Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
- I Corinthians 13:7
Let your imagination envision this scenario. You have been friends with this girl for years. Her family is the family you dream of having at night. You know, a two-parent home; two beautiful daughters; one in the eleventh grade and one in the twelfth, both of them honor students following in the steps of the older brother who is away at college enjoying his first year as a freshman at Morehouse. You know, that proud black family structure where Dad, Mom and all the kids are headed to church together every Sunday and out to dinner right afterwards together. You, on the other hand being the only child of a single parent, who is struggling just to make it from day to day. While these friends are talking about long range plans, you are thinking my long-range plans are to come home next week and find that the lights are still on at the house. That’s about as long range as your plans get. You look at this proud black family and think, “How did they get so lucky? Why them and not me? Oh well,” you say. “This is just how life is,” you tell yourself. “In life you play the hand you are dealt.” Little do you know, underneath the surface, you all are playing with the same hand because things are rarely as they appear.
One Saturday you get a text that says: “I got to see you now. You are my best friend and I’ve got to talk to you now.” You send a text back to your friend from the proud black family you admire and say, “I’m on my way to meet you at your house.” Upon arrival, you find her home alone crying uncontrollably and you are asking her, “What is wrong? What happened?” and she looks at you and says, “This can’t be happening to me. I’m the smart one with big dreams, big plans.” You say, “What the **** is so wrong?” She says, “I’m pregnant.” And you are standing there in shock thinking, “Not you.” Not the girl who comes from what you call happy family. “Are you sure?” She says, “Yes,” and “My daddy is going to kill me, or worse – he is going to let me live and kick me out the house.”
“What happened?” you ask her. She says, “Just one night, one time, it just happened. I wasn’t thinking. We just made a mistake and now I am going to have to pay for it the rest of my life. You don’t know my parents. My dad is a deacon in the church, my mother teaches Sunday school, and I am on the youth ministry committee. My parents have raised me to do better. I can hear my dad before he kicks me out of the house saying, ‘do you know how much you have embarrassed your mother and I?’ He is going to say, ‘Do you understand the scriptures you teach to the young people you are over? The ones that say honor your mother and father.’ He is going to say, ‘did you not understand the scripture that said no sex before marriage or did you totally disregard the one that says a disobedient child shall live only half its days?’ I know the scriptures he is going to throw at me. What am I going to do!!?” she asked me.
I was speechless. In her neighborhood they didn’t have much, if any, teenage pregnancies. I was so afraid of what was going to happen to her that all I could think of was what an up-standing reputation this family had. I knew her father was gong to kill her. But I didn’t know if my being there would help any. “I have got to tell my parents tonight,” she said. “Will you please stay with me until they come home so you can be here when I tell them so that if my dad kills me, you can tell my little sister that I loved her. And tell her, no matter what, please don’t make the same mistake I did. Tell her please don’t get off course.”
I told her I would stay and to just try and stay calm. Her parents came home and we both were standing there crying when they came through the door. She said, “Daddy, I have got something I need to tell you and mom.” He said, “What’s wrong?” “Dad, please sit down,” she said. Both of her parents sat down. She looked at her dad and said, “Dad, I know I am your pride and joy. Everyone knows I’m one of Daddy’s little girls. But, after tonight, I won’t be any more.” What are you talking about? “What’s wrong, girl!?” “Daddy, I am pregnant,” she said. “I’m sorry!!! I’m so very sorry!!” I know this is not how you raised me to be and this is not the plan you had for my life. And I know what an embarrassment this will be for our family, but I beg of you Daddy, please, please don’t kick me out. I’ve got no where to go Daddy, please, just let me finish high school and I will leave.”
Her mother didn’t say a word. The hurt was written on her face and the tears just rolled down her face. Her dad got up, came over to her. She thought he was going to knock the **** out of her. Instead he looked at the tears rolling down her face and said, “What did I do wrong? How did my baby girl get here?” He looked at her and said, “It doesn’t matter. We will get through this.” “Dad you are not mad?” she asked. “You are not going to kick me out? You are not going to throw Bible scriptures in my face?” He said, “Yes. Oh yes, I am going to remind you of the scripture that says love is kind and long suffering. I’m also going to remind you of the one that says a friend sticks closer than a brother, and I’m going to remind you that you are not just my daughter, you are my friend. I am also going to remind you of the scripture that says love bears up against anything.” Her dad just pulled her close and held her even closer. He said, I’m your father and I love you, no matter what. And we will get through this.” “Dad what about our plans for me to go to college?” That plan will not, and has not, changed. You will go to college and your mother and I will be as active as you need us to be as grandparents, or just as parents, to help you accomplish your goal of graduating from college.”
She, still crying and looking at her dad in disbelief said, “I can’t believe this. I just knew you were going to kick me out, Dad.” “I am. I’m going to kick you out of your room and into the guest room in case you will need a larger room to have space for my grandson’s crib.” She said, “Dad, I know this is not the plan you had for me and I am soooo very sorry.” He looked at her and said, “The only plan I am married to, for you, is being the best dad to you that I can be. All other plans are changeable.”