Thirty-seven years ago I was graduating from high school and wondering if my teenage boyfriend would show up for our wedding on May 28.

I was pregnant.

A majority of people we knew thought we should either abort our baby or place him for adoption, leaving us unencumbered to finish our college educations. My high school coaches thought my senior track season was more important than our baby’s life.

This is not how you want your firstborn to be greeted by the world.

As I write these words my stomach tightens and a crush of anxiety spreads across my chest. Even now, nearly four decades later, a sense of abandonment and loneliness aches in my heart.

It’s easier for people to urge expediency than to stand in the trenches with you when something this difficult impacts your life. It’s the easy way out for them, but not for you.

Some of my friends aborted babies that year; others placed babies for adoption, and others kept their babies. Once a young girl is pregnant before she’s prepared, she has lost something that is irretrievable. She will mourn the loss of her youth, the loss of her baby, or both. who are you? bies via Compfight

My boyfriend stood with me. Together we mourned the loss of our youth and celebrated the gift of our first child. We married at ages seventeen and eighteen. Around us wary eyes watched, expecting the inevitable failure and coming end of our marriage.

Hardly anyone expected us to make it.

But, only by the grace of God, we did. Our lives are like a passage of Scripture detailing the dismal condition before God transforms it all. Then these two words show everything has changed:

But God…

Someone—a campus church, Great Commission Ministries—welcomed us in. They explained the gospel to my husband. The circumstances had already prompted my repentance, fallen-away believer that I was. In community the elders and friends of our campus church helped us to grow and modeled Christian life for us.

They didn’t give up on us. They didn’t assume we would fail. They didn’t give only what was expedient. Because they invested in us, we battled our way through those early years, and we grew.

It was hard. It was messy.

But God changed everything.

By his grace we’re still married. And our marriage is good.

An investment in someone when they’re young and their situation seems hopeless can change everything. Can you give beyond what is comfortable? Can you believe God can transform the situation? Can you hope and pray and love?

Think about it.