Ariion Kathleen Brindley

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A Hidden Joy

by Toni Nnadi

Tammy sat in U.S. History class holding her belly laughing quietly to herself.    She felt her baby move.    It wasn't the first time she had felt it move, but each time it did, it brought an instant smile to her face.

She was five months pregnant now.    No one in school even knew that she was pregnant yet.    She had always been considered the "good girl" by parents, family and friends and she had really wished it would have stayed that way.    She knew that being pregnant at 14 was not the most joyful thing that could happen to her at that time.    She was a Christian.    She was fully aware of the sin that she had committed.    Now, no one would even talk to her.    Even when she went to church people barely looked her in her eyes anymore.    The only people that even approached her were the old mothers who told her over and over again what a shameful situation she had put herself in, as if she didn't know.    Instead of church being a place of joy, it just added to her sorrow to the point that she got there when she felt like getting there and left just the same.

Each day when she arrived home from school, her parents just stopped talking to her.    Many nights she would go to the sofa in the basement and just cry herself to sleep.    She had tried to explain to her parents what had really happened, but they just didn't want to hear it.    The same way she was looking for love and security in the outside world, she was also looking for it in them and now, even more, they didn't care.

But, in the midst of everyone telling her what a shame it was for her to be pregnant, there was a hidden joy: the baby.    Tammy had actually felt a life growing inside of her and it was the most wonderful experience to ever happen to her although she couldn't share those feeling with anyone.    She knew it was the wrong time and would have like to have it happen when she was married and grown, but nonetheless, this baby growing, in her, gave her joy.    Every time she felt an arm or a leg move, she knew that this baby was fully dependent on her and that was a responsiblity she never had before.

She never wanted to have an abortion.    Therefore, her parents delivered her up to the adoption agency.    Although she was going through the motions of the adoption process, she knew within her heart that she wanted to keep this child.    Considering the state that she was in, she knew she was in no position to speak up to her parents concerning anything, but she had to protect this one person that was giving her joy through this time.

When delivery day came and the baby was born, Tammy kept her baby.    After arriving home from the hospital, she knelt down and prayed in her room, "Lord Jesus, forgive me for all of my sins.    Thank you for this blessed child.    I'm really sorry for disobeying your word.    Lord Jesus, please teach me how to be a good mother.    I know I'm very young but Lord help me.    Please send me a husband so that I may live the right way as you commanded.    I rededicate my life to you.    I no longer want to live the life I was living before.    Thank You Jesus for forgiving me. I love you and I know you love me too."

In spite of all that Tammy had gone through, God had given her joy in the midst of sorrow and now she had placed the source of her joy where it truly belonged in Jesus Christ who had been and was going to continue to love her and keep her throughout her life.


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