Beauty in the Broken
hope. health. humour. & mom life.
This past Friday, I had the honour of sharing a chapter of my story at the 2019 Elisha House Fundraising Banquet. Below is my written transcript.
Good evening! I'm Donna.
I’ve had the privilege of serving as part of the Pregnancy Options Team at Elisha House for the past 2 and a half years. I also enjoy working behind the scenes, in an administrative role, which includes handling our social media accounts and assisting with fundraisers.
I am a married mom of 4 children. I often say...3 of which were unplanned by me, but all 4 planned by God. My story has many twists and turns. It’s far from perfect as it continues to be written... but I am grateful for all it all...because it allows me to connect with the young women, we see walk through the doors of Elisha House. I am truly humbled that God would choose to use someone like me.
Truth be told, I wasn’t even aware of Pregnancy Center’s and the work that they do, until moving to Ontario 4 years ago. You see, I am from a lil town in North East Saskatchewan.... I didn’t even grow up with access to Tim Hortons. I was raised in contemporary-Mennonite home with Christian values. Importance was placed on being good and following the rules for fear of punishment, not out of a mutual loving relationship with God. So you can imagine, the guilt and fear I felt when I discovered I was pregnant, while still in high school.
My world came crashing down.
I was terrified that my parents would disown me. Abortion crossed my mind, but I was scared I wouldn’t be able to live with myself... if I went through with it. What would my future look like? I felt like... no matter what decision I made...that my life would be over.
In John 10:10, Jesus says,
The thief comes to kill, steal and destroy but I have come that you may have life and life abundant
As many of you know the thief Jesus refers to in this scripture is Satan, the enemy of our souls. He wanted me to believe... that my life was really over. And that is the lie that so many young women, who find themselves unexpectedly pregnant, believe…it’s what backs them into a corner ...to choose to end the life growing inside of them, so that they can hopefully hide the secret away... and continue their life.
It was in that moment of fear and hopelessness that God spoke to me. He silenced the lies that threatened to kill, steal and destroy my life and the life of my son. He promised to take care of us... He said He had a plan and a purpose. He asked me to trust Him. He had LIFE waiting for me on the other side. In response, I surrendered my heart and my will to him that day and I have never been the same. What I thought was the end of my life would prove to be...only the beginning.
Before the pregnancy, I was the typical rebel teenager. I gave myself away in hopes of feeling loved and accepted...yet still I was always left feeling empty. I used substances for a false sense of happiness and fulfillment and I deceived my family about it all. That was a heavy weight to carry. I struggled with poor body image, low self-confidence and undiagnosed eating disorders. I was depressed and often fanticized about suicide. I believed in God but I didn’t have a relationship with him and I certainly didn’t believe he loved me.
That all changed when He met me in the middle of my hopelessness and extended His grace to me... I expected my mother to deal harshly with me and for my father to kick me out on the street, but instead they were supportive.
I remember my mother saying,
Donna, we will help you with this baby, we will get through this, together.
My mother’s reaction proved God’s love to me. Within a matter of months my parents moved my brother and I out of our tiny 2 bedroom rental into a home they purchased to be able to have enough space to support me in raising my baby. Thanks to them, I was able to continue high school and graduate with honors. Never once did I feel ridiculed or shamed. Even our church was supportive, they threw me a massive baby shower which provided me with everything that I could have possibly needed and more. I saw God’s faithfulness through it all...He kept his promise to care for me and my son. All of their support showed me God’s amazing love. It filled the place in my heart that had been so hopeless and empty before.
From that experience, God placed the desire within me to help girls facing unexpected pregnancies. But, it wasn’t until 20 years later when my son was graduating high school, that I saw that desire come to fruition. I remember seeing the job posting from Elisha House and immediately knowing God was calling me to apply. I struggled with feelings of inadequacy while having this overwhelming sense of peace, that God would enable me to do what he was calling me to do. Experiencing not just one, but another 2 unplanned pregnancies later in married life has only reaffirmed in me the importance of supporting women in many different circumstances. All of this, is the reason why I am so passionate about caring for the girls and young women who find themselves pregnant and in need of support.
As Pregnancy Options Support workers, we meet with girls who drop in wondering if they might be pregnant. Thanks to your ongoing support we are able to offer these young women:
Supporting women in unplanned pregnancy is both challenging & rewarding. We can’t make the tough decisions for them, but we can plant seeds of faith, hope and love that have the power to transform their lives and the lives of their families... just like they did mine.
God graciously placed people in my life to express His love in tangible ways.
Now He’s given me the opportunity to do the same and I am so grateful. We plant and water the seeds. God’s Spirit is the one who causes them to grow.
As a pregnant & scared 16 year old girl, I commited my unborn child to God and asked Him, to use the life growing inside of me for His Glory. I see those seeds of faith blossoming now, as my first born baby boy has grown into a courageous young man with a humble heart that seeks to love people who feel lost and hopeless.
Just this fall he enrolled in Bible College with a desire to serve in ministry wherever God would lead him. His life has not been an easy one...in many ways I feel as though we grew up together. I have made many mistakes in my motherhood journey, but God has been faithful to use the good and the bad for His good purposes in our lives.
God is faithful.
All Glory & Praise be to Him.
blogger + wife + mama of 4 + unplanned pregnancy support worker + keto-fied wellness enthusiast. All of that stripped away, Donna simply considers herself a beloved daughter of God whose purpose is to shine His light through the cracks of her brokenness. Sunshine, coffee, dark chocolate and good conversation are her idea of a great time. Donna enjoys writing as a way of processing life and seeks to encourage frazzled moms, like herself, to take care of their mental, physical and spiritual wellness and see beauty in their brokenness.