Jessica Martin, college rock star from an earlier post, is now back in Huntsville having left Wallace State after one semester. She did well and transferred credits back to Calhoun Community College. Jessica unfortunately became pregnant soon after going off to college with her boyfriend LeAndre and she has moved home to be closer to family.
We know that God is at work in Jessica’s life and that this is His plan for her. Still, I was very disappointed by the news that she had become pregnant. Her journey through school was going to be hard enough without this new responsibility. Strangely to me, Jessica’s friends did not feel this way!
On her FB wall, they wrote messages of congratulations, several of them. They said things like “we always knew you’d make it” and “you always were the smart one!”. It took me a little while to reconcile these comments with what had just happened. Eventually, after talking to Jessica and some other smart people I learned that waiting until she was 19 to start her family was a first for her little community. In their minds, she HAD made it. She had attended college and waited until after school, albeit High School, to have a baby.
So there are lesson for me here. First, we must change expectations if there is to be lasting change. Jessica and her friends must come to expect more from themselves and for themselves than this. Second, when I first heard about the baby I was angry with Jessica. I know now that is wrong, anger is wrong. This is not a problem, it’s a new life that God is bringing into the world and he had plans for this child, and for his mother.
Our job is to love them both, unconditionally, and to try and guide them as best we can. Maybe the boy will graduate college. Maybe LeAndre will stay around and be a good role model. Maybe Jessica can defy the odds and finish at Calhoun. Maybe, maybe maybe. Nothing is certain except the lasting love of God, and with His help, the love we have for each other even in the midst of our challenges.