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Pregnant, Unmarried and a Pastor. Pastor Desiree Allen Talks About TheCriticisms & Negativity Following Her Situation




In an article she posted on her Blog, Pastor Desiree Allen talks about how she has been dealing with all the criticism and negativity. She says she would not be shamed out of doing something she loves; preaching. Read her post below:

I found out I was pregnant at the happiest place on earth. It was Mother’s Day and I was on vacation at Disney World. Go figure. I noticed my normally regular period hadn’t come which is usually no biggie. I would chalk it up to stress. Except now, thanks to acupuncture, I was used to it coming like clockwork. It’s only day one I told myself. It’ll come tomorrow. And it did, but only stopped by for a brief visit before disappearing into the abyss. I waited for her to come back. She never did.
The next day, I did what any normal sane woman would do. Scoured the resort for pregnancy tests like a madwoman. I went to every store on my resort AND the sister resort. Not a test in sight. No not one. How is this the happiest place on earth and you not expect people to get pregnant or need a pregnancy test? How do you have the mind to have a chip at the bottom of my cup that electronically determines how many more refills I have at the soda machine, but not sell an EPT Pregnancy Test? Or at least a Disney knock-off brand. I wasn’t giving up. I went to the front desk. They always have extra shoelaces, cans of beans or whatever you need. Maybe just maybe they had a pregnancy test. Nope, but the lady at the front did discreetly let me know there was an offsite pharmacy that would deliver these “sorts of things” to the resort for a fee. She slipped me the card like she was passing me a bag of weed and k2.
Was I really this desperate? You know I was. I placed the order and waited for a test to confirm what I already knew.
I was pregnant. My immediate reaction was shock. This was not planned. Yes, I know it’s a potential consequence of having sex, but not one readily expected. With the exception of living a pretty much celibate lifestyle in my twenties I had been having sex on and off since I was 15 and had never been pregnant. In fact, I assumed when I was ready it would be very hard for me to conceive. Boy did I miscalculate that.
After the initial shock was joy. Yet, underneath something else was lingering. Anger? No. Disappointment? No. It was pure and utter dread. Not at being pregnant. Not at whether or not I would be a good mother. What had my stomach turning, other than nausea, was me being pregnant AND a pastor. Let’s face it. The church has not had a good track record of accepting unmarried women who got pregnant. If you’ve been in church for any period of time you’ve heard or witnessed the aftermath. Shunning, slut shaming, being sat down from your position, having to go up in front of the church and confess your sin, etc. etc. No one can be naΓ―ve enough to say this type of stuff doesn’t happen in church. An ugly truth is people in church leadership have sex outside of marriage, affairs, do drugs, drink, so on and so forth. Generally, these are not considered acceptable acts. BUT I have seen many churches turn a blind eye to this behavior, because it can be hidden. Don’t ask. Don’t tell. To be pregnant is a very visible indication of a private act and for some reason provides people with more of a need to respond.
You may as well Scarlet Letter it up and place a big ole S on your chest for sex Hester Prynne style. “The church” is already harsher on women for their “crimes,” but being a pastor also meant that both me and my fiancΓ© were going to go through this publicly. I didn’t know what that meant, how it would affect my job and if I was prepared to deal with it.
Pregnancy already inherently diminishes some anonymity as people feel it their right to invade your personal space, offer up unsolicited advice and ask you private questions. Pastorship inherently makes some feel your personal life is their public business as you lose some sense of individuality for the sake of belonging to the church. As a pretty private person I had always struggled with the latter. Adding pregnancy seemed like my worse nightmare.
It was not as if I had a blueprint for this in my church. My pastors had been very open about having their first child while unmarried in college. That was more than 20 years ago. They were young. None of us were there. They were not pastors then. It was in the past enough to be hazy memory and turn into a testimony. Many of us know the struggles we have had in the past. For many, it’s what brought us to church. Yet, as soon as we get far enough away from our struggles to label them “redeemable” or for them not to be in the forefront of our minds it becomes much easier to give someone else the side eye for behavior we don’t agree with. It is often easier to NOT afford others the grace we were so freely offered. I had experienced people judge everything from my clothing to social media posts fully aware that if it had been another pastor they would’ve gotten a pass. My apprehension was not unwarranted and although privately excited I was concerned about public persona. I did a lot of wrestling that week. I came to grips with the reality that part of the monster in my head was created by me. My past. My upbringing. What I was taught about the bible.
I realized I had some baggage and I wanted to deal with this pregnancy on my own terms regardless of how people felt or responded. In those first few months I decided I couldn’t carry the weight of others’ opinions and judgments including my own. I also had to confront the ways in which I judged others based on their decisions and actions. I decided I was going to walk with my head held high, because I was proud and excited to be pregnant. Often, when people think you’ve done something wrong or have sinned they want you to walk around with your head low in guilt. Otherwise, how would THEY know you were sorry? Well, I wasn’t sorry or ashamed. Shame and happiness cannot reside in the same place. I decided to only surround myself with those who had positive energy. I knew there would be rough days, but I also knew the good would outweigh the bad. So when the first comment was made about my pregnancy being an abomination I wasn’t bothered, because it wasn’t MY truth. Plus who uses abomination anyway? Can we say antiquated?
I had a choice on how to define my own happy and write my own story. I thought about the women who were belittled in their churches for being pregnant. The women who felt abortion was a better option than humiliation. The girl or young women of a pastor forced into abortion, because the family couldn’t handle the shame. The woman who left the church permanently because the members couldn’t accept her child. The woman who watched the same people who loved her each Sunday avoid her like a plague. The woman who would give up everything to be pregnant regardless of the circumstances and still finds her womb bare. So many women who may have made a different choice if they understood the power they had. If someone had told them, it was ok to make the best choice for them ignoring the outside voices. It would get better. They could outlive this. I understood what some people thought, what some scriptures said, but also the validity of my own experience.
At three months I revealed my pregnancy to the staff at my church. It wasn’t planned. It was at our annual staff retreat. If you could see inside my mind you would have seen the warring back and forth.
“Do it now.”
“What? Are you crazy? This is not the time.”
“It may not be your timing, but it IS the perfect time.”
“Can’t I wait? Or tell them one by one?”
“Well if you wanted to wait you shouldn’t have worn that dress. Come on. It will be like pulling off a Band-Aid. Have this conversation once and you won’t have to have it again.”
“I’m nervous.”
“You’ll be fine. The outcome will be better than expected.”
The words kind of fell out of my mouth in front of everyone. I explained my joy and the importance this did not undo and diminish all the work and dedication I had put in for six years. I felt empowered. I shared what I wanted to share, how I wanted to share, own my own terms. I wasn’t responding to anyone or defending myself. I was standing in my truth. In a moment I will never forget, our executive pastor had  the staff encircle around me and they begin to pray. A noise that can only be described as a wail left my mouth and I broke. To the point of needing a chair to sit in. I broke in the most beautiful way possible. In the breaking I was free. That ugly Jesus cry released every anxiety, fear and worry holding me down. They promised to protect me and support me. In that moment I saw God. It was a moment that transcended boundaries or judgment. It was pure love. I felt free.
One of my favorite lines from The Scarlet Letter is: “She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom.” I was carrying a lot of weight and baggage. The weight of what if. The weight of my upbringing. The weight of others’ opinions. The weight of judgment. It was heavy and I did the hard work of dropping that weight. I have no plans of picking it back up.
So no, I cannot carry your weight about MY situation. Whoever you are. I have my own beautiful, amazing and miraculous weight to carry for the next few months and a lifetime.
Photos found here and here. Preaching photo from September 2016 taken by Eddie Sparkman. I was 5 1/2 months pregnant. I have preached throughout my pregnancy and will do so until I can no longer waddle on the stage.

