I remember when I found out I was pregnant with Daniel in 1994... I wasn't married. I was 24 years old and my friend, Stephanie and I had just decided to rent an apartment together. We had just signed the lease and gotten the keys. We entered the apartment and I took the pregnancy test in this empty, basement level apartment. The test was positive. Shock was an understatement. Her words were something like "How can you be pregnant when you've never had sex?" And "Of all our friends, you're the "good girl" and you get pregnant... this is impossible!!" I remember she was a little freaking out. I remained pretty quiet.
I went back to my old apartment and called Steve. He picked me up that night and we went to a pregnancy center to get a free pregnancy test to confirm. It was positive again. We were both quiet and somber. But in that moment, I was soooo happy!!!! I thought to myself, well I think I'm supposed to act all sad and scared because I'm an unwed mother, but how happy I feel on the inside, how excited and thrilled beyond words, do I feel to have this baby that I've always dreamt of!! This was my dream come true, to be a mother.
I was extremely happy, truth be told!! I was full of joy and anticipation. Though apparently "unplanned" and darn near close to the fastest conception ever... Daniel was planned, with all my heart, mind, and soul, I wanted a baby. I wanted him. It is the fastest conception and birth I've ever known of. People know I had a premature baby, but very few people know... I gave birth 7 and 1/2 months after I lost my virginity. And then as most of you know, on April 19, 1995 I almost died in childbirth. But God spared my life. These are the words in my head when I woke up this morning "God spared me."
They ripped him from my womb too soon to save my life. They strapped me to a table, they took a knife, they took him out, when he was too little to survive on his own. And then God spared Daniel's life too.
I don't know why all of this is going through my head at this time, except now Daniel and I must live apart as he is now 20 years old and becoming a man. I saw him receive his keys to his first rental yesterday. A part of me is very sad and feeling that ripping from my womb too soon again. And I know it's not too soon. I know he must go. But every cell of my body remembers the experience 20 years ago of my baby's survival being uncertain....and it is not in my conscious thoughts (my conscious thoughts know it's time to kick out the baby bird from the nest), it really is a sub-conscious and cellular reaction - my body aches and swells in fear of "Will he survive?" And will he survive without me??
This is when and where God tests me again and asks me to surrender. So I keep reminding myself... God spared me. God spared Daniel. God will protect him, God watches over his life and guides his steps. With time, God will show me again that Daniel's life is already planned. Daniel's life is not in my control. Daniel will survive.
Shelley Johnson - Inspiring individuals to a healthier and happier lifestyle, and ultimately to faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love.