Pastor Kevin Sanders

"He must increase, but I must decrease." -John 3:30

Learning the Hard Way: Pregnant and Abandoned

I became a Christian at 21, which unfortunately left me with a good few years prior to that to really mess up my life. I started drinking in high school, and by college was a full-on alcoholic. It was a mechanism for fitting in, something I had never been able to do well while being myself. It was during one drunken night that I lost my virginity to a classmate. I remember very little about it. I hated myself for it. Although I was not a Christian, I knew the right way was Jesus; I just didn’t want to live my life for Him – yet. I figured I’d live as I liked, and in a few years would be baptized, marry a good Christian guy and start my real life. This period, in my mind, was a “fun” detour.

After I lost my virginity, I felt worthless. What good Christian guy would want me now? I thought. I decided I couldn’t be a Christian after that, and spent the next year and a half sleeping with whoever I felt like, drinking excessively several nights a week (during which time, I nearly died from alcohol poisoning). Those days are a black mark in my life – the kind that overwhelm me with regret when I think of them, even though they led me later to some great things in my life.

When I was 21, I decided I couldn’t live this way anymore. I had recently moved to a new town to start a new job, and it seemed easy to make the switch to the right life at that time (I know it doesn’t sound genuine, but as anyone who has lived as I did will attest, it is very hard to live a new way when you are surrounded by people who believe you are a certain kind of person). I became baptized, traveled a bit once my job ended, hooked up with YWAM (Youth With a Mission) in Australia, came back home to Canada, and became a Young Life leader. I had surrounded myself with Christians – how could I possibly fail?

I met this guy at church – what better place to meet a good Christian guy? He was also a YL leader, and we had a couple of mutual friends. We became friends too, and after 3 months began dating. I loved him. He was everything I was not – even-tempered, stable, strong. We dated for two and a half years before we started down the slippery slope of physical intimacy. We didn’t exactly cross the line, but we definitely walked it. We eventually did cross it and began a sexual relationship at about the three year mark. He was so upset. I was not really upset, surprisingly. See, I have the ability to rationalize just about anything. And in my mind, I knew that we would be together – it was a given for both of us. We had been talking about marriage for a long time, and had even decided on wedding details (including the pastor who we’d like to marry us) and the post-wedding plans (where we would live, etc.) And so it was okay, I told myself. We “laid down together” so I figured that in God’s eyes we were married and we would follow it up and be married in man’s eyes in a year or two. Sigh. I know how wrong this is. I even knew it at the time.

After one more year, I was so frustrated that I still had no ring, that I broke up with him. I regretted it almost immediately and asked to reconcile. He said he didn’t know if we could. So we tried to patch things up and went on dates and well, kept sleeping together. I was scared to initiate that conversation about getting back together officially, because the result would be so final. I could not cope with the idea of really being finished. Another year later, and I was pregnant. As soon as I told him, a fortress was built around him, and there was no chance to make amends. He did not want to marry me because of that, and could not be sure that my intentions were genuine and not colored by the little life inside of me. I kept on hoping, despite his very clear words, that we would work it out. We slept together all through the pregnancy. I fooled myself into thinking we were still close and had a chance. The things he said confused me. One day he’d say he liked his life just the way it was (as a single guy), and the next, he’d take me for a walk through his neighborhood to show me the house that he thought we would both love. He wouldn’t hold my hand in public, but he’d wrap his arms around me at night. I even planned a last-chance getaway for myself, to enjoy being babyless for the last time before I became a mother, and he invited himself along. I really thought deep down that he would eventually see I wanted him for myself, and not just as the father of my child. Then my sweet boy was born, and my world was crushed. Eight days after he was born, he started dating someone else.

Three years have passed since then. Three years of raising my son alone, of detesting this man that I am now forever tied to. He is not the man I thought he was, but I am not the woman I thought I was either. The result of my actions is that I have to do a two-man job alone. I am forced into a position of having to be consistently responsible (no more globe-trotting for this girl), to watch this man I loved more than any other love someone else and begin a family with her, and to live in fear of trying again. My “ex” has fallen away from his faith in all of this – believing (I think) that he is unworthy of grace. Of course all of us are.

There are many lessons I’ve learned from this, but I think the most important is simply to live the life. To do it the way God intends, and that if you have to rationalize what you’re doing, or feel the need to justify it, you’re likely not doing it right.

Kuya Kevin’s Comments:

Your story illustrates many important points. Here’s the first one that struck me: sometimes one sin can lead to other sins, taking our lives down a destructive path.

