Blessings of My Unplanned Pregnancy Unwrapped (Part 6)

 

             Blessings of My Unplanned Pregnancy Unwrapped (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 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.  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 Your 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.


 

I’ll never forget that talk. 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.

 

1* – Click here and read my last post about a perfect doctor.

2* – Click here for my first post about a another trial God carried me through
Marianne Petersen’s book God and Your Pillow is now available. (Amazon) – You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more on her blog, marimemoirs.com.

 

 

 

Blessings of My Unplanned Pregnancy Unwrapped (Part 3)

 

              Blessings of My Unplanned Pregnancy Unwrapped (Part 3)

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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 writings 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 Your Pillow, showing another obvious sign of His Fatherly love through that intense trial.


                                                     God and Your Pillow

 

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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.

1* – click here to read part 1

2* – click here to read part 2.

Marianne Petersen’s book God and Your Pillow is now available. (Amazon) – You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more on her blog, marimemoirs.com.

The Hardest Phone Call to Make (Part 2)

     – The Hardest Phone Call to Make (Part 2) –

 

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As I continue my story, it’s time to share a piece directly from my book about my unplanned pregnancy which I dealt with when I was nineteen years old. The title is God and Your Pillow because those are the only two who really knew all of my heart, soul, and mind during this difficult time. My last post shared what got me to finally make the hardest thing I’ve ever had to make: a phone call.   Click here  to read my last post

Ring, ring. Ring, ring. Ring, ri…

“Hello.”

It was him. It hit me hard. It’s him.

“Hello.”  Does he recognize my voice?  “Is this Greg?”

“Yes, it is. Is this Marianne?” I could tell from his tone of voice that he was surprised.

“Yes, it is.”

“Oh. Well, hello.”

Should I talk about the weather for a spell? No.

“If you’re wondering why I’m calling, I’m, I’m calling to let you know I’m pregnant and that the the baby is yours.”

Silence.

“You’re . . . pregnant?” A little space between those words.

“Yes.”

Silence. I knew I needed to allow him a little time to breathe and come out of shock, but finally I had to say something. I said, a bit slower than normal, “So, what are you thinking?”

His answer showed that he didn’t know what in the world to think. I was rather bold, and told him right up front that an abortion was not an option. I could tell he was disappointed, but thankfully he didn’t make a big deal about that decision. A sudden trap, I’m sure he felt.

We ended the talk by agreeing to go through this together, but that he would wait to hear from me on what I decided to do. I was a bit sad that there was no bold, mature, adult response like, “No matter what, I’m right by your side and will aim at making this the best thing for us both. I love you and will do anything that’s best for our baby. I’m eager to meet your parents, to show them I will take care of us all.” Instead, he had a more of a “oh, we’ll just do whatever” attitude. All I could really do was just tell myself that it was better he be that way than have some selfish, mean, I don’t care attitude. He agreed it was his responsibility to do something, even if it meant we would get married and keep the baby.

Me? Getting married? Now? I knew I didn’t want to decide right then over the phone, so I told him I’d get back with him in a few days. I hung up, telling myself the talk went pretty well. But I also found myself needing to find something good out of everything lately.

After hanging up the phone, I felt like hiding from the world for a while. My thoughts of deciding what to do had begun, but they were too hard to share with anyone.hommes-naiment-chez-femmes-fuir.jpg

I could give the baby up for adoption and have no connection with Greg; have the baby and not get married; or have the baby and get married. I didn’t want to hear from anyone right then and I didn’t feel like deciding. I just wanted God to tell me.

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Why am I sharing this particular part from God and My Pillow? To make up for not including more in my blog of what followed with Greg. It’s better to wait to read what I like to call the soap-opera part of my book. I feel it’s best for my book to show how God carried me through this entire ordeal, from beginning to end, with this young man.

My story is written to help readers understand how God may decide to put you through your own soap opera, one you’re not sure you can survive. I want to show you He can, and will, get you through it, holding you tightly and never letting go.

 

(1) Click here  to read my last post.

