A friend asked me this question a few days ago. It’s a pretty common question, I guess, when you tell someone you’re pregnant. It’s usually a joyous occasion for a couple. I’m at the stage of life where my Facebook is mainly full of posts of either friends showing off their kids, friends announcing their pregnancy, or friends getting married. It’s mostly happy couple or kid stories.
One friend posted earlier today that he can’t wait to be a father. Another friend asked me the other day if I was planning to use cloth diapers or disposables. I said I wasn’t thinking so far ahead yet, that the challenges of pregnancy itself were keeping me occupied for now. He said he knew how tough it was, and that’s why he was shopping for his wife.
When I search the Internet for pregnancy tips, the husband or partner often gets mentioned – to be prepared for mood swings, fatigue, irritability and all the other things that come with surging pregnancy hormones and a changing body. “Let your partner know that she’s not alone,” says the NHS website.
So who’s the lucky father? Well, the father of my child unfortunately doesn’t think himself so lucky. When I told him that I was pregnant, he said he didn’t know how to help me, that he couldn’t give me any support, that he wanted his life back without any consequences from the time we were together, that he wanted to cut all ties and have no strings remaining. He never told me outright to go for an abortion, but everything he said spelled it out clearly.
Okay, I said. Goodbye to you too. I will keep the baby anyway.
The thought of abortion never crossed my mind because I believe life is a God-given blessing. Who am I to kill a life? I’m no murderer. I may have made a mistake, but the baby is no mistake.
It did cross my mind, however, if it was a greater sin to bring a child into the world without a father. You hear all these stories about children in single parent families being screwed up. But then again, you also hear of screwed up people who’ve come from perfectly complete and loving families. There are many successful people who have been brought up by mothers who’re single whether by circumstance or choice. As my GP told me after doing a blood test to confirm my pregnancy: “Do you think you’re the first single mother in the world?”
Besides, I’m no teenager. I’m not poor. I’ve got a good job and with careful planning I definitely earn enough to support myself and a child. I’ve got an awesome supportive family and circle of friends. I’m strong willed and I’m motivated to fight back even harder when the chips are down. It’s not going to be easy being a single mother, but I believe I can do it.
When some of my friends who knew the father found out about my situation, a few of them were so angry that they half-jokingly suggested sending the mafia or hit squad to deal with the guy. They wondered how I could be so calm about the whole thing.
Of course I had moments of anger initially, though this was overwhelmed by sadness, shame and guilt. I didn’t know how to face my family, my friends, my colleagues… the world. But I prayed and asked God for forgiveness, and for a heart of forgiveness for my child’s father.
What good was it for me or my child to harbour any of those negative emotions anyway? Holding resentment or anger against someone only hurts you back; it grips you and brings your life to a standstill because you’re so focused on the person who’s wronged you. “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold,” says Ephesians 4:26-27.
The fact is life goes on, and it will go on great if I chose to make it so. All I had to do was let go and let God do his thing.
It’s easier than it sounds, of course. It took me a while to finally surrender it all to Him, to stop crying myself to sleep and actually start enjoying the pregnancy. But let go, I have. I have also forgiven the child’s father. As Luke 6:37 says, “Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, says Matthew 5:44.
Besides, it is not for me to deal with the child’s father. God will deal with him eventually. His day of judgement will come. As for myself, I’m positively excited about being a mother and looking forward to lots of adventures with my little girl. Eighteen weeks to go!
“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” – Romans 12:19
Update: noticed some search terms on this blog and no, the father is not Damo if you’re trying to guess! He wouldn’t do such a thing.