I was 19 and in love. We got married on a chilly day in early September. Everything was perfect. We had a plan. Our house was being built for us, my new husband had started a business, and we would have kids in 2-4 years. That was our plan and we were working at it…for about a month. Then everything fell apart. Our plan was being hijacked (or at least that’s how it seemed).

I started to feel tired, really tired. I couldn’t explain my tiredness, and it wasn’t going away. One afternoon, we took a drive to check out the progress on the house we were building. On the way, we stopped at a store and I bought a pregnancy test thinking I should rule it out. I was 3 weeks late, but was pretty sure that there was no way that I could possibly be pregnant. We pulled up to the house and there was a port-a-potty on the front lawn because the plumbing wasn’t done in the house yet. So there in that bright blue potty that read ”let us be #1 for your #2”, I took the test. It was positive within seconds. So were the other 4 tests. I just remember feeling shame in that moment because I had not been able to ”live life” yet. I had just moved across the country, I had no girlfriends here…and now I was PREGNANT? I felt so lonely and scared. I wasn’t ready to be a mom and I had no idea what I was doing.

But God is the Redeemer of all things. I wish I could tell you that from that time on I lived a surrendered life to my Savior, but I didn’t. I continued to live with a lot of selfishness and pride (two things I still struggle with). I am learning that life is better when I live completely surrendered to the will of God. The Bible says that God already knows the plans He has for us. So why is it so hard to surrender to Him? I want control and I want the things I want when I want them, which is usually right now!! I think that it all comes down to selfishness and pride. We must learn to live life surrendered to His will. I constantly find myself confessing and asking for a renewed strength to give up the pride, selfishness, and the agenda I have for my life. Sometimes we don’t get to see how God is using our tough circumstances for His glory and our good. Other times, we see clearly why He does things. This was one of those times.

I have learned that when I choose to surrender to Him, He takes my tough times and uses them to make me more like Him. He takes away my selfishness and pride, which makes me more blessed and makes my life richer. Not with worldly riches or blessings, although in this case Levi is certainly a wonderful blessing. Blessings don’t always come the way we want them. I didn’t feel ready or like I wanted to be a mom when I was 19 (sorry if that’s offensive, but it’s the truth). I was given a HUGE gift and an opportunity to trust God, like I had never trusted Him before. To be honest, I still fail often. The lessons I have learned from my early years of parenting are so valuable to me; like being a good parent means putting your children before your own needs.

Looking back, I am so glad that even though I was a young pregnant mom who didn’t know what she was doing; God knew exactly what He was doing. I’m so thankful that it takes 9 months to grow a baby, because I needed every minute of those 9 months! Now my sweet little boy isn’t so little any more. He is 9 years old and almost as tall as me! When I look at him, he is a reminder of God’s never ending faithfulness to me.

*Author: Erin Hage, originally published April 19, 2017*

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