Jessica E. Howell, School Program Coordinator

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Jessica E. Howell

A pregnancy test sat on the bathroom counter with double pink lines. Terror and shame washed over me as I thought here I am fourteen and pregnant. My parents, they are going to hate me. My family, they are going disown me. Everyone will know!

It was 1996; I was 12 when I first met Michael, who is now my husband and fell head over hills in love. He was three years older than I was and an unlikely match. I was raised, in a very loving and Christian home by my mom and step-dad. Let us just say his upbringing was very different than mine. We began to have a physical relationship shortly after meeting and sneaking around behind my parents back. Of course, thinking this is what happens next when you love someone.

Now, by the age of fourteen, I was pregnant and completely breaking my parent’s heart. Then between
20-22 weeks, I had a miscarriage. About a week prior, I had just started to feel movement. While at the E.R., I can still remember seeing my baby on the ultrasound screen and hearing the doctor say there is no heartbeat. My Mom asked the doctor what he would do now if it were his daughter. He said, “I recommend doing a DNC, so she does not have to see it.” The feelings of loss were overwhelming on top of believing God was punishing me for my sin.

By fifteen, I was pregnant again and happy to be. On June 11, 1999, Heather Catherine Howell was born. It was the first time; I realize that God loved me, and I was holding the proof. By seventeen, baby number 2 was on the way. I had experienced another miscarriage between baby number two and baby number 3. I was in my early twenty’s and married but still viewed being pregnant as something shameful.

I asked a relative to borrow some money so I could abort the pregnancy. I felt like I was letting everyone down again. Before the thought could give way to action, I miscarried again. Sadly this only led to more grief. I believed this happened because I thought about having an abortion. Shortly afterward, to my delight, I was pregnant again.

In 2009, my husband, Michael, had an accident at work, which the first time made me look back at my life choices and my relationship with God. One year after that accident, at the age of 26, we found out I was pregnant again. Once again, I felt all those feelings of shame. I sat down with my mom and just cried while telling her I was once again pregnant. She laughed. Then asked me why I was apologizing and crying. I slowly began to start to understand it was a heart problem; only God could, fix not a baby problem.

I began to seek God. One of the ways He spoke to me was through my daughter Heather, who loved Jesus. By watching her life, I started understanding what it really meant to be a Christian. Sadly in October of 2013 at the age of fourteen, Heather went to be with Jesus. I realized that I had given God my heart, but I had never given him my life. God had given his son for me while I was yet sinner, just as he had given me a daughter in my sin. I thank God that I had parents that never advised me to cover my sin by abortion and only God could have known the little girl He gave me would be the very one that would point me to Him.

Jessica works from Concepts of Truth’s home office in Wynne, AR as the School Program Coordinator and Development Assistant. She loves the Lord and is Thankful for all He has done in her life.