No one is a “mistake”


Tami Thompson

Tami Thomas

Greetings everyone! My name is Tamiko Thomas. I’m an African American woman who grew up in the midwest, in an evangelical Christian home. I am married. My husband Corey Thomas and I have been married for 31 years. We have three adult children ages 30, 25 and 22. We also have two grandsons, ages 9 and 6.

Taught that abortion is a sin

Growing up in a Christian home, going to a Christian school and going to church at least three to four times a week, I was taught to value life. I was also taught to abort a child was a sin, and I believed that whole heartedly.

As a teenager, I knew friends who had gotten pregnant and quietly went off to get an abortion because it was a “mistake” or that the pregnancy would “ruin” their lives. And I noticed that there were adults in the church who were surprisingly okay with their decisions. The more and more common it became, I noticed that it wasn’t discussed, and just swept under the rug. As a young, impressionable girl, I still believed it was wrong, but there may come a time when a young lady may have to “do what she must”.

Unplanned pregnancy

At the age of 18, I met my husband during our freshman year at Bible college. We fell hopelessly in love and became engaged. A year later, we were living together and I had become pregnant. No longer just starry eyed kids in love, we were faced with real life adult circumstances and challenges. Our relationship was strained at best, we fought all the time and I was a hormonal mess!

I had been speaking to my mother, who was in another state at the time about us moving back to my hometown. She knew people from our church who could help us with getting a job and finding a place to live. We finally made the decision to go back to where I grew up. We had gotten airline tickets and had planned to fly home soon.

In my heart and mind, I was struggling with a lot of conflict. By this time, I really didn’t like my husband and felt as if I had made a terrible mistake in marrying him. I was tired of fighting and crying all the time. By this time I was almost 6 months pregnant. Things had gotten so bad between us, that I made the decision that I was going to get an abortion and just part ways from each other. He agreed and so we made the appointment for an abortion.

God intervened

As a child and teenager, I loved the Lord and wanted nothing more than to serve Him. I had experienced God in very true and real ways. I knew His voice…I knew when He spoke to me. I couldn’t believe that I had failed so miserably. I was actually willing to go forward with aborting my child simply because it was more convenient for me. I thought I’d just get through it and seek forgiveness later, convinced it was my only solution.

The night before I was to go in for my appointment, I had a very vivid dream from God. I heard God’s voice speaking to me, telling me not to kill my baby. He told me He loved my baby and had great plans for my baby’s life. Then I saw my baby in the future. I saw that he was a boy. A curly haired, beautiful boy. He went on to tell me to name him Caleb Joshua and that He loves him and that I didn’t have the right to take his life from him. Even now, all these years later, I am in tears and in awe of what happened that night.

Because I knew this dream was from God and not my imagination, I told my husband about it and in that moment we decided to not go to the clinic that day as planned. We carried on with our plans to move back to my hometown. In the years that followed, we have done our best to raise him and our other two children.

No one is a “mistake”

Since that time over the years, we have pastored churches, been involved in many various areas of ministry. And I have made it my mission to tell my story to others. God truly is the one who forms us in our mothers womb, who makes us and decides exactly who we are to become. It is not our right to take a life that is given by our Creator. Children are a blessing from God and He makes each of them…each of us beautiful and with divine purpose. No one is a “mistake”!

(NIV) Psalms 139:13-16

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mothers womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

[Thanks to Tami Thomas for permission to publish this essay, No one is a “mistake”, during Black History Month. This is the third in a series of essays from Iowa’s African-American community. You can read earlier essays here and here.]