My name is Charmaine Davis and I grew up in a chronically dysfunctional home. Instead of being loved and guided, I raised myself. My upbringing left me yearning for direction, love, and fulfillment. I was 18 when I began a serious relationship and moved in with a 32-year-old man. I wanted a home, and that’s what he gave me -well that and a child. After facing an unplanned pregnancy, I soon learned that he didn’t care about me at all. He was a jealous, sexually and physically violent drug addict, who would accuse me of cheating that never happened and kept me isolated from any support systems I did have. Due to my upbringing, I was blind to his indiscretions, living a life all too familiar.
When I finally woke to the abuse, I realized I didn’t want the cycle to continue with my daughter. I was determined to make a better life for her than the cards I had been dealt growing up. I opted to leave, and he gave me money to have an abortion. Not wanting to alert him to my plans to keep my preborn child, I took the money.
Feeling scared, alone, and unequipped, I found my way to a crisis pregnancy center and was introduced to what a maternity home is. I was referred to Breath of Life Ministries – a pregnancy shelter, maternity home, and adoption agency in Austin, Texas.
When I met with staff members at Sarah’s House, the maternity home of Breath of Life Ministries, they talked with me about what I wanted for myself and my child. They accepted me, and I moved in soon after. I was welcomed into a beautiful home that had a Christian mother and father. I was astounded at the stark difference between how I was raised and how they treated me. They were firm, but loving, and modeled what God intended the family unit to look like.
I went back to school and attended counseling while I was at Sarah’s House. The couple taught us all the things an adult should know such as cooking, cleaning, and other life skills. I also learned a lot about God and gave my life to Jesus while I was there, later getting baptized. They encouraged and supported me through it all. I received my college certificate for Certified Nursing Assistant while I was at the maternity home. Close to my departure, they helped me find employment in my field and housing. I left with my daughter, Eva, 6 weeks after having her, feeling equipped as a woman, mother, and person.
Pregnancy centers and maternity homes are a vital component of the pro-life movement. Breath of Life Ministries, like all pregnancy resource centers, relies on donations to stay afloat. Breath of Life is currently struggling under the pressure of paying rent and other bills and they need urgent help or will face having to close their doors to women and babies.
I am now a registered nurse, mother of three precious blessings from God, and daughter of the redeeming King. I don’t know where I would be without Breath of Life. To those of you who have a troubling past and present and have found yourself pregnant, I encourage you to find a crisis pregnancy center in your area who can help you get connected to resources for parenting and adoption. Abortion is not the way out of the life you’ve known, it only further compounds underlying issues, further tightening the chains! Embracing life is what will free you! You can do this! The cycle can break with you!
Feleica Langdon is the founder of Life Defenders.