Series Code: LAC
Program Code: LAC180009A
00:01 Our world had just turned upside down.
00:03 Our 19-year-old daughter was pregnant.
00:07 We've just started the pastoral ministry
00:09 and now, what was going to happen,
00:11 what will people say or think.
00:14 We didn't know,
00:16 we were concerned about our daughter,
00:17 but we were also concerned about our own future.
00:20 Join us as we tell you our story
00:23 on Life After Choice.
00:41 Welcome, this is Pastor Todd Parker
00:43 with Life After Choice.
00:45 And I'm Gina Parker, and welcome to our story.
00:48 Our daughter was pregnant at 19, what do you do?
00:52 Seem to be a big question for us, we had no idea.
00:55 But as the story started, we started...
00:57 We lived in Northern Idaho, great place to live,
01:01 there is a lot of great stuff there.
01:03 Kids grow up there for many, many years,
01:05 and I was a Bible worker there
01:07 in with Upper Columbia Conference
01:10 and I loved doing it, it was a lot of fun,
01:13 and we are called from the conference down
01:15 in the south.
01:16 Would you really like to be a pastor?
01:19 Well, I'm excited, sure, I would love to be,
01:21 but we prayed about it first.
01:22 We made sure God was involved in this whole situation,
01:25 and as we prayed about it and God started moving,
01:28 but we wanted to make sure that our family was on board
01:31 and we asked our kids to make sure.
01:33 My son was up in Canada actually at the time,
01:35 he was working in film school up in Canada
01:39 and we were in the Northern Idaho
01:41 and we prayed about it.
01:43 My daughter wasn't really on board
01:44 but even though she wasn't on board,
01:46 we prayed about it and she decided eventually
01:49 that she wouldn't like to go with us.
01:51 It was a struggle for her.
01:53 She was, had her friends, her family, her home,
01:57 everything she knew and when we got the call,
02:02 we did pray and we asked God,
02:04 "God, is this what You want from us?"
02:07 And God said yes.
02:09 So went and she did go, it was reluctantly,
02:13 but she went.
02:14 And when we got there in the south,
02:18 she got a job, she started making friends
02:21 and things were going okay or so we thought.
02:25 One Sunday morning,
02:28 I remember it as if it was yesterday.
02:31 We were driving home from a church event
02:33 and the phone rang
02:36 and it was my sister-in-law and she says
02:38 "Gina, I have something very important to tell you,
02:41 are you sitting down."
02:42 My first thought was something has happened
02:45 to my mother-in-law, she has cancer
02:48 and I was wondering what's going on.
02:52 And she says, "Gina, Jessica called me"
02:56 and then I thought,
02:57 oh, no she has been in a car accident you know,
03:00 I wasn't prepared
03:01 for what she was about to say next
03:02 and she said,
03:04 she called me to tell me that she is pregnant.
03:08 It was literally like somebody was punching me in the stomach.
03:13 I was in a daze, I didn't even realize
03:15 I was driving for a moment
03:17 and I didn't even know what to say,
03:20 but the look on my face...
03:22 It felt like you were bit frustrated.
03:25 Oh, I was terrified, you know, I didn't know what to say.
03:28 I didn't know how to tell you and you kept asking me.
03:31 Well, I was looking at your face saying,
03:33 you know, what is going on, what's going on,
03:35 what is going on here?
03:37 Because your face, I mean if you were there,
03:39 look at your face, read your face,
03:41 I was reading there something terrifying,
03:44 not knowing what was going on and saying what's going on.
03:48 Oh, you know,
03:49 I was still trying to process it myself.
03:52 And truth of the matter is, I was scared to tell you.
03:55 I didn't know how to tell you, how do you tell somebody
03:59 that their daughter is pregnant
04:00 when you can't even understand it.
04:03 So I remember all of a sudden I stopped and I said,
04:07 "Jessica is pregnant."
04:10 In that...
04:11 I think in that situation
04:13 it was kind of like where your emotions are there,
04:15 your frustrations are there, your hurt is there,
04:18 and I think the biggest thing is what did I do wrong,
04:20 what did we do wrong,
04:21 where do we go wrong in this whole thing,
04:23 and you're kind of analyzing that,
04:24 you are looking back in that situation saying,
04:27 "This is ridiculous.
04:28 Why did it happen to us?"
04:30 It always happens to other people
04:31 but why would it ever happen to us.
04:34 That's true and for me, you know,
04:39 I'm ashamed to say it now but back then it was,
04:44 what are people going to think, what are people going to say,
04:47 how they gonna react?
04:50 What's gonna happen to your job?
