More Stories from the Mental Illness Memory Vault – My Surprise Pregnancy

My baby graduated high school this weekend! It brought up so many emotions for me. I can’t help but feel weepy and nostalgic as I reflect on her life – and who I was when she entered my life.

In case you don’t know my story… I found out I was pregnant with her my senior year of college.

I was not stable mentally and taking a pretty heavy dose of Depakote at that time – something you definitely should not be on if you’re going to get pregnant, due to major risk of birth defects. I was encouraged to terminate the pregnancy.

But I knew her life had meaning and purpose. I KNEW.

I clearly remember that day in November 2003. I lay on my parents’ bed, waiting for the call from the doctor to tell me if I was indeed pregnant or not (it was too early to tell from the pharmacy stick, so I got a blood test).

The phone rang, but instead of it being the doctor’s office, it was my mom’s friend, calling from her car, needing someone to look up a Bible verse for her really fast, for who-knows-what reason. It was a strange request, but I said sure.

I grabbed my parents’ closest Bible. The passage was Zephaniah 3:17.  It reads: “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”

At that moment, I felt certain that God gave me that verse to reassure me that no matter what, He loved me and was with me in that situation.

I still don’t know why my mom’s friend chose that moment to call our house to ask someone remind her of an obscure verse. It felt so strange and random.

But it wasn’t random.

Isabel’s life isn’t random either.

Her life is a gift to remind me of the power of restoration, redemption, and hope. That even during a time when I felt my mental health was chaotic, there was renewal. There was healing.

Her life saved mine. I am so grateful for the person she is. She is a gift to everyone who knows her.

For anyone out there who is reading this, feeling discouraged, questioning your purpose, maybe even feeling limited by the label that you’ve been given – your life isn’t random.

There is hope. There is healing. There is restoration. You are not alone.

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