When I became pregnant at 18, my young mind could not begin to calculate the true cost of raising a child on my own. I had so much growing to do myself! I had no specific instructions on how to raise a little girl, survive on my own, and resolve my past issues simultaneously. As a result of my lack of knowledge, I went through scores of bad relationships, followed by the consequences of bad decisions.

Over the years, I learned that single motherhood came with a tremendous price. It was one huge sacrifice after another. I often battled with depression when faced with overwhelming living expenses. For example, I couldn’t pay for much-needed car repairs. I remember driving around in Georgia’s scorching heat with no air conditioning because I couldn’t afford to get it fixed! And it’s amazing how quickly financial expenses can pile up: there’s daycare/babysitting expenses, medical bills, groceries, and clothing, on top of everything else. I ended up working odd jobs at times to make ends meet. Having a child at a really young age affects every aspect of your life. Your social life is affected and some relationships suffer. Also, being a young mom can take a toll on your family because you will need as much help as you can get from relatives.

Taking care of an infant at such a young age can affect a young person emotionally as well. I felt inadequate on so many levels and, like most young mothers, I often believed I had failed in life. My vision of having the American dream—a “normal” family with the great husband, two wonderful kids, the dog, and the picket fence—had become somewhat of a nightmare. I wanted to give my daughter a better life, but lacked the knowledge to do so.

I later decided that in order to make a better life for us, I would attend college. I enrolled in college full time, and worked nights full time as a television news producer. Exhausted and sleep deprived, I graduated from Wesleyan College with a degree in Communication. Fifteen years later, I look back on the heartaches and headaches of being a young parent and marvel at the way in which God turned things around. When you make mistakes, he is faithful to forgive you. If you are sexually active now, God can give you a fresh start, but you have to decide to do things His way. You have to decide to stop making the wrong choices (such as having pre-marital sex), and begin to make the right ones.

I was 19 when I gave birth to my daughter, and yes, I was clueless! But I discovered the power of prayer. The prayers of my beloved grandparents and my mother pulled me through. My dear grandmother and grandfather taught me to pray and to develop my relationship with Jesus Christ. I thought that was lame at first, but now I know that that lesson was the only one I truly needed! When I began to pray and read the Bible, my life began to change. I was able to finish college, establish my writing career, and buy a home of my own. My daughter is now 15, and has become an awesome young lady! What I have learned over the past 15 years is priceless, but I wouldn’t suggest you endure the unnecessary pain and struggle I had to endure as a young, single mom. Basically, I want you to learn from my mistakes. Discover God's greatest and best path for your life. Be determined to live the fabulous life you were destined to live! And remember, you are definitely worth the wait! Check out the “Articles” page.

Tawanda Michelle