At First Image and within our Portland Pregnancy Resource Centers we work with women of all walks of life.
Some come to us alone and single feeling like abortion is their only option, others are in domestic violence situations, many feel they have to choose between their baby and their future career, there are those without shelter and are homeless, and some who are married but are still afraid and overwhelmed by the news of their positive test.
No matter what she is facing, we get to offer hope, and share the good news of Christ’s love and compassion for both the woman and her unborn child.
Laurel had always dreamed of becoming a mother, but when life took a turn and she found out she was pregnant, she didn’t know she could do it.
“My husband and I were married about 8 years when he had an affair with my best friend and asked for a divorce. I was shocked and devastated, especially since we were Christians and believed that marriage was forever. As my world quickly crashed around me, I fell into deep depression and became suicidal. The closest people in my life, the ones who were supposed to love me the most, betrayed me.
A month after separation, we decided to try and work on our marriage. I desperately wanted everything to go back to ‘normal’ and was willing to do whatever it took. Soon after, I started feeling strange and thought I might be pregnant. I took a pregnancy test that said I was not pregnant. I was relieved, but my body still felt different. After getting extremely dizzy, I took another pregnancy test. It was positive.
It was difficult to process the reality of what was happening, so we went to a clinic to confirm the pregnancy. I instantly started crying when I heard that I was pregnant.
I had dreamt about having kids for years, but I couldn’t bear the thought of bringing a child into such a miserable household.
I didn’t know what to do, but I knew the baby growing inside me had a heartbeat by five weeks and was very much alive. Abortion wasn’t an option, but I felt hopeless and deeply saddened for the life this child was going to have. I didn’t know how to accept my circumstances, especially at a moment such as this. I didn’t want to be a single parent and didn’t think I could do it on my own. My choices seemed to be living in a miserable marriage or bringing a child into a torn, messy life of divorce and the shame that goes with it.
At that time, I was teaching piano lessons. One of my student’s parents had a relationship with Pregnancy Resource Center and fervently encouraged me to check it out. I was in such a deep depression that it was difficult to pick myself up enough to walk through their doors. I was greeted with friendly people and hope.
I could barely think past my daily life, and I couldn’t comprehend going through labor or how to care for an infant alone.
I signed up for a parenting class and received money to help pay for the bill. The class taught me practical techniques about caring for an infant, but I also saw that there were other women like me, who maybe even needed more help than I did.
I started to feel not so alone.
When I saw the supplies and clothes available for my baby if needed, I thought about the child I always wanted, the life of love and lifelong friendship between a daughter and mother. I was paired with a mentor who supported and encouraged me with friendship and prayer. I was empowered to create a positive life for my child.
My husband and I eventually divorced, and fortunately God brought a new man into my life who has loved my daughter, since the day she was born. We now have two beautiful daughters, Keira and Leilanna whom I love very much. Parenthood is not easy, but I am grateful for God’s strength and grace to carry us through.
It has now been 8 years since this happened. I am so thankful that God scooped me up and held me close to Him during that time and drew me to PRC. This tough experience made me a much stronger Christian and showed me how to be the best possible parent to both of my daughters.”