Because I’d suffered the loss of my mother early in life, I carried only these three passionate desires deep within my heart as I grew: to be a mommy, to be the best mommy in the world, and to live a l..o..n..g time for my kids. The Lord graciously answered my longing and I got to be a mom. I also firmly believe He had led me to make that heart-decision, to “stay alive at all costs” for my kids, because He knew I would need it for the hard battles to come.
Though I’d always longed to be a mother, the kind of man I’d marry never once entered my thoughts. When my sisters and I would talk about marriage, I would laugh and say that I’d probably not get married until I was at LEAST 36, because I really thought no one would want me. Ironically, though the middle child, I was the first to marry—two months after my 19th birthday.
Though I did love the man I married, getting married that young was my rebellion, to get away from my dad and his anger. Little did I realize, I was stepping out of the frying pan and smack dab into the middle of the fire. During the ceremony, even though I didn’t yet know Jesus, I was thunderstruck with the thought, “I’m not just making a vow to my husband. I’m making a vow to GOD!” I felt His presence all around me, which I thought very strange, but it was so real I could taste it. I didn’t understand what ‘covenant’ was when I got married, yet God somehow set it deeply in my heart, such that I ‘held fast’, even to my own hurt, for well over two decades.
People noticing me has never been something I enjoy—even the fact that you are reading this now. My son as a little boy expressed my feelings exactly. “Don’t wook at me.” So, on my wedding day, I insisted that my new husband and I walk to the back of the church to give each other the customary kiss after being declared husband and wife.
In the five years that followed, the Lord blessed me with three beautiful children; two boys and a girl. They really are the best things I ever did in my whole life. I didn’t really do it, though. I just got the joy of carrying them. I did lose a child by miscarriage between my last two children, but that loss is a story for another time.
I was four years and one child into my marriage when I’d had that first encounter with the Lord on my bathroom floor and experienced His all-consuming love. Two days later, my first prayer after meeting Jesus was, would He please give us another baby. That same day, during conception, I felt His presence once again totally surround me with that same all-consuming love. I so strongly felt His immense Joy, that I couldn’t help but silently say, “Thank You, Jesus! Thank You, Jesus!” over and over right through the act of conception.
The next morning I got up, smiled really big, put an ‘X’ on the calendar and said, “I’m pregnant.” No one believed me. They would either laugh, tell me I’m nuts, say I’m imagining things, or that it was only wishful thinking. I would just smile, laugh and reply, “It doesn’t matter what you say. I know I am pregnant.” Nine months to the day, my second son was born. Imagine my joyous surprise when five years later I learned that the name we had chosen for him means “Appointed by God”.
It was truly an amazing gift of faith I’d received from the Lord, to believe on Him for my baby without experiencing any doubt whatsoever, and for whatever reason only He knows, He didn’t remove His gift, but allowed me to use that instant, deep, confident faith for other women too. I know of eleven children who are in the world today because of prayer.
Every week I had a woman’s bible study and prayer meeting in my home. During our prayer time one day, a woman there confided in us that, for the past twelve years, ever since their only child had been born, she and her husband have been unable to conceive another child no matter what. I said with confidant joy, “We’ll pray. I’ll ask Him to give you a child, and He will give you one.” The ladies and I gathered around her, each of us praying softly. I reached up when I felt He wanted me to, laid my hand on her head, and asked Him to give her a child. She looked like she was filled with His Holy Spirit after that and soon left, laughingly promising to let us know how it worked out. Nine months later she had another son.
One beautiful spring day, I was waiting in our pick-up truck on Main street for my husband, window down, enjoying the wonderful breeze. A women I knew saw me, walked over to the window, and she and I began chatting. During the course of our conversation, she mentioned that she and her husband were desiring another baby but nothing had happened so far. I asked, “You want a baby? Hey! That’s no problem. I will pray for you. The Lord will answer me, and you will get your baby. Would you like for me to pray?” She nodded with a little smile and lowered her head. As I reached out of the window to touch her forehead, I prayed a simple prayer for His gift of another child, just a short little prayer. She raised her head, and with a MUCH bigger smile on her face she said, “Well. Looks like all I need to do now is go home and make another baby!” We both laughed and she left. Nine months later she had a little girl.