Internet Ministry in South Africa

Lisa: ‘My world fell apart’

Lisa

Lisa was seventeen years old when she finished her training as a secretary. She finds a good job immediately. She has had a boyfriend for two years now. His name is Max. They encounter some problems in their relationship and Lisa is about to end their friendship. But then she finds out she is pregnant!

‘I was in high school when I first met Max. We went to the same church. There we arranged our first date. After a few weeks we fell in love with each other. Things were okay for a while. I found a job. During that time I wasn’t feeling so well. I was suffering from depression and bronchitis. The relationship with Max was becoming more and more problematic. We differed about several subjects. One of them was our sexual relationship. Max was much freer in that respect than I was. It was difficult for me to talk about it and I tried to communicate through letters, but Max hardly read them and never answered them. I was desperate. Physically I was feeling worse and worse. I thought my hormones were playing up. I withdrew more and more.

Nevertheless I was still hopeful. I thought that formalising our relationship through getting engaged would be a solution. But we cancelled our engagement. We tried to rescue our relationship through becoming more physical. Looking back I would say that was an act out of desperation.

The holidays started. During that time I met Evan. We talked for hours. Every night we went for endless walks. Slowly something started to grow inside me. When I came back my parents went on holiday. I was supposed to stay with my uncle and aunt. I didn’t get my period. I thought that was caused by the many medications I was taking at the time. But the doctor said that wasn’t possible. He asked me if I had slept with somebody. I denied that, because I genuinely thought we hadn’t gone that far. The sexual act hadn’t made a deep impression on me. I already didn’t feel anything anymore.’

To be sure I asked Max. He had been aware that we had been having sex. I took a pregnancy test just to be sure. Then I couldn’t deny it anymore, even though I thought it was very strange and illogical. I was pregnant! My world fell apart.

My aunt handled it very well. She took me to the doctor. She arranged a hospital appointment for an ultra sound scan. I saw the baby, still very small. But it was there, it was real! I didn’t think for a moment about getting rid of the baby. Whatever was going to happen, that wasn’t an option. It was alive, a human being, God’s creation! My child! But what about Max? He was the father of my child. I didn’t want to continue my relationship with him. And the prospect of getting married to him really scared me. I ended my relationship with Max.

In the meantime my friendship with Evan was growing. He accepted me the way I was. He even accepted the pregnancy, even though he found it difficult.

I stayed with my uncle and aunt for a few more weeks. They were a big help to me. They helped me to accept the pregnancy and to tell my parents. The moment came that I had to tell Max. Max took it as a confirmation that we were supposed to be together. He felt very responsible for me and the baby. He wanted to be involved with everything and called me all the time. He wanted to be there when I was going to give birth. He didn’t let go, and I hated it. It was suffocating me.

Some of my family members and some members of my church community didn’t understand it at all. It was the talk of the town, but that didn’t help me. I withdrew more and more.

My mother contacted an organisation which helps women with unwanted pregnancies. They supported me and helped me find a solution for my situation. What was I supposed to do about Max, if he demanded to get married? They helped me to arrange a schedule for him to visit his child. They showed me a film about abortion. It was horrible, horrifying.

On the other hand I was experiencing tremendous uncertainty. How was I supposed to go on? Why was this happening to me?

My son was born in March 1997. What an amazing miracle! Very quickly I couldn’t imagine a life without him. The first few months I lived at my parent’s place. After that I went to a community for former addicts and others who wanted to get back into society.

I learned a lot there. I learned how to express myself, to be myself. I opened up again. I received a lot of support from the local church where I was part of then.

I have my own place now and live there with my son. It’s very difficult to raise a child on your own. Even though I get a lot of help from people, they can’t help me out with everything. I wouldn’t have made it without God. He’s always there. He knows my pain, the tension between Max and me. And He cares for me. That’s becoming more and more obvious, step by step.

Evan now loves my child as his own. That took time, which I was happy to allow him. We are planning to get married now. The situation with Max is still tense. But I do trust that God will help me with that too.

Names have been changed for privacy reasons.