Imagine the scene one morning at staff prayer time when our new colleague experienced a surprise of recognition. There on our prayer calendar was the name of a pregnancy care center that had helped her during a difficult period of her life. That center, Assurance of Lexington, Kentucky, has been one of our associated partners for many years. We were thrilled to think they'd helped someone who later came on staff with us! Here's her story, as published in the center's newsletter.
I’ll never forget seeing the double line on a pregnancy test—and feeling like I let down my family, friends and myself. It was 2010… I was a junior at a Christian college, captain of the tennis team, and recently broke free from an unhealthy relationship. I didn’t know what to do next or what my options were. I didn’t want an abortion but was so terrified about how people would view me when they found out about my ‘mistake.’ I feared I’d be kicked out of college.
By God’s provision, I wound up at Assurance where I was reminded that the growing baby was by no means a mistake. Staff members conducted my first ultrasound and prayed with me as we worked through a game plan for how to tell my family and the baby’s father.
I wish I could say it was blissful after that, but truthfully, news of the pregnancy wasn’t easy for many to accept. The university I was attending told me I could no longer attend—and I was left with no choice but to move back to Michigan with my parents.
At that point I felt I had hit rock bottom. But even during that time of desperation, I received love and support from Assurance. Staff members called to check-in and offered words of encouragement to guide me through the next steps of my pregnancy. I no longer felt alone, no longer viewed my baby as a mistake or myself as a failure—I was empowered.
My son Brantley was born just a few months later and I was determined to finish my education to offer him the best life possible. I transferred to Grand Valley State University and commuted an hour and a half each day while toting him to class with me. It was only fitting that Brantley was alongside me when I finally received my bachelor’s degree two years later.
I jumped right into the workforce as a news producer. Along the way I met an amazing man who’s become my husband and dad to Brantley and our new daughter. Brantley just turned 8 and loves his new role as a big brother. The support I had from Assurance during my unplanned pregnancy ignited my passion for helping other women in that same situation.
Earlier this year, I was blessed with the opportunity and financial stability to work part-time. I now work for Life Matters Worldwide, a pro-life non-profit that works to strengthen pregnancy care centers to make them effective gospel outreaches. Part of our commitment is to pray for centers who are our associates… and it was no mistake that Assurance popped up on our prayer calendar a few weeks after starting my new job. Assurance was, is, and always will be a part of my life story. —Britannia Dykstra (used by permission)
It's so cool to think that we and our prayer partners would have been praying for Assurance around the time this happened. Thankfully, they were there to help Brit through a difficult time.
Brit's story illustrates the dilemma that many women face when they become pregnant while involved with a strong Christian school or church. It's also a dilemma for Christian schools, churches, and parents. God & the pregnant teen aims to help parents and institutions navigate perilous waters in a way that preserves babies' lives.