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The Lord Remembers - A Story of Faith


A baby with sand-covered bottoms of feet in the foreground.


~A Guest Post by Cheryl Smith, Homespun Devotions~


Growing up, I had this dream that I would meet Mr. Right, get married at age 21, and have my first child at age 24. For some reason, that was just how I envisioned things would be. I did grow up, met Kevin, the man of my dreams, got married at age 21, and just assumed the next part of my childhood dream would fall into place. God had other plans.

After Kevin and I were married in June of 1988 and began planning to start our family, we soon realized that something must be wrong. I began seeing doctors and was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Disease, along with possible endometriosis, and anovulation due to the PCOS. The last OB/GYN I went to told us that even with fertility drugs, there was little hope of me ever conceiving a baby. This diagnosis was on February 11, 1998, almost ten years after we were married.

During those years of such disappointment and frustration and trying very hard to understand God’s
purpose, my Dad became very ill. I was always extremely close to both of my parents and for as long as I can remember, they both had a lot of health issues that left me in a constant state of fear of losing
them. One night, in December of 1991, I was praying for Dad, literally flat on my face, tears streaming, begging God to heal him and spare his life. Out of the blue, God spoke to me and gave me the promise that Kevin and I would indeed one day have a child! I wasn’t praying for a child, at that particular moment, but that promise brought so much comfort to me in that trying time, and I assumed a baby was in our near future.

As weeks, months, then years rolled by, and we saw no sign of that promise being fulfilled, I became
confused and fought bitterness towards God. Had I heard Him wrong? Did I just imagine the promise
since I wanted it so bad? If He really made me that promise, why was it taking so long?

As I left the doctor’s office that February day in 1998, I felt like a complete failure as a woman. The love in my heart for Kevin caused me to mourn not only for the emptiness of my own heart, but for the sad void in his. He so wanted us to have a child of our very own, and this is what I was supposed to be able to give him. Why did it have to be so hard for me? Why all the struggles? Why couldn’t I do the one thing a woman was supposed to be able to do without such agonizing effort? My self-esteem plummeted more with every negative pregnancy test reading and I felt very inadequate and incapable.

Though God had so abundantly blessed me with the sweetest, kindest, most understanding and patient husband, we were completely in love and happy together, we both had good jobs, and our marriage was strong, I still felt such a deep, aching void inside. Can anything else really fill that God-given, natural desire in a woman’s heart?

Hannah became my inspiration. I lost count of the times I read her story and found so much comfort in relating to her heartache and the way her husband Elkanah asked, “Hannah, why weepest thou? And why eatest thou not? And why is thy heart grieved? Am not I better to thee than ten sons?”

Kevin is my very own Elkanah. Though his own heart longed for a baby, he continually comforted me in my grief. I know it was every bit as hard for him as it was for me, but knowing I was the one with the issues caused him to reach out to me in compassion.

One of the most difficult aspects for me to accept was the fact that there were those in my life who
were consistently able to conceive, only to choose to end their pregnancy through abortion. Oh, this
was difficult for me to deal with! Kevin and I had so much love to give a child, we WANTED a baby so badly, and it was not happening for us. Yet others were becoming pregnant without a problem, then deciding a baby would interfere with their life and making the conscious choice to end their pregnancy! This was a huge area of struggle for me, and every time I heard of it happening, I fought deeper battles with bitterness and depression. It just seemed so completely unfair to me and many times I asked God why?

After the 4th doctor cast such a blight over our hopes, the final decision was left to us concerning
whether or not we wanted to pursue fertility treatment. To be perfectly honest, at that point, after all
those years of struggle we were both worn out and beaten down from it all. We were beginning to
wonder if maybe I had completely misunderstood that promise and God didn’t intend for us to have a
child of our own after all and maybe it was time to give up the dream. We realized that to continue to
put so much focus on this held the potential to literally tear the two of us apart and that we needed to
enjoy each other and continue to cherish our time together and not allow this constant effort to
overtake the rest of our lives. Though everything within me cried out for a baby, though my prayers
were every bit as intense as Hannah’s, though my heart ached over the sadness in Kevin’s eyes, I
surrendered. So did Kevin.

It was some of the hardest words I have ever uttered to God to reach that point of consecration and say from the heart, “Okay, Lord, if this is really how You want this to turn out, I surrender to Your will. Not my will, but Thine be done. I will accept this. I will still love You and serve Your forever no matter what you do in this situation.”

After putting our infertility completely in God’s hands and letting it go, something miraculous happened. Not overnight. But, on March 23, 2000, a little over two years after my last diagnosis, I conceived! I began having morning sickness almost immediately, and the funniest thing happened. Never dreaming I could possibly be pregnant, I thought my nausea was coming from an extra, part-time job I had taken stuffing envelopes! I thought the smell of the glue was making me sick! LOL!
Ironically, Kevin became very ill at the very same time and had to undergo a medical test. On the same day he had his test, (thank the Lord, the results were all benign) we were sitting in a booth at a
restaurant having lunch when I told him my cycle was 17 days late. “Do you want to get a pregnancy
test?” he asked. I remember answering, “NO!” a bit too quickly. I just couldn’t bear to buy one more
test and stare at one more negative result. I saw no need to waste more money. I will never forget the
feeling I had when I looked across the table and saw the disappointment in Kevin’s eyes. I immediately regretted my answer.

