A Woman Scorned

I woke up at 5 a.m. with sharp, intense pains. I was in labor and my son was on his way. I rolled over to inform my son’s father about what was about to happen.

My son was arriving a week early and my partner didn’t believe I was in labor. So, he left me alone and went to work — forcing me to fend for myself, our unborn child and his twin 2-year-old boys.

 

How did I end up here?

Why was I in a relationship with someone who couldn’t tend to my needs during a life-altering event?

 

This was just another relationship where I felt alone and isolated.

I was born and raised in the Pentecostal church, where speaking in tongues showed how saved and sanctified you were.

In that circle, Jesus was Mr. Fix It for every situation.

 

If you were sick, call on Jesus.

If you had a test coming up, call on Jesus.

If you were depressed — you guessed it, call on Jesus.

 

Yes, Jesus can do anything.

However, He also equipped doctors, tutors and therapists with the knowledge and skills to help when things get tough.

I didn’t fully understand Pentecostal life and when I asked questions, I was deemed rebellious.

So, I left and didn’t look back for a few years.

 

When I returned, I was more educated on who God was and what He meant to me.

But with baby in tow, my welcome back was…less than celebrated. I was greeted with fake “Praise the Lords” and grimacing glares.

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My son and I (2016)

It was hard to push through, but I realized where I went left, instead of right, and I was trying to make amends with God. I craved a relationship with Him.

 

Right around that time, my relationship with my son’s father became even more strained. I encouraged him to pursue a relationship with God, but he was not interested.

I understood I could not force him, but I tried to let my lifestyle change be an example to him.

As I deepened my walk with God and got more involved with my church, I devoted less time and attention to him.

Eventually, our relationship ended and I was free to live the life I wanted — and that included God in His entirety.

 

Time passed and the desire to extend my family surfaced.

I watched friends and acquaintances — young and old — in the church get married and start families.

 

Where was my Prince Charming? My Mr. Right?

I’ve re-dedicated my life to God and I’m living right — what’s the problem?

 

Christian men who once showed interest in me barely said hello anymore. And if there were men who were still interested, they were actively discouraged from pursuing me.

People often looked at me in disgust and disdain as if I had devil horns protruding from my forehead.

 

How dare I want to get married?

 

I was expected to show up to church with no hope of returning to ministry — at least not any time soon — much less getting married.

During this challenging time, I noticed I wasn’t alone.

 

There were a few other young ladies who were single, unwed with children, patiently waiting for someone — anyone — to come and save them from their singleness.

We were beautiful, ambitious women — why were we being overlooked?

Then it hit me.

 

We weren’t virgins. And just like Hester Prynne, our babies branded us with scarlet letters.

 

We were labeled as unlovable, unworthy and most of all unchaste.

A few years before I had my son, a young lady in our church showed up after not attending for a few months. She was reserved and shy, which was unlike her usual talkative and vivacious personality.

A few days later, amongst church “friends”, I found out she was pregnant.

 

Then the rumor mill started to spread.

 

I knew she wasn’t a virgin.

She’s been sleeping around for some time now.

Did you know she got kicked out of her home?

Her mother told her to have an abortion.

They caught her having sex at her school.

 

And the young men didn’t make it easier.

I hit that.

You too bro?! 

 

 

This was — as I could imagine — a nightmare for the young lady.

The people who once loved and believed in her, spoke nothing but negativity about her. She was forced to marry the father of her child, because in the church, she was already spiritually married in the eyes of God.

And soon after, her church attendance plummeted.

 

A few years later, she confessed she got pregnant the first time she had sex. However, the trauma she faced at the hands of the church members made her wonder if the ridicule was of God or her punishment.

She remained unwed throughout her twenties, but fortunately, she eventually married the love of her life — a young man from another church.

 

Her horrendous experience was almost identical to mine. And for a while, I punished myself the way the church punished me. Therapy and a change in church scenery taught me how to forgive myself and to make strides to be better.

 

Today, I am proud to say that the call of God is still on my life.

He still loves me just as much as He did before I had my son.

I have learned many valuable lessons over the years. The most important being to no longer allow anyone to define me or to try and shape my fate.

 

I will not give anyone else authority over my life.

I’ve given all my cares to Him and He has blessed me more than I could have ever imagined in this lifetime.

I was predestined by nay-sayers to live a single life of punishment because of an act I committed years ago.

 

But God turned my mess into my blessing and granted me favor.

Through all my lows and misfortunes, He strategically placed the man He designed just for me outside of the walls that scorned me.

Melissa Engagement Shoot

 

My fiancé and I (2019)

And that man loves me the way God intended for a man to love his wife.

He saw my worth, my value and my desire to evolve.

 

Yes, you made a mistake.

Regardless if it was last week, last month, or last year, it is your past.

You got pregnant and had a baby out of wedlock.

You were in a relationship that you knew was not meant for you.

But I still love you.

 

No one has the right to weaponize past circumstances against you.

I’ve learned to forgive the ones who caused me pain.

However, my scorned scars still remain visible and are a constant reminder that God’s love isn’t contemptuous, but rather filled with grace and favor. 

Melissa Brissett

  • Danielle

    To God be the glory!!!

  • Nadia Anglin

    Girl when people say it’s over and throw in the towel God will never give up on his own I am so happy for you I wish you all the best. Only if some of these people will help to build us instead of tearing us down as young people

    • Melissa

      Nadia, this is what I’m here for. I want to build people up and encourage them to love their truths and not allow their pasts to control them.

  • Lovan

    Love this!!! All the persecution and shame is so unfair and unjust and yet it comes from like minded believers who go through the very same things smh. None of us are perfect and we shouldn’t look down on any person, just because their “sin” is different.

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