Unplanned pregnancy

Blessings Wrapped Around My Unplanned Pregnancy -Part 6

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“I love all the weight I’m gaining in this unplanned pregnancy I’m somehow enduring as a nineteen year old,” said no one ever. Or at least I for sure was not thinking that thirty years ago during the pregnancy I endured at that tender age. So why am I bringing that up now? To share one more way God showed He was helping me though that pregnancy.

After sharing a few weeks back why I was thankful for my doctor, (1*) I’ll say here how all my visits to her were going fine as my tummy was noticeability growing. As months had gone by, all had been going a heck of a lot better than I had expected. The story I shared last week is a perfect example. (2*) But the visit during my seventh month with her caused my mouth to drop as she told me some unexpected news. Let my soon published book – God and My Pillow – explain.

———-

A bit overweight, big sweatshirts were my normal attire. And, of course, we all know the weight gained during pregnancy isn’t such an enjoyable fact to accept. But out of the blue, after I got my routine weight checked, she said, “No real worry, but I must say you are not the weight you should be by now.”
“Oh, great. I need to watch my weight? I’m gaining too much?” I asked.
“No. Actually, you haven’t gained the amount of weight that is normal. You need to eat a bit more for that baby. Are you dieting at all?” she asked.
“No. I’m not eating tons of junk, but not dieting.”
“Well, just eat more good food. More than you have been,” she instructed. “From now on, each time you come in, I want to see a few more pounds than the normal gain you should be showing. Understand?”
Understand? With the biggest grin, I understood.

Subway-Turkey-Italiano-Melt-620x345On the way to each doctor’s visit from then on, I stopped and grabbed a good old foot-long Subway sandwich across the street from the doctor’s office. After all, I had to make sure I would show the most weight gain possible, right? Since I currently live in the same area, I still giggle inside every time I drive past that Subway.


 

As I shared in last week’s blog about God’s puzzle, this is one more piece of that puzzle I’ll never forget. Now sure, many may not instantly feel like giving God credit for being told they need to eat more, but I couldn’t help it. I felt He wanted to take that extra weight off my back (pun intended) of feeling fat during those last few months. I was already a bit over weight when I first got pregnant, so that visit was one of many other ways I felt God used to keep me hanging onto Him during the entire pregnancy.

I encourage you to ask yourself if it’s hard to find any joy in anything. Try to think of, as soon as you can, anything that brings a smile to your face. Thank God for it! Let me encourage you not to delay thanking God when you find any simple unexpected joy-filled news. Or how about those little things you unexpectedly come in contact with – even if it’s just that simple Subway sandwich.

Ephesians 5:20 – giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

 

Can’t help but share one simple thing that would sure cause one huge  🙂  to show on my face today, as it did with what my doctor told me that day. To get new followers ! Follow me now to read more stories of how God carried me though this ordeal along with another savior  trial I’ve gone through.  (3*) Thanks.

 

 

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Blessings Wrapped Around My Unplanned Pregnancy – part 4

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These last few weeks I’ve shared how God showed me true Fatherly love once I discovered I was pregnant, trusting Him more as those first few months went by.           (1*2*3*)

The next time He showed that to me was my first visit to my new doctor. Yep, time I see an OB/GYN. But being this took place thirty yeas ago, unable to just jump on the internet to see a long list of doctors to choose from, I just followed who our family doctor suggested.

Driving up to that hospital still feels like last week. I can picture what that building looked like, where I parked, and how it all looked at I walked in. But most of all I remember how nervous I was. How much of my story do I tell? Will she just consider me as one of those teens that messed up? Will I like her? Will she like me?

Thankfully, as soon as I walked in I was impressed. It was spacious and well kept. I had an instant comfort in a place I was uncomfortable to be in, if that makes any sense. After filling out the paper work and waiting a few minutes at this one table, in walked the Obstetrician. I realized right then she was the first stranger I had to tell my story to. A total stranger told me I was pregnant a few months before (4*) but this is the first stranger I had to share why and how I got to know I was pregnant.

Do I tell her more than she asks? Do I act all nonchalant and come across all happy-go-lucky, casually hearing all the pregnancy facts she passes my way? For all I know, I might cause her to dread each time I’d need to come in for a check-up, let alone the day of giving birth.

Doctor and patient are discussing

Once meeting her, looking to be in her early thirties, I was relieved to tell she had a nice, warm, personality. After I simplified my story as to why I was pregnant, and after her giving a little pregnancy information, she began telling me a bit about her plan to serve as an OB/GYN in a third-world country.

 

‘Wow!’ I replied.

That then began us sharing bits and pieces of our faith, seeing that we were both Christians. Talk about instant peace! Talk about instantly thanking God, feeling again that He gave me just what I needed.