Comments

  1. I like the write up. And I absolutely love her approach. Pregnancy before marriage is shame VS happiness. She has a good heart thats why she could let her happiness shine. Ofcourse the reaction depends on the peculiarity of the circumstance. You wont show happiness if you got pregnant from a one night stand.

    Peace

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The peculiarity of circumstance, as well, isnt in her favour as you've compared to a one night stand. Looking at the fact that she's also preacher. The reality of hundreds to thousands of people looking up to her... That's a whole weight as well.
      So A girl who's pregnant from a one night stand, can still connect and be inspired by this story and choose the right path (which is the idea of avoiding abortion of any form). It really gets to me, you know.

      Delete
  2. Hmmmm...if you no fit hold body,get a condom...Some people would still come and defend this using scripture passages....Uyi,oya come and talk your own...TNHW

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know me, the sort of pride I feel knowing a woman can understand inner joy and strength of being pregnant and being proud of whatever situation after being aware.

      Delete
    2. She is a role model, role models are held up to higher standards,if you can't do the job don't sign up for it. As a woman I can identify with her,as a pastor it is WRONG on all levels. Practice what you preach, there is no compromise in the kingdom,we all make mistakes and fall as human beings but don't use new age 21st century empowerment bullshit to justify it especially when you're in such a position. We know the biblical stance on pre-marital sex, we know the word used to describe it and we know it's a sin. We know we all make mistakes, we know we are supposed to fess up and admit our wrong,not justify it with empowerment. Mtcheeeeew
      A Girl

      Delete
  3. Human beings and the desire to ALWAYS complicate issues though. In all this epistle she wrote, I was looking for one thing and ofcourse, I didn't see it, not with what this world has turned into already.

