Melinda sat slumped in the computer chair barely listening to the English teacher’s instructions to the class. Taking a test was the last thing she wanted to do, but leaving would result in unwanted questions and prevent her from graduating from high school. She struggled through, completing the final exam two hours later.
“Melinda, you’re very quiet today. Is there something wrong?” Mrs. Barron asked, noting her red and swollen eyes.
“No, uh, I stayed up late studying. I’m pretty tired.”
The high school teacher picked up her briefcase and walked toward the door. “It has been a pleasure to have you in my class; God has an awesome future planned for you.” Before closing the door, she peeked around and said, “I’ll see you at the graduation ceremony.”
Melinda tucked a strand of dark hair behind her ear and sat up straight. “Yes Ma’am. Thank you. I’ve enjoyed your class. See you next week.”
Awesome future, indeed. Ha, if she only knew.
She stared at her reflection in the monitor as she remembered the past three days.
Nausea had overwhelmed Melinda each morning. At first, she thought she had the flu, but this was June, way past the flu season and besides, the nausea only occurred in the mornings.
A nagging suspicion had led her to stop by the drug store yesterday and buy a home pregnancy kit. Fearful of the results, she had put off the test, crying and praying all night. This morning the pink line on the strip confirmed her hunch—she was pregnant.
Lord, please show me what to do. What will my parents and friends say when they find out I’m pregnant? They think I’m perfect, that I would never have premarital sex. What will Chris think? Will he still want to marry me? We had plans to marry after seminary and nursing school. I never meant for this to happen. Oh, what a mess.
Suddenly, an idea formed. The pregnancy is early; I can drive over to Planned Parenthood in Jefferson and get an abortion. No one will ever know. I'll search online first.
Melinda’s hands shook as she opened the browser and typed the keyword, “abortion” into Google.
A page of websites appeared. She clicked on “Types of Abortions.” Her heart pounded and tears streamed down her face as she read about the many ways a doctor could end a pregnancy. Dabbing her eyes with a tissue, she quickly closed the website and opened, “Christian Answers to Abortion.”
“Thou shalt not murder.”
The force of the words shocked Melinda as though God had spoken aloud to her. She shook her head to clear her surprise. But this isn’t murder, Lord. She argued back. It would be more like a miscarriage. It hasn’t even developed into a real baby yet.
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. . .”
Lord, how could You possibly know how I feel? Surely, You don’t want my life to be messed up. It’s my body.
“Your body is My dwelling place. I bought you with a price. Honor Me with your body.”
Melinda covered her eyes and sobbed. “I can’t kill my baby, Lord.”
She realized that while she had been searching for answers to her problem on the computer, the Holy Spirit had searched her heart and spoken to her through Scriptures.
Melinda gasped. A hand squeezed her shoulder, a familiar voice spoke. “You don’t have to kill our baby, Melinda. I’m going to live up to my responsibilities and marry you now. God will work everything out, honey.”
Melinda stood. Strong arms embraced her as she gazed into a loving pair of blue eyes. “How did you know I was here, Chris?”
“You told me yesterday, remember? This morning I had an overwhelming feeling that you were in trouble. Now I know why. God has been convicting me of my sin for a couple of months. I haven’t been able to concentrate on my studies or sleep. This morning I made up my mind to marry you as soon as possible.”
Chris glanced at his watch. “We have an appointment with Pastor Williams at two but we need to tell our parents first.”
Melinda took a deep breath. “Yes, I know they’ll be disappointed but I also know they want us to do what is right.”
Chris cupped her face in his hands, peered into her swollen eyes, and kissed her full lips. “I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
* * * * *
Scriptures: Exodus 20:13 NIV, Jeremiah 1:5 NIV, and I Corinthians 6: 19, 20 NIV.
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