Cheralyn and Jordyn Nichols
This story is not about a woman named Cheralyn or her daughter, Jordyn. This isn’t even a story about Jordyn’s son, Jaxson. This is a story about the intricate ways that God works and how he chooses to love us unconditionally through his grace - even in our greatest moments of weakness.
Unprepared for the Unexpected
While Jordyn was attending a Christian university, preparing to enroll in the nursing program and go on a mission trip, she found out she was pregnant with her boyfriend's baby.
Jordyn: The dating relationship I was in had been kept a secret from my parents, but under the circumstances, I had no choice but to be open about what was going on. Among everything else, I found out that my boyfriend’s family, along with the father of my child, was planning to move out of state to Montana. Meanwhile, I didn’t make it into the nursing program and couldn’t go overseas. Every day seemed to make my shoulders feel heavier with burden.
I had decisions to make. One decision in particular could potentially bring more difficulty to my situation, but I followed through and trusted God.
I made the decision to end the relationship with my boyfriend – I would be a single mom.
Cheralyn: Throughout the beginning of this situation, I was really struggling. I felt like a horrible parent and would cry out to God, asking what I had done wrong along the way. God responded by telling me that he was a parent, too, and he also had children who have made plenty of mistakes. But guess what? He is perfect, still. Jesus came to fix the things that are messy, and he would remain constant at my side through that time.
An Appointment with Hope
We found a Christian doctor in Riverside who would be the primary care physician for Jordyn and her baby. At her first appointment, this doctor got to know Jordyn and I and wanted to find out if Jordyn had planned to keep the baby or give it up for adoption. Jordyn still had not decided at the time. As our conversation continued, the doctor began to share that she had three daughters – one of whom was born when she was twenty years old, out of wedlock. However, this woman went on to finish nursing school and got married to a wonderful man. She also attended Sandals Church and volunteered with her husband as pre-marital counselors. The doctor’s story drew me to tears as I became confident God had orchestrated this meeting.
During a morning run, I prayed for Jordyn and her decision of whether or not she would keep the baby. That same day, the nursing director at the college called me and wanted to let Jordyn know that the nursing program had added 20 spots. I drove Jordyn to the school and spoke with the director. She went on to share that the program welcomes single moms and dads – we were floored! The amazing news did not end there. Jordyn had the option to begin the program that following semester, or she could wait an entire year. Jordyn didn’t have to the make the decision immediately, but, as we listened to this woman share news that we never thought we would hear, she pointed to a family photo on one of her bookshelves and shared that she too, at twenty years old, had been pregnant and unmarried and God provided for her.
Jordyn: I knew in that moment that I would keep my baby.
Cheralyn: I always had a plan for what my daughter’s life would look like, but God promised me that I could never know what would happen because I am not in control. At this point, not many people knew about Jordyn’s pregnancy. I was afraid to tell anyone because she thought nobody would want to remain friends. God challenged me to tell people our story – that I NEEDED to tell people about our story because it was all about how God was moving. God completely changed my perspective.
Reaching Out and Holding Tight
Jordyn: My mom and I were going through a Beth Moore bible study together. Moore shared about her grandson, whose name was Jackson, who was a surprise when she thought she would be having a granddaughter. At the end of the study, Moore shared an illustration of two women holding a rope at each end. One woman represents God and the other woman represents us. Moore cuts the rope into two and then ties the ends together in a knot and explains that because of what Christ has done for us on the cross, we can be closer to him. Moore went on to say that she wears a bracelet that looks like rope and has a knot in it as a reminder of what Christ has done. At a follow up appointment, I had an ultrasounds done and it revealed I was going to have a boy. I named him Jaxson - just like Beth Moore's grandson.
Cheralyn: Around the same time, Sandals Church had begun the REACH project. I was absolutely shocked when the church was asked to wear twine on their wrists, tied together with a knot, as a subtle reminder of how the church was growing and reaching out to others. I knew that the symbol of the knot was much more than a coincidence, but it was God's reminder to me that he was still present.
Jordyn's labor lasted 24 hours and she gave birth to a little blue and lifeless baby. Jaxson didn't breathe for almost two minutes and family surrounded Jordyn and Jaxson - terrified and scrambling for words, but praying that God would save this little life. That's when Jaxson began to cry.
Cheralyn: I never heard a more wonderful sound. The nurse brought Jaxson over to Jordyn and showed us Jaxon's umbilical cord - there was a knot in the middle of the cord, which is what made it difficult for him to get out. I looked down at my knotted bracelet and then back at his cord and could not believe what I had just heard. Babies born with knots in their cords don't typically have a high success rate, but God was looking over Jaxson.
I quietly asked God why there was a knot in the cord. I knew that Jaxson was conceived in sin, but God tied that knot because Jaxson was not a mistake.
Jordyn: Chris and I communicated long distance and agreed that even though we would not be together, we wanted to be the best parents possible to Jaxson and also have a successful friendship. I want to be an example to Jaxson by loving his father and being forgiving of him as Jaxson grows older. I am going back to school to do the nursing program and am surrounded by other single moms who can support me and understand where I am in life.
Cheralyn: A few months later, Jordyn made the decision to rededicate her life to Jesus and was baptized at Sandals Church!
An Anchor for Our Souls
Cheralyn: Whether I am going through a "storm" in my life or I am navigating "calm waters," God is my strong anchor. I am tied onto Him because of Jesus. If I drift into unknown waters, He brings me back and never let's me get too far. If I am close, He is strong and secure and there is peace and security. If the waters are dark and scary, I know I am safe because I am tethered to the one who knows what is happening and he has me just where He wants me to be - anchored to Him and Him alone. The storm will clear and He will allow me a glimpse of what He has brought me through. My faith and trust in Him are made stronger in the process.
Jordyn: God was my anchor at my deepest low, when everything was stripped away. I clinched onto Him so tight and relied on Him with my all. Not long after, He pulled me from my lowest of lows, brought me to the surface, and has blessed me beyond belief. He has been my steadfast in every moment and I will ever stay secure on my anchor.
God never left. When it felt as though their rope had been cut, God graciously tied a knot, stronger than any storm, that drew Cheralyn and Jordyn closer to him than ever before.
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