“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart…” Jeremiah 1:5 NLT
Nalini Tranquim was eighteen when she left her home in Africa to live in London to fulfil her childhood dream of becoming a concert pianist. Four months later, when she was on the brink of making her dreams come true she got the shocking news that she was pregnant.
A Secret Exposed
Nalini had been harbouring a secret. While leading worship on Sundays and involved with the youth group on Fridays, she was in the clubs on Saturdays and messing around with her boyfriend on the side. She thought once she moved to London, away from her boyfriend, she would turn over a new leaf and get right with God.
But her secret life caught up with her and shattered her dreams. She was in such turmoil over the news that her first thoughts were to abort the baby, and nobody would know. The doctor crushed that thought by telling her she was already seven months pregnant, and abortion wasn’t an option.
‘I felt so much shame and guilt that my actions of living a double life as a pastor’s kid were about to be exposed.’
The Consequences of Sin
Nalini was ashamed that she had contemplated abortion, but at that point, she wasn’t thinking of the long-lasting trauma of terminating the pregnancy; she just wanted to cover up her sin. She felt guilt and shame at having to tell her parents, her younger brothers and sisters, her friends and the youth she led at church. All looked up to her and admired and respected her as being a good example.
Not only that, she had put her family in a very difficult position. Her father was a pastor, so there was a lot at stake once the church community found out she was pregnant out of wedlock. Not only would her father lose the job he loved, but his livelihood. They would have to move out of the manse and find new accommodation and income to support the family.
Her father felt he needed to resign from his position, but the church elders refused his resignation. Their church had chosen to stand by them and support them, which was pivotal in their restoration.
The Baby’s Father
When Nalini found out about her pregnancy, her boyfriend, Sandro, happened to be in London visiting her for Christmas. He was raised in the Catholic Church, and Nalini wondered if he would return to Africa and never want to see her again. To her relief, despite being in turmoil himself, he comforted her and assured her everything would be okay.
They were determined to do the right thing from then on and make amends. With only a few months until the baby was due, they decided to get married immediately, so the baby wasn’t born out of wedlock. They contacted a local church, confessed they had messed up, sought forgiveness and stated they wanted to make things right. The church elder responded that he could not marry them as that would be seen by the church as condoning their actions. They had the same response from three different churches.
‘It literally felt as if God Himself was saying to me that I was too far damaged and beyond redemption.’
Choose to Reject Rejection
The rejection was devastating because those churches didn’t represent the merciful, gracious, kind and forgiving God Nalini grew up believing in. She believed God’s love was unconditional, and He could turn everything around for good if she trusted Him for everything.
“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.” Romans 3:23 NIV
They eventually got married at the local registrar and welcomed the birth of their baby boy as a married couple. Nalini thought her dream of having a future in music and using her gifts for God was shattered, but God honours our dreams if they align with His will. She became a worship leader for a church in London and eventually recorded songs she’d written, all for the Glory of God.
‘It was a valuable lesson; a season of struggle and pushing through and coming against the hurdles and not giving up and not surrendering and knowing that God is true to His Word. He is a faithful God no matter what happens. There was some character refining that needed to be done,’ says Nalini.
Do You Need Help with an Unplanned Pregnancy?
If you find yourself in the same situation, as many of us have, and are anxious about how you will cope, there are pregnancy support organisations that will walk you through your journey. Believe that God can turn anything into a blessing when you trust Him. Reach out to the following support centres.
To hear Nalini’s full interviews, listen to the podcasts below: