When she was young, her mother told her she didn’t love her and never wanted her.

Right then and there, she took on the labels of “unloved” and “unwanted”.

She got pregnant at 17 and kept the baby and stayed with the guy, foregoing a cheerleading scholarship and a life of freedom from her less-than-perfect childhood.

When the baby grew up to be a woman, she said, “Mama, did you ever not want me? I promise it won’t hurt my feelings if you did. I would understand.”

She looked at her daughter dead in the eyes and said, “There was not one second that I did not want you.”

Right then and there, her daughter took on the labels of “loved” and “wanted”.

The mother decided she’d never be anything like the mom who raised her. While her mom could be fun and loving at times, she had a strong addiction to prescription drugs and couldn’t seem to find the right way to be a good, godly parent.

But her daughter found Jesus. And she married that guy she stayed with, the father of the baby, and he found Jesus. And they had two additional children after their first surprise. All three of them found Jesus, too.

The story could’ve been different. She could’ve chosen a different path. But she chose love and she chose Jesus. He turned her ashes and mistakes into beauty and miracles and made her a mom. And it had nothing to do with a political belief and everything to do with God’s plan for her life and her willingness to say yes.

That woman is my mom.

And I’m so thankful she said yes. I’m so thankful she chose to be better than her circumstances rather than using them as an excuse. I’m so thankful she taught me that I am loved and I am wanted by her and by the God of the universe.

And there are mamas who choose love and life for their babies by giving them to a new family who can provide the best for them. And that is a beautiful “yes” too.

Because my mom decided to love me from the moment her teenage self found out she was pregnant, I am a strong, passionate woman who chases Jesus and chooses to love other people.

When feelings of unworthiness wash over me, I say, “God did you ever not want me? I promise it won’t hurt my feelings if you did. I would understand.”

He always looks me dead in the eyes and replies, “There was not one second that I did not want you.”

Originally published on the author’s blog

Kaitlin Chappell Rogers

Kaitlin is a newlywed striving to be a strong half of a Kingdom team with her hunk of a husband. She is a lover of words, good coffee, and exploring new cities. Her favorite places include airports, hotel rooms, and bookstores and she has yet to meet a stranger she doesn't like. Kaitlin is addicted to shopping, yoga, and brunch and couldn't make it a single day without her dream-supporting family and best friends. She hopes everyone who meets her sees Jesus in her eyes and feels a little lighter when they leave her presence.