Becoming a parent doesn't always happen the way you think is will as a child. Much of my childhood was spent dreaming about who I would marry, where I would live, and what my kid’s names would be. I never had a passion or dream for what I wanted to be when I grew up. I figured I had all the time in the world to figure it out. Now I am 32, married, have 3 kids all with different fathers, and working on my Masters degree. How I got here is not remotely close to what I envisioned for my life. Here is the beginning of my messy beautiful story.
When I first found out was pregnant in the summer of 2003, I was living in a roadside motel room (you read that right, roadside motel) with my emotionally abusive, ex-con boyfriend. Oh did I fail to mention I was about 750 miles from my friends and family. Let’s just say it wasn't planned and I didn't know if I could go along with it or not. The day I took the test and found out, we were at his friend’s house so he didn't want me to say it out loud, so he wrote on a piece of paper "Circle yes or no". I sat there and stared at him. This was the man I was tied to for the rest of my existence; this was the man whose DNA was mixing with mine inside me to create a person. This man wanted me to answer him like a first grader asking "do you like me?" I walked away. See I always thought when the time came for me to get pregnant; my “husband” (cause you never intend on not being married) would be as excited and over joyed as me. We would bond over the experience of growing a child. I was robbed of that experience. I was terrified, and not just the normal “oh my god I’m going to be a parent” terrified. See I had no house, no car, and no money. My life was being controlled by a man who wanted to go to clubs at night with “friends” to get a feel of what it’s like. My life was being controlled by a man whose only real concern was himself and his image. My body was being controlled by what felt like a parasite at the time. All it did was make me more emotional, hungry, tired, and lonely. There was no bonding, or connection. There was only fear; until I felt it.
I woke up one morning alone in our room, which was becoming more and more common. So I jumped into the shower. The shower is my favorite place I can be 100% me, no judgment. I can laugh, cry, and sing, whatever I want. It is my sanctuary. So as I stood there that morning bawling my eyes out…I felt a flutter in my abdomen. It seriously took my breath away. Then it happened again. The baby, the baby moved inside me as if to say “hey mom, we are in this together”. In that moment everything changed! I felt strong, I felt confident, and I felt motherly for the first time. I wasn't alone. This child depended on me, and I got out of the shower, got dressed and packed my bag. I jumped in his car, and drove to the only place I knew he may be. A girl I had seen him with before answered the door and told me he wasn't there, which I knew was a lie. I handed her the key to our motel room and said “he’s gonna need this, cause I won’t be there when he gets back.” Then I drove back to the motel room, left his car in its parking spot, and walked away.
My son turned ten this year. He is so beautiful and amazing. He has this sense of humor that just cracks me up. He is so strong and confident in who he is already. It just amazes me that this young man came from me. Life is never what you think it will be; we all know the saying "want to see God laugh? Make plans." I can remember like it was yesterday, I spent so much time questioning God and his plans for me. Why would he let these things happen? What was the meaning or purpose? I know now that there was a purpose, but God did not let anything happen to me. He allowed me to make my own choices and mistakes, he did his best to guide me but ultimately I have free will and I was going to do what I want. See the biggest lesson I learned in all of this, is God is the ultimate parent. He is doing his best to teach, guide and plan for us; but we do what we want. We are teenagers who think we know whats best for our lives. The greatest gift a parent can give is unconditional love, and God is just that. After I made a mess of my life he was there to give it purpose and reason. He never left my side even when I defied him. He just waited for me, and loved me.
This essay and I are part of the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project — To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! And to learn about the New York Times Bestselling Memoir Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released in paperback, CLICK HERE!