Pregnant and unwed teenager Maddi Runkles was the subject of countless news reports earlier this year after the administration at her private Christian high school refused to allow her to walk in its graduation ceremonies in order to “teach a lesson regarding her immorality.”
While I understand the school’s desire to teach their students lessons about the consequences of sin, I also think the events in Maddi’s life could have provided students with a lesson about grace -- the grace that caused Jesus to tell a woman living in sin “neither do I condemn you -- go and sin no more.”
I know something about this. You see, once upon a time, I was Maddi Runkles. I also became pregnant outside of marriage while barely out of my teen years.
Rebelliousness had set in and I skated in sin believing the big lie that there were more pleasures to be found in this world than in God.
Driven by fear I hid my pregnancy for five months, and I knew that the shame and guilt I carried would only amplify -- plus usher in condemnation once others learned my secret. Was I up for this?
Like Maddi Runkles, I was raised in a Christian home where we upheld Christian principles and embraced Biblical values. In fact, my father was a pastor -- and this further enhanced my anxiety as I struggled to tell my parents about my pregnancy. It weighed heavily on me, especially in knowing that another decision - a secret one to not have my baby - could rid me of being shamed by others.
The day I finally mustered up the strength and courage and confided in my father, something extraordinary happened..
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