On Being a Pastor and Pregnant (and Why I Can’t Carry Your Weight)

I found out I was pregnant at the happiest place on earth. It was Mother’s Day and I was on vacation at Disney World. Go figure. I noticed my normally regular period hadn’t come which is usually no biggie. I would chalk it up to stress. Except now, thanks to acupuncture, I was used to it coming like clockwork. It’s only day one I told myself. It’ll come tomorrow. And it did, but only stopped by for a brief visit before disappearing into the abyss. I waited for her to come back. She never did.

The next day, I did what any normal sane woman would do. Scoured the resort for pregnancy tests like a madwoman. I went to every store on my resort AND the sister resort. Not a test in sight. No not one. How is this the happiest place on earth and you not expect people to get pregnant or need a pregnancy test? How do you have the mind to have a chip at the bottom of my cup that electronically determines how many more refills I have at the soda machine, but not sell an EPT Pregnancy Test? Or at least a Disney knock-off brand. I wasn’t giving up. I went to the front desk. They always have extra shoelaces, cans of beans or whatever you need. Maybe just maybe they had a pregnancy test. Nope, but the lady at the front did discreetly let me know there was an offsite pharmacy that would deliver these “sorts of things” to the resort for a fee. She slipped me the card like she was passing me a bag of weed and k2.

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Real talk that yellow line was connected to my band and calculated how many refills I had left. But they couldn’t figure out someone would need a pregnancy test??

Was I really this desperate? You know I was. I placed the order and waited for a test to confirm what I already knew.

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I was pregnant. My immediate reaction was shock. This was not planned. Yes, I know it’s a potential consequence of having sex, but not one readily expected. With the exception of living a pretty much celibate lifestyle in my twenties I had been having sex on and off since I was 15 and had never been pregnant. In fact, I assumed when I was ready it would be very hard for me to conceive. Boy did I miscalculate that.

After the initial shock was joy. Yet, underneath something else was lingering. Anger? No. Disappointment? No. It was pure and utter dread. Not at being pregnant. Not at whether or not I would be a good mother. What had my stomach turning, other than nausea, was me being pregnant AND a pastor. Let’s face it. The church has not had a good track record of accepting unmarried women who got pregnant. If you’ve been in church for any period of time you’ve heard or witnessed the aftermath. Shunning, slut shaming, being sat down from your position, having to go up in front of the church and confess your sin, etc. etc. No one can be naïve enough to say this type of stuff doesn’t happen in church. An ugly truth is people in church leadership have sex outside of marriage, affairs, do drugs, drink, so on and so forth. Generally, these are not considered acceptable acts. BUT I have seen many churches turn a blind eye to this behavior, because it can be hidden. Don’t ask. Don’t tell. To be pregnant is a very visible indication of a private act and for some reason provides people with more of a need to respond.

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You may as well Scarlet Letter it up and place a big ole S on your chest for sex Hester Prynne style. “The church” is already harsher on women for their “crimes,” but being a pastor also meant that both me and my fiancé were going to go through this publicly. I didn’t know what that meant, how it would affect my job and if I was prepared to deal with it.

Pregnancy already inherently diminishes some anonymity as people feel it their right to invade your personal space, offer up unsolicited advice and ask you private questions. Pastorship inherently makes some feel your personal life is their public business as you lose some sense of individuality for the sake of belonging to the church. As a pretty private person I had always struggled with the latter. Adding pregnancy seemed like my worse nightmare.

It was not as if I had a blueprint for this in my church. My pastors had been very open about having their first child while unmarried in college. That was more than 20 years ago. They were young. None of us were there. They were not pastors then. It was in the past enough to be hazy memory and turn into a testimony. Many of us know the struggles we have had in the past. For many, it’s what brought us to church. Yet, as soon as we get far enough away from our struggles to label them “redeemable” or for them not to be in the forefront of our minds it becomes much easier to give someone else the side eye for behavior we don’t agree with. It is often easier to NOT afford others the grace we were so freely offered. I had experienced people judge everything from my clothing to social media posts fully aware that if it had been another pastor they would’ve gotten a pass. My apprehension was not unwarranted and although privately excited I was concerned about public persona. I did a lot of wrestling that week. I came to grips with the reality that part of the monster in my head was created by me. My past. My upbringing. What I was taught about the bible.

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I realized I had some baggage and I wanted to deal with this pregnancy on my own terms regardless of how people felt or responded. In those first few months I decided I couldn’t carry the weight of others’ opinions and judgments including my own. I also had to confront the ways in which I judged others based on their decisions and actions. I decided I was going to walk with my head held high, because I was proud and excited to be pregnant. Often, when people think you’ve done something wrong or have sinned they want you to walk around with your head low in guilt. Otherwise, how would THEY know you were sorry? Well, I wasn’t sorry or ashamed. Shame and happiness cannot reside in the same place. I decided to only surround myself with those who had positive energy. I knew there would be rough days, but I also knew the good would outweigh the bad. So when the first comment was made about my pregnancy being an abomination I wasn’t bothered, because it wasn’t MY truth. Plus who uses abomination anyway? Can we say antiquated?

