Tuesday, October 09, 2007

My Life Unscripted

Why do I love Tricia Goyer? Lots of reasons! She's writing a trilogy of books that take place during the Spanish Civil War that are so beautifully written, it's like watching a movie. She's written the only parenting book that has a permanent spot on my nightstand, Generation NeXt Parenting, . But most of all, I love Tricia, because I see so many parallels in her life to mine, and I admire her so much for what she's doing with her life. Tricia and I have something big in common: we were both teen moms. Seventeen years ago, my life seriously derailed from where I thought I was headed. August of 1990 was one of the most pivotal times of my entire life. I went from having my senior pictures taken and vetting colleges to pursue a degree in archeology to taking a pregnancy test in a mall bathroom, breaking my parents' hearts, and the on the 27th I got married. On the 28th, I turned 17, and on the 29th, I started my senior year. I quickly discovered what being in the fraternity of teenage moms meant. One of my favorite teachers who had been a mentor since seventh grade snubbed me and didn't talk to me for the rest of the year. Friends that I had had since 1st grade ignored me (one told me that I was going to hell because I had had premarital sex). Perhaps the worst was the girls who had always looked down on me, now looked at me with the knowing look in their eye that they had been right about me. It was a tough year, but I graduated ninth in my class, National Honor Society member and turned my back on the school that shunned me.

But I threw myself into my son. The moment the test was positive (after the hysterics) I loved my child. There was never any question of abortion or adoption. This baby was mine; I would raise him regardless of the costs, and I've never regretted that decision. The stigma attached to me with his birth keeps following me. When I talk about my son, and I explain how old he is, I can see the listener doing some quick mental math, and a slight change rarely fails to come into their eyes. Ah, teen mom.

And this is why I love Tricia. As a teenage mom, she worked hard to get through school and continue with her plans for her life. She faced struggles (and should really write a memoir), but handled them with grace. Now she writes and uses the lessons God's taught her to help others. For someone so young, she's already created quite a legacy, and as a former teen mom (now a mom of teens), I admire her.

My Life Unscripted
by Tricia Goyer is a fun, powerful devotional for teens. Tricia shares scenes from her life written in movie script format interspersed with movie-making terms, Bible verses, hard questions to make the reader look deeper at their own lives, and other teens' responses to those questions. She faces the mistakes she made as a teen head-on without flinching and offers alternatives and opportunities for discussion. Drinking, sex, cheating, friends, the hard things that teens face: she's got it covered. Without offering trite or pat advice, she encourages teens to find answers for themselves and write their own script for their life rather than follow someone else's (other than God's) or just drift along without thinking decisions through. As the mother of two teens, it opened my eyes to some discussions I need to have with my kids and reminded me how hard it is to survive high school without sacrificing something of yourself. While reading this, I asked my 14-year old daughter to describe herself (as Tricia did online and then published the teens' responses), and I ended up listening for several minutes as Molly defined herself in ways I never would have imagined. She knows herself far better than I did at that age, and listening to her helped me understand her far better. There's room for teens to record their answers to questions, as well as discussion questions at the back for use in groups. This is a great book for teens, their parents, and youth groups.

Now my boy is 16 and will be driving in a couple of months. I knew that as a teen mom I would be lacking in skills, so I read parenting books and poured myself into him (at least until his sister was born), so even today we share a special bond. When he's home, he has to come and hug me several times a day, even when he's angry with me.


Tricia Goyer said...


Awesome! Thanks for sharing about your son! And thanks for sharing this book on your blog!