Trigger warning: fictional short story about unplanned pregnancy and religion
To my family, friends and the congregation,
I was supposed to stand before you to give my testimony of how great God has been in my life. At this age of 22, I was supposed to testify about how He provided my tuition for university, how He spared my life when the taxi I was traveling in overturned while speeding on the highway and how He deepened my relationship with Him.
I was supposed to stand before you, God and the man He ordained for me to be my husband as we exchanged wedding vows to each other, but all of the above is not case.
I’m standing before you to lay bare my sin. I have gravely sinned against God, and I’ve disappointed you all by falling pregnant out of wedlock.
For a brief moment, I delighted in the pleasures of the world, knowing very well that the Word warns against such immorality and lust. Had I listened and not looked at any man lustfully, committing adultery in my heart, I wouldn’t be in this situation.
What hurts me the most about what I have done is that I broke the vow I made in front of God and all of you to keep myself pure for marriage. I vowed to remain a virgin and keep away from dating until God revealed my husband to me. But I failed.
I was seduced by a man who had nothing to do with God. He was charming, smart and told me that having me in his life would make him a better person. I fell for him, believing what he said because I thought that I could help him in his walk to righteousness, not realizing that this was the attack of the Enemy. Soon enough, the lust of the flesh took over, and now I am pregnant. The man who impregnated me abandoned me because he said that he wasn’t ready to be a father, and said that if I have this child, I will raise it by myself.
My family is devastated as a result of my actions. They expected only the best of me, and now I have caused them great shame and lost their respect because of my immorality. My promiscuity has made them the talk of the town because I have thrown dirt on our name and made us lose our right standing with the community.
My chances of marriage are in jeopardy because no man wants a defiled woman who has given away her virginity and body to a man who wasn’t her husband, and worse, bear a child as a result of the relationship.
I can only do what is right now by following due process as according to our religion to ask for yours and God’s forgiveness. I will pray relentlessly until I am washed clean of my sins, until all soul ties with that other man are broken and until my virginity is divinely restored. I will try my best to be a good mother and raise my child in the ways of the Lord.
My family, I will do whatever it takes to regain your trust and respect. I ask of you as the congregation to accept me back into the family. I need you to hold my hand and help me to return to my walk with God in all purity.
It’s been 6 months since I read this letter of apology in front of the congregation. I’ve never stopped wondering what would have happened if I had just gone straight to God with all my confusion, worry and fear in the midst of this life-changing experience of motherhood instead of to people with all their rules and expectations of righteousness.
*image from Creative Commons.