Finding Strength during my Teenage Pregnancy - A Letter from Stephanie
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”
I have been reciting that verse since I was about 4 years old. It wasn’t until my senior year that I realized just how much I need Him to strengthen me. In the fall of my senior year, I tested positive on a pregnancy test. My life was forever changed, a day I will never forget. I ran my final race as a high school athlete 6 weeks pregnant. I gave up an athletic scholarship to Xavier University. I resigned from my role as chastity speaker for local schools. I toyed with the idea of adoption. I made people yell and cry. I walked at my 2007 graduation at 8.5 months pregnant in front of thousands of people. I got my first job, gave birth to my son, got engaged, got married, moved out, and started college all in ONE YEAR! How did I do this? WITH HIM- Philippians 4:13.
It would take me weeks to write out this story…and I would like to someday. For now, here is what I learned.
I have never needed strength and guidance more than I did that year. When I was weak, He spoke through others who had pivotal impact on my life and decision during that time.
Listen to HIM. Lean on Him. Give it to Him. Let His will we done and allow Him to work through you and others.
In order to take the leap of faith and give it to Him, you must be strong and have ‘child-like faith’.
He never gives us more than we can handle- it is true <3
As my Grandma Betty used to say :
“God is good….all the time”!
Get to know Stephanie
Stephanie is 28-year-old mom of three, wife, small business owner and a business representative at a business & technology solutions company. This woman knows no stranger and has a gift for building up those around her.
What do the first two hours of your day look like?
The first two hours of my day are not pretty, flawless or even routine. More often than not, one of my 3 kids is the first to wake me up. From then on, the day begins! Two of my kids go to school, so I assist in getting them dressed, making them breakfast, packing their lunch. Around that time I typically start a pot of coffee for myself. I get the oldest on the bus, then start to focus on the younger two. I will busy one with a tv show and the other with some legos or something and then attempt to get myself ready. If there is any time to spare before heading out the door for preschool, it is spent starting laundry, cleaning up from breakfast, or just cleaning in general.
What are your favorite parts of your jobs?
My favorite part of being a business owner is that I call the shots. I don’t answer to anyone..it’s quite nice! For my part time occupation outside the home, my favorite part is working with my team. It used to be talking with other people, but now it is working with me team…..they have become some of my closest friends.
What's one fear that keeps you up at night?
I have an overwhelming dissatisfaction with the fact that I have let all of my physical and athletic endeavors go. I used to sign up for races, compete, have a routine work out schedule. It really annoys me that I can’t seem to get that part of my life back and I fear I will not be able to for a very long time..or ever!
I also have a serious problem with thinking my kids need to be happy at all time. I mean, I know a little dissatisfaction is good for them, but I hate when they are upset, sick, tired or hurting and I just wish I could fix it all!
Tell us about the first time you experienced a strong sense of belonging in the Catholic Church.
When I was pregnant with my first son, It was hugely important me and my now husband that he (my husband) become Catholic. I joined him and guided him, and in fact was his sponsor, in the RCIA program for our church to help him become a Catholic. That is probably the most sure I have ever been that I am supposed to be in the Catholic Church.
Tells us about a woman you look up to!
My grandmother Betty Kelley was a true testament to a Catholic woman. She reminded me ALWAYS that I was loved and God is good. All the time, God is good. She was my biggest supporter in all things artsy and craftsy and athletic. She was the BEST letter writer. I wish she was alive so that she could write a letter for this program…it would have been amazing. She was a devout Catholic who loved her children and grandchildren and was always the first to tell us how special we are and proud of us she was.
What advice would you give to women who work and who are mothers?
You are not alone. On the darkest days when you think you just can’t, remember tomorrow is a new day and we are blessed. I may not always be smiling, but I try. I try to remember how blessed I am to have three kids. How blessed I am to be a mostly full time SAHM with two jobs that give me the flexibility to work hours that can work around our family’s busy schedule. Blessed to have an incredibly driven husband who works so hard for our family, comes home and drops it all to roll around on the floor with the kids.
Women are incredible. We hold the weight of the world on our shoulders and then some. It's time you stop judging yourself and be proud. I am me and I am proud. Be you, and be proud. You are unique, you are strong and you are respected. You are loved.
Favorite character ever. Go!
Pam Beasley from The Office. Her love for her husband is admirable. She always put her family first, remembered to have fun with her husband and was not overly concerned with superficial means. I would not recommend the show The Office, as its terribly crude, but they struck gold with the character that is Pam.