And this, of course, is Juno.
Like the city in Alaska?
Actually, "Juno" is the name of a recent independent film that is topping the box office in the likes of "I am Legend" and "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" – even though it is in about half the number of theaters.
You might say that this film is pregnant with possibilities, because "Juno" has definitely gone forth and multiplexed in more ways than most people expected.
And…in an eerily timed coincidence and example of "life imitates art," "Juno" develops a similar plotline as the Spears household.
For example, Juno…Jamie Lynn?
16 and 16?
Heavy with child? And…well, you know.
But that's about where the parallels end, because the rest of this story develops into a charming and witty tale of resolving difficulties, learning hard lessons and discovering some of the more important things in life.
So what are some of the more important things in life? Well, one of THE most critical discoveries you need to make is the one Juno's father advises:
"In my opinion, the best thing you can do is to find a person who loves you for exactly who you are…"
What do you think? Are there people out there like that? Doesn't everyone have a selfish agenda and personal quirks that will always keep them from really loving and accepting you for who you are?
Well I can't speak for all 6 billion or so folks on the planet, but I can speak for the Person who created you, knows you better than you know yourself, and declares loudly and clearly to you that He loves you exactly for who you are. He is your heavenly Father, and here are just a few of the messages He wants you to post on the doorway of your heart:
"I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself." (Jeremiah 31:3)
"See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands." (Isaiah 49:16)
God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)
Are you starting to get the picture here? God loves us with an "everlasting" love, which means He loves us for exactly who we are even before we were born! God has "engraved" us into the palm of His hands – which basically means he has a permanent tattoo of us proudly displayed for all of heaven to look at.
And finally, God had promised never to leave us or forsake us. Here's the way the Amplified Bible puts it:
God Himself has said, "I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down or relax My hold on you! Assuredly not!"
This promise actually repeats God's promise to stay by our side no matter what 6 times! So here's how a conversation with your heavenly Father might go:
Father, I messed up again…will you leave me?
Jesus, I don't even feel like you're near, have you forsaken me?
God, my family and friends have rejected me, have you rejected me too?
Father, there are areas of my life that I'm ashamed to admit…will you disown me if I share them with you?
Lord, are there times when you are sorry that you made me?
Jesus, when will I mess up to the point where you don't accept me anymore?
If you're feeling as judged and rejected as a pregnant 16-year-old in a small town, remember the word "never," because that's the word that will remind you who loves you exactly for who you are. God promises it, and God proved it by sending His Son to pay the price for all the wrong things we've done. There is nothing you can do to make Him love you more, and there is nothing you can do that will make Him love you less.
And when will that change?
Head: When we become one of God's children through trusting Christ, God accepts us exactly for who we are.
Heart: Check out this amazing letter - I think it could change your life: The Father's Love Letter.
Hands: Read the letter found in the link above, and write a response letter to God.
Lane Palmer is the Youth Ministries Specialist for Dare 2 Share Ministries in Arvada, Colo., where he works with to provide resources for youth leaders and students. Dare 2 Share exists to energize and equip teens to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus. For more information on Dare 2 Share Ministries or the GameDay youth conference tour, please visit www.dare2share.org. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.