Marianne Petersen’s book God and Your Pillow is now available. (Amazon) – You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more on her blog, marimemoirs.com.

Staring At My Shoes

                  – Staring At My Shoes –

shoe-carnival-5“Okay, the doors now shut. I’m home. I’m pregnant. Now what,” I, the most nervous nineteen year old in the world, asked myself. I walked into my home, having found out a few hours before that I was pregnant. There I was, facing the fact I had to tell  my parents.

What made it the hardest reason to tell them, or really anyone, was because the year before I shared with them how God had graciously called me one of His chosen; a Christian. But it’s one of those situations where I was then the only one in that home who even understood what that was all about. Don’t get me wrong. My family didn’t shrug me away when I told them I was a newly saved follower of Christ. Far from it. I just felt I had to be a bit on guard in what ever I said or did in that home that year. Needing to tell them I messed up and was pregnant was obviously something I didn’t look forward doing.

Now standing inside, having just prayed outside that door before coming in, I continued wondering what to do as I started hearing my parents talking in the kitchen down the hall.

Should I tell them now or wait? I should just get it over with. Okay. I can do this. I hear them in the kitchen. I guess I’ll just walk down the hall and tell them.

A few steps I went, but the stairs up to my room right there were sure tempting.

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Stay to the right, go to the kitchen, and tell Mom and Dad. But no, my nervousness won and I went to the left and started walking up.

Half way up I stopped. NO! Just tell them. TELL them. I then turned around and went back down. Slowly I took a sharp left, went a few more steps and there I was.  The shoes I had on I can picture because, as I walked in I was looking down, staring at those shoes. If I didn’t have that comfort inside of knowing God’s Fatherly arm was over my shoulder as I walked in, I don’t know how I could have survived the shame I felt.

 

Now sure, I’d love to get into detail about what happened in that kitchen, but that is all shared in my book. I will say, however, that I began loving my parents and siblings even more after they learned what I was now facing. Being as I was not the only one of my siblings this had happened to, mind you, explains why my parents weren’t ignorant to this type ordeal. However, my family responded as if I was the only one on earth they cared for and loved. And on that day, I sure needed that.

To be continued.

Click HERE  to read how this entire story began.

Marianne Petersen’s book God and Your Pillow is now available. (Amazon) – You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more on her blog, marimemoirs.com.

Two Phone Calls That Showed Me God’s Plan (part 1)

 Two Phone Calls That Showed Me God’s Plan (part 1)

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God used my unplanned pregnancy to teach me an important fact:

God will use an unanswered phone call to show you He has plans.

Time to look back 30 years at what feels like yesterday. I will continue what took place after that 4th of July eye opening thought that I shared in an older blog: Wondering if I was (gulp) pregnant. (*1)

No. I can’t be thinking this. Am I? Could I be? This question shouldn’t even be here.

My fearful thoughts were soaking my pillow.  I’m different!  I’m a Christian now.  I can’t be! Can I? No. I’m only 19 and living at home. I have great career plans and…and no, I can’t. God, I pleaded for your forgiveness so . . . so why would you allow this to be possible? I can’t be pregnant.

Twenty million of those thoughts had me rolling over on my pillow, left and right, left and right. My pillow must have felt like screaming, “Be still Marianne!” 

A few days later, after making sure my parents were gone, I grabbed the Yellow Pages and ran to my room. Back in 1986, phone numbers could only be found in the good old yellow pages. 

I can’t believe I’m doing this. I can’t believe I need one. I guess I’ll look under ‘Pregnancy Test.’ How about this larger typed name—Planned Parenthood. This sure wasn’t planned, but I guess I have to plan something.

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.

Ring, ring. Ring, ring. . . . Ring, ring. Ring, ring.

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Hmmm. No answer. Darn it. I’ll try another one. Let’s see. Flipping backwards a bit through the phone book I went, Crisis Pregnancy Center. This sure is a crisis for me if I’m pregnant. I have to try this one.

Ring, ring. Ring, ring.