I had a choice on how to define my own happy and write my own story. I thought about the women who were belittled in their churches for being pregnant. The women who felt abortion was a better option than humiliation. The girl or young women of a pastor forced into abortion, because the family couldn’t handle the shame. The woman who left the church permanently because the members couldn’t accept her child. The woman who watched the same people who loved her each Sunday avoid her like a plague. The woman who would give up everything to be pregnant regardless of the circumstances and still finds her womb bare. So many women who may have made a different choice if they understood the power they had. If someone had told them, it was ok to make the best choice for them ignoring the outside voices. It would get better. They could outlive this. I understood what some people thought, what some scriptures said, but also the validity of my own experience.

At three months I revealed my pregnancy to the staff at my church. It wasn’t planned. It was at our annual staff retreat. If you could see inside my mind you would have seen the warring back and forth. It kind of looked like this:

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“Do it now.”

“What? Are you crazy? This is not the time.”

“It may not be your timing, but it IS the perfect time.”

“Can’t I wait? Or tell them one by one?”

“Well if you wanted to wait you shouldn’t have worn that dress. Come on. It will be like pulling off a Band-Aid. Have this conversation once and you won’t have to have it again.”

“I’m nervous.”

“You’ll be fine. The outcome will be better than expected.”

The words kind of fell out of my mouth in front of everyone. I explained my joy and the importance this did not undo and diminish all the work and dedication I had put in for six years. I felt empowered. I shared what I wanted to share, how I wanted to share, own my own terms. I wasn’t responding to anyone or defending myself. I was standing in my truth. In a moment I will never forget, our executive pastor had  the staff encircle around me and they begin to pray. A noise that can only be described as a wail left my mouth and I broke. To the point of needing a chair to sit in. I broke in the most beautiful way possible. In the breaking I was free. That ugly Jesus cry released every anxiety, fear and worry holding me down. They promised to protect me and support me. In that moment I saw God. It was a moment that transcended boundaries or judgment. It was pure love. I felt free.

One of my favorite lines from The Scarlet Letter is: “She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom.” I was carrying a lot of weight and baggage. The weight of what if. The weight of my upbringing. The weight of others’ opinions. The weight of judgment. It was heavy and I did the hard work of dropping that weight. I have no plans of picking it back up.

So no, I cannot carry your weight about MY situation. Whoever you are. I have my own beautiful, amazing and miraculous weight to carry for the next few months and a lifetime.

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Photos found here and here. Preaching photo from September 2016 taken by Eddie Sparkman. I was 5 1/2 months pregnant. I have preached throughout my pregnancy and will do so until I can no longer waddle on the stage.

134 Comments

  1. It’s as if no one wants to be told they are in the wrong anymore. Her sentiment is male pastors/preachers get to continue ministering because the consequences of their sinful behaviour is invisible. She shouldn’t have to take a break because she is pregnant.

    My sentiment is….Put your own oxygen on first before you concern yourself with others. You are not responsible for other people’s salvation but if you take up an office/position in the church it comes with responsibility. You are supposed to be setting an example and leading by lifestyle. Its not about being perfect but demonstrating discipline. Where is the power of our witness if we have nothing that differentiates us from non believers?

    We all make mistakes and make poor decisions but we got to man up and take the consequences and do the work to make sure it does not happen again.

    I don’t want to be apart of a church who do not uphold any sort of standard. Even in hell there is order and protocol.

    It is not secret. Traditionally, we don’t do the ‘restoration’ program well. It varies from church to church. In my experience we have failed so many individuals but we shouldn’t throw out the baby with the bath water. (No pun intended). We need to devise a better plan. We can love and support these individuals. The aim is help them mature and move on. However It is counter intuitive to turn a blind eye and de sensitising to slack behaviour will compromise our witness.

    It undermines the life changing work of the Holy Spirit. The hypocrisy and lackadaisical attitude to holiness is an enemy of kingdom progress and revival. God calls us a kingdom of priests and priests have to live different. When we mess up, we get up. But we need to demonstrate how we recover and get stronger in God. To whom much is given, much is required so yeah take time out.

    Call me a Pharisee if you want. I dash stones at myself. Sin is sin. I don’t make excuses in my own life. God tells me to fix up all the time because I know better and so He expects better. He has sat me down before. I didn’t need a council to tell me.

    There is a consequence to every decision we make. Good and bad.

    You can’t do what you want when you come to Christ and think everyone will get with the program. Paul compared it to being a prisoner of Christ. Our life is not our own.

    Adopting a self indulgent attitude and not wanting people to care about our private lives but celebrate our public exploits is ridiculous. Ministry does not blot out your short comings. It is not the priority if there are deep issues in your life that need addressing.

    Your gifting can not be revoked, it comes without repentance. God can use a donkey to deliver a message. So even if you take break to get your head right it will be ok. Someone will step up to help. You are not the only one God can use. There is a risk of thinking God approves you because you CAN still minister. You can preach people into glory and be left out the doors yourself. Put your own oxygen on first.

    This blog demonstrates very little remorse, humility or acknowledgement that may or may be used a reference by immature believers. The message is that it doesn’t matter how you live. Do anything you want and you can still occupy leadership positions without sorting your own life. Not so. Our moral centre is shifting in line with the secular line and it’s not a good look.

