Every crisis contains an opportunity – even an unplanned pregnancy

Crisis.  Gut wrenching, knee buckling, breath-sucking, life-changing personal crisis. We’ve all been there. Usually we wonder what to do next or how we will ever overcome the unexpected problem.  We had plans and dreams . . . and suddenly those visions are gone and even our day-to-day living seems threatened.

When life-changing obstacles threaten our plans, most of us don’t – or can’t – see the potential benefit of the ordeal.

The Chinese language has two words that mean “crisis.”  They mean danger and opportunity.  This translation reminds us that in every crisis event we not only find immediate panic but also the potential for a positive outcome. We will survive, but not without change and some loss of life expectation.  Perhaps we experience the loss of a job, a relationship, a loved one, or a life goal.  How we see the challenge and move forward amid the fear of it helps us to reach the other side – safely.

If you’re facing an unexpected pregnancy, you may be anxiously wondering what your next step should be.  How will you tell your parents?  How will your partner react?  How will this pregnancy impact your life?  How will you continue to work . . . or go to school?   You have time to answer these questions.

Be patient and allow yourself to be in the moment and to fully understand the options that are available to you.  Lighthouse Pregnancy Resource Center offers valuable resources – free of charge – that are vitally important to resolving this crisis.  Has a doctor confirmed your pregnancy?  Lighthouse offers medical confirmation of pregnancy, at no cost, to determine whether you have a viable pregnancy and how far along you are.  Knowing this before making your next step is critical.

Learning your options in a supportive atmosphere where you won’t be judged, and you can slow down and think through ALL your options is important. In the heat of the crisis, abortion may appear to be an easy solution, but it’s an irreversible decision with risks and significant consequences.

The feelings you are feeling are temporary.  Just ask Elainie Gonzalez, Lighthouse’s Paterson Center Assistant, who can easily relate to someone facing an unexpected pregnancy.  She was that someone the first time she walked through our doors.

Elainie vividly remembers her first ultrasound and the fear and anxiety she felt as she arrived to her appointment.  The Lighthouse nurse recognized Elainie’s high level of emotion since she had seen similar reactions in other mothers in crisis.  Elainie recalls the calming words the nurse used to reassure her:  “Your situation is temporary.  You don’t know where your life will be a couple of years from now.”

Elainie remembered those words and the support she felt that day as she chose to make a birth plan that included single parenting.  Her son turned three recently, and is the light of a full life that includes a job she loves, a supportive church community, and her own apartment. Two years after giving birth, she answered the call to work at Lighthouse and now helps support other mothers facing unexpected pregnancies.

Elainie’s crisis contained an opportunity to discover strengths and abilities she didn’t realize she had.  Because she slowed down, found support, and made an informed decision, she not only survived the crisis, she is thriving after the crisis.

Today’s crisis might be tomorrow’s blessing. Only time will tell.