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I admit it. I am not a fan of Halloween. I love October! I love fall weather, pumpkin spice, crunchy leaves, candy corn (yes, I like candy corn), but not Halloween. I am not against fun costumes and candy, but I do not being afraid. I don’t like scary movies (never watch them), I don’t like death, violence or any type monster. I don’t like being afraid. Fear makes us jumpy, sweat, its hard to breathe when you are afraid. There are lots of physical and chemical reactions that happen in your body when you are afraid and I am not a fan of any of those feelings. I don’t even like surprise parties!
I don’t think I am completely alone in this thought. God is not a fan of fear either. There are 360 times the words “do not fear” are used in the Bible. It is usually said by an angel to human. I don’t know what it is about angels, but apparently when you see one face to face, you will become fearful. The angel told Zacharias “Do not be afraid” in Luke 1:13,  and to Mary, “Do not be afraid” (Luke 1:30)  to Joseph in Matthew 1:20 and to shepherds in Luke 2:10. Four times the words “Do not be afraid” were spoken by an angel and it was in regard to a baby.

We see the same thing every day in our Pregnancy Center. Clients come in and they are afraid. Afraid of the outcome of the pregnancy test, afraid of rejection or judgment, afraid of the life change that has happened, afraid of the future. It is in that moment that we wish we had the power of angels to say “Do not be afraid”- and it would be so. Unfortunately, it is not that easy. We won’t minimize a clients fears, we will understand because many of the advocates clients meet with have been in that same fearful place.  The task is ours to meet the client in her fear and try to help her through the fear and into a place of peace, confidence and hope. It is not easy and we are not always successful. Fear has an amazing power to literally drive someone into danger (isn’t that theme of most horror movies?). Fear can make us choose an option we would never consider in a place of peace. Fear makes us panic and our thoughts are not rational or reasonable. Fear makes us think only about survival and about this moment, not the future.

The Client Advocates at the Bakersfield Pregnancy Center come along side fearful clients and try, with all our hearts, to bring her out of fear and into a place of safety and peace, so that she can make a clear and calm decision regarding her pregnancy.

Happy Autumn 

When it comes to your relationship with your partner, how confidently can you say that it is the kind of relationship you want? Is it healthy? Healthy relationships start with your everyday decisions. Can someone you love tell you to do something you don't feel right about? 

If you and your partner are considering sex or have already had sex but you are hesitant to continue, you're not alone. There are many women that wonder about their future, especially when a woman finds out she's pregnant. All women should know that they have the ability to make decisions that will benefit themselves and their partner. When you think about how your decisions define you, your partner, and your future, visualize a yard stick. Think of putting a yard stick on the tips of your fingers.

 

If you try to balance a yardstick on the tip of your fingers while looking at the bottom of the yardstick, the yardstick will fall fairly quickly, but if you look at the top of the yardstick you can balance it because as you're looking at the top of the yardstick, you can make tiny little adjustments with the hand down below to keep it from falling. These adjustments keep the measuring stick upright.  

The girl who looks at the bottom of the yardstick makes a choice based on what feels good right now. She's not looking at what's going to happen in her future. She's focused on what feels good, not how her choice will affect her future.

A woman Thinks About Her Future

When a woman makes a life choice, she looks at what represents the top of the yard stick; and it represents her looking at her future. So she keeps in mind the following:

 "Do I want to go to school, do I want to finish high school, do I want to go to college, do I want a certain career?"

 She keeps that goal in mind when she's making her life choices. It's not just about, "will it feel good?" She recognizes as she works at her life goals, "If I get pregnant that's going to change my ability to go to school, that's going to change my ability to have the career im looking forward to. It's going to change what happens to my parents." She makes a different choice because she's thinking about her future.

A woman thinks about the future of her partner and others

A woman doesn't just think about her future. A woman looks at the future of other people as well. So it's her future she looks at. She looks at her partner's future. If they have sex and she gets pregnant, is that going to change his future? What are his goals? How will having a child affect his life?  

A woman thinks about her future, her boyfriends' future. She thinks about her potential baby. It's going to affect the baby more than anyone else. Is the baby going to be aborted? is the baby going to be adopted? is the baby going to live with a single mom? Who is that baby going to live with? grandparents? 

It's not just going to be the teenage girl, it's going to be her parents or his parents. That will change her future. It changes the community. If there's people having sex out of marriage, then they are more likely to need help. It means the whole community is helping them and its affecting the whole community as well.

 A woman makes daily adjustments 

Ask yourself, what is tempting to you? Is it too tempting for you to go to your house with your boyfriend? It's like you have a piece of cake in front of you and you're on a diet. It's got fluffy frosting and it's sitting under a glass dome, and it's your favorite cake. How are you going to do sitting right next to that cake? You're not going to do very well. At least put it out of sight.

Choose where you go with your partner. Choose to go to places where there's not absolute privacy. If you go to his house and his parents aren't home... what are you going to do? It's too easy, it's too tempting. Avoid tempting places. don't go over to his house when no one's there. It keeps you accountable. It keeps you out of the thoughts. If you're alone in his bedroom and the door is shut, what are you thinking about? And if you're not thinking about it, he's thinking about it. Don't do it. That's up there with saying, I'm going to go over to her house and do homework. You just make a pact with each other that that is not something you can do. 

 A Woman Waits 

 A woman looks at how to wait. She looks at her temptations and she gives it a true evaluation. She doesn't play games with herself. She knows what her weaknesses are. You take the options away and it protects you so you're not fighting yourself all the time. We do a lot of fighting when we don't have to. We just need to make little choices down here (lower part of the measuring stick) that prevent big choices that have to be made. It takes the options away.  

 Do not overthink it. Take away the temptations. You're old enough to know what your weakness is. As a woman, you recognize what your weaknesses are and you can compensate by taking those choices (that you're more likely to succumb to doing) out of the picture completely. 

 A woman says to herself, i really like him, he's a cool guy but I'm afraid that if I go on that weekend trip, I'll just be too tempted, and I know myself and i don't want to hurt my future. I don't want to damage his goals. I know he has goals, so I want to respect that. I don't want to put our futures at risk. So a high schooler would say, I'm not going to go to a party where there's drinking and drugs because i've had friends that have been raped there. I don't want that temptation in my life. because I have other things to focus on right now.

 Ladies, the "next step" cannot include something that will harm your future or that of your partner's. If he says he loves you but he wants you to take all the risks, realize this: that's not love. A real man, not a boy, will honor your requests and respect your values.  

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