R. WRITES: Recently a friend of mine told me that she thought she was pregnant. As time goes on, that reality seems more and more likely. She is a believer, but she’s hurting a lot. What can I do to help her?
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wow that’s tough. Pray for her. You have to remember that God hears us, even if it doesn’t seem like he hears, he does
Pray for her. Be there for her. Has she told her parents? If not, encourage that heavily. In the storm that comes with all of that, the emotions and the brokenness, as well as the condemnation from many, be the one who’s always there, who never condemns, who always points back to Jesus’ love and forgiveness. Be her friend. Love her like Jesus, and always look for ways to physically help her, whether it’s a girls day out or helping her at home or whatever.
Encourage her with the gospel, she needs to be reminded that her sin is covered. After that I would definitely get her in touch with a crisis pregnancy center, they have resources to help her through the pregnancy and parenthood. Talk about the baby in a way that shows his/her humanity and the joy your friend will have in her child. If the father is still in touch, take him to the pregnancy center too.
I don’t know a lot about it, parenthood, but almost any resource center can make a huge difference for you friend. If you don’t know of a center nearby, Google is wonderful. Hope this helps!
First, don’t be down on her. The last thing she’s going to need right now is everyone criticizing her for her mistakes. By all means talk to her about it but make it clear that good (a baby, yay!) has come of her mistake (not that this justifies what has happened). And talk about the baby as if s/he’s a person. It’s ok to be excited for your friend, It’s not the end of the world. Pray for her and pray for her child and for the father too. Like the others say, take her to a pregnancy crisis centre. There are lots of options (keeping the baby, adoption etc). My gran was illegitmate and her grandparents raised her as their daughter and her mum was like her sister. The hardest part is going to be that she needs to be honest with her parents. She needs to let them know. And she should let the guy know if she can. If she tells the guy, depending on the cirumstances, she’ll need to think about whether/how he should be involved in her life and in Baby’s. Be there for her, walk alongside her, pray for her and (although this may sound bad, it’s not wrong) be excited for her. Children are a gift even when they may appear to be a mistake.
What @kumquat absurdium said was absolutely on point! I won’t reiterate or add to that aspect because it was said perfectly!
I would like to acknowledge one thing that hasn’t been mentioned yet: that it wasn’t her fault or idea…
I’m not sure what the situation of your friend is, but if she was raped, forced, or tricked or something of the sort I STRONGLY encourage you to encourage her to seek counseling…along with everything else that’s been mentioned. I have a friend who was raped and although a baby didn’t come from the incident she struggled (and still does) immensely!! Counselors are trained to help people in those situations and even though my friend had her parents, chruch, and numerous other friends to support her she still really needed a counselor and has encouraged others towards counseling. I know it’s not always what people want, but they soon learn it is incredibly helpful.
Also if it wasn’t her fault, there was another conversation recently about a similar topic (here: http://therebelution.com/blog/2015/12/how-do-you-move-past-abuse/ ) and you can find lots of good advice there. =)
Maybe this was entirely unhelpful…but I just wanted to acknowledge this if it is the case.
Whether or not she was raped, I would strongly encourage a counselor. Counselors are great in this sort of situation because they can relate in some
way or another and they are amazing for accountability. If nothing else I would recommend that she at least attend a program like Reformers Unanimous for at least a few months. While RU is more for people with addictions, it can certainly help with that kind of situation. Also RU has homes where she can spend some time with a mentor and in a place where she will be surrounded with the Gospel and the love of Christ. The RU program is completely based on the Bible and it works. Here are a couple links: http://ruhomes.org/
This is a really tough place to be in. I was recently in a situation where I was a friend’s confidant, and she told me some stuff that was extremely serious. I have a few questions for you, first of all.
Do her parents know?
If her parents don’t know, are you the only other person who knows?
Is she or her baby in danger?
