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Past, Present, and Future

This was as close as I ever thought we would come to a domestic disturbance at our center. The tension between these two was tangible as I told her she had a positive pregnancy test. Shawney felt an immense amount of guilt and shame. She kept saying that she felt that they were immature in this decision and that they needed to step up to the responsibility. James, on the other hand, did not share her point of view. He was not

ready and thought that they had a lot more that they wanted to do before even considering starting a family. As the conversation continued, the tension was still very present, and the conversations were very limited. When they left the center, I did not know if we would see them again. 

Though her initial experience was full of uncertainty, Shawney felt comfortable at Turning Point. She began showing up week after week. We discussed her options, what each of those looked like for her, and the impact of her decision. Sometimes, she would just stop in to talk about work, feeling out of control with the surge of hormones, or just sit and chat about life in general. Turning Point became a support system, and she began to find her voice. She had told James that with or without him, she did not feel like abortion was an option she wanted to choose.

She shared with me later that James had a previous abortion in his past and was struggling with the guilt of keeping this pregnancy and ending the last. Men really can struggle with this decision as well, and it sometimes feels like they are not given permission to. The reality is that he is impacted, too. They began to talk through the challenges and utilize the resources that we had connected them to during their visits. They returned for a few more ultrasounds as they navigated their future. 

Today, their baby is no longer a baby but a thriving kid who is quite the adventurer—karate, dance, kayaking, and ultimately, the joy of these two parents. Shawney and James got married and graduated from college, and both are working and enjoying being a family. They said they were not sure where they would be today if they had not come to Turning Point. Those words hold so much power. The opportunity to give someone a place to think about the decisions, challenges, and barriers that lie ahead, not just for today but for as long as they need. This couple is still friends with Turning Point so many years later. We talk about marriage and family. We celebrate the good. We pray through the struggles. This family is precious, and they are here because someone created a safe place.

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