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Oh, please. Oh, please be open! PLEASE be op…

“Hello. Crisis Pregnancy Center. How can I help you?”

To be continued. 

*1 – Click hear to read how this entire story began.

         

Marianne Petersen’s book God and Your Pillow is now available. (Amazon) – You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more on her blog, marimemoirs.com.

God Knows What He’s Doing

           – God Knows What He’s Doing –

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I bet we all know people whose lives have been dramatically affected by health issues, a financial crisis, or marital/family problems. I also bet many of you can say you yourself have gone through major trials such as these.  The important thing to remember in the midst of each and every crisis is that God is in control.

My favorite way of putting it is that God knows what He’s doing. He really does. He is not surprised by the events, and He is not unsure how He is going to take care of His children. Sure, it’s easier to put our trust in Him when things are going great. We must, however,  remember to think that way when it looks like everything is falling apart.

The words of this song explain it well.

 

He’s shown me through the two storms I’ve endured that He never left my side. (1*) (2*) The Lord telling me “I’m with you,” I may not have heard with my ears, but sure heard in my heart. Tears were there, as I’m sure most of you have had, but, as the song says, every tear you’ve cried He holds in His hand.

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.

Phil 4:19  —  And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ

Notice in both verses we read the word “ALL.” It doesn’t say “some” or “most,” but it says that He will meet all of our needs. It doesn’t say how He will meet our needs, and I have found from experience the way He does it is often not what I expected. But the bottom line is that we all must cling to the fact that God is faithful.  He does what He promises and what is best for us.

1* – Click here to read the first posting of my first trial that my book is about.

2* – Click here to read about the second life affected trial

 

Marianne Petersen’s book God and Your Pillow is now available. (Amazon) – You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more on her blog, marimemoirs.com.

 

The Word ‘Thankful’ All Folded Up (Part 3)

           – The Word ‘Thankful’ All Folded Up (Part 3) –

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Did you ever predict you would learn something but didn’t know what the lesson might be? That was me a few years back. After a few tougher-than-normal trials had taken place, and a few years went by, I grasped the fact that I would learn something from them, but just wasn’t sure what. Here, let me explain.

As my last two posts shared, (1*2*) two somewhat life-changing ordeals had my thoughts of thankfulness all folded up and tossed in the back pocket of my jeans. (Pictorially speaking, of course.) But God guided me to understand that He was writing the story and had bigger plans I couldn’t yet see.

As years went by, I took a few verses to heart:

Proverbs 16:9 A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.

Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

So, I waited . . . and waited . . . and yes, waited, as our family of four turned into a family of six. I had shared my unplanned pregnancy and illness story with many by this time. As each year passed, comments of “You should let others know about what God did for you” kept popping up. Slowly but surely, the question of why I’m thankful for these trials was beginning to get answered.

First, my pregnancy. An older post shares how different comments and requests to share my pregnancy were God’s way to get that story in writing; thus my book, God and My Pillow. (3*) Helping others going through that same ordeal is now a must, knowing God’s been encouraging me from the start.

Second, my illness. In another older post (4*) I shared about connecting with that encephalitic support website, meeting others who had gone through the same type of illness. I wound up encouraging others who were recently hit with similar brain damage. They needed to hear from one who had experienced what they were, at the time, dealing with. A book is now in the making to cover that, in hopes of encouraging those, showing how God held me and how He can hold them as well.

Hearing others tell me how helpful these efforts have been has caused me, in a way, to be almost thankful for these two events. I appreciate so much more now, knowing that if you never experienced pain, sorrow, and hurt, you would never recognize good health, the simple joys in life, and just how precious having Christ by your side can be.  

Most people have had their share of hard times and I’m certain they are far from over. But instead of being sad, frustrated, and/or angry about them, I hope my stories help others pull that little piece of paper with the word ‘thankful’ on it out of their own back pocket. 

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Marianne Petersen’s book God and Your Pillow is now available. (Amazon) – You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more on her blog, marimemoirs.com.