It’s not all that uncommon. An 18-year-old gets pregnant during her senior year of high school. Except for some reason I never thought it would happen to me. Just a few weeks earlier, I was crowned homecoming queen and was on my way to securing a college swimming scholarship. I was in a serious relationship with a great guy with who I had met in high school and had graduated a year ahead of me. Life was looking pretty good. Until suddenly it wasn’t.
In the fall of 2004, I found myself facing the most difficult decision of my life. It was an experience that forever changed me. The picture above was taken on July 11, 2005 at WakeMed Hospital in Cary, North Carolina. Looking at this photo still makes me sad. I remember the joy of finally holding my newborn baby in my arms. The grief of knowing that I wouldn’t be able to keep her. And the uncertainty of not knowing whether I would live with regret for the rest of my life, or if I could somehow come to terms with the decision to place her in an open adoption with a family that I had chosen.
You can read more about my story here. Thankfully, the story didn’t end there. In fact, it was just the beginning.
Today, I’m a thirty-something marketing professional living in North Carolina. I’m married to my husband, Aaron. We have three wild savages, I mean kids, Teague (5) and Hadley (3) and Lawson (5 months). And yes, I still have an open relationship with my birth daughter, Deanna (15), and her parents Don and De.
In 2017, life was interrupted again when my job of eight years was eliminated due to layoffs. It was a crappy situation, but the worst part was that I was on maternity leave with a five-week-old baby when I got the news. I felt blindsided and hurt and life felt like it was spinning out of control. I found myself trying to juggle the demands of wrangling a toddler, taking care of a newborn baby and searching for a job — and I don’t recommend trying to do all of those things simultaneously. There was a great deal of discouragement and disappointment along the way. But thankfully, God had the perfect opportunity in store for me. When He opened the right door, I gladly walked right through. I’ve been with this new company for almost three years, and I truly enjoy the work I am doing and the people I work with.
Life hasn’t exactly gone the way I had planned. But then, does it ever?
Disappointments litter our paths. Failures test our faith. And sorrows scar our hearts.
But the Bible reminds us that we are not promised an easy life. In fact, we know that we will go through trials and challenges. But they are necessary to refine us, to make us more like Christ, and to bring us closer to Him. An opportunity to KNOW our God.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady. – Romans 5:3-5
My mother-in-law used to say that easy lives don’t make great stories. How true that is.
I’m happy to get back to writing and sharing my not-so-boring life with you.