There’s something else I’d like to point out from your story: the longer we are in a relationship, the greater the temptation to become sexually intimate. This is another reason to avoid spending months or years in a relationship when there is no clear commitment. Allow me to share something from a man’s perspective: if it has been over six months and he’s still not talking about marriage, it’s a very bad sign. It’s also not a good sign if he talks about it but never follows through with a ring and a vow.

Something tells me you are a great mom to your son—keep up the good work! I can’t imagine the trials of being a single mom. I’m glad you are involved with a good church that can help you raise him (this was something we discussed in a private email).

It also seems that you’ve forgiven the father of your child (or at least you’re working on it). This is very important for you to heal and move on.
Maybe one day you’ll meet a man who is worthy of your trust. And maybe you’ll allow him to earn your trust. Be patient—we never know just what God has in store for us.

Thanks so much for sharing such personal details of your life. I pray that many young women will read your story. I pray they’ll think twice before becoming sexually active outside of the protective boundaries of marriage.

This testimony and others like it are available in Learning the Hard Way: True Stories of Heartbreak, Healing, and Hope.

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For Women: You Lose!

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10 Comments

  1. Kev,

    I think featuring ‘real’ stories in your blog is a great idea!

    Not only can a reader relate but can be encouraged too by how others have been able to rise above the mistakes, warns those who haven’t yet or are starting to tread the same path.

    Keep it up kuya!

  2. Thanks, Thess!!

    As long as people keep sending stories, I’ll keep posting them every Monday.

    I think these stories are much more effective than any statistics I can write.

  3. This letter makes me shudder. I’ve witnessed and heard similar tales, and each time, I weep. I shudder. I wept for my friends who fell into homosexual relationships. One was restored, the other has not been going to church until now. The church was her life. They were youth leaders active in campus. So many looked up to them. I still pray for her and I always will. I shudder at the thought that it could happen to anyone.

    Everything is by grace.

    “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit”

    I must have heard this a gazillion times in the pulpit and instantly associate it with death, sacrifice, bloodshed,martyrdom and mission work. Reading this letter reminds me once again of the day to day seemingly small acts of self denial, small deaths which lump to significance.

    Dying to excessive internet surfing
    Dying to reading books other than those for my paper
    Dying to too much TV
    Dying to laziness
    Dying to procrastinating

    Dying to too much church activity (very near the cross, but very far from Christ..)
    Dying to I will pray later or do devotionals later Lord. (yet how can you serve me, if your spirit’s empty?)

    Your letter was vivid enough for us to be ministered to. Being in church does not mean we are safe. We are never safe from ourselves. We constantly need communion with Him. We need Him. To walk right is not difficult. It is impossible without God.

  4. Francis Schaeffer wrote that we should not romanticize our church leaders. We are all the same. All were sinners, saved only by grace.

    Ultimately-
    we stand alone,
    We walk alone,
    before God.

  5. i have to agree with the first point that you mentioned, “sometimes one sin can lead to other sins, taking our lives down a destructive path.” , myself have been in an almost similar situation, without the baby… i found myself thinking myself as someone who’s so worthless when the man i gave up my virginity with ended up with somebody else leaving me alone to pick up the pieces… but i have been lucky because that experience has been a real eye-opener for me. Jesus held my hand all through out the ordeal. I asked him to lead me to the right person no matter how long that would take. I think during that time he answered my prayer through this verse: “I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring to prosperity and not disaster,plans to bring about the future you hope for,. Then you will call to me. You will come and pray to me , and I will answer you.” Jeremiah 29:11-12 I have come across that verse while I was praying for some answers. i hope that all the women who have been and are in the same situation be comforted with God’s words and love….

  6. My friend went through a similar situation. He was her college boyfriend. Their firstborn is now seven and she now has a five year-old, fathered by another man who loved and accepted her despite the past. They got married and he is working on adopting the oldest son. She has moved on, God is very gracious and kind.

  7. God is gracious! To take someone who has sinned against Him and bless them with a child certainly shows how gracious He is. Single parenting is difficult for sure, but children are a blessing regardless.

  8. NOt to condone and never condemning those who engaged in physical intimacy outside the context of marriage.

    We could have avoided all the hurt and unwanted repercussions to start with.

    Whatever mishap that was, God loved, loves and will always love us. God is a God of second chances-

    “Its Your stubborn love
    That never lets go of me
    I don’t understand
    How You can stay
    PERFECT LOVE
    EMBRACING THE WORST IN ME
    how I long for Your stubborn love.”

  9. oh, thats by Amy Grant

  10. “Through Your mercies we are not consumed, they are new every morning. Great is Thy faithfulness Oh Lord.”

    hope you experience His faithfulness in your life as you raise your little one. God bless!

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