseverance like no other.
Unlike the usual statistic, my daughter’s father was with me every step of the way. He was my only friend during the loneliest time in my life. We were young and experienced many challenges but we stuck together. With our immediate family’s help, we survived and never struggled. He is my husband today!
What I thought would be my biggest defeat in life, became my biggest victory. My daughter gave my heart the light that it didn’t have prior to having her. Watching her grow daily and knowing that she had unconditional love for me, pushed me to strive for the very best.
7 years later, when my son was born, I gained a deeper meaning of what it means to be a mother. With my daughter, I tried to do everything in my power to be perfect at mothering, but I failed. It wasn’t until 7 years later that I realized you must meet children where they are, nurture their talents, make room for mistakes and enjoy the things that money can’t buy.
With time and maturity, I learned to be a role model for my children. I learned that maintaining a healthy environment is important. I learned that someone is watching you when you least expect it, so it’s imperative that what they’re observing is appropriate and impactful. I love being a mother so much and I am so thankful that God chose me for this role. Just wanted to share this with you all because it’s always been a sensitive subject to talk about. I am so thankful for that experience because part of that made me the woman I am today.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there! I hope that you enjoyed your day!