Rachel was just an ordinary 16-year-old girl. She spent her free time jumping hurdles at track and field meets, being cheered on by loved ones from the sidelines. She performed dance solos on the football field, her metallic pink outfit glittering under the fluorescent lights. Life was good. But then one day, everything for Rachel changed when she discovered that she was pregnant.
“I was absolutely terrified,” she said. “I felt very low about myself. I figured, what kind of loser gets pregnant at the age of 16 years old?”
In “Moving on from Past Mistakes,” the 14th video in the “His Grace” series produced by the Mormon Channel, Rachel talks about the process of learning to love herself again after she gave up her baby for adoption. It was a long, hard journey that took years. Disparaging thoughts about her personal self-worth refused to go away even well into college. “I was dirty. I was unlovable. I was unwanted,” she said, convinced that nobody would ever care about her.
But then one fateful day, things changed for Rachel once more. Only this time, it was for the better.
In an attempt to get to know a member of his congregation, Rachel's bishop met with her to ask how she was doing when the truth finally spilled out. “I completely broke down,” Rachel said, but with words of encouragement from her church leader, she began to find hope once again. “It took me a long time to realize that my Heavenly Father and my Savior are there to help and listen and to love and care about me.”
After meeting with a professional counselor, Rachel said her perspective about herself and her fear of how others perceived her began to change. “There’s been times in my life when I look around me and think ‘Heavenly Father is mindful of all these people, but what about me?’” she admits. Now, as Rachel has recognized the many friends and family who have supported her, she has been able to move on. “I feel so much better about myself today than I ever have before,” she said.
The Mormon Channel website defines grace as a “divine means of help or strength, given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ.” The videos in the series are centered on individuals who have relied on Christ’s grace to pull through trials, says this Deseret News article. Other topics in the “His Grace” series include attempted suicide and abandonment. To view all of the videos in the series, click here.