    2016 but our standard does not change. Holiness will never be outdated. All the best though.
    Sj xoxo

    Addendum:
    I have no issue with her pregnancy. I pray that she will enjoy her pregnancy and that her baby will be healthy. God blesses when we do not deserve it. That baby has a purpose. My concern is her attitude and what led to her pregnancy. I don’t have all the facts. She hasn’t shared them however It is clear that she feels her ministry is a right when it’s actually a privilege.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Alicia Morgan says:

    I probably don’t need to add my thoughts really. I’m sure you’re getting them from everywhere but I’m thinking you might want to throw out that bible you preach from because nothing that you’re doing, saying, promulgating supports the decisions you have made. Has the church been wrong in how it’s handled sin and those who commit sin willfully — YES and YES! – but not one word that God has spoken or inspired to be written will pass away or return to HIM void. Lie to yourself all you want but God calls what you’re doing leading people astray. I would like to preface the scripture I’m about to share so there’s no misunderstand. You are loved! Your baby is a blessing and a precious gift. Your gifts and calling are from God and are given to you without repentance – meaning God’s not taking back just because you MESSED up sis. I have – WHO HASN’T! But you are so wrong.

    In Ezekiel God said to him
    “Son of man, do you see what they are doing–the utterly detestable things the Israelites are doing here, things that will drive me far from my sanctuary? But you will see things that are even more detestable.”

    Work out your own salvation my sis! Own the fact that you lacked control, you chose to fulfill the lust of your flesh and now your heart is filled with pride – so much so you refuse to humble yourself repent and turn from your very wrong ways. Love you! Telling you the truth! It’s okay – you can step down from the pulpit and leave the spot light – THATS NOT YOUR IDENTITY. Your identity is found in your loving and surrender relationship with the ONE you love AND SERVE💞

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  3. Alma says:

    Thanks for sharing pastor Daz . Great you fellow your instinct. As most believers like to quote bible it also say he who without sin cast the first stone. Beautiful and heartfelt message I actually cry tears of joy reading such truth. God bless and all the best🙏🏽

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  4. Phyllis Green says:

    Thanks for sharing your story. I admire your strength and I especially love that you refuse to carry the weight of other’s judgment. This was so refreshing to read. There seems to be this attitude among some Christians that they’ve arrived. I would love to share your story with others. Again, thanks for proudly and unapologetically walking in truth.

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  5. Charli29 says:

    This was a nicely written article. But it only spoke about a weight being lifted and you not feeling ashamed. What about the example that you are to many young women looking up to you? As a pastor, you are expected to lead by example and a sin is a sin. I’m in no way perfect but I feel that a pastor should be held to a higher standard. And if you cannot uphold those standards then you probably shouldn’t be preaching to others when you’re not practicing what you preach.

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  6. This is a very inspiring story. I believe that God forgives sin when we repent. It’s how we accept the grace and mercy of his forgiveness that gives us the courage to continue in our calling. Into the sea of forgetfullness He tosses them. Never to go “fishin'” for them again. With our fellow “christian” brothers and sisters…they may bring it up again and again as if they’ve live spotless lives. Walk TALL in your calling. You are an inspiration for all of us! SIN is SIN! some are seen and some ore unseen. But my God is full of Mercy!

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  7. Vaz Robinson says:

    If you were having sex on and off since 15 there is no way you should be leading in the church. We all slip, fall and get back up. But you have been willingly and repeatedly acting contrary to what is outlined in the Bible. This is not an example for anyone to follow.

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  8. Andrea Vickerie says:

    Thank you for sharing it’s not about what people think or say it is what God has ordain for you he has shaped our life the way he wants it so no matter what we will live and things will happen to us according to his will stay bless blessing to you and your bundle of joy love you

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  9. K says:

    Sorry, but I read nothing in your article about confessing your sin and asking for forgiveness. I did read about your past, upbringing and church culture. But, no owning up to the sin or thoughts on possibly contributing to the perpetuation of the worst problem in black communities: fatherless families. Do you not fear at all that girls and women in your church will think, “well if pastor can do it and be happy, so can I?” Or boys and men think, “Shoot, they’ll be alright. I don’t need to step up?” I will pray for you, your baby and your church.

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  10. Abim says:

    Not carrying anyone’s baggage… True. But please pray well that This does not make others stumble. More so when there is You as a point of reference or a as precedence.

    God’s arm is always open to accept us when we come short of His grace. Biblical David as a King wronged God too but was pardoned. Exception was that he was not a pastor.

    One would expect that with all the instructions in the Bible a custodian of the doctrine wouldn’t flout any of what’s written there in. However, I think out of respect for the doctrine and the word You should go sort out your wedding and have your baby before returning to the alter.

    I’m not speaking for God but this issue carries a message for a lot of people as a case study even into the future and it forms a precedence you don’t want to be an author of or used as role model for. Lest you find young girls reference a pastor that preaches but is unwed and pregnant.

    Lastly, where I’m from, you can’t pastor a church unless you are married. This is because of this type of issue — sexual temptation and all. If you hadn’t been pregnant You would have continued in the closet because God’s grace abounds? God forbid. You would agree that there won’t be need for this post if you were married — who would have said you can’t get pregnant. And let’s desist from saying because others a on the way to hell we should join them. Church Ministers that have extra-marital affairs has God to answer to, they are no excuse to join the bandwagon.

