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My child is not a bastard.

I got knocked up in college.

The more time that passes, the more I realize that what led me to an unplanned pregnancy is not nearly as important as what has happened because of it. Yes, I grew up a Christian in a conservative denomination. I also had a loving, Mayberry-style, supportive home life. I loved Jesus. And yet, there I was, a 21-year-old college senior with a baby on the way.

Honestly, it’s a miracle I didn't get pregnant sooner.

As a typically cautious person, I made some pretty reckless choices when it came to sex. I was exploring what it meant to love people and be loved by people. I learned love is more than someone complimenting your Sunday morning outfit, but it also doesn’t look like sharing a bed with a friend.

But, as I said before, none of that was as important as what came next. I was gifted with an incredible baby boy.

I learned what it meant to hold a creation of our Great Father in my arms and not worry about anything else in the world. I learned how to wait in line for hours at the food stamp office because nothing, not even poverty, would stop me from getting him whatever he needed. I learned how to hold him at age five when he was distraught over being ridiculed by other kids for being different and hold him again at age eight when he was ecstatic about his first invitation to a birthday party. But most of all, I learned this child was my gift from God; my special story. This was love.

I have never, not once, regretted getting pregnant out of wedlock.

As one would assume, there were quite a few people with something to say about my situation. I was asked by our lead pastor to apologize to my church family. I refused. I did, however, apologize to my parents and my family members for disappointing them and for any repercussions my decisions made on them or their reputations. I was told off by my mom’s best friend and informed about how much I had ruined my parent’s lives. I had a grandmother that didn’t speak to me for quite some time.

But illegitimate pregnancy had an unexpected effect. People who had stories like mine started coming forward. I learned that many people I had known and loved a long time also got pregnant before marriage. I was, all of a sudden, relatable. No longer was I pure as the wind-driven snow, I was just like everyone else.

I now find myself in an odd, but divinely appointed role. In certain circles, I am the token Bad Girl. In other circles, I am the token Church Girl. No matter who I am with, I have a bit of “street cred" and a lot of uniqueness. People relate to my experiences but also want to hear what I have to offer. My story has given me a platform to advance The Kingdom.

The Bible is clear on God’s plan for sex.

Sex is for marriage. I also know God created My Perfect Story. That story includes what the world refers to as a bastard child. However, since the moment of his conception, this boy was placed in this world by a Heavenly Father who loves him more than I ever could. Before he was born he was already a part of God’s plan and my journey.

I am not just a floozy who gave birth to a bastard. I am a beautiful child of God who was chosen to care for another beautiful child of God. And there is no way I’m going to be ashamed of that.

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My faith is evolving.

I’m a 36-year-old virgin.