“But being I’m still here, Marianne,” she said, “I’m glad I’m now here to help you.” 

God knew it best I go through this soap opera pregnancy with a doctor who I’d have support-filled encouraging conversations with as months went by. From then on, each time I left that office, God heard me say the same six words: Thank you, Lord, for my Doctor.

1 Thessalonians 5:18  – Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Numbers 6:24-25  – The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. 

Philippians 4:6 – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

Why these verses? Because they are a few of many that describe how God cares, and if you need comfort, He’s there. It was obvious He was gracious, letting me feel He was carrying me on that road I was on. This time, His tool that let me know He was right there was a total stranger.

To be continued.

click 1* 2* – and 3*  to read past posts on different occasions God showed He was with me during my pregnancy.

click here – 4* to read who told me I was pregnant.

BLESSINGS WRAPPED AROUND MY UNPLANNED PREGNANCY – PART 3

My unplanned pregnancy at the tender age of nineteen was thirty years ago, but the blessings I noticed back then I still hold tight to my heart today. These last few weeks I’ve shared older posts to show how God was right there with me. (1*2*) But this week I’m using a piece from my book titled God and My Pillow, showing another obvious sign of His Fatherly love through that intense trial.


 

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Willma was the next one I had to tell.

“Sure you can come over,” Willma said after I called to see if we could get together. “It’s pretty much lunchtime, so I’ll start throwing a few sandwiches together.”

I pondered how to tell her as I walked down to her house, that last house on our dead-end street. I knew it was just her there, so when I came up to the door, I took a deep breath.

Okay, here I go. While knocking lightly, I slowly opened the front door.

“Hi, Willma. I’m here. Where are . . . ”

“Come on in. I’m back in the kitchen, right in the middle of making our lunch,” she said as I walked in. Willma was her normal, cheery self. I could tell she was ready to talk away. Out of all the things in the world to talk about, she started talking about, gulp, the future. Half joking but half serious, she said, “Hey Marianne, it’s time we think more about when you and I move out. Let’s figure out what college you or I’ll be going to. What if you go to the same one I already go to?” 

Breathe.

“We can try to get the same dormitory. Heck, the same room! Or maybe I’ll work while you go there and we’ll split the rent. I know, how about . . .”

As she was talking, so full of energy, my mind began filling to the brim with thoughts. You know how you can think of twenty different things in three seconds? Well, that’s what I was doing. Sad to think how she and I wouldn’t really be able to make many spur-of-the-moment plans, as we had been doing for years. I was angry at myself for letting this happen, and a bit scared as to what this could do to our friendship. So much was being tossed around in my mind.

“Willma.” It was obvious this was the time to tell her. “I have something I need to tell you. We can’t really do that stuff you’re talking about because . . . I’m . . . I’m pregnant.”

There, I did it. Now what? What will she say? What will she do?

She stopped what she was doing, frozen for two seconds, realizing I wasn’t kidding.

“Oh. Uh, I guess we’ll, um, have to alter our plans just a bit,” she said calmly, a numb look on her face as she walked by with sandwich makings in her hands. Her look, however, instantly started changing, showing her mind forming different thoughts. I knew she would be shocked, and sure, I figured her emotions would be zig-zagging in all different directions. Thankfully, though, as I shared the entire story with her, I could tell her thoughts were getting straight once again.

While eating that lunch, I heard my best friend tell me she’d be there and how God would not let go of me. Not really hearing those types of words from my family, hearing it from her was priceless.

one teenage girl comforting another after break up

 

The more we discussed the pros and cons of keeping or adoption, we both leaned toward me keeping the baby. No decisions whatsoever on what to do regarding money, the baby’s father, work, and other matters. Just on whether I should be the mother of this baby.

 

As I was walking out that same door I came in, I felt God had used my friend as a means for guidance and a means to give me strength. My name was changed once again on my walk home. Marianne A-Bit-More-Peace-To-Keep-Baby Houstoun


 

I am one who strongly believes God has given us the Bible as our supreme guide in matters theological and practical. However, I did realize back then He will use a certain person to guide us while at the same time showing us He cares.

I’d sure love to read your testimony of how God showed He was there for you, right by your side, during a trial in your life.

To be continued.

1* – click here to read last weeks blog

2* – click here to read the one two weeks ago.

 

 

Blessings Wrapped Around My Unplanned Pregnancy – Part 2

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My soon-to-be published memoir shares my before, during and after unplanned pregnancy experience. Having already shared bit’s and pieces of that life changing soap opera, I now want to explain how God knew I needed to sense He was there with me as time went on. 

