Two pink lines emerged on my Dollar Store pregnancy test.
I stared in shock, a torrent of emotions overwhelming my thoughts. This $1.00 purchase had confirmed my suspicions — and I knew at that moment that my life had changed forever.
I am going to be a mom! Joy quickly turned into panic — how would I tell my parents, and what would they think? How could I support a child without any family members close by, and with a man that I had only known a few short months? How could I afford to raise a child? What would people think?
I felt so helpless and alone.
Even though the next chapter of my life turned out to be radically different from what I expected, it turned out to be the best gift I could possibly be given through the love, mentorship, and support from a local pregnancy center.
Leading up to my pregnancy, I lacked confidence and a sense of my own worth. My son’s little blurb on the ultrasound screen left me terrified for the future, and anxious about what God had in store for my baby and me. When I was about 8 weeks pregnant, my church group connected me with Heather, the founder of a local pregnancy care center called Reliance, and the local Embrace Grace Leader. I started going to Embrace Grace, where Heather stepped up to mentor me.
I found solace in her calm and selfless advice. I never felt like an inconvenience or just another patient — though Heather was busy running the center, she always made time for me and appreciated who I was as a person. Rather than shaming me for my life choices, she helped me to see that though every human being makes mistakes, the most important thing is to learn from them. She didn’t coddle me or encourage me to wallow in self-pity and seek an easy way out.
My life felt worthy and beautiful again, and I was hopeful and excited about the many things God had in store for my son and me. I realized that I was strong enough to shoulder the task of being a mom and that the women at the local pregnancy center would be there to support me every step of the way.
And they were.
I considered adoption several times throughout my pregnancy. Even though I was working two jobs, my income as a single mom still fell short of my bills and necessities and I worried about how I could support my son. The local pregnancy center paid for my rent and electricity bill several times throughout my pregnancy, never failing to show up when I was struggling. They gave me the resources and the freedom to choose my son, Brantlee.
This support didn’t end after Brantlee was born. In addition to mentorship, I received free parenting classes that helped me to grow in confidence as a mother. Several times after Brantlee’s birth, the center stepped in again to help me pay for daycare and electricity bills. They even helped me to get a house.
When Brantlee was just over a year old, we participated in an event where I shared our story with congressional representatives from around the country. After the event, we were amazed to receive the $15k Unplanned Movie Scholarship, which helped me to pay for Brantlee’s daycare and internet.
The scholarship also helped me to finish paying for school without taking out any more loans, and after 12 years of on and off schooling, I finally graduated with my Associates in Health Information Technology and my Medical Billing and Coding Assistant Certificate.
A little over four years ago, I thought my life was over. Instead, I finished school, became a homeowner, and am happily married. Most importantly, I have a beautiful son who has opened my eyes and heart like nothing I could have ever imagined.
None of this would have been possible without the constant support of the selfless and courageous women at my local pregnancy center who stepped up when they saw my need. Through their care and generosity, I rediscovered my self-worth as a daughter of God, and the courage to be a strong single mom for Brantlee.
Today, I am blessed to give back by offering witness to the unconditional care and support that countless pregnancy centers and maternity homes around the country offer. I often share my story with women in need, letting them know there is an abundance of care and support waiting for them if they simply have the courage to ask.
Sadly, these institutions on the frontlines serving women are currently facing a wave of attacks from the very same pro-abortion advocates who claim to act on behalf of women.
I hope that through my story, people come to recognize and support the heroic work pregnancy care centers do on the frontlines every single day, helping women in need and offering free resources that change — and literally save — lives.
So many women are like I once was, staring at two pink lines and wondering if their life is over.
It doesn’t have to be. Know that you’re not alone, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
We are here waiting for you whenever you need us.
Brittni and her son Brantlee are from Lewiston, Idaho.