This past Sunday I was approached by a couple after our 2nd service. They wanted to know if I could talk to them about pre-marital counseling, church membership, and a list of other questions. But I could tell the main thing on their minds was wanting to get help before they began their life together. I know this because the questions kept coming.
The young man was asking most of the questions, but I could tell that his fiancee wanted to say something. There was this angst written on her face. And something told me that her anxiety had to do with the fact that she was pregnant. Like the idea was racing through her mind, "I wonder what this pastor thinks, standing here talking to us about getting married...and I'm already pregnant?" Some things don't even have to be voiced. So when he finally got to the end of his list - and she had an open window to speak - she very ashamedly asked me, "Do you have a problem marrying someone who's already pregnant?" And as these words rolled off her lips, the tears rolled down her face.
I'm not sure, but I think a small smile came to my face. I stepped toward her, put my arm around her, and just stood there a moment. [I knew these words were incredibly important] Eventually I simply said to her: "You guys might have made a mistake. But your child is not a mistake. And the most important thing is that you're making the right decision now." And I left it at that.
She wiped her face off and it seemed like the weight of all of it fell from her face as well. I don't know this, but I would guess she's been holding her breath to know whether or not she would be forgiven or written off. She now knows that she's forgiven. The hard part is, I don't think she ever questioned or doubted, "Has God forgiven me?" I think it was more of a fear that the PEOPLE of God wouldn't forgive. That condemnation and judgement were unavoidable. Instead, I believe we shared a beautiful moment of forgiveness. Not that I needed to forgive her for anything, but she needed to know that I could.
I'm praying that the Lord allows us to walk with this couple as they begin to seek the Lord in their life together.