By ANGELINA DAVIS
J.C. Watts once famously said, “Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking.” And he wasn’t all words and no action: when faced with his own pregnancy scandal with a white woman in the 1970s, he chose life for his daughter.
Modern day pregnancy scandal
Like Watts, I grew up in a home that taught that God was real and life was sacred. I too, was faced with the dilemma of choosing to uphold what I was raised to believe or succumb to the fear surrounding my circumstances. I found myself in my own modern day pregnancy scandal, an 18 year old white girl, pregnant by a 25 year old black man. I wasn’t married. I wasn’t in love. I was just having “fun”. And I felt like one giant walking cliche.
My close group of girlfriends were reasonably worried about my future. Some were more so worried about an interrupted summer of carefree adolescence. My parents were worried about my full ride athletic scholarship that was now in jeopardy. The father of my baby was worried I would somehow use this baby as leverage against him and urged me to abort. Me? I was scared and desperate for answers about what to do next.
Was abortion wrong?
I agreed it was because that is what I had been taught. But little did I know, this doubt rattled in a hidden corner of my heart … maybe abortion was okay in really difficult circumstances. Maybe it’s okay if it’s early in the pregnancy.
But I knew that with something this serious, I had to be absolutely convinced. So I scoured the internet for the truth about abortion. It didn’t take long before I was sobbing and nearly repenting of even considering the option. Though it would be years before I truly gave my life to Jesus Christ, that day I experienced God’s common grace — a working conscience.
I’m not sure what it takes to justify murdering your own baby, but I didn’t have it in me.
The next dilemma
I was then faced with my next dilemma. The father wanted nothing to do with this baby. What did I know about being a mother? What kind of life could I really offer this child? Not to mention, the pressure of being a white mother to a black, fatherless child. How could I contribute to this stereotype?
I felt so stupid and ashamed. So much was stacked against my baby from the beginning and it was my fault for being so careless and naive.
Maternal instinct kicks in
Adoption floated around in my heart and my head. Until I heard my baby’s heartbeat. Instantly I was flooded with an instinct to protect this life inside of me. I couldn’t promise much in terms of material comfort but I knew I would love my baby. Love was bigger than fear.
Today I am married to a strong black man, with 4 beautiful black children (above). And I feel redeemed. My child has been redeemed. I have no regrets. Being a single mom was not an easy road. But through it, God showed me that His plan was never to destroy me but to draw me closer to Him.
Even in my sin and rebellion, He gave me a good and perfect gift. He had a plan for my life, in spite of me. When I looked at my baby boy’s face for the first time, I realized that I almost destroyed what I loved because of what I feared. And that’s the real travesty of abortion— you never get to experience the true relief of knowing you did the right thing, when no one was looking.