04:53 You know, what's gonna happen to you,
04:55 you just became a pastor.
04:57 And what are the members gonna think.
04:58 What are members going to think, yes.
05:00 You know, you are...
05:01 And you know I think there is not only that,
05:02 what it also is your family,
05:04 what are the family gonna think?
05:06 Well, you know, you're basing it on that
05:09 because that's your life.
05:11 I mean you've put your life into the ministry,
05:14 is it gonna be over now, is it going to stop?
05:17 And then you know,
05:18 I think we put a lot of pressure on ourselves
05:20 because oh, you are a pastor and I'm a pastor's wife,
05:24 and our kids are supposed to be perfect,
05:26 and everything is supposed to be perfect
05:29 and now it's not.
05:30 You're almost like as a pastor, pastor's wife
05:32 you are in a fish bowl.
05:35 You're seen by everybody
05:36 and you've to do the right thing
05:38 at all the times but, you know, I came along,
05:41 when we were sitting in the car that day.
05:43 I remember saying Gina, we gotta move forward,
05:48 we gotta not just...
05:51 I don't know what's gonna happen,
05:52 when you don't know what' gonna happen
05:54 but God knows what's gonna happen,
05:55 we just gotta move forward.
05:56 You know, it's, moving forward is a scary thing
05:59 but it's essential for everybody to do.
06:02 And so, I remember talking about you know, Moses and Him,
06:06 Moses and, you know, here is the Red Sea
06:08 and here's he's on the Red Sea,
06:10 but there is the Egyptians coming behind the Israelites
06:13 and they are blocked into this tight spot.
06:17 What are they gonna do?
06:19 And God says be quiet to Moses, I think the message Bible says,
06:25 shut up and go forward.
06:28 You know, He didn't want him to whine and complaint,
06:30 he said, go forward, and we had to go forward
06:33 even though our job would've been lost,
06:36 our friends may have said, you know,
06:39 we don't have time for you, all the stuff.
06:41 We just knew that God wanted us to go forward.
06:44 I know for me those words were comfort,
06:48 for me those words were like,
06:52 I could breathe because I knew now
06:54 that I could move forward and that didn't change the fact
06:58 that we had a lot to deal with,
07:00 but I knew it's gonna be okay with you.
07:03 And that meant, that was huge
07:05 because I know you and I were gonna be okay and so,
07:09 but we still had to do with other issues,
07:11 we had to deal with you telling your boss.
07:16 Talking to Peter,
07:17 calling Peter up and I did that,
07:18 I called him several months later,
07:23 praying about it, asking God to help with that
07:26 and I knew that, you know,
07:29 and you know, lot of times what we always do,
07:31 you know, we always make it the worst,
07:33 we always looking it,
07:34 "Oh, my goodness, it's gonna be the worst,"
07:36 but God is in the business of dealing with it
07:38 and so, I talked to Peter about it
07:41 and Peter was considerably like,
07:44 wow, I thought it was gonna be really bad.
07:47 He didn't talk to the conference president yet,
07:48 but he didn't look at it like, I thought he would look at it.
07:52 Praise the Lord. Yeah, he didn't.
07:55 You know, fear is powerful and when you have fear,
08:01 it can cause you to do things that you wouldn't normally do.
08:04 It causes you to make a rational decisions
08:07 and it causes you to not trust in God.
08:11 And at that time, I had fear,
08:15 and I praise God for you
08:19 because you brought me back to reality
08:23 and you took away my fear, and that helped me to say,
08:28 okay, I can't do this on our own,
08:32 we can't do it on our own,
08:34 but we can trust in God, and God's gonna get us through,
08:37 I don't know how,
08:39 but you still live with that stigma,
08:40 what are people gonna think, you know,
08:42 what are they gonna say and we hadn't told our...
08:46 Church family. Church family, yeah.
08:48 Well, that's a good story
08:50 because when you were in the church that day
08:53 and the church member came up to you,
08:54 she didn't know, did she?
08:58 What had happened was as time was going on,
09:01 Jessica was getting sicker, she was losing weight,
09:06 she was pale,
09:07 all the signs of morning sickness
09:10 and this amazing godly woman came up to me and she says,
09:16 "Can I talk to you?"
09:17 And I said, "Okay."
09:19 And she says, "Is Jessica pregnant?"
09:24 And again there is that, you know...
09:26 See, I was raised
09:27 where you have to watch everything you did,
09:29 everything, you know,
09:31 my parents were constantly telling me,
09:32 you know, don't let people talk about you, you know,
09:35 you make sure you do this right and you do that right
09:38 and so I lived a very strict line,
09:41 I toed a very strict line.