    Above all, you have God’s grace… and can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

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  11. Tashae says:

    This message is sooo comforting… I to found myself pregnant and pretty much alone. I was in my final semester of my undergrad and boy was it hard. All my friends were like girl you are grown and pretty much done with school you did good.. but then I had “others” that gave side eyes and turnt up noses. I went into a serious shell and felt a lot of shame that I’m really just now getting over four years later. I can appreciate your testimony and I’m sure you are helping more than you know. Continue to hold your head and keep pushing. I never understood why others could ask for forgiveness and continue but unwed pregnant women had to wait until there pregnancy was over to be restored. Anyways thanks for sharing!!

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  12. mcaughman5 says:

    Ephesians 5:3
    But among you, as is proper among the saints, there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality or impurity or greed.

    Colossians 3:5
    Put to death, therefore, the components of your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry.

    1 Thessalonians 4:3
    For it is God’s will that you should be holy: You must abstain from sexual immorality;

    Hebrews 13:4
    Marriage should be honored by all and the marriage bed kept undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers.

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    1. mcaughman5 says:

      Wait… there is a congregation of believers lead by a pregnant
      not married unrepentant fornicating pastor?

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  13. mcaughman5 says:

    Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
    1 Corinthians 6:18

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  14. As a single mother and also a woman loved, blessed and called by God I fully support and encourage your acceptance of freely offered grace and your refusal to hide due to shame, guilt and others’ condemnation. I understand that my story is a testimony and I have been thinking about ways in which I can impact lives for God. As such, I’m interested in learning more about your stance/teaching on sex and sexuality and Godly expression thereof, on celibacy and abstinence (I believe you’ve said you were abstinent during a celibate period in your twenties and not since then), on dating and courtship, on parenting both for singles and those who are married, and on marriage in general. I’m sure you’ll agree young people especially need godly counsel from godly leaders in these matters.

    Disavowing traditionally held views that are ultimately neither Godly nor biblical is a big part of your message and I am excited to see more of your work in leading people towards God and ultimately seeing others embrace grace as you have. I’m really thankful for what you have shared thus far and I’m really eager to see how God uses you to touch more lives for His glory in future.. I believe God calls us to call others to Him so I will be reading more of your posts to find what you have to say on these and related things since revealing God to others and leading them to Him through revealing His grace in your life is what you do and it’s what I want to do with my own life as well.
    So happy to have found your blog. Be blessed.

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  15. Karenna says:

    Thank you! I wish I had courage like this 7 years ago when pregnant with my twins. But thank you for sharing, no one really realizes the church guilt is real…the looks I received were crazy and I just worked with the youth. But may God continue to bless you…and your family. We have to live our own truths…thank you for sharing yours. I laugh because I just read the piece about running away and I chuckle because I called off my engagement when the twins were a month and received all the crazy looks but God knew better and sent my granddaddy to tell me. He said “you want a ring ? I’ll buy you one but don’t you marry that boy!” Sorry so long but again may God bless you and that beautiful baby.

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  16. The unfortunate and unspoken truth is that many church folk would have preferred you have an abortion as long as they didn’t have to know about either (the pregnancy or abortion). Sex makes people uncomfortable, even people who are having it, even church people who are having it outside of marriage. We have to create a space where grace can reach our sin-sick souls, though, and I believe your refusal to live in shame and feeling sorry for yourself will help others be set free. Blessings. 🙂

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  17. Ms Tee says:

    I read the comments and our God said judge not and you should not be judge, there is no sin greater than the other. If you live in a glass house please cast the first stone, and I know their is not one prefect person here on earth. This Pastor will be judged and have to answer to all her sins just like all of us. If you were truly standing on your faith you would not be following man/woman, you would be following God’s word. She don’t owe you nay Sayers nothing at all. I will pray for all of us🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

    Like

  18. mizz says:

    I actually like this. Why? Because the bible said that the spirit and the flesh war daily and many people will have u up for this but ye without sin cast the first stone and I think the church needs to talk upon the reality of life and bring each others up and not condemning because they don’t have the right to do so… I was a praise leader and very active in the church fall into fornication and the pastor put me and my boyfriend in front of the church and tell the entire church that we have fallen. It really damaged us but we kept fighting and pulling true although we we getting a little bitter inside we stop attending church and throw in the towel and was practically living together. I went to church now and again but there was something inside that wants to go back fully anyways we’ve decided to go back and now we’re growing spiritually. We’re still together and hoping to get married soon. We’re really called by God to do mighty works through him….. Although there are consequences to sin but the church must remain the church in being gentle loving and etc. The church is a hospital all kinda person goes there with different issues.. thanks for being so bold … God use your mess for a message

    Like

  19. Suzette says:

    Wow Pastor, I admire your strength. I was actively involved in my church and when I got pregnant ,unmarried ,everyone including those in authority ostracized me. At first it bothered me but after asking God’s forgiveness ,I forgot they all existed ,church critics who do more harm than good. Today ,I have a handsome fourteen year old and I am still serving the Lord but at a different church.Be proud and carry your child.God has a plan and a purpose for him/her.

