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The Door And The New Me (Part 2)

    – The Door And The New Me (Part 2) –

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In an older writing I talked about that front door of the house I grew up in, and how it, my last few years there, symbolized new beginnings. I stepped through that door as one Marianne Houstoun and came back a different Marianne Houstoun. The second time opening that door wasn’t as joy-filled as the first time. (1*) This time I walked inside in such a way I never thought I would.

From kindergarten through high school I had lived in that house with my parents, siblings, and even a dog for most of those years. Thankfully, career dreams began forming my junior year of high school, and when I graduated I was determined to make that dream come true. To top that off, with the new me described in my last blog, I was ready for the world. “A career, with God by my side . . . LOOK OUT, WORLD!”

That is, until the following summer. I wanted to get to where I was going one morning in the blink of an eye, just to get it over with. But I also wanted it to take forever to avoid the what-ifs. That place I went to is where I began feeling I could no longer pursue my dream. As I drove home in a daze, I felt part of me was gone. Once home, I experienced the longest time it’s ever taken me to open that door. Me, myself, and I had left that house, but me, a rough road ahead, and my unplanned pregnancy is what slowly opened that door.

I was flooded with disbelief. “How could I have messed up like this? I’m pregnant. Why me? God, You heard me cry many times for Your forgiveness for giving in and losing my virginity. But… but why this now?” 

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Opening that door meant It was time for me to start telling the world—or at least my parents.

I knew my life was going to change when I opened that door. The only speck of peace I had when stepping inside was knowing God was still right there next to me, like it was that special door-opening-day the year before. 
But this time His fatherly arm was around me a little tighter

We all know the Lord’s plans can be difficult. However, we have to remember, as hard at it is sometimes, He will turn tough times of trials into possible blessings. Yes, blessings. Facing trials are difficult, and times do come when it feels like we’re drowning. That is, however, an essential part to grow, to mature.

Romans 8:24 is one of many verses that can encourage us.                                                     (Make sure you pay attention to the word ‘all.’)

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

If you haven’t discovered this already, you will learn that as time goes by after tougher times occur, God’s plans are perfect and His fatherly, everlasting love is there to help. When God cradles us in His arms, He might not erase the tears right then and there, but believe me, His reasons are perfect as to why we need to be held. He has many things He wants to offer if we cling to Him through that fearful, tearful time.

 

Marianne Petersen’s book God and Your Pillow is now available. (Amazon) – You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more on her blog, marimemoirs.com.

Before I Faced Reality

                  – Before I Faced Reality –

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In my last post, I shared what took place when I found out I was pregnant.   (*1)

To this day, thirty-one years later, this one conversation I had took place before getting home after that—literally—life-saving conversation at Crisis Pregnancy Center.

Before I drove home, I had to be by myself. The eight-minute drive home wasn’t enough. I needed more time by myself and knew just

fotolia_113575568where to go before facing what was to be my new normal at home. Off to the nearby waterfront I grew up going to: the Cove. Just staring out over the water while sitting in my car was a must. I had done this many times before that day, but this time was far different. I was no longer by myself; I had a baby inside me now. But, I needed one more: God.

It sure wasn’t my first time praying to God, but my first time praying while pregnant. I sure new I needed me ever-so-needed Father, to hold me.

Having been saved, having become a Christina a year before this date, most of my prayers had been filled with thanks and seeking His guidance for my new look upon the world around me. But now, needless to say, my look on life ahead had changed. (Tears are forming right now as I’m sharing this, since I will never forget how I felt that day at the Cove. Yes, I felt great peace inside when I left the Crisis Pregnancy Center, but that didn’t mean I was happy-go-lucky from then on. At the Cove was where me, myself, and I began soaking in the reality that I was pregnant. Me, pregnant. Me, pondering what people would think, how I’d be feeling. Me, a mom? But the question “Why, God?” umbrellaed over all my thoughts. Much discomfort inside, and no, it wasn’t because of any morning sickness.

After forty-five minutes or so, after deeper-than-normal prayer, after wiping a few tears I hoped no one noticed, I saw a guy about my age walking over. The closer he got, I realized I knew him.

Oh, no. Not now. No. Of all the times for this to happen. Please don’t come here.

A guy I graduated with the year before was on his way over. He noticed me and couldn’t help but come over to my car. I rolled my window down. Why oh why does he have to come over here?

“Hi, Marianne!” He said grinning from ear to ear. “How are you? Haven’t seen you since graduation.”