These questions are important because they determine if she is getting the help that she needs. If her parents don’t know, it is absolutely vital that they find out. Here is the really, really, really hard thing. If she won’t tell them, than you may have to. I know that this is only one scenario, and you may not be in this position. I pray that you aren’t. But if you are, this is so, so important. If her parents don’t know, than she may not have access to the medical help that she needs. Her baby might be in danger. She might be in danger.
I know that it feels like a betrayal to tell her parents. I get that. But are you really loving her if you aren’t protecting her and her baby? If you are truly her friend, than your friendship is about loving and protecting her. (1 Corinthians 13:7)
When I was in this situation, I talked to my mother about this. She encouraged me to do several things. If you are in this really hard spot, than here is what you may need to do:
1. If her parents don’t know, ask her to tell them.
2. If she refuses, give her a ultimatum.
3. Follow through on the ultimatum if she still won’t tell her parents.
4. If you aren’t in a position to tell her parents, or her parents know and aren’t cooperative (which was what happened in my case), than what I did was tell the youth pastor at my church.
5. Let the youth pastor handle things from there, but follow up with him. The youth pastor should have access to resources that can support your friend. He should also be in a position where it would be appropriate to have a conversation with her parents.
6. Pray, pray, pray.
7. Don’t stop loving or praying for your friend if she pulls away from you and/or the church.
8. Be willing to walk the journey with her, if that is what she needs and wants.
Like I said, these are all things from my personal experience. I don’t know if you are in this specific position, but I wanted to give you practical advice just in case. The important thing is that you know that this is much bigger than you or your friend. These are adult problems. You and your friend can’t deal with them on your own. Seek the help of people who actually can help.
If you are not in this position (and I desperately hope you are not), than several people below have had great suggestions. Loving her unconditionally is absolutely vital. Just walking alongside her, wading into the pain, facing the messiness of life, the dark places that were secret, is really, really hard. But that is Jesus’s specialty. He will always reign victorious, even if the journey doesn’t go away. He came to get messy.
My heart goes out to this dear soul. In our culture there are so many lies thrown at young women with unplanned pregnancies. Your friend desperately needs your prayers and support right now.
My advice is to go to optionline.org or care-net.org and locate a pregnancy help center in your area. Take your friend there to talk to a counselor about the situation. Many of these organizations provide financial assistance; baby clothes, furniture, toys, and diapers; parenting classes; and other support for women and their families.
Be available for your friend for emotional and spiritual support. Let her know you’re there for her.
Often when a young, unmarried woman becomes pregnant, she decides it is in the best interests of her child to give him or her up for adoption. There are many Christian adoption agencies, many of which are connected with pregnancy care centers. They can help find a loving Christian family for the child.
If your friend decides to raise her child herself, offer to help with babysitting or whatever she may need.
Help your friend remember that her baby is a blessing from God and that He has a special purpose for bringing him or her into the world at this time. Also remind her that God is always there and that she can lean on Him no matter what happens.
I will be praying for these two precious people and for you as you encourage and support your friend.
Let me know if there’s any other way I can help!
I agree that you should get help from adults if at all possible. But in some cases that is near impossible to do. This is also in some senses an adult problem like you said, but sometimes we as young adults are just as equipped to handle them as adults are depending on our experiences. I’d veer closer to saying it’s a problem that needs to involve professionals and that can’t be handled alone 😉
I didn’t say anything about getting help from adults, friend. I said what you just said–she needs to get help and not do it alone. I didn’t even mention adults. 🙂 I agree, it can be hard to get help from them sometimes.
Proverbs 27:9 says: Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.
Be her friend and help here as much as you can through Christ. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure your doing your best. Look to the bible for counsel and share it with her. Whatever the Lord puts on your heart.
Proverbs 27:6 says: Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
You just need to be there for her, comfort her, and pray to God for guidance.
Thanks for all the help. It turns out that she wasn’t pregnant. However, a lot of your of your suggestions can be used in other problems. Thank you so much everybody.