Testimony of a Child Bride & Young Mother
— "It's quite natural for our children to have children very young, as it happened to me...."
[image caption: Jeremy & Fiona with the youngest of their 7 children]
From Fiona; MWM
I would like to share with our worldwide Family my testimony of being a child bride and a young mother. It was very different then than it is now being in the the Family & having this situation occur. In our Family, it is a normal, natural part of our lives and we should expect it. In the system it's abnormal, looked down upon & makes one's friends & relatives ashamed of you. But now we're totally free from system's opinion and we're back to being like the days of the Bible where children are a great blessing & you have as many as you can.
I would like to share this especially for all our parents who have older children. As children love to share, when they're little they're very eager and it's great fun, but maybe when your daughter has her 1st period you may not feel so nonchalant, maybe you will be a little concerned. There really is no reason for concern, as over the years with myself & my own children too, I found out that God really controls all these details & He never gives us more than we can handle & actually it's quite natural for our children to have children very young, as it happened to me.....
Jeremy & I were both brought up in a normal middle class home, we're both English & the English do tend to be rather reserved & Jeremy especially had rather a conservative type of home life. He had only one sister & his parents were very nice & very good type people & they were not very free in mentioning sex or answering his questions. Often they got angry with him when he would tease or ask questions that he knew would upset them. As he got into his teenage years, he started playing music & got into being a little more worldly-wise & into sex and music because he played in a band & went to many parties & met different types of people.
As for me, my parents gave me quite a lot of freedom. I had two older sisters but sex was never talked about in my home between my father and mother, & also they were not very affectionate towards one another. When my father died I was 13, & it seemed to make my mother more open towards me and about sex & she would answer my questions & the things that happened to her when she was young & also what she got up to with my father. Both Jeremy & I went to the similar type of schools of England, Grammar School. He went to an all-boys and I went to an all-girls school. When I met him he had finished school & was working in an office. I was 14 years & he was 18. It was October, 1966. I had started for 6 months going to parties & usually every Saturday night there was a party in town. I was to go to my 1st "all-night party", I really didn't know what I was going to do all night, but it was more for the fun of it. I liked boys & I liked having a nice time and doing different things, but I was always usually quite careful. I met Jeremy at this all-night party in a big country house. He was sitting by the fireplace, listening to the records. He was very deep in thought, deeply listening to the records being played, I think he was the one putting the records on. I went over to him, I sat on his knee & said, "You look very sad. I would like to make you happy!" He was a little surprised but very sweet & he said, "You could come back in 10 minutes." Being a Leo I was a little offended, I didn't quite understand, so I just went away & I didn't come back, my pride was deeply hurt. However, during the evening my friend went with him & they were on the couch together & I just went around talking with different people, kissing several boys etc. I stayed at someone's house that night & didn't really do anything because I was still a child in my mind, I had a normal system upbringing & even to my friends I was a little bit free. My inclination was mainly towards kissing and affection and a little petting and I never made love with anyone because I was a bit afraid because of my upbringing. I had masturbated often from about 9 years old & I really enjoyed it, but my mother never told me anything about sex & I had to find out a lot by myself.
After seeing Jeremy that night I was him in town & at a few other parties I went to & he was always very sweet to me, but he was dating my friend & I didn't really mind because I knew I seemed very young for him, usually he went out with girls his own age & I was four years younger than him. I went away for Christmas to my relatives, and when I came home I found this Christmas card that had been posted thru my door signed by Jeremy, with a little picture of himself by his signature. I thought, "That's really nice, I wonder where he is." On New Year's Eve, a day after, he knocked on my door and asked me to go out with him. I asked "What about Mary?" He said, "We aren't going out together anymore." And I said, "Alright." So we went to this party together. As we went we talked about the first time we'd met & he explained to me why he told me to come back in 10 minutes. It was because a girl had been talking to him & asking him to go home with her, and he didn't want to offend her, as she was standing right there when I was talking to him. So that's why he asked me to come back later. Anyway, I was so thrilled to be out with him, he was such a gentleman & we had a very nice evening together, kissing & petting & he asked if I would like to go out with him more, and I said, "Of course."
From then on we started dating every night & we were very close. He would come every evening to take me out & I began to really lose interest in my school & I realised I really loved him & would literally do anything for him. After dating for awhile we finally made love at the age I was, I felt that it was a real commitment because I really loved him.
[image caption: Daddy Jeremy--now singing for the Lord at MWM! Photo by Tony.)
