Christy Needs Your Advice

EM-advice

From: Christy

Subject: Struggling with my decision

Message Body:

I just want to say that I admire you very much for running this site. It helping me a lot recently (since I found out I was pregnant). I really enjoyed reading the interview you did with Melissa the pastor's daughter. I felt I could totally relate to her since we both come from a Christian family. I just wish my parents would react the same way as hers when I break the news to them. I'm 21 years old and I'm in my fourth year of university though I might stay back a year. I come from a very strict Asian-Christian family. I really don't know how to tell my parents. I am so scared of seeing their reaction when I tell them. I'm also afraid of how people at church will see me. Will they judge me? Will I be the topic of gossip? Since I'm Asian, my parents care about their reputation....especially at church. I'm so afraid I'll destroy their reputation of being "great parents and Christians" and crushing their dreams and ambitions for me. what should I do? :( I've thought about going the easy way...abortion. But the thought of killing my child because of my mistakes just makes me want to cry. My boyfriend however is supportive and wants to have the baby and make things work ( his family is more accepting though).

Any advice?

***

And here's my advice. Please share yours in the comments below...

 

Whoo-boy. That's a tough situation, I know. I know how hard it is. It's always hard for me to answer these questions that only you can answer, but I'm just going to tell you what I would tell my best friend.

You're a grown woman. It might not feel that way — especially with parents who are maybe a little on the controlling side and have a hard time releasing the reigns. But when I read your email, I see that you're worried about everyone else except you. You're worried how people will see you, about crushing "their" dreams and ambitions, about destroying "their" reputation. You are an adult and the top concern is how you and your boyfriend feel about this child. Trust me, I know how confusing and hard it is to transition from daughter to mother — especially at your age. I was pregnant at 21 too. But you have to block out the noise and focus on what you want. Everyone else's opinion is based on their own judgments and stereotypes and expectations for you. At some point you have to step up and take control of your life. And that decision — no matter what you decide — will be yours and your boyfriend's.

I also want to point out that it's hard to deem anything as a mistake without the proper perspective. I'm not saying that it'll be a breeze and you won't have your doubts along the way — and I'm not saying you need to have this child if you truly can't love and help him or her — but sometimes we're presented with a life change that seems impossible and unfair, and it turns out to be a positive turning point down the road. When I was pregnant, I dreamed of having a magic time reverser where I could just go back and undo everything. Snap my fingers, and things would return to normal. But if I had to do my life over, the only certain decision is that I'd have my son over and over and over again.

To answer your questions: They might judge you. You might be the topic of gossip. Your parents might be furious. But all of those things may be (and are likely to be) temporary. A good Christian is kind — especially in times of trouble — and treats others as they would want to be treated. A good Christian knows that Jesus preached of love and charity, and helping neighbors who need it most. A good Christian trusts in God and knows that we're all children from the same source.

If you do decide to go through with this pregnancy, the "telling people" part is typically the hardest. And often it's hardest to tell our parents. You're not alone in that. My advice would be to lead from a place of love. Be honest with them about how you feel and hope that they see God's light in this.

You are not the first 21 year old to face this decision, and you won't be the last. Everything will work out, Christy. It always manages to work out. Stay strong and listen to what your intuition is telling you.

And please stay in touch.

All the best,

Michelle