How do you respond to setbacks?
Do they send you into a tailspin?
Do they drive you to seek easy answers—before you’ve even thought about the questions?
Most of us take negative surprises like a collision with a wall. All we can think about is the pain we’re in. The mess we’re in.
So we reach backward toward “the way things were.”
But actually, there’s a way forward, found by focusing on “the way things can be.”
We need to slow down, breathe, and look for the opportunity in the setback.
Is Pregnancy a Setback or an Opportunity?
We meet a lot of women who were blindsided by getting pregnant. They felt like pregnancy was a setback. An unwanted interruption to their lives. At first, all they wanted was to erase the interruption. Go backward into the past, back to “normal.”
But time doesn’t move that way. It moves forward. Forward from this point, this setback. Forward into a future shaped in one way or another by this pregnancy.
Ending a pregnancy isn’t like opening a book and then closing it. Because a pregnancy isn’t just a condition. It’s a child. A child with a future.
Most of the moms we serve decided to stand still a minute, look at their setbacks, and then look ahead toward the future. Their future, of course. And their children’s.
A Child’s Future Options
Let’s be real honest. When a woman is pregnant, there are basically three futures open to her child. Her child could:
- Be raised by his Mom, supported by a community of people (like the folks at Choices Pregnancy Center) who care about Mom and him.
- Be raised by a family Mom hand-picks for him by making an adoption plan.
- End his life in an abortion.
For Mom, having to choose the best future, while she can only see the present, feels awfully heavy. That’s not surprising, because she is deciding for two. And the other person she’s deciding for can’t vote on the issue. He can only exist. The same way every person on this planet exists, hoping for a good future.
“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations,” says pastor and author Charles Swindoll.
The trick is seeing past the disguise.
For that you’ll need your imagination.
Opportunities: Imagine Your Child as an Adult
What if this unexpected child is allowed a future? Look up from this present moment and look far ahead. Imagine what he could be. . .
Twenty-one years from now he could be thinking back over two decades of life. Two decades of playing and working and living with people. Two decades of ups and downs, sorrows and joys; two decades of memories. What will he see?
What do you imagine your child will be like at 21?
Maybe he has become . . . Kind? Helpful? Hard-working? Likable? Brave? Persistent? Caring? Honest? Compassionate? Fun? Considerate? Dependable?
Maybe he has faced his own setbacks and learned to find the opportunities in them. He has become stronger and wiser because of them.
What do you imagine your child will say at 21?
- “I am loved for who I am.”
- “I’m a good person.”
- “I can make wise choices.”
- “I have friends who are good for me.”
- “I’m glad Mom gave me this life.”
If you can imagine this future for your child, then you can help him get there. And you won’t have to do it alone. You can count on the team at Choices Pregnancy Center to equip you to succeed. (And if you’re not near Redwood Falls, Minnesota, click here to connect with another team in your area.)
Imagine yourself, succeeding in life and as a parent. You can—
- Love your child with your words
- Provide loving discipline
- Live a healthy and nurturing lifestyle
And to help you reach your goals along your journey, we can connect you with a supportive network right here in your community. You won’t have to go it alone!
Today’s Surprise, Tomorrow’s Success
So, yes, life is full of surprises that can change the shape of your future.
Chance meetings. Accidents. Job promotions. Blizzards. Scholarships. They all change what happens next.
A surprise pregnancy does the same. But just as you can find a way to succeed after other surprises, you can succeed in the wake of this surprise too.
So keep calm, find the opportunities in your new situation, and only then decide what you need to do. Don’t be in a rush to try to “get life back to normal.”
The old normal doesn’t exist anymore. And ending your pregnancy won’t bring it back.
Instead, explore ways to succeed in the “new normal.” Find a way to make a bright future for this child who surprised you.
Imagine: he might just be the best surprise of your life.
Are you or someone you know dealing with unexpected pregnancy?
We’re here to empower women and men to face their future with confidence and hope.
Call or text us today to talk about ways we can help.