It was about Spring or Summer 1967, while he was playing in his band, & as they say, "got discovered." Peter Greene asked him to make up this band, "The Fleetwood Mac", and he agreed. We would see each other every 2 weeks or month, & this did seem like a testing time. I finally went to stay with him in London, telling my mother I was staying at Peter Greene's parents' house, LHM! Jeremy had a little bed-sitter, & I stayed with him for about one week. This must have been the time that I got pregnant but I wasn't aware of it at the time. School was becoming worse and worse, I just wanted to be with Jeremy. I missed my first period, then my second period, & it dawned on me that maybe I was pregnant. I was very healthy, I was doing school gymnastics, swimming, everything in the curriculum, not feeling tired, but my breasts were getting huge. I realized I was pregnant. I decided to try to go to my doctor to be checked, but he would not do it without my mother's consent. During this time Jeremy was coming back and forth from London & we discussed it & I guess we were a little scared because of our parents, our age, and everything, but we had no question in our minds about our devotion to one another. We finally realized we had to tell our parents. First, I told my mother, then Jeremy told his. My mother, at first, was upset, but then realized there was nothing she could do about it. Jeremy & I had spent a lot of time together & when he was in town he would stay at my house up till 3-4:00 in the morning & then leave, but my mother would always go to bed & leave us downstairs & we were always making love, sometimes 3-5 times a day! When I told my mother I was PG, she said, "I might have known. What are we going to do?" So we went to the doctor & he confirmed it--4 or 5 months, & he asked my mother if she wanted it terminated. At first she said, "Yes", then she said, "Lord forgive me!" I told her I wanted the baby & I wanted to go and live with Jeremy in London. I was just 15 & this type of thing was unheard of, but she considered it & agreed that I could live at home with her until the baby was born & then we would see.
Jeremy's parents were a little more outraged & maybe they felt more responsibility because I was only 15 and under the legal age. Jeremy could have been put in prison by my mother if she had wanted to press charges because I was under legal age. Nevertheless, God gets His greatest victories out of seeming defeats & this was really the only way that could ever have made our parents realize that out relationship was serious enough for marriage. I was a little concerned myself & wondered why. Being a Christian, I prayed & I asked the Lord why this was happening & He gave me the very simple answer that it was the only way our parents would take us seriously & be prepared to let us marry. At first my mother did not want me to see Jeremy anymore, but when I showed how much this hurt she agreed that he could come and visit me & his parents also agreed. The band he was in was starting to do well & he was very busy & whenever he was close to the town we lived in I would go with him to his bookings and be there with him. The rest of the band did not know how old I was & one of them asked, "Well, why don't you marry her if she's pregnant?" Jeremy replied, "She's too young." I was too young to get legally married, yet here I was pregnant! I finished school, I walked out, I couldn't take it any longer, it was a joke & I was a scandal in my town. My family doctor, I believe, didn't really want to take care of me during the pregnancy, so gave the excuse of, "because I was so young & a small person, to have professional care in Birmingham" almost 20 miles away!
[image caption: Beautiful Fiona. (Photo by Tony.)]
Well, although it was a bit of a scandal, my mother was very good & a very great help in some ways. She took very good care of me & whenever Jeremy was in town he was able to see me & we still made love, though she didn't know. I had a very healthy pregnancy, I didn't know anything, but went to this special hospital on the appointed times & I was doing well, no problems, & my due date was coming up. Meanwhile, Jeremy was visiting every time he was in the vicinity & I would go with him on his bookings. I went to one booking already overdue & the next morning I woke up in labour. I told my mother I thought I was in labour & she was all nervous, but I told her, "It's OK, I'm alright. I'll wash up & get ready, pack everything." And Jeremy's father was to drive me to the hospital which was 20 miles away, but I had quite a peace & it was really exciting. I had had no preparation, no excercise classes, because the hospital was so far away that it wasn't possible for me to attend.
I arrived at the hospital and had quite a normal long first labour, 12 hours. It came to a certain point that I didn't really know what to do because I had had no preparation classes so I asked the nurse to help me cope & she showed me how to breathe. Jeremy's mother had come to visit me & was very nervous & I was in hard labour at the time. When I entered the hospital I went into the labour ward & heard this woman screaming. I thought, "Lord help me not to do that." The labour got really hard and I was determined not to get out of control & held on to the top of my hospital bed during my contractions. Then this nurse showed me how to breathe & this really relieved a lot. Jeremy at this time was busy playing in another city in England & so he was not able to be there. The delivery went very well, the baby was small, but very healthy. I tore a lot, I believe because of lack of preparation, & the stitching up was quite painful! The next day Jeremy came to see me in the hospital & our parents were quite happy & the doctors were very happy with me. This professor who was supposed to be over me I never actually saw until after I had had the baby. When I met him in the hospital, pushing Dicon, the baby, around, he said, "Oh, you're our youngest patient & I hear, the best!" So our parents were very happy with this new little life & really wanted us to get legally married which wasn't possible until I was 16 years old. Dicon was born in June & I was 16 in August. So Jeremy's parents went on the attack to arrange our marriage. We got married in a little country church with just Jeremy's parents, my mother, Jeremy's sister, Jeremy & I--my sister was babysitting!
