Mom, I'm Pregnant!
Linda Justice, mom to Charis and two other children and a pastor’s wife for 30 years, received a phone call that turned her world upside down… “Mom, I’m pregnant.” Linda shares her journey through this family crisis.
What was your first response?
My first thought was fear for Charis. While still holding the phone and listening to her voice, I pictured her future – alone somewhere exhausted from the burden of trying to care for an infant and paying back a mountain of college debt. She had no job, no car, no home, no husband, and a heart full of unfulfilled dreams.
As the news settled, what were your thoughts over the next days and weeks?
I questioned myself: What did I do wrong? Where did I fail? Why didn’t I see this coming? I felt disappointment and hurt that Charis didn’t choose the values we had instilled in her. Even though she had not always fully embraced the family’s values, I thought she was stronger now. This was unexpected and I felt unprepared.
I also felt embarrassment: Would Charis’ actions cast a bad light on our ministry? What would others think and say about us, about Charis?
I was concerned for our oldest daughter who had just found out that she and her husband were expecting their first child too – a day apart from Charis’ due date. Would this take away from our other daughter’s joy? What if she miscarried a second time? How would she deal with her sister holding a baby?
I began to trust God as never before. Being recent empty-nesters, I had been contemplating how my husband and I had fed and nurtured our three children in God’s ways as a mother bird feeds and nurtures her baby birds. Just as the birds must leave the nest, so must our children. But not every bird flies away with grace and form. Some falter and leave in a more precarious way. One of our birds had fallen from the nest, but we would not leave. We would be there to help lift her up again. Matthew 10:29 says, “Not one of the birds falls to the earth without your Father knowing it.” God knows and cares. We can trust Him. We must trust Him.
What have you learned through your daughter’s pregnancy?
I learned that my embarrassment is disguised pride. God reminded me of how Jesus identified with my sins so, in a similar way, I need to come alongside the sin of my own precious child.
I learned that God’s people are gracious. The first person I told wept with me. Another friend hugged me and simply said, “You’re a good mom.”
I learned that God is my counselor. One summer morning, I went outside to meet with the Lord. I was exhausted emotionally and felt physically weak. As I talked to the Lord, He said two things: “Don’t be afraid.” It wasn’t so much as a command, but as words of comfort. Then He said, “And don’t feel sorry for yourself.” Those words gave me a sense of strength and peace.
I learned that God answers prayer. I’ve had a prayer list for years based on specific Scriptures. Psalm 119:71 says, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn thy statutes.” Now I am trusting that Charis will learn God’s ways.
How did Charis deal with her sin?
We met together as an entire family. We shared our hearts, expressed our hurts, cried a lot, and exchanged forgiveness. It was a beautiful time together before the Lord. His presence was real and precious. Later that weekend, Charis went before the elders of our church to confess her sin.
I am proud of Charis for taking these steps of humility. God’s Word assures us that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Charis is clean! She is pure! And it’s our responsibility as her family to receive her as Christ has. Her name – Charis – is Greek for “grace.” We will continue to uphold the holy standard of God’s Word and show grace and mercy to her, and pray for her baby to be healthy and grow to know and serve Jesus.Note: On January 1, 2009, Charis delivered a healthy baby girl
If you would like to contact Charis or Linda for prayer or support, they can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.