I love what I do. I love coming to work at HOPE every day. I love seeing lives celebrated and transformed. I love to share these stories with you. I love all of this, but today’s post is a bit different. Today’s post is not me simply sharing a story. Instead, today we have a guest. We have a former patient of HOPE, in her own words, sharing her amazing story of choosing life and the impact that has had on her own life. Thank you for your support of HOPE and allowing us to continue this great work.

Your Life is Not Over — By Jordan Bearden

I know how you feel, because I sat in a waiting room by myself and felt the same way. Cried while filling out the paperwork and threw up when they confirmed my fear. The feeling that nothing is going to be okay, it can’t be okay. The overwhelming pressure in your chest and eyes and head when you think about people finding out. Thinking all the homework, studying and exams meant nothing because you will have to quit school now. Falling into the trap the world sets up for you about life being over when you get pregnant before marriage at 19. A sophomore in college. Nobody wants to be a single mom, nobody wants to date a single mom. How will I afford being a single mom? Will my family ever even talk to me again?Jordan1

Comforting words from friends and family can only go so far. They start to accept the idea, but have you really accepted the way your life is about to change? Probably not. Because you really have no idea how it’s going to change. As everyone jumps on board the train that’s going to keep moving whether they get on or not you make plans, buy nursery items, plan a baby shower, pack the hospital bag.

Jordan2Then it reality hits. 8 pounds, 11 ounces, 22 inches long of REAL LOVE. Real, screaming, crying, needs his mommy more than anybody in the world, love. My second thought, after the immediate holy cow this just came out of me…Why did they leave me alone with this baby??? I have no idea what I’m doing. Why is he making all of these noises? What is that smell? Did I really just spill Sprite all over him? I’m doing this wrong. How will I even know this is right?

Thankful for all the help from family and sleep deprived, you begin to piece this new life back together. Maybe your thoughts were right a little, your life the way it was is over. It’s really about this new life. But this new life is so busy and full of diapers you have no idea you’re missing that part of you anymore.

Once the craziness calms down, he starts to hold his bottle by himself, maybe even sleep for longer than 3 minutes, you start to miss your friends and free time. It’s really hard at first but you find out who really cares for you when your time is limited and you can’t swing by a party every night of the week. When he’s asleep and you think you are bored, the last productive thing you can do is stalk all of your “friends” social media posts to see what fun you’re missing out on. Think about all the fun you two had that day. Do something for yourself. Netflix, workout, shower? Something more productive than making yourself feel left out. Your little buddy appreciates you, mom.

Work starts, school starts, WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DO STARTS. Your life is not over, you just have someone little to share it with. His life is just beginning. Your biggest fan and motivator…who is the reason you may rush home a little earlier than usual because you can’t stand being at work without him one second longer. Please don’t limit yourself. I know it’s so hard when the world wants you to give up but keep pushing on. When laundry and homework are done at 2AM and you’re tired and just want to stop YOU are the one that has made it this far, don’t give up on yourself.Jordan3

Your new beginning with this little person in your life. You answer your own questions without even thinking about it. You have plenty of new things to do that you probably never thought you would be doing. Birthday party planning, 15 doctor’s appointments, cleaning, playing in the sandbox, driving around looking at 12 neighborhood’s worth of Christmas lights, stopping when you pass cows so you can “moo” at them. This list could go on for about 8 pages. You figure out how to make it work. You figure out how to afford things, you figure out that your family couldn’t stay mad because they melt whenever they hear his laugh.

At some point you realize you are allowed to have friends. It took me a lot longer than most people to accept that sometimes mom is allowed to spend baby free time. It’s actually really good for you to, probably because more often than not it reminds me that the “party life” isn’t for me anymore. The coolest friends though, are the ones that want you to bring him along. They enjoy having him in their life and care about what is going on in yours. They get that it’s your life with him. You’ll appreciate that more than you ever could imagine. Hang on to those people and don’t let them go.Jordan5 Jordan4

The biggest evidence I can offer as proof that life isn’t over (just changed by my little guy) is that the questions that surged my thoughts sitting in the waiting room chair at The Hope Resource Center on December 28, 2011 are not worries of mine anymore. I seldom worry about how things will affect me because I am too worried and concerned about how they will affect him. One thing is for sure, most of the time when you are looking for something, Nolan probably hid it in the microwave.

No mother is an expert at parenting. I have no advice on how to be a rock star role model and teacher for my little guy. But I can tell you I am confident you will figure it out.

You chose life for your little one and yourself, live it!