Shock and surprise. No words about it to anyone for 3 days, not even to my husband. A little panicked to be honest. This is how I felt on July 1st when I saw a plus sign on a pregnancy test. “Why now????” was all I could think. With 3 children, a busy schedule like everyone, in the middle of starting a non-profit home. For women. Pregnant and parenting women. Somehow I thought this did not fit in at all.
This work is harder and more laborious than I thought to start with. Starting a non-profit, following state regulations, setting up programs, making connections, finding land and/or buildings that meet the state regs, and all the things necessary to open a home people will live in is so much bigger than what I realized when I felt called to this vision here in Athens. I found myself praying, asking God for a ‘revival of concern’ as our pastor calls it, for the women we will minister to and the mission of this home. And in answer, He gave me an unplanned pregnancy. Isn’t that so like God? To do something completely unexpected to change our perspective? It took me the first 15 weeks of pregnancy to realize that God had in fact answered my prayers. For so long, I thought this curve ball was a liability. One that would make potential donors, volunteers, partners in the work, and patients think that I was now less committed to making this home a reality. I wanted to keep it under wraps until I was so big there was no hiding it, so that people wouldn’t doubt my focus. The wisdom of a wise friend and a mentor showed me that was the wrong way of looking at it and wasn’t God’s plan at all. He wouldn’t screw up something He’d asked me to do. Children are a blessing, even called an inheritance from the Lord. They are fearfully and wonderfully made right? Isn’t that part of the name of this whole thing?!? How could I have doubted that?
Now I’m going into this work with a fresh perspective. The women that I’ve worked with thus far, and the women to come, have all experienced this very same thing. Shock, panic, fear because of the circumstances surrounding their pregnancy. The difference? I have great support. An excited family. Friends who’ve been there and are excited as well. People that assured me of this being a wonderful addition, even a blessing. Financial stability to be able to buy, new or used, all the baby things we no longer have. An education. A safe home I know I can bring a baby home to, and a reliable car to drive him or her home. I may not do it well all the time, but I do know how to parent. I was parented well and know how to show love. But these women? Not all of them have that. Some have none of that, some have pieces of it. But if they had all or even enough of it, they wouldn’t have to come to us. And that’s why we’re doing this work. To provide those things and more for these women. To allow them to opportunity to keep their children with them and experience the true joys (and how to properly handle the hardships) of motherhood. To prevent the kids from entering an already strained foster care system because we’re helping the mom with her issues. The revival of concern I prayed for has been answered. Just like God does, in a completely unexpected way. Are His plans ever our plans? Hardly. Oh, but they are so much better. He writes the best stories. I can’t wait to see how this one turns out. I hope you’ll follow along as myself and the Hope 139 House grow into what He’s got in store. More than that, I hope you’ll join us in the work. It can’t be done without all of us.