From the time I knew about you, I wanted to be your mother. But it wasn’t that simple… I was only 17. It was hard enough breaking the news to my mom; your dad helped me do it. But it was unimaginable to think of breaking the news to my dad. So we all decided that it might be best for me to “do something” about you.
Except that I couldn’t. I went along to the local family planning office, but I couldn’t go through with it. The social worker offered to help me tell your grandfather, and I agreed.
All seemed to go well during the meeting as they explained that his 17-year-old daughter was pregnant and wanted to keep her baby. But it was a different story when they left. He told me I had to go to the doctor the next day or leave his house.
So I left. I walked out the door… with exactly a dollar and fifty cents in my pocket; just enough to take a bus to my grandmother’s house. It was the only place I could think of to go. She and I weren’t as close as she had been with my other siblings. They had grown up in her house.
But I was born long after my siblings (they were ages sixteen, fourteen, and eleven when I was born) and my parents had moved away. I didn’t get to spend as much time with her as they did. But I knew that’s where I needed to go.
She was glad to let me stay. But then the calls came. “You will ruin your life,” they said. The pressure was on even your dad wavered. Up to that point, I was aware of how hard it would be for the two of us to raise you with no support from my family. But now it looked like I wouldn’t even have his support.
Still, I knew My God would come through. Looking back, I do not understand why I thought He would. I mean, I had stopped going to church, and I was obviously doing things I shouldn’t have been doing at 17.
But this was the same God that I had learned about in Sunday school at the Anglican church we attended sporadically. Someone must have told me I could talk to Him anytime. Because for as long as I can remember, that’s what I’ve always done. All my life.
MY God. The One that had held onto me even as I drifted away soon after I had given my life to Him in my bedroom at 14 years old. The One who held onto me, even as my grasp on Him slipped away. I knew this God would come through for me, for us. He had to. We had no one else. He wouldn’t let me down. I made a promise to Him you would be His, just like Hannah did with Samuel.
And come through He did. It took all of three days for your grandfather to change his mind and allow me to come back home. On February 6, 1995, at 7:30 in the morning, you made me a mom for the very first time. I dropped out of school and stayed home with you for a year after you were born so you would have my full attention. The guidance counselor tried to convince me to stay, but it made little sense to me to waste precious time studying subjects I was failing when I could spend time with you.
After that year, I applied for a student loan and went back to school. I made sure that I had all your expenses covered. I wanted to support you on my own, so I worked hard. Two years later, I graduated with a 3.86 GPA and an associate’s degree in Computer Studies with Distinction.
It was the remembrance of my promise to give you to God that propelled me into church ten years later to rededicate my life to Him. You were about to enter secondary school and I suddenly realized the only person who I could trust to look out for you there would be Him. You needed to develop your own relationship with Him.
Now you’re all grown up and I’m so proud of you. I don’t say it enough (I’ll fix that). You’re beautiful, intelligent, and full of wisdom, creativity, and a natural leader (even though you run away from it).
I know you’re still trying to figure out how to use your creativity to change the world. But don’t worry, you were formed and fashion for a unique purpose; created for greatness. Your Father in heaven will reveal His plan for you in due time.
My firstborn. Thank you for making me a mom.
Deborah Ruck is a blogger and freelance writer who blogs at AsBoldasTHELion.com where she encourages women to overcome their fears to live their God-given purpose. This excerpt originally appeared in the post Letters to My Children: All The Ones Who Made Me a Mom.