    "...Well, I wasn’t sorry or ashamed. Shame and happiness cannot reside in the same place..."

    This just highlighted the whole message. She was only worried about the culture of pleasing society with sob stories and their judgmental attitude towards her, she wasn't worried that she offended GOD, and THAT is the MAIN PROBLEM. The earlier we realize that we're much more answerable to GOD than to 10 times 7 billion earthlings, the easier life becomes for us. You can't commit sin and be talking about not being sorry or ashamed but being happy, unless you've ultimately yielded to the darkness in your heart for reasons best known to you. She's setting a dangerous trend and I do really pity her because she'll answer to the result of that trend at the end.

    If you sin, ask GOD for forgiveness, be happy and teach others not to make the same mistake. Then whatever negative things they say about you shouldn't concern you since GOD has already forgiven you. Is that so hard for crying out loud? Is it? Must we justify EVERY nonsense we do just because we're afraid of criticism? Honestly...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Considering that God's judgement is not always immediate, unlike criticism from "them uncles + aunties", the latter makes for more interesting read I guess.. It's her blog, but personally I would have preferred if she wrote about her inner conflict with God concerning her situation and being a pastor.

      /Toothfairy

      Delete
    2. You said it all Memphis. J

      Delete
    3. My exact sentiments Memphis. This is what the world has turned to. When you say it, they call you judgemental. She didn't address the sin of fornication. What the difference between her concern and that of many regular ladies (non pastors).

      Delete
    4. My exact sentiments Memphis. This is what the world has turned to. When you say it, they call you judgemental. She didn't address the sin of fornication. What the difference between her concern and that of many regular ladies (non pastors).

      Delete
    5. ...Are you guys serious right now? Seriously? You're more bothered with the fact that this isn't the usual 'sunday school' lesson? And you guys are even asking what the world is turning into? You people are the reason why we see fetus in dump sites. I'm very angry at you Chrisyinks for seconding and Memphis for this sort of perspective you have chosen to look at this issue. She's a preacher and you think she doesn't understand the power of forgiveness? You think asking for forgiveness, alone, has helped the society at large? You think... Let me just stop here.

      Bottoms line is this, no One is perfect. Realizing that is very much more important than trying to fake perfection with the expression of guilt and forgoing the 9month mental process a woman has to deal with.

      I really do hope this message would get to teenagers out there and even those unmarried folks who are ashamed of pregnancy when they have it. Resorting to abortion to save face. Now that's the message here and let's not try to redirect this message in a rather unnecessary act of sainthood.

      ABEG!!!
      If this message will save that unborn child out there, please let it. I don't care if she's gonna ask for forgiveness or not. That's not our respective business.

      She's a Godsent for this message... I almost didn't read this post. Thank you Jesus. We need more imperfect preachers in this society please.

      Delete
    6. When we make mistakes we should be repentant,not trying to justify it. God forgives all but we must first agree we did wrong,nobody asked her to abort but she is passing the wrong message across. She is not Godsent, she is confused. The Bible is explicitly clear, man cannot psychologise and remodel it to fit his purpose.
      A Girl

      Delete
    7. This mssg is not just for teenagers but for every woman. A lot of women these days have abortions to save face...Even the ones coming here to type jibberish...But pple will look at this woman funny just because...

      Delete
    8. "...She's a preacher and you think she doesn't understand the power of forgiveness?..."

      Please quote anywhere in this entire epistle where she even hinted about the power of forgiveness. The fact that you've even missed what annoyed me about this whole thing is surprising. All she focused on was setting herself free from society judgments and honestly, I'm in TOTAL support of that. But the main fact will always remain that SHE HAS OFFENDED GOD. She's made a mistake and her first action would be to seek for forgiveness (which is readily given even before asked) then teach her followers not to make the same mistake that she did. Please wouldn't that also save unborn kids? Wouldn't that also reduce fornication? Isn't she supposed to teach that pleasing GOD supersedes any kind of earthly judgment?

      With this attitude of hers, don't be surprised by people getting pregnant outside wedlock and taking it as a normal thing (it has even started). GOD isn't hasty in HIS Judgment so I don't know why we must take delight in acknowledging nonsense instead of obtaining *readymade* Mercy. Obtain mercy, flee from judgment, life is easy.

      Delete
    9. hey Uyi,

      Apologies If I did offend you but I believe that if one holds such a visible office in the church, a basic expectation of adhering to the tenets of the church and Christianity is expected. Fine, she sinned (according to the Bible and Christianity)....everybody sins. My one issue is justifying the sin!...pretty much Memphis was saying. Chrisyinks

      Delete
    10. Her post wasn't about forgiveness... She isn't doing that because this post isn't about forgiveness. I'm repeating myself *sigh. How clear can she be again?
      Let's leave her public 'forgiveness' to her prerogative. This here is for those who are old enough to get pregnant and runaway from the responsibility. You think someone matured enough to get pregnant doesn't understand the repercussions of her action? And the act of forgiveness?
      They will actually perform the act of abortion and go for forgiveness.
      But that's not the point here. The point is not to let shame cloud your reasoning to do what is right for the unborn child.

