• Ciara

Share Your Story: Shameika Snipes // Part Two

I went off to cheerleading camp and felt sick thinking it was due to sun exposure. As the weeks went on, my menstrual cycle came and I went back to life as normal. In December of 2008, I went to get my physical renewed for cheerleading. The doctor told me my uterus was out of place. He asked my mother to step out of the room and I took a blood and urine test. Within the next few weeks, I got my results. My doctor told me words I will never forget, “You’re 25 weeks pregnant!” I proceeded to tell the doctor what happened to me and she offered me an abortion. I asked her for 5 minutes as I thought through the decision. I couldn’t help but to think of this little human who was about to be born. I decided to keep the baby and my doctor let me hear the heartbeat. It was strong, loud, and fast. My doctor said it sounds like a boy. Due to the law, I asked my doctor not to tell my parents.

From December 2008 to March 2009 I kept my pregnancy a secret. I had no prenatal care and did not gain any weight. It wasn’t until March 19th 2009 during track practice, that I fell out of my run due to pain in my side. As I went home, I told my sister I was pregnant. I just knew something was wrong with the baby. That evening, I told my parents and they took me to the hospital. The doctor didn’t believe me! He called me a liar and said, “You look 3-4 months pregnant.” When he said that I was shattered! My parents began to question my story and I felt so alone. They scheduled an ultra sound and within a few hours I had my results. The doctor came back into my room crying and stated, “I'm sorry you are 35-36 weeks pregnant.”

The pain I was having were contractions. They gave me a shot to stop the pain so I could make it through the next week of school. The following week we were scheduled to take the graduation test. All I cared about was taking my test and passing it. I had to graduate! There were NO options! One week after my exam, I had my first appointment, EVER! Remember I had no pre-natal care. The date was March 30th, 2009. This was the day I found out I was having a boy and that he was too little to carry full term. The doctors told me that I was getting induced that night. I had nothing! NO diapers, no crib, no clothes, nothing that a baby would need. The next morning March 31st, 2009 at 5:33AM, my son came entering the world at 5lbs, 13ozs, and 19in long. I had a natural birth with no epidural. All I received was Tylenol, but God was gracious to me. I was not in labor long. Four pushes and then came the healthiest baby boy that had no prenatal care. He was the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen in my life. I could not believe I helped bring something so precious into the world!

Within a few hours I woke up to a sheriff, social worker, and many nurses in my room. This was the beginning of a road to deep depression. As we went home, I began my journey as a 17yr old single mother. I was so scared I was going to make a mistake. I remember my mother moving into my room to help me. At night, I would fight myself in my sleep and my mother would try to wake me. I would wake up everyday with scratches on my face. In this season it was confirmed I had PTSD. I remember I would randomly lash out at my family. I would never express how I felt inside, instead I would express it in anger.

There were days I didn’t think I was going to make it and contemplated driving off a bridge. I had no clue why God chose me to be a mother so young. Every time I felt depressed, my son would smile at me and make me feel a sense of hope. I remember at night telling myself, I’ll never get married, no one will want me, I won’t go to college, I won’t get a job, and my son won’t be proud of me. These were the thoughts that pondered my mind daily. As I entered my senior year of high school, I would be so worried at school not knowing if my son was okay. I struggled with being away from him while I finished school. He would get up during the night, I would feed him, and still have to go to school the next day. It was hard and my parents helped me tremendously.

May 2010 came and I graduated high school. I also graduated ON TIME! After high school, I had all summer to figure out what I wanted to do. I was accepted into multiple schools but none of them felt right. A part of me still wanted to pursue ministry but did not feel worthy enough to go. In August 2010, I packed all my belongings and went off to Bible College at Griffin First Assembly. It was the hardest thing I ever did. I left my son with my parents but I knew this was what God wanted me to do. I felt like my heart fell out my chest when my parents and 1yr old son drove off after move in day. I tried to see him as much as I could every weekend but some weekends simply did not work.

I did 4 years of Bible College and received two degrees. An Associates Degree in Religious Studies and a Bachelors Degree in Ministerial Leadership. Those 4 years taught me so much about ministry, life, myself, and relationships. I had a boyfriend in college but we were so toxic for each other. I was in no place to be in a relationship mentally. We were together for 4 years. However, we ended because God knew we were not the ones for each other. In school, I remember I would cry myself to sleep at night missing my son. I prayed he would never remember me being away and to this day he doesn’t remember a thing. When it was time to potty train, I was able to go home and do it. When it was time for Pre-K I was there. God never allowed me to miss a milestone in my son’s life.

As I graduated college, I began full time ministry as a Children’s Pastor and God began to internally do the work he had been wanting to do for years. In 2016, I started Trauma Counseling. I was able to get the mental help I needed from the age of 4 into the age I was currently at. In 2017, I received my Masters Degree in Counseling in Christian Ministries. This degree felt different. I was so humbled because my son was there and old enough to remember me graduating.

In October 2018, I was in a season of transition from a church that I was currently the Children’s Pastor at. I ran across a Facebook ad for this church named Embassy International Worship Center. I was drawn to the dynamic of teaching displayed and when I watched one of the services, I recognized the guy leading worship. It was the Christian guy from middle school that told me I was going to be his wife. I couldn’t believe it! At the end of that year, God led me to that church and I knew he was going to be my husband.

8 months later we began dating, and 10 months after that we got engaged. Now on December 6th of this year, we will be getting married! God answered every prayer I prayed. All those lies the devil told me were FALSE! I graduated high school, I have 3 degrees, I am a Certified Life, Professional, and Christian Coach. I am a Medical Education Consultant and got reconnected to the boy who saw me when I didn’t see myself. God sent me my husband and he loves my son. This man loves me so much but loves God more! I can’t wait to see what all we do for the Lord together!

I’m so thankful for the journey that I’m on. I still have so much to learn but I’m evolving day by day. Sometimes I still can’t hear a door slam hard or the sound of a lock. This pandemic is the worse with having to wear a mask over my mouth. But through this God is steady delivering me. My son is 11 now and finally getting a father. He has prayed for this day since he was 6 years old! God never left us and the best is yet to come! So I leave you with this verse:

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us." Ephesians 3:20