[Updated from the archives.]
Caitlin Tiller worked hard to graduate high school early while caring for her newborn son, and when asked to share what is most important in her life she said:
“I picked my son because he’s helped me be a better person,” Tiller told Yahoo! Shine. “By having him, I grew up quickly but I learned how to be responsible.” (Teen Mom’s Banned Yearbook Photo.)
You’d never know it by looking in the school yearbook though. The administration said students could bring something that represents who they are for their senior photo. Apparently a graduating senior’s newborn doesn’t count.
On April 12, two days before the yearbooks went to press, Tiller received a call from the school’s yearbook adviser. “She said I had to take a different photo because the one I took promoted teen pregnancy,” said Tiller. “They called on my son’s birthday so I said I wasn’t available and besides, I choose Leelin because he represented what I’ve achieved in life. I said if Leelin can’t be in the photo, then I won’t be either. The adviser said, ‘That’s your choice. Then you won’t be in the yearbook’ and hung up on me.”
Her photo promoted teen pregnancy? Sure it did.* I bet there were a bunch of kids who would have seen it and thought, “If only I had a baby, then I could have held it in my arms for my yearbook photo!”
Being Held in the Arms of Everlasting Love
Leelin Tiller has a mother who loves him, and being held in her arms for her yearbook photo would have been a lasting memento of that love. The feeling of being held in the arms of a loving parent is a blessing a child can carry wherever he or she goes forever.
One of the amazing things about your relationship with God is that he is with you wherever you go, whether it’s a photo shoot or a trip to the mall or school or work or play. Wherever you are, there he is with you. The Spirit of Christ is with you forever and always.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. (John 14:16-17.)
God is in you, and you can’t get closer than in. No authority – school administration or otherwise – can ever separate you from God:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? …
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35, 38-39.)
God loves you more than you can imagine because that’s who he is:
Dear friends, … love comes from God. … [And] God is love.
(1 John 4:7-8.)
No one can take you from God’s arms of love. So if anyone tries to get you to give up what is most precious, your relationship with the God of love, remember that they don’t have the authority to tell you what to do.
*The article goes on to say that the school district’s Superintendent later told a reporter it wasn’t about teen pregnancy but a more general policy that didn’t allow family members in a senior photo. The Superintendent’s quote didn’t cover why Ms. Tiller was initially told they were concerned with promoting teen pregnancy.