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  20. Daviviene says:

    I admire your strength. I was in a similar situation and I did the same thing you did, but on a grander scale… I stood before the entire church and confessed, with my then fiancé. My concern is this: how do you leave the young people who are looking up to you with a message that says “this was not right, but thank God His mercy covers us.” ? I am in thr process of doing just that. What that looks like for me is giving real talks in my church to our youth, and showing them
    practically, why doing it God’s way is best. God’s blessings on you, your fiancé and your baby.

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  21. Vean T says:

    Wow this was like reading my own story! I was a the worship leader at my church when I got pregnant 8 years ago. My goodness I felt everything you explained. When I found out I was pregnant I felt so many emotions shame, guilt, fear but more than anything… overwhelmingly happy because just 2 years before then I had been diagnosed with severe endometriosis and after having a 3hour operation to remove the scar tissue, adhesions, cysts and separate fused organs I was told that I wouldn’t be able to have children unless it happened within 6 months of the surgery outside of that IVF would be my only option.

    Back at church I felt as though I wasn’t allowed to be happy for the miracle that had taken place in my body even though I had repented it’s as though I should have worn black throughout my pregnancy just to prove how sorry and ashamed I was. I refused to let their ‘weight’ as you do eloquently put it steal my joy. There is no minimum repentance time expected of us. It was time for me to rejoice. I walked in Sunday after Sunday head high. I would sit in the front because I was there to meet Jesus not their accusations. I was no longer worship leader during my pregnancy but reinstated much later after my baby was born. I watched as they tried to replace unsuccessfully because rather than use me and accept that I was forgiven and grace was abounding in my life they preferred to make an example of me and make me carry out my man made ‘sentence’.

    Thank you so much for sharing. God is so good. Keep on my sister. When man says they’ve finished with you. God says I haven’t even started yet!

    Sending love all the way from London. We married by the way and now have 4 children . #wonthedoit xx

    Like

    1. Vean T says:

      Please forgive the typos it’s 2am. Sooo tired. 😄

      Like

  22. Makelia Rae says:

    Thank you for this Pastor. I believe it was divine intervention that I found this article. I am 35 years old and 8 weeks pregnant with my first child. I am saved. I am not married. I have wanted to be a mother my entire life. I struggled with cervical issues and multiple surgeries for almost 15 years. For a long time I was afraid I’d never be able to conceive. Then my mother got breast cancer. I was still single and childless, praying that I’d get married and pregnant in time for my mom to see. All of this pressure made me look into a sperm donor. I was going to do it on my own terms and have the family I desired. I’m pregnant and couldn’t be happier! Many will judge me, not knowing my full story and that’s okay because they don’t need to know MY STORY. I am not asking for anyone’s permission or approval. Thank you for your courage to speak on this. God blesa you!

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  23. Rev. Angela Thomas says:

    As a female minister I am happy that you decided to share. I too have witnessed the double standards in ministry. Men can cheat on their wives, have multiple babies outside of wedlock and be easily forgiven. Women not so much. I’m glad you are still active in ministry and that your church has embraced you. That is love unconditional. Peace and blessings to you and your child.

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    1. Ttoi says:

      The more important question is, does God have a double-standard? God defined a preacher as a husband of one wife and not a woman of one husband. God also states that a woman is not to teach a woman because of the sin that deceived Eve. No offense intended because I think women are a blessing. I am married to a great woman and think of her no less than me. Our feelings don’t matter in spiritual matters but pleasing God is the only thing that matters!

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  24. Really interesting! While not necessarily a traditional, I admit, upon first seeing the article, some judgment jumped into my heart. But then, God made me realize something. Pregnancy is not a sin. It never has been. Being in the result/consequence of something else doesn’t change the current mission. I guess the question/scenario can be applied…if as a minister, I shoplifted (fell back into an old sin), got busted, was given 2 years probation by the court, must I wait until 2 years are over to resume preaching/pastoring if I have already confessed my sin to God and been forgiven?

    I don’t know the answer to this question or your situation. But, thank you for making me think and look more deeply at my own spiritual relationship and how I view church, love and grace/mercy.

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  25. trasetta1 says:

    Your words moved me to tears. May God use you to bring courage and strength to others. We have made the law more important than love, and that should not be so. Kingdom blessings to you.

    Like

    1. Ttoi says:

      So, God will use people who are in sin to encourage other people that it’s okay to sin as long as you feel good about it.

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      1. trasetta1 says:

        No. Sin is always sin. Once you’ve asked God for forgiveness and you receive his forgiveness it’s a done deal. You are forgiven. You have been washed clean.

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      2. K says:

        The core issue is: Can you be forgiven by God and be disqualified to be a pastor? If you are a child molester or predator of vulnerable women, sure. What about a leader of single women and men? This pastor no credibility to rebuke womanizers and selfish young adults in the body or to set an example for single women to stay pure. This is an “L” for the black community and the scourge of fatherless families in it. Let’s not get it twisted. Of course, God can redeem all. He does it all the time with everyone. But being “happy” as a single pregnant pastor is not a redemption story.

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      3. trasetta1 says:

        He who is free from sin cast the first stone. – John 8:7
        I came that you may have life and life more abundantly – John 10:10
        Love covers a multitude of fault – 1 Peter 4:8

        Show me your New Testament scripture reference for having to walk around unhappy after our sin is forgiven. A time frame for how long would be helpful too.