      Delete
    11. Chrisyinks πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„ why o why are you apologizing to Uyi? You are entitled to your opinion. That's his cup of tea if he doesn't like it or if he is "disappointed". Who cares?😏
      Many a time his opinions are a total opposite of what others believe. Sooo kini big deal?

      Uyi. Forever missing the point as long as it is not in line with your opinion or belief. And you keep talking about people being "open minded".
      I don't even know why Memphis bothers sometimes sef πŸ˜’

      Delete
    12. It's shaa admirable how bro Uyi manages to look at everybody's blunder through rose tinted glasses.

      Delete
    13. "...Let's leave her public 'forgiveness' to her prerogative...".

      Unfortunately she's a clergy, she doesn't have the luxury of prerogative in this case. That's the point. That's why it's rather annoying that all she talked about was running away from the Pharisees of these times instead of seeking the beauty of GOD'S Mercy. St. Paul says that if the food he eats causes another to sin, he'll cease eating that food. It's dangerous for any clergy to talk this way because majority of young women won't get the importance of forgiveness, especially when she implied from the beginning that she didn't even feel any ounce of shame but gladness. Gladness in sin, and you say:

      "...You think someone matured enough to get pregnant doesn't understand the repercussions of her action? And the act of forgiveness?...".

      She clearly showed she didn't even care about the repercussions. Someone who cares would have deep remorse and seek forgiveness from GOD alone, and teach her members about the healing power of forgiveness. That, in this case, is MOST important than focusing on what judgmental people would say or do.

      Lol @Kabuoy. Uyi needs a reset through your punches.

      Delete
    14. Memphis and A girl said it all. I pity those who sit down and listen to her preaching @Uyi, na your way, am actually not surprised your comments.

      Delete
    15. @maybel I'm glad you're not surprised

      'Gladness in sin'... At what point
      Did pregnancy become sin?

      I didn't mince words when I said you're part of the problems with abortions due to guilt.

      Take Kabouy for example, if she gets pregnant before marriage, how would she deal with it? From the way she acts, generally, I'm 100% sure she's definitely going to consider abortion as an alternative. True or true?

      Delete
    16. Bottom line, abortion is not an option. PERIOD! I don't care who that person is or how that person has chosen to deal with her personal demons, it's not just an option.

      Delete
    17. Congratulations Uyi! Clap for yourself! πŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎ

      You know me sooo well to jump to that conclusion... smh! talking with the two sides of your mouth. You canvass for people not to be judged and in the same vein you do the exact thing you're canvassing against.
      Well done sir! Kabuoy's abortion doctor. We shall call on you when we need your services!
      Radaaaada *in jenifa's voice*

      PS: no one mentioned abortion as an option. But of course... you always find a way to confuse a very clear point no matter how it is stated. It's tiring really. Kudos to Memphis who always does a good job. The real MVPπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™Œ

      Pele my dia. Waa wa alright! Hopefully soon!

      Delete
  4. My thoughts are in line with what Memphis and Anon 7:33 wrote.


    It is a wa!

    Just when you think you have read and seen it all.


    *QuirkyMoi*

    ReplyDelete
  5. The thing here is, sex before marriage has been endorsed by her act. I am not judging, neither am I a saint but I am a firm believer in not taking up a particular position if one is not ready to bear the cross that comes with it.

    -F

    ReplyDelete
  6. well said Memphis* our opinions are subject to the teachings / morals & ideals of Pst. Desiree Allen's church... BIG GOOF!!! It would have been honorable for a her to step down; be relieved of her Pastoral status / Preaching. There's soo much pride in her... heading for the destruction of many

    ReplyDelete
  7. I totally agree with your points Memphis.

    I think, this is a "feel good post" . She may get the approval of men....but God opinion is all that matters.

    I see more damage than good here.
    Her words should have reflected more than simply "justifying" her actions.

    Sin is sin......a contrite heart helps speeden God's mercy.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Signs of end time. @Uyi why do I feel like I know you?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Lol. This is funny as hell. Uyi is sooo not as open minded as he thinks, he is just liberal with his religious beliefs and it's not the same thing.

    That's why once he hears any views contrary to his, no matter how reasonable it is, he goes in auto attack mode

    Else he won't have a problem with what Memphis said. We're not saying she isn't worthy to be clergy cos if her sin but her message should have focused more on repentance and seeking forgiveness, else, she'll end up misleading her congregation

    ReplyDelete

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