For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
When I found out I was pregnant nine years ago, I was devastated and ashamed. I had to make a choice. I had no idea of what pain was to come, and no idea of the goodness that God would bring into my life through a man named Gabriel and a child named Grace.
In my mind, I was grabbing an axe and sinking it deeply into my parents' hearts that night. Right at the dinner table. Leaving a bright trail of blood that would quickly fill up the entire house and we would all drown in it. Fortunately, that never happened. After dropping the tearful bomb, my dad looked at me and said, "I'm just happy my baby is having a baby." I'm quoting him, because I can still hear those words coming out of his mouth. I can see his face and I can feel how much he loved me in that moment from those words straight to my heart. That was a life changing conversation. The days that followed were difficult. The reality of my selfishness coming to a head.
Before I told my parents, I told Gabe. I was sad, angry, anxious and downright confused. On the inside, I'm sure he was too, but he didn't show it. He was calm and kind. He told me not to worry, that God would take care of us. When he said that, I thought he was an idiot and that his brain had been taken over by aliens. When he suggested we get married, I thought he was losing his mind. "Married?" I said, "Who? Us?". I did not want this to be happening. Gabe and I dated on and off for five years before this moment, which was very convenient for me. I loved him and I'm pretty sure he loved me, but we couldn't be bothered with a relationship. I was an idiot. I was selfish. Gabe arrived in LA a couple of weeks after finding out the news, and the day he was supposed to leave, we got married. In shorts and a t-shirt. My dad pronounced us husband and wife. Oh, Lord. Tears streaming down my face as my mom took pictures with an instant camera. I really wanted to grab that camera and throw it as far as I could and then run away as fast as I could, but she is my mom and she was right. And something was keeping me there. The pictures bring back some pretty ridiculous emotions. I'm glad I have them. It was just me and Gabe, mom and dad outside of their home in Los Angeles. My heart beats fast thinking about that day. It was so awful. I can't imagine what was going through Gabe's mind. I thought my life was ending and so did he, but he was so nice to me. My plan to never marry or have kids until I was forced at gunpoint had arrived, only years sooner than I'd planned. Once again, I was so selfish. Gabe and I decided that I would move with him until he finished his semester at Texas A&M, which is located in a hell-hole called College Station, and then move back to Los Angeles together. Oh Lord, this part of the story was so hard and I feel sorry for Gabe all over again. I was mean, insane, selfish and pregnant. Somehow God gave me this marriage and our beautiful children out of the mess we'd made. Thank you, Lord. You are a brilliant God with plans so good I will praise you forever. There is no way for me to express the vast difference between me now and me then.
I am thankful for the hard times and all of the tears. I am thankful for everyday that I get to spend with my family. I am thankful for Gabe. He is just plain outstanding. I am thankful for my children. I am thankful for Grace. She changed my life in such a remarkable way. I am thankful for our parents who lift us up in prayer, provide for and love us in a way that I can't explain. I am thankful for all of the jokes I've shared with my brothers that bring me back to a happy place. I am thankful for my youngest brother holding onto my hand so tightly when I told him I was pregnant over nine years ago. It's the little things that save your life. It's the little things that God gives us. Tiny gifts that keep us going. Blessings that remind us of how good life can be if we will just hold on and trust the only God who makes beautiful things out of the dirt.
Look for Him in your life. Call on the name of Jesus. Ask Him to remove the blinding smog from your eyes and the poisoned grime from your heart. Ask Him to redeem your soul and bring you to life.