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      4. Ttoi says:

        The sin is preaching what you weren’t able to do as Paul states in 1 Cormier. 7:8-9, “But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” Now can anyone preach this and explain to the congregation that you are the exception because God called you to preach?
        ,

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      5. K says:

        I’m not sure “happiness” is a biblical term nor a holy pursuit. I see no connection with your verses to happiness nor the qualifications for pastorship, which is really my issue.

        Like

      6. Ttoi says:

        Wouldn’t that person continued to need washing if he/she stays in that sin? Hebrews 10:29
        Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?

        Like

  26. Hey Pastor Dez. I actually saw you at Church on Sunday but couldn’t move fast enough to speak and since I too am pregnant, and missed a few Sundays (just tired and worn), I was like WHOA what did I miss. However, this post is amazing and warm it, it made me hopeful. We have to live in our truths and not take on the opinions or negatives ideas from others therefore we grow and produce fearless Babies. Congratulations to you and all the best in your pregnancy. I really appreciate this post. Thank you for being transparent in a time when we should be most happiest.

    Like

    1. Ttoi says:

      The pregnancy is not the sin but the act that produced the pregnancy is the sin. The bible tells us to judge according to the word of God. The word of God defines the act is supposed to be between a husband and wife. God also says let the men of this world enjoy their reward NOW.

      Like

  27. Marie says:

    OMG, your story has me in tears. You see almost 32 years ago I too was in a similar situation, although I was not a pastor like you, I was an unwed mother to be. The church shunned me (the pastor actually asked me to leave the church) and the members who I thought were my friends and would support me turned their backs on me. I eventually left the church and have not been back. I am so glad that God is not like man and he has not turned his back on me. He has been very good to me and I am blessed. I wish you all the best and will keep you in my prayers. Your story gave me a renewed hope in the church. Maybe someday I will find a church like yours.

    God Bless

    Like

  28. Zeb Thomas Sr says:

    Dont know what kind of pastor she is ? But in my opinion to keep preaching is sending the wrong message to the young people in her chuch ” if she has any left.SMH ?

    Like

  29. KayB says:

    This was an excellent read. I am very happy for you. What resonated with me most is what you said about those who seek abortions because of their fear of not being able to handle the disappointment, shame, and condemnation of others and/or the church. That was me 20 years ago. I have had two abortions. I never really thought about the fact that I had them because of the shame. It is odd, but if I am honest, I felt more shame thinking about carrying those pregnancies to term than I do about the abortions. The unwed pregnancies would have been public shame and the abortions are my private shame, my choice. You have given me a lot to think about. My partner at the time rejected me and the pregnancies and I felt as if I had no support, or champion.

    I am married now and unfortunately I am also now infertile. It is difficult for me not to think sometimes that my infertility is a punishment for my sin, but I do believe in a loving God and I know I am forgiven. I know other women who have had abortions who have happy families now, and I know there is redemption for all manner of sin. Yet, I can’t help but wonder what would have been if I had seen myself as someone who would be able to take the rejection and condemnation of others? My husband (who is God’s very best for me) says that Christians who are anti-abortion need to determine other ways to persuade women to choose life, because guilt, shame, and condemnation do not work. An embrace of women and their pregnancies is a better more healthy choice for all involved.

    I wish you a blessed pregnancy and safe delivery. Enjoy this time.

    Like

  30. Stella says:

    a single unwed mom in the pulpit, no maam. You are supposed to teach the word and live by the word.
    That’s why people don’t take Christians seriously, there’s so much hypocrisy. Good luck in your journey.

    Like

  31. Rev. Joel Simpkins says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I am an ordained minister that has dealt with criticism for being divorced, getting re-married and having an “outside” child and lust demons…etc. Lol! The bottom line is that ALL have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God. Jesus corrected but restored. KEEP PREACHING WOG!!!

    Like

    1. Ttoi says:

      A lot of people get confused as if ALL that needed to be done was Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. So, we can just live how we want to live with no consequences? Repent means to turn away from the sin that we commit. Divorce is granted by man for any reason but God gives 2 reasons for divorce, death and fornication. It is not the people who accuse and judge you of this sin but the word of God that judges you.

      Like

  32. Odessa says:

    Love this article!! Thank you for sharing!! Growing up in a Christian home and becoming pregnant at 19 was certainly not what my family had envisioned for me…..but God was certainly in control of the situation.

    Like

  33. bluestateindie says:

    God bless you, bless your child, bless all those who support you and deepest thanks for sharing this. Once you bring your burdens to God in the name of Jesus nobody better have a crooked word to say. Hyper-judgmental people stay driving folks from God. I’m not having that and neither is He. Forgiveness and grace are real and a blessed thing. Looking forward to your bundle of joy!