My last writing (1*) shows God’s guidance through an unanswered phone call. It was sort of that first little tap on my shoulder from God saying, “Don’t worry Marianne. I got ya covered.” Okay, maybe not in those exact words, but looking at it now, that’s how I see it.

Here’s another one of my past writings to show God’s second way He showed me He was there. It occurred right after taking that pregnancy test. (2*)   I know some have not read it yet so it’s now a must, or if you have, then read it again to know what story I’m talking about. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

(I’ll just go grab some hot cocoa while I wait till you’re done)

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Now that you’re back, I think you will agree why, after all these years, I’ll never forget those few minutes. God made sure I, in a way, felt His own hug, showing me He too was there.

Let me encourage all who now or have gone through any trial. You may not really have noticed right then and there His presence, but if your heart, soul and mind seek after Him, there’s a good chance you’ll be realizing He is or had been holding you all along. And if you’re at all like me, you’ll never forget it. 

1Peter 5:6-7  Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Deuteronomy 31:8  And the Lord, He is the One with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.

To be continued –

(1*) – Last weeks story 

(2*) Click here to read the second way God showed He was there. 

Blessings Wrapped Around My Unplanned Pregnancy

Pregnant

 

I know it’s been a while since I’ve shared stories about my unplanned pregnancy at the tender age of nineteen. That is why, before I get back to sharing what it was like for me going through that tough time, I’ll re-post my last writing, letting you see what my next few weekly writing are going to be about.

But before I do, I can’t help but share how it was obvious God, my Heavenly Father, proved He was holding me. As month after month went by, He made sure I could tell that, as long as I included Him in this tough time, He was there.


 

(First shared- May, 2017)

There are a few different ways ‘thank you’ is used.

Thank you – Noun – A conversational expression of gratitude. Telling someone you are grateful for something that they have said or done.

Who is this someone I’m referring too?

In the midst of my unplanned pregnancy at the tender age of nineteen, I couldn’t help but feel more of a need to cling to God. It was a must. My heart, soul, and mind would have overflowed with guilt if I did not feel His forgiveness of my mess up.

Thankfully, as months went by, peace began to form inside me as I soaked up the fact that God isn’t just my Lord and King, but my Father. It was impossible not to have ‘Thank you, God’ thoughts as I saw His hand here and there while my tummy grew.

Full love and support from many was noticeably expressed, and I never took that for granted. But a few other things were showing up that I gave God credit for. I’ll share a different one on each post for a while, being that they’re worth more than a few sentences to describe.

I’ve already shared in one of my first posts what the first one was, but at the time, it was far from being listed in any ‘Thank you, God’ category. The following excerpt is from my book God and My Pillow – a memoir – (available first half of next year)

See if you can guess why I’m thankful to God for what took place.


During all the page flipping, it felt like I was a spy who was taking forever to find an important number. I can’t believe I’m doing this. I can’t believe I’m doing this. I guess I’ll look under ‘Pregnancy Test.’ Okay, let’s see. Planned Parenthood. This sure wasn’t ‘planned,’ but I guess I have to ‘plan’ something if I am.
That was the first one I noticed. After all, that’s what the bold wording is supposed to do, right? Make you notice. Well, it worked. I was so nervous pressing those numbers.

phone

Ring, ring. Ring, ring. Ring, ring. Ring, ring.
Hmmm. No answer. Darn it. I’ll try another one. I’ll flip back a bit and do more
alphabetical order. Let’s see, Crisis Pregnancy Center. This sure is a crisis for me if I’m pregnant. I have to try this one.
Ring, ring. Ring, ring.
Oh, please. Oh, please be open! PLEASE be op…
”Hello. Crisis Pregnancy Center. How can I help you?”
Please tell me I’m not pregnant. “Just seeing if you are open today. Really? Right now? Thank you.” Click.


 

I still thank God, thirty years later, for having that first place I called be closed. Why? Click here to find out. I encourage you to read, for It explains why having an abortion wasn’t far from my thoughts. By reading it, you will discover why I thank God, to this day, for not allowing anyone to answer that first phone call. If someone did, well…I don’t even want to think about it.

A Mans Heart

More ‘Thank you God‘s to follow.

 

Marianne Petersen is a former volunteer at a local pregnancy help organization and is involved in her local pro-life community. She is also a member of Northwest Christian Writers Association and author of a forthcoming memoir in early 2017 called God and My Pillow. You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @7winnipoops7 and read more at her blog, http://www.MariMemiors7.wordpress.com.

A Glimpse Into My Memoir

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Time I share a piece from my memoir called God and My Pillow.  Why? I’m excited, that’s why! I’m in my next phase of getting my memoir into the hands of people I want to encourage as they go through their own unplanned pregnancy. My other reason is to give my fellow readers a small taste of what took place when I was nineteen years old, a new follower of Christ, thinking I was ready for the world before I discovered I was pregnant. I want to get your curiosity to grow more and more to the point that you think, “I HAVE to have her book in my own hands when it’s out.”

