Hope Ruppert has risen to the challenge of living up to her first name.
Her amazing story started when she was a 16-year-old high school sophomore, though she wasn’t especially excited about how it all began.
Ruppert loved playing basketball. So when she was faced with an unplanned pregnancy, she thought that and the rest of her future was over.
However, the Lord was gracious and merciful to her, and she discovered that her perception was not even close to the rest of God’s plan for her life.
“I grew up in a very religious family,” Ruppert told Live Action News. “My dad was a youth pastor, and sex before marriage was definitely something that was not okay in my family.
Ruppert confided to her sister about her pregnancy, but kept quiet about it to everyone else, especially her parents, for about the first three months.
When she finally told them, they were both upset, but they were also highly supportive.
“I didn’t tell anyone else outside the family until I was about seven months pregnant. I wore baggy clothes, and headed straight home from school each day.”
Ruppert struggled with shame and fear about how others would react.
She said one of her biggest challenges early on was forgiving herself.
“I had to get over myself, the belittling I did to myself. I was my own worst critic,” Live Action reported.
Ruppert was blessed to receive love and support from her parents and her church, and most especially, her mom.
Her mom was always reassuring her that they would “get through this.”
Then after her son, Ren was born, she said her parents were always willing to watch him when she needed them to.
Though she did, in a sense, lose a part of who she was because she was so young when she got pregnant and there was still quite a bit she had to give up, her parents’ willingness to come alongside her allowed her to flourish.
Not only did this make a difference for her as a student, but it also allowed her to step back into one of the joys in her life: basketball in her senior year.
It also put her on the fast track to growing up and becoming responsible very quickly.
Her coach, Brad Ackers considered her to be one of the team’s best, most disciplined players, and very unselfish.
“She’s truly a selfless player and a selfless person,” Ackers told WAND-TV news.
She gained the respect of her teammates and the reputation for going above and beyond expectations.
In addition to being able to continue with basketball, Ruppert was also a straight-A student, and even went on to get college degrees.
“I have given up a lot and I would give up so much more for him,” Ruppert told WAND.
Ruppert has definitely gone through a long season of learning about herself.
“I learned what I’m capable of,” she told Live Action. “Being a single mom, you have to play both roles. I’m constantly asking myself, ‘Did I do the right thing for my kid?’ I’m always thinking for two, how my actions might affect him.”
When asked what message she would want to share with others in her situation, the focus was one of hope, determination and perseverance.
“To any girls out there that find themselves in the same situation or have been: it’s doable,” she told WAND. “It takes work and takes dedication, but it is so doable and in the end, the payoff is so much more.”
Today, Ruppert loves being a mom.
“I’m not a normal 22-year-old,” she told LiveAction in 2021. “My weekends consist of jumping on a trampoline and chasing a four-year-old.
“It’s the most challenging, yet rewarding thing that I will do,” Live Action reported. “I always say that we both grew up together.”
Efforts to contact Ruppert on social media for an update were unsuccessful.
Ruppert told Live Action she has come to realize that, “God has a purpose, and you might not be able to see it right now, and it might feel so overwhelming at this point in time, but there are such big, incredible things in store for you and your child. And you will be blessed. I am someone to preach of that, and know that things all worked out.”
She also pointed out that teen girls need to feel supported when in the midst of an unplanned pregnancy so that they can have the courage to choose life for their babies.
“People always preach ‘Support life. Life’s important’ in regards to giving life and choosing to have your baby, but they don’t always remember to treat those girls as if they are proud of them for having their baby and acknowledging that they are doing something that others choose not to do.”
She added that those who support life “need to support the mother who isn’t choosing the easy road. They’re standing by a very important decision.”
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