    Like

  34. Abi says:

    I love your write up and all… Especially considering the fact that I am also pregnant and unwed and dealing with all sorts…
    But Dez, sin is wrong… We should never glamourize it in any way…
    1Cor 6:9 is clear on who would not inherit God’s kingdom…
    God’s standards never changed and never would…
    1Cor 9:18-20 is also clear on whoever practices sexual immorality is doing to the body…
    Wilful practice of sin is one of the worst things a Christian can indulge in….. Hebrews 10:26-29 is also explicit on it.
    Finally 1Cor 5:11-13 also gives clear direction on what should be done to sexually immoral person…
    1Timothy 3:13 although the direction is for men I believe applies to people who minister about God..
    Point as Christians, we are expected to live by example..
    I really understand where you are coming from because I am where you are but it doesn’t absolve my wrong doing..
    I am happy for my pregnancy but flouting God’s clear direction on fornication isn’t something I can be happy about..
    Wish you a safe delivery…
    But may we always meditate on our actions and the consequences thereof…. Especially how God feels about it

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dez says:

      Hi Abi,

      This has been a very interesting thing that has been happening. There are some who are uncomfortable with me saying I am not sorry or ashamed about being pregnant and are equating that with something other than what it is. That is, not living in condemnation, shame or guilt. Which by the way are not things God wants us to feel. I know scripture very well. I point to part of my struggle with being pregnant being how I grew up. The point of the blog is to chronicle a portion of the journey I went through to stand in my truth and be honest enough to share it. There are many who walk around with the cloud of shame over their head. That is their choice. It’s just not a choice I am willing to make for my life or pregnancy. I respect anyone who disagrees with it. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this blog. It is always important to hear many sides. God bless.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Olabisi says:

        Hi Dez,
        I’m happy you are happy. But please can you also chronicle the part of the journey where you stood in God’s truth and what He said to you about all these. Atleast for the sake of those who didn’t get the whole picture. We appreciate you and bless God for your head pastors and congregation.

        Like

    2. Retz says:

      I actually agree with ABI in totality. While the truth is that we are no one’s judge, you certainly seem to, almost in a scary way, add glory to the sin you committed. I will not refer to the pregnancy/baby at all, as that is not the sin, rather a result of the sin. I almost feel, and could be wrong, that you are “ok” with the sin you committed, as it apparently was only when you found out you were pregnant that the fornication became a known struggle. You also never refer to the sin as SIN, rather a “private act”. That is unnerving to me. While, it is nice that you are happy with your present circumstances, and I truly wish you well in your pregnancy and send prayers for a healthy happy baby, your pregnant-ly parading around on the pulpit is hardly a good witness for the masses. I say that, only because even in a corporate setting, suspensions or “leaves of absence” are necessary at times. And I am not referring to leadership “silencing a person” or “sitting a person down”, rather the individual themselves, being responsible for their actions and being ethical to the office they are called.

      Like

      1. Ttoi says:

        Well said!!!

        Like

  35. Bianca says:

    Wow. I think that was very brave of you.

    I just want to remind anyone who is reading this that it’s not about what people think, but about what God thinks about our sins and shortcomings. It’s okay to feel bad/hurt when we sin because we’ve fallen short of the holiness of God! It doesn’t mean we have to walk in shame. It’s okay to sit down and take time to get back right with/closer to God! The Bible tells us that when we sin, there is a separation, etc. issue, so it needs to be fixed. It doesn’t mean God has revoked your calling.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dez says:

      Thank you Bianca. It IS about what God thinks and I have dealt with God about it. That is why I can write about it and be ok with whatever folks may feel about it. It took hard work to do that and I am not interested in going back. My experience has drawn me closer to God and I do not feel like what I am purposed to do was revoked. If that were the case there would be a lot of folk running around not doing what they were called to do. Thank you for your words and your response!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Gayle says:

      I thought it was very profound for you to indicate that God has not revoked your calling. I’m in a situation where I’m on the front line as a praise and worship leader and I’m thinking after all is said and done, I won’t be permitted to return. I’m not sure of how long of a period is needed before being allowed to serve again. …once repented.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dez says:

        That’s interesting right? There is no scripture for that. Each church makes that determination. Some people never have the opportunity to return. Which is unfortunate. People make the decision at times to revoke something God never would. I pray you land where you should and get to continue using your gift whether there or elsewhere.

        Like

      2. mizz says:

        I was also a praise and worship leader. Was very active in the church and I’ve fallen into sexual temptation now I’m just in the congregation looking at the praise teams but can I tell u I ever never been this better…God is good. And although we fall short of the glory of God. Salvation still prevails I don’t have to be active I just wanna be saved and sanctified for my Lord..

        Like

      3. Bree says:

        If I am to be completely honest, when I 1st read the headline of this article, I went to a place of unrighteous judgement, and said in my mind “oh, but she is a leader…She should do the RIGHT thing and step down; at least for this season.” I almost moved on, without even reading the full article, which is what many of us tend to do in life; pass quick and immediate judgement with out further thought, or ANY counsel by Holy Spirit. My initial response was indicative of many of Christians who are led by a spirit of RELIGION, and not by Holy Spirit. While reading your testimony, I had to repent for making such a quick judgement on how you should have handled the situation; as I could actually feel the struggle you went through before coming to your decision. I’m glad that you touched on whether or not your calling was revoked; as there have been cased in scripture where God chose to revoke/replace a leader due to disobedience…Saul vs. David, for example. The difference with these two was one was “a man after God’s heart;” despite his shortcomings. Likewise, I think we have to be careful not to have a blanket set of rules to address situations that vary from person to person. Just as God saw David’s heart, over & pass his sin, we, as believers, having Holy Spirit within us, should be able to search the heart of a man (or woman), and come to a Godly conclusion, and be willing to face and withstand the wrath of those who do not agree. You showed great courage in the face of a very trying situation. You chose wisely not to carry the weight of the opinion of others. I pray blessings upon blessings for your new family, and that God continues to bless and grow the ministry that He has so thoughtfully entrusted you with!
        Be Bless Woman of God! 🙂