What in the world was I to say?  Thankfully, he didn’t even give me a chance to answer. He began gabbing about all he had been up to. I heard about his great job, his girlfriend, and a few other things that had me thinking he had it made. I made sure I threw in the “Really?, That’s cool,” and “Oh, wow!” but at the same time thinking, He has it made; I’m pathetic compared to all that; and When will this talk end? When he finished telling me about his world, he apologized for talking all about himself.

“So, Marianne, what’s up with you?” he asked.fotolia_102843217

What in the world do I say? Like I’m really gonna say, “Hi, I just found out I’m pregnant after spending a few stupid months in California where I lost my virginity and now I have to decide what to do.”

“Well, since school ended, I…” I began, delaying as much as possible in order to figure out what to say. But God helped big time, sparing me from this discomfort.  Right then and there, the friend he was with walked up to interrupt, saying they had to go. Talk about major relief! I’ll never forget how happy I felt saying “Oh, you take off. I’ll tell you more another time when we run into each other. Bye.”  In that instant, the word ‘bye’ became my most favorite word ever, and I could now drive home, feeling a bit more at peace.

* 1 Click here on how I found out I was pregnant.

Marianne Petersen’s book God and Your Pillow is now available. (Amazon) – You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more on her blog, marimemoirs.com.

Two Phone Calls That Showed Me God’s Plan (part 2)

Two Phone Calls That Showed Me God’s Plan (part 2)

One day, thirty years ago, I had to make one important phone call that could cause the beginning of a major change in my life. Pressing that last number to call a place I’ve never heard about caused my heart to pound. That place? Planned Parenthood. (1*)

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Ring, ring. Ring, ring. Ring, ring. Ring, ring.

Hmmm. No answer. Darn it. I’ll try another one. Let’s see. 

Flipping backwards a bit through the phone book I found another place: Crisis Pregnancy Center.

I have to try this place. If I’m pregnant, then it sure will be a crisis for me.

Ring, ring. Ring, ring.

Oh, please. Oh, please be open! PLEASE be op…

“Hello. Crisis Pregnancy Center. How can I help you?”

I can still picture that building and how I felt as I drove up. But more so, I can picture the look on my face once I learned what the pregnancy test result ‘Positive’ meant. I also learned what feeling numb felt like. After a short spell, the lady asked, “Is it okay if I ask you, now that this test shows you are pregnant, what you think you should do?”

I took a deep breath, feeling like I needed to be strong and not fall into a pit of despair.

“Yes, you can. I . . . I think I should get an abortion. I can’t be a bad example as a Christian. You may not understand what the Christian faith is all about, but I want to please God and be a good witness to others.” Deep down, escaping the embarrassment of being pregnant when only nineteen was just as big a reason.

Those next few minutes were priceless, as I learned the place I was in was a Christian organization. God used that one woman to open my eyes to a few facts I needed to know.

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She could tell I was young and uninformed, so her showing me verse after verse of what God’s Word says about abortion was valuable. Learning how God knew this baby was forming in me, and that he or she was planned, changed my entire view on abortion.

Watching a video showing what a five-week-old in the womb actually looked like had me in tears for even thinking of having an abortion. I grasped the fact that God is my Father, He loves me, and He knew this baby that was forming inside me.

I left that building fully at peace. Yes, I knew a tough road was ahead but more importantly knew God would be right there with me.

He knew what was best for me: to make that phone call when one place was open while the other place was not. If that first call was answered, I’m almost certain Planned Parenthood would have let my emotions take over and resort to abortion. God knew it was best for me to have this baby and, as I continue sharing bits and pieces from my book, you’ll find out why.

God still hears my thanks to this day, 30 years later. I cling to all that took place back then knowing it has helped me go through other tough trials since.

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I’m telling my story to encourage others going through an unplanned pregnancy but also for really anyone going through any tough times. Things may not turn out picture perfect as we hope, but God’s plans are always for our good as you will see as my story continues.

 

 

 1* – Click here to read what started her need to make that call.

Marianne Petersen’s book God and Your Pillow is now available. (Amazon) – You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more on her blog, marimemoirs.com.

Two Phone Calls That Showed Me God’s Plan (part 1)

 Two Phone Calls That Showed Me God’s Plan (part 1)

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God used my unplanned pregnancy to teach me an important fact:

God will use an unanswered phone call to show you He has plans.

Time to look back 30 years at what feels like yesterday. I will continue what took place after that 4th of July eye opening thought that I shared in an older blog: Wondering if I was (gulp) pregnant. (*1)

No. I can’t be thinking this. Am I? Could I be? This question shouldn’t even be here.

My fearful thoughts were soaking my pillow.  I’m different!  I’m a Christian now.  I can’t be! Can I? No. I’m only 19 and living at home. I have great career plans and…and no, I can’t. God, I pleaded for your forgiveness so . . . so why would you allow this to be possible? I can’t be pregnant.

