TITLE: Memoir- First Chapter Attempt
By Jessica Turner-Stotz
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The second line on the home pregnancy test appeared within seconds. There was no chance to live in denial, no chance to go on with my Saturday as though it were any other Saturday that had come before in my life. I sat on the toilet of the small, condo’s bathroom, my heart pounding, blood rushing in my ears whispering the same thing over and over again, you’re pregnant, you’re pregnant, you’re pregnant…
I’m not the kind of person who waits to face things when it comes to the relationships in my life, so after calling my boyfriend, whom I had told just before he left for work that I better take the test left over from the last scare we had, had because my period was a week late, I phoned my best friend and then my mother. [It’s sad that Plan B hadn’t scared me enough to be careful prior to that moment or the fact that I was infected with Lyme Disease, that had been found to be able to be sexually passed if protection wasn’t used] Brady refused condoms. I was tangled up enough in him to allow such ignorance and stupidity.
My best friend was complete support, but not exactly the support I was in need of. I told her I had to call my mom right away, and though she was surprised at my immediate want, she understood and hung up with me. I stared at the phone in my hand as I walked into the bedroom. She would know when she talked to me. There was not much I had ever withheld from my mom, and I felt she would hear it on the undercurrent of words that would sound false to me, especially words trying to communicate anything other than the blood that was pounding out a staccato drumbeat: Pregnant! Pregnant! Pregnant! inside my head. I knew that I had to make the phone call. I couldn’t spend even a day pretending I was who I had been before entering the bathroom that morning.
Her voice was like the tide that day. It rushed in on happy, rolling notes of pleasure to hear from her best friend and daughter, and receded on heart ripping sobs lost to the sea of dark unknown. I was twenty two, but I hadn’t finished college and I wasn’t married, something I had always planned to do first. We both drifted, her in abject horror and disappointment; me in a black abyss of my own creating, my own doing, on waves of fear and uncertainty.
I hung up and even as the tears continued a small, pearl of pleasure blossomed in my womb and I fell head over heels, irrevocably and unconditionally in love, and the Lord, whom I had done a good job of ignoring over the previous months, brought a verse from my favorite psalm to my mind, reminding me that it was He that had begun to knit together this life inside of me. Though my actions had begged for such consequences, He had a plan to pull me back to him on ribbons of newfound motherhood and the consequent stripping of all that I had known about myself up to that point, all that I had planned and hoped for. It was His intention to untangle the web of confusion my life had become and to bring me on a nine month plus journey back from the wide, open road I had been traveling, to a narrow path I had left behind, far behind, allowing it to become overgrown with weeds and thorns so that I wouldn’t have to try and make my way down it anymore. In fact, I had lost the direction it was even in. Secularity had taken hold of my feet and had seamlessly steered me onto a congested highway, filled bumper to bumper with worldly travelers and road-bumps, hazardous conditions and detours begging me to compromise the path my GPS from above had mapped out many years before, offering to me an easier route, a quicker route, a route that was sure to satisfy and fill the potholes in my life.
The thing about filling holes in one’s life with anything other than the grace of God, is it eventually seeps out of the hole or breaks away in a messy fashion, kind of like the tar slapped on a road filled with potholes after an especially rough winter. The tar can’t erase the storm scars; the temporary fix is just that, temporary, and is sure to give way as new seasons approach to weather the road, as people continue to wear the covered holes down. The Father had plans for the tar clogging me up, but it wasn’t to be a clean and easy removal. The chipping away process stings with each piece of junk the Creator chips off. It’s easy to slap on an easy fix. It’s much harder to pull that band aid off to examine the oozing puss infecting the body underneath.
He is the only one that sees the masterpiece His chisel will produce. The hunk of junk looks at itself as exactly that, junk. Unworthy crud; twisted up muck; crap. I saw myself as this. I felt ashamed as I watched my dreams drift away, much like I had been drifting. I saw the reflection of who I had been, what I had stood for, and it left an echo of what could have been, stamped on my spirit. Empty and used up, I yearned for the lover of souls to stir in me what once thrived and breathed life inside of my heart. God was ready to begin healing the bleeding wounds inside of me, to break down the conglomeration of junk, accumulated from months of apathy, and put in me the desire to draw close to His guiding hand and love again. For He was the God of Second Chances… and I desperately wanted that second chance, not even anticipating at what costs it would come with along the way or what toxicity I would have to eradicate. I was still clinging tightly to many of the very things that were standing in the way of that second chance.
I accepted Jesus into my heart in the year 2000 just after Christmas while attending with my family a Christian Missionary and Alliance Church in southeastern Michigan, after a long line of Catholic churches. I remember the song that permeated the memory of that decision, You Are My All In All, and how it’s simple lyrics spoke to my young heart of a strength I had never known before in my life. By the age of twelve I had already faced heartache that had aged me quickly, burning my childhood with blotches of pain and hopelessness. I often felt weak and it was comforting to know there was Someone above me who could fill me with a strength I had never had. My parents had divorced when I was three and my biological father popped in and out of my life, leaving me with only a handful of memories of his presence.
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