Danielle’s story begins when she was twenty-two years old and fell in love with an older man. She was so smitten that she didn’t notice the warning signs. Over a period of time she started to see his flaws, his drug use and his stay in prison for them, but naively thought she could change him. Then to her shocking surprise….she found out she was pregnant and everyone she knew had an opinion about it and that opinion was to have an abortion. She eventually did what everyone wanted her to do and made an appointment at an abortion clinic. As the appointment drew near she started to ask herself, what if this was her one and only chance to have a baby? Growing up with faith Danielle did not know whether she would be able to live with herself if she ended her pregnancy. After these and many other thoughts she decided that this decision was what everyone else wanted, but not what she wanted. Danielle skipped her appointment and decided she was going to have her baby.
Throughout the next six months of her pregnancy many issues regarding her relationship began to come to light. She noticed that the father of her baby made a lot of promises that he didn’t keep. Instead of giving her financial support he became financially dependent upon her and he started to become reckless with her money instead of frugally preparing for their baby. The absolute tipping point came when Danielle went into labor and uninterested the father fell asleep in the delivery room.
Danielle’s friends and family always told her that her best quality is how she always sees the good in people and her greatest flaw is that she takes that quality of seeking the good in people too far. Danielle will often give others chance after chance after chance. After more issues, for the sake of her child, she attempted yet again to make the relationship work…it did not. Unsure what to do Danielle went to see her pastor for advice. He said, “the best thing a father can do for his child is love and respect his mother.” This advice gave her the strength she needed to finally face the truth of her situation. Her Faith taught her to believe that God would provide something better for her. Moreover, at this point, Danielle also realized that her baby daughter was the gift from God she needed to change herself. She asked herself the same questions that she would ask her friends when they are in difficult times “are you done yet? Do you still want to fight for this relationship?” She realized she did not, she was done fighting, she deserved better and Danielle ended her relationship. However, she still supports him to the extent he chooses to remain a father figure in their daughter’s life. After Danielle put this behind her she then humbled herself and went to the welfare agency to file for assistance. She shared with me that every time she goes there she cries. She has done and continues to do what she needs to do to better her and her daughter’s life.
I asked Danielle what advice she would give to other girls her age and she said she would tell them that they don’t have to settle, don’t think that you don’t deserve the best, don’t think you’re stuck and there’s no way out and this is going to be my life, because it doesn’t have to be. Believe in yourself! Believe in God! I think Danielle started out thinking like most people, that they can change someone, mold them into exactly what suits them and have the perfect relationship. Danielle found out quickly how untrue that is. The only person we can change is ourselves. Danielle had the strength and foresight to do just that and now at twenty-four; she has a boyfriend who manages a store while getting his education to become a police officer. He has never done drugs or smoked a cigarette, he loves her daughter and he treats her with love and respect. Danielle now has created in her life the opposite of what she started out with. She radiates her happiness and is an inspiration of courage and triumph to many young women faced with similar challenges.
Proverbs 3: 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.