The Dual Road

Coming back after an almost two-month hiatus. If you’ve missed my previous posts, you can read them here:

Chapter I
Prologue: It Confounds Logic
A Moment of Truth
Is There Another Way?

Breaking the news
In the weeks that followed my discovery of pregnancy, the news began to unfold – First to my parents, then my siblings. From there, it would go to my pastor, our church elders, and finally to friends and those who I wanted to hear this news from my own lips.

These were months of walking a dual road, one of pain and sadness in recognizing my sin and dealing with the outcome of it, and the other of precious joy and growth in the restoration of my heart to the Lord and the awakening of my soul to the Word.

To say that telling those around me was excruciating would be an understatement. I could not have imagined the crumbling faces, countenances frozen in shock, horror, even revulsion … and then have it happen over and over again.

But as I was emotionally drained in each discussion, so also was I being filled and renewed as I was drawn to the Word. [the italicized verse interspersed here are taken from Psalm 32 and Psalm 51 – two especially meaningful chapters to me]

God prepared my parents to live out what is one of the few nightmares a parent has regarding their offspring, and to love and guide me through the entire process.

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

I remember sitting in my pastor’s office – the pastor, his wife, and my parents. They were new to our church that year, and I barely knew them. And yet, words of insightful counsel and great wisdom flowed. One of my sweetest memories from this season came from that afternoon. Ending our time with prayer, the pastor’s wife, a woman I knew only by reputation at that time, prayed through tears for the life of the baby. She was the first one to pray for my child. How I love this woman.

I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.

Another moment that stands out in my mind from this period is a time with the church elders. I should note that this time was scheduled not in a spirit of judgment, but rather with the desire to counsel, assist, and plan. Throughout my pregnancy, my reputation and my growing faith and testimony were protected by these faithful men.

You [God] are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance.

So many phone calls and meeting with friends – even now they blur together. Listening to others weep, hearing condemnation and accusation as well as the blessings of grace, forgiveness, and love. I remember standing in a close friend’s kitchen and getting the sentence out. She rushed over to where I was sitting and, kneeling on the floor, grabbed me and hugged me. When she leaned back, I could see that she had tears in her eyes, but her words were words of love.

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!

(to be continued on Wednesday)