        Like

    3. Tracy says:

      God’s forgiveness is a beautiful thing. I don’t feel like you glamourized your situation. I think you spoke from a standpoint of what it feels like to be in a situation where you can easily be condemned, due to your not being able to hide what men can and to the fact that men are held to a different standard and how you as a single pastor are dealing with it. Your testimony in this story is beautiful and as your story points out you should not be ashamed or let others shame you into feeling bad about something that is between you and (y)our God. How one feels about themselves, their standards and their circumstances has nothing to do with you. Keep trusting and believing in God and know that he has a purpose and plan for you and your child. He knows every hair on your head and he knew when and how you would conceive….he knows everything. God bless you for sharing.

      Like

  36. I absolutely LOVE this article. Very powerful and extremely well done. I got a little emotional ( I hope I’m not pregnant ) lol. Congrats on your baby! Xoxo

    Like

    1. Dez says:

      Thank you Mel. We you have raised wonderful kids while looking fabulous so IF you are that kid would have a great mom lol.

      Like

  37. Erin says:

    That was beautiful! I cried while I read. Congratulations!!!

    Like

    1. Dez says:

      I cried while writing it so you are in good company. Thank you!

      Like

  38. Daishay says:

    Beautiful Dez!!! I’m proud of the woman you have become and I think this was said perfectly!! May God continue to bless you and your new bundle of joy!! Congratulations to you and your Fiancé.

    Like

    1. Dez says:

      Thank you!

      Like

      1. APOSTLE DARRELL DAVIS says:

        Hello Pastor Dez,
        Im an Apostle in the LORDs church and I read your testimony. I feel and relate to your testimony not in the sense of being pregnant but, in the sense of sin. No one is or should condemn you cause Romans 8:1. Galatians 6:1 also ads grace to the situation but, the one I want to bring clarity to concerning your situation is 1 Cor 7v35-37. This is not preached or taught as it should, it doesn’t give lincense to pre-marital sex but it does give clarity if something happens being espoused or engage. I pray this encourages you and BLESS YOU AND YOUR FIANCE ON YOUR MARRIAGE.

        Like

      2. Dez says:

        Apostle Darrell, thank you for your comments and the scripture references!

        Like

  39. Me says:

    Wow JB! What great courage!! I’m actually very proud of you. Thank you for sharing your new found freedom with the world. I hope that many others can become set free just from looking within your liberation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dez says:

      Thank you!! It feels good to be free.

      Like

  40. The Girl says:

    Great Story!! Stay strong my sister – Let us know when the baby arrives!!

    Like

    1. Dez says:

      Thank you! Will do!

      Like

  41. Rhonda says:

    How blessed are you to share such amazing true feelings. I hope your story reach the ears and eyes of many! Pastor Dez I believe your head is tilted high by the finger and love of God! I remember when I first noticed your pregnancy, I thought …..how cute is she!!! I now see it wasn’t just the mommy glow, it was Gods Grace that continues to surround you!

    Like

    1. Dez says:

      Thank you so much!! I truly feel blessed.

      Like

  42. Cox says:

    That was very nice, thank you for sharing….congratulations and God bless

    Like

    1. Dez says:

      Thank you!

      Like

  43. marquitabp says:

    This ministered to me so much…I’m almost 8.5 months pregnant and I long have known about/embraced and acknowledged my calling. I blog, minister online and was regularly contributing to a prayer ministry. Needless to say, this hasn’t been easy for me because my child’s father and I haven’t communicated since I told him I was pregnant. Turns out he lied to me about having kids and asked me to abort my child. I realized the hard way I couldn’t carry everyone else’s weight, especially their judgment…I had to distance myself from many people including relatives and I have clung to only those who don’t weigh me down as led by God. God freed me by repeatedly telling me that He will use me in spite, constantly reaffirmed my calling and said to me that my child’s impending birth is a blessing and my life will be better afterwards. Thank you for this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dez says:

      I am so glad you are walking in your calling. It is definitely tough without the support of people, but as you have alluded to we have a choice in WHO we surround ourselves with. Sometimes being by ourselves is better than being around people who only speak death in your life. Thank you for sharing.

      Liked by 2 people

  44. Shuwanda says:

    And there it is……… Have a blesed delivery Dez! You are so funny!!! Great story/truth telling!! Love you!

    Like

  45. bedotorg says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this truth. Thank you for ALWAYS being you! Love you, Dez boo.

    Like

  46. Kathy says:

    Minister Desiree, well written and so helpful and powerful. Its all about your jounery and walk with God, blessings bestow you on the blessing and joy of you becoming a mother, there is no words to describe that.. “Judge not yet, ye be judged. God bless you, your fiance and the bundle of joy.

    Like

  47. Mia says:

    Amazing! Thank you for sharing. I support you, your journey, and your ministry!.

    Like

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