Twenty million of those thoughts had me rolling over on my pillow, left and right, left and right. My pillow must have felt like screaming, “Be still Marianne!” 

A few days later, after making sure my parents were gone, I grabbed the Yellow Pages and ran to my room. Back in 1986, phone numbers could only be found in the good old yellow pages. 

I can’t believe I’m doing this. I can’t believe I need one. I guess I’ll look under ‘Pregnancy Test.’ How about this larger typed name—Planned Parenthood. This sure wasn’t planned, but I guess I have to plan something.

That was the first one I noticed. After all, that’s what the bold wording is supposed to do, right? Make you notice. Well, it worked. I was so nervous pressing those numbers.

Ring, ring. Ring, ring. . . . Ring, ring. Ring, ring.

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Hmmm. No answer. Darn it. I’ll try another one. Let’s see. Flipping backwards a bit through the phone book I went, Crisis Pregnancy Center. This sure is a crisis for me if I’m pregnant. I have to try this one.

Ring, ring. Ring, ring.

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Oh, please. Oh, please be open! PLEASE be op…

“Hello. Crisis Pregnancy Center. How can I help you?”

To be continued. 

*1 – Click hear to read how this entire story began.

         

Marianne Petersen’s book God and Your Pillow is now available. (Amazon) – You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more on her blog, marimemoirs.com.

My Fourth-of-July Thought That Didn’t Finish

– My Fourth-of-July Thought That Didn’t Finish –

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         A fun-filled family-and-friends Fourth of July. Say that ten times fast! That would be easier to do than for me to forget a certain day that changed my life. Time I go back a few years and tell you about one certain Fourth of July thirty years ago was great, or at least I thought it would be.  But that one night of fireworks was sure different from all the ones before and all the ones after. As people were having a blast, literally, with fireworks, I asked myself this one certain question that certainly changed my life.

      Why is my period a few days late? Hmmm. That couldn’t mean I might be preg. . .

         That question stopped halfway through the last word—pregnant. My heart began to pound a bit faster. My thoughts continued. No, I can’t. Pregnant? Could I? No. Please, no. I have plans. I have goals. I can’t be pregnant.

          I wasn’t only thinking I might be pregnant, but instantly felt that if I was, I’d then be stereotyped as someone who just doesn’t know what she’s doing, and might be looked down upon by many.

          But I’m a Christian. I can’t. 

         Yep, being a Christian made me feel even worse with the possibility. Twenty-million questions were forming as I faked a smile while watching everyone else having fun. 

         “Marianne, you want to light this firework?” I was occasionally asked as I sat on one of the picnic chairs.

         “No, thanks. You guys are better at that. I’ll just sit here and watch,” while wishing I wasn’t thinking about what I was thinking about.

         Even though I was surrounded that Fourth of July night with dear family and friends, those thoughts I was having made me feel totally alone.

         The worry I felt that night placed me in the shoes which, sad to say, many go through. But back then, in 1986, I knew very few who had. That night, however, made me begin to realize how even God-fearing Christians can mess up, being that I was, at age nineteen, one of them. An instant new perspective on life began that Fourth of July.

         So why am I opening up with this story? To share what God did for and to me through this ordeal, in the hope to encourage others, no matter whats going on.  I want my story to help others realize that clinging to Him can help wipe those tears, even while perhaps bringing the best surprises their way.  Or even if the tears keep coming, He’s at least holding you, helping you get through it. 

         My memoir, Titled God and Your Pillow, came out this last spring to show how God carried me in His arms through it all.  No easy walk, mind you, but He held me tight throughout.

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Marianne Petersen’s book God and Your Pillow is now available. (Amazon) – You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more on her blog, marimemoirs.com.

 

Way – Five Minute Friday

             – Way – Five Minute Friday –

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We often hear the same word placed in a few different sentences.

She does things her way. — He does things his way. — I’m going to do all this my way.

Can you see what word is in all three sentences?  Way – This word has stood out to me for years, sort of the theme of my very own book I wrote to help others think the right way. It’s a book about how I once thought, years ago,  I could walk on the road in life my way. Man, was I wrong. 

God had me see through a tougher than normal trial that God’s way is what we should be following. But knowing we still mess up, and still have certain sins tucked deep inside, we may need to take a rough road to discover we can’t follow His way if we put ourselves first. My story shows that God does forgive, and if He sees us working our tail off getting back on that right road, HIS road, He’ll then get up back on the right way – HIS way. 

 

Marianne Petersen’s book God and Your Pillow is now available. (Amazon) – You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more on her blog, marimemoirs.com.