We then went to London to live in a little bedsitter, very small but very cosy. We were very happy, no problems once we were away from our parents. It seemed a natural thing to me to have a baby, although I had never held one in my whole life! In fact, in the hospital they didn't want me to breast feed because they thought I was too young, and I had to insist on it. Nevertheless, I did manage, not for very long, but I managed for some time. We continued to live in London with Dicon who was a very good baby, very good toddler; but alas (according to the system's standards) I got pregnant again! What were we going to do? I was only 16 and pregnant for the second time! But Jeremy was so sweet. I went to the doctor & he confirmed it, and I went home & Jeremy said, "It's alright. Another baby's fine." Well, the second birth was easier than the first, so fast & easy, & the doctor that was helping me at the time told me how healthy & good it was for a girl my age (17) to have a baby, and how it helps stop breast cancer & other things. At this time I had a relationship with the Lord & when I went into the hospital I took a New Testament & a nice photograph of Jeremy. Jeremy was away at that time in Sweden, the band was doing very well, getting very popular.
When Dicon was 6 months old I went to America with Jeremy & Dicon on a tour that bands take to different cities. About all it is is hotels & airplanes & people. Jeremy wanted me to go, so I went with Dicon, and I learned a lot! Sometimes we would be in places where it was minus 12 below zero with the winds & everything & we couldn't get out of the hotel room to buy nappies or anything for the baby, so I learned how to survive in that way with him & he was a very good baby. I was the only person in that sphere of life that had a child and was so young. It even shocked the members of the band. They thought that Jeremy was a bit irresponsible! At the time too we got into drugs, when I was 15-16 while touring America, into smoking dope & LSD too. It was an experience for a while but became a dead-end street.
We finally moved out of little apartment, bed-sitters, & terrible London life, into this big house in the country along with other members of the band. Dicon was 2 years old, Heidi was 6 months. It was nice to be out of the city, but there were other problems, feeling alone & feeling like I wasn't doing anything worthwhile. Thru having children, going thru the pregnancy & labour, being alone a lot, I was drawing closer to the Lord. I prayed & asked the Lord to help me do a work for Him, to do something with the children for Him. At that time, in that situation, it seemed a little far away, but I kept praying, asking, & believing that the Lord would work things out.
During that time, Jeremy met the Family & I joined him after 2 weeks! We have been living & working for the Lord in the Family, doing different things & being in different places, for 16 years. Now our children are grown & we have more! Dicon is now 13 1/2, Heidi is 12, & we have a total of 7 children. The Lord's teaching us all the time with the children and their needs, spiritual, mental, physical, & sexual needs. Dicon at 13 years old is almost a man, desiring his own wife, his own children, his own ministry. Our children sing a lot, have a lot of talents, reach a lot of people & are following in their father's footsteps. Heidi is quite talented singing, she's learning a lot of things. They're all learning to be real witnesses & I think this is the age where you really have to make the decision to serve the Lord.
[image caption: Jeremy & Fiona & their 7 "super-dupers"--helping to change the World through their music!]
Where we live at MWM we do have a lot of fellowship, a lot of sharing, & the children are very fortunate to be able to partake of this. As I said before, it's easy for our little ones to share & stay with one another, even make love if they can, they're all small and they can manage it. But when they get 10, 11, 12, & on, our children like to share with the adults. I found some adults in our Family are very helpful, very loving, & very patient towards our children, & will take time to really help them & love them & even teach them. In fact, I haven't really heard of a bad experience in our Family with our children sharing. I have talked a lot with the children about my own testimony and I treat them as adults, because, although it was a long time ago when I was their age, 12-13, I would have loved to have been in the situation we are now. I feel that almost all of our Family, the brethren are really understanding, very gentle, very loving, & there is no need to fear for the children, & they should be really free to love and share with the other brethren just as we do. When they have sperm, when they start their period, that's the testing time, how much do you trust the Lord, how much do you believe His promises, His blessings, etc? Being worried like our parents, the older generation are watching us, their grandparents; or not caring, only wanting to flow with the spirit, with this love, helping the children to be really free, & helping them to bring forth fruit!
I feel that the best thing for our older children is to be kept busy in the Lord's work. Mine are usually recording, singing, helping with drama parts, or witnessing. And if they are not busy with this, then they carry a large load at home with their younger brothers and sisters or helping around camp on meal prep, dishes, and Dicon helps is the school with the younger children teaching them. Dicon no longer needs much schooling & can help to teach the younger ones, & works on the KP newsletter & scripts & types them up. We try to have him use his talents for the Lord's work. His study time is only for God's Word, but he will sometimes pick up a book, which I do allow if it's free time & he's read the Word first. Heidi still does a little school work to catch up, but her ministries of recording & witnessing do come first. She is a good little mother & loves little projects to do at home when she's free. I do not believe children of this age need playtime as children, but rather freetime as the adults.
They do tend to get moody & sensitive sometimes but this usually happens when they are not busy. I try to encourage them to be as adults and don't allow much adolescent bad behavior.
People say teenage years are the difficult years, but I never had much problem myself because I was married & a mother at a young age and had plenty to do & keep me occupied. Even more so for our children who are busy all the time & don't really go thru much of an adolescent stage.
God bless you. I hope this is some help in the training of our children. There's not long!
Do you realize that your children are going to be flaming teenage prophets & evangelists by that time--the greatest force on earth--the most powerful witnesses the world has ever known!
I love You,
(David Berg: Amen! GBY! ILY!)