09:43 Even, you know, when you were at your home,
09:46 remember that, leaving home at your parent's house
09:48 and you would go,
09:50 you would wear something outside,
09:51 your parents would be on your case.
09:53 Oh, yeah.
09:55 Because they do wanted to make sure
09:56 things were doubled out, you did not do that.
09:58 I wasn't even allowed to wear shorts outside,
10:00 I was not allowed to go on the front yard
10:02 unless they were there.
10:03 Yeah 'cause we always worried what people think.
10:06 So at that moment when she came to me
10:11 and she said, "Can I talk to you?"
10:14 And then she says, "Is Jessica pregnant?"
10:19 I wanted to say no, no,
10:22 she's just not feeling good you know, you know.
10:24 But how you'd hide a pregnancy?
10:27 And reality was, I didn't want to.
10:32 But you know, here's the thing,
10:33 we're getting a little ahead of our self is the fact
10:35 that here we were so worried about what people were thinking
10:39 and here our baby girl was suffering.
10:43 So it's the unknown for her
10:44 just like it was unknown for us.
10:46 It was.
10:47 And sometimes I think the unknown for her
10:49 was probably bigger than our unknown
10:51 'cause she is 19 and we're older
10:56 and I don't know, we've been through several unknowns
10:58 but she has never been through many unknowns
11:00 'cause she has been in the family.
11:01 That's right.
11:03 And being in the family,
11:04 we are always taking care of her,
11:05 we're always sheltering her but this was hugest unknown
11:07 that you could ever imagine a child being in.
11:09 And I praise the Lord
11:11 that we were able as a group of family members
11:14 come together and be a part of her
11:17 and help her in that unknown.
11:19 Yeah, you know, as a mother it was hard
11:23 because like I said
11:25 because of the way I was raised,
11:27 I thought that we had to make sure
11:29 she carried all the Ps and Qs and she did something
11:34 which meant we did raise her right.
11:37 But you know what?
11:38 God in His infinite mercy made me realize that Gina,
11:43 she is your child and I called her up and I said,
11:46 "Jessica, we know you are pregnant,
11:49 but it's gonna be okay.
11:51 We love you and we gonna work through this
11:55 and it's gonna be all right,
11:57 and we don't know what's gonna happen
12:01 but that tiny little life inside of you
12:04 is gonna be loved."
12:06 And even though in mind, I was struggling
12:11 with what was going on
12:13 and still like I said,
12:14 what's ingrained from you from the childhood
12:16 you know, the do's the don'ts.
12:18 I know I wasn't gonna lecture her,
12:20 she didn't need to hear that I...
12:24 Why did you do that? Why did you this?
12:26 You know, you should've known better.
12:29 I wasn't gonna lecture on that, she already knew,
12:32 but what she needed from us was support,
12:35 what she needed from us was love,
12:38 and what she needed from us
12:40 was knowing that the God that we serve loved her
12:45 and the only way she was gonna see that
12:47 was through us.
12:48 Amen, and she...
12:50 You know, the scripture came to my mind just now,
12:52 "All things work together for good to them
12:53 that love the Lord."
12:55 And that's the only way to get through it
12:57 is that He loves us despite our foibles.
13:01 Now, remember that arrow, who's that arrow?
13:03 That's right.
13:05 I remember there was the pastor,
13:08 a book that we had read
13:09 and it was a story about a pastor.
13:12 For years I struggled
13:15 with something that it happened in my life
13:19 and I remember God directly telling me no,
13:25 I mean it was so loud, it was almost deafening, no,
13:29 but I was determined
13:30 that this was what I wanted to do.
13:32 God, You don't understand, this is what I want,
13:35 and God kept saying no.
13:39 And I did it anyway.
13:40 And for years and years and years,
13:43 I struggled with the fact that no I had to live with
13:47 'cause God knew better than I did,
13:52 and it wasn't until I read this book from a pastor,
13:54 and he said that God can take a crooked arrow
13:58 and still make it hit its target.
14:01 And so I knew that God could take the situation
14:05 and He could change it
14:07 and even though it wasn't the way
14:09 we had hoped it to be,
14:10 it was the way God wanted it to be,
14:13 and I praised God that He is always
14:17 and forever in control.
14:21 Well, you know, it's exciting,
14:23 as Logan our grandson came along
14:25 and he is a bundle of joy.
14:27 I tell you what?
14:29 He lights the room up
14:30 every time he comes into a room.
14:32 It's so exciting, so I just wanted to say,
14:34 you know what?
14:36 Him coming into our lives was a joy.