Note – this takes place close to one year after God graciously saved me, having attended a Baptist church that year.

——————

As months went on, church was still great, and I was getting closer to the people there. But besides that, nothing kept me from taking the offer Debbie, an older friend of mine in California, made. 

“Oh, Debbie, I really don’t feel like wasting time with such useless classes. Plus, home here with Mom and Dad sure isn’t full of fun,” Plus, here in town, my sister Janis’s five-year-old daughter, Brenda, was very ill and it was questionable how long she had to live. Perhaps only a few months.

“Well, you could come stay with me for a while and see what happens,” Debbie said. “I’d love to help. It would be cool, us sharing my apartment.”

 The phone cord kept me from bouncing on my bed.  “Hey, I love that idea! Why not?” We discussed how to make it work and how, after finding a job, I’d then help pay the rent. Perfect plan! I knew, of course, how I’d need to find a church, knowing I needed God in California just as much as I needed Him in Normandy Park, Washington.

      I felt mature enough (as I bet most nineteen year olds do) to leave home, and got all excited thinking about the possibilities. The timing was perfect, as I was finishing my second quarter and the beautiful spring-like feel was at hand. My parents were not so gung-ho, but being that I was nineteen, they couldn’t stop me and, thankfully, they trusted me. They felt I wouldn’t be stupid enough to do something foolish. My brother Bud, living close to where I’d be, helped my parents feel more comfortable with the plan.

Finally…

I can’t believe it. My last night at home. I’m sure it’ll all go fine. It has to go fine. It’ll be interesting living with Debbie, but she’s so sweet. I bet she’ll help me find a job since she knows what’s around there. Weird leaving Seattle, but I can’t wait to see what it’s like living in California. Hope I find some cool place to work. Maybe cuter guys are there, too. Wonder how nervous I might get being on my own to find a church. Glad I’m all packed so I can start driving first thing in the morning. Pretty sure I have that big map in the car already. (Yep, no cell phone Google Map back then.) 

God, please help me know what I’m doing.

I was ready to take off in my own little car the next morning.

God, gas, and a bag of chips: check. Map, clothes, toothbrush, Bible, oh, and, of course, my pillow: check. Goodbye, house, goodbye, Mom and Dad. Goodbye, you little town of Normandy Park. Hello, new world!

 

calif.


 

A taste of what took place when I was nineteen years old. Oh, I’m sorry. I mean nineteen years young, when I began a trip that changed my life.

The Word ‘Thankful’ All Folded Up – part 2

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In my last post, (1*) I wrote about the word ‘thankful’ and how that word didn’t fit too well inside my heart as I underwent my two extremely tough afflictions. (2* & 3*) No one found me relaxed on a recliner, smiling ear to ear while thinking, “I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m so thankful God is having me go through this incredibly tough time.” Nope. Thankfulness was tightly folded up and hiding in the back pocket of my jeans.

After each ordeal took place, however, my mind knew God was in charge. I began realizing more and more that as things were getting better, I was actually thinking of pulling that Thankful sign out of my jeans and putting it on the table, but of course still folded up. As more positive things began to appear through each ordeal, I actually unfolded that paper. Sensing God’s help via family, friends, doctors, and the like, I finally decided to unfold the paper and read it each time I walked by. More thankful thoughts were growing in size and frequency. I finally got a magnet and —drumroll, please— stuck that Thankful sign up on my refrigerator!

I wasn’t becoming thankful I was pregnant, or for my month-long stay at a hospital. Not yet anyway. Thankfulness was there for feeling Christ was supporting me, caring for me, and letting me know He wasn’t just King, but my Father.

I was growing in the understanding that God is the One who puts us through what comes our way, good or bad. I was on the road that was planned by Him, whether smooth and serene, or unpaved, or one filled with countless sinkholes. I still felt a bit shattered and broken, not able to do what I had planned in life, but finally understanding that God’s plans are perfect, and that He was going to use me somehow, some way sure helped. 

Peace was growing inside as each year went by, and a few verses began to stand out.

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Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. 

Attached is a song – The Very Next Thing – by Casting Crowns, which shares how I had began to slowly feel as time went by, using words such as…

– With my very next step – be on the road that was planned by you

– Lord, wherever you’re leading me – that’s where I want to be

Even though I did not know which direction that path was going, thankfulness, tied with peace, permanently got pinned to my heart and I was eager to see how He might use what He put me through to serve Him.

Finally, doors were opening and I began to see what His plans were. 

– to be continued.