So, we went and bought the test and sure enough, it was positive for the very first time ever!!! I cannot put into words what that felt like. Telling Kevin, rejoicing together, then going and buying a second test, just to confirm. We couldn’t believe it! To God be all the glory! There is no other explanation for my being able to conceive other than a Divine intervention miracle. It was God’s will for our precious son, Zachary, to be conceived at that moment in time and born nine months and three days later.

After 12 ½ years of marriage and a full NINE YEARS after God made that promise to me, it was fulfilled on December 26, 2000. Of course, I didn’t know it would take that long. I admit, with all transparency, that I did not always believe. I questioned many times. I struggled often. I have thought many times that if only I had fully believed we WOULD finally conceive and have a baby of our own, it wouldn’t have been so hard to wait, and I could have coped so much better in the waiting process.

During those years, I absolutely came to love the 4th chapter of Romans. I encourage anyone struggling while waiting on God to read this chapter. Especially read and dissect verses 17 through 21. Abraham was promised a baby years before. The years kept ticking away. He was seeing no fulfillment or fruition of that promise. Yet he believed. “Before Him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.  And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.” Wow!

In so many words, I might as well have been told my womb was dead. My biological clock was ticking with no hope in sight. STILL. Sarah’s womb, at 90 years old, was completely dead, yet, God opened it just long enough to become impregnated with the seed of her 100-year-old husband! I especially found inspiration in verse 21, “And being fully persuaded that what He had promised, HE was able also to perform.”

There isn’t a situation more humanly hopeless than the case of Abraham and Sarah conceiving and
having a child. Yet, God removed every impossibility from their situation. He reversed the aging
process, defied every odd, and made it happen. Why do you think He did this and why did it end up
being printed on the pages of our Bible? Because God knew you and I would need proof. He knew we would need examples, and we would need to know that He is able. Abraham didn’t have a Bible to read.  He had no track record to go by. ALL he had was a promise from God. Yet, he believed, and he did not stagger from believing. He knew that God was able to do exactly what He promised He would do, and He did.

We have the whole Bible to read. We see God’s track record, not only in the bible, but in our own,
individual lives. We can trace His hand and recall the prayers He has answered in the past.

Looking back now, I can say from the bottom of my heart that I couldn’t agree more with the way God allowed everything to fall into place in our lives. Instead of getting married at age 21 and having my first child at 24, I got married at age 21 and had my first and only child at age 34. Ten years late, in my way of thinking at the time, but right on time in God’s way of thinking, and His timing could not have been more perfect.

God answered my December 1991 prayer in other ways, too. He did heal Dad, and He added 8 ½ years to his life after that illness. The ironic thing is when I was 11 ½ weeks along in my pregnancy with Zachary, God called Dad home to Heaven. He never got to see Zach or hold him in his arms. Zach is Dad’s one and only biological grandchild, and they never met. Knowing we had Zach to look forward to is truly one of the only things that got me through that bittersweet time. I cried myself to sleep so many nights and had a very hard struggle with questioning God as to why He couldn’t have waited just a little while longer before taking Dad from us. I so wanted him to see and meet our baby and watch him grow up. It took me a long time to reconcile that. and I finally had to come to the realization that there are questions for which we may never receive answers. God has a plan and it is always what is best for us.  It is not all about me. Dad was in very poor health and he had suffered for years. It was time for him to go to rest in the arms of Jesus, no matter how much it hurt and didn’t make sense to me.

When I first got pregnant, I was told by so many that they felt I would have a girl, based on the way I was carrying the baby. Based on their assumptions, we went ahead and picked out a girl’s name. Hannah, (of course!) Marie (my Mom’s middle name). On the day of our ultrasound that determined we were not having a girl, but that our baby was a boy, we knew we had to pick out a boy’s name. Out of the blue Kevin said,” I like the name Zachary. I’d like to call him Zach.” I loved it, too, so it was decided that day. His first name would be Zachary and his middle name would be Will, named after my Dad. I never thought to wonder what the name “Zachary” means, but after he was born, I was in a Christian bookstore one day looking at names and meanings and my eyes fell upon “Zachary.” It was one of those jaw-dropping moments when you can’t believe your eyes. The name “Zachary” literally means “The Lord remembers.” All I could think of in that moment was that night on the floor praying to God and how He had made me that promise. He never forgot. In all those years of waiting and my staggering faith, God remembered, and He sent us our beyond special gift who blesses our lives every, single day.  Zach is such a dear blessing to Kevin and me and loves Jesus with all his heart.

I don’t know what you may be going through or how hopeless your situation may appear to be. I just
want to remind you that there is nothing impossible with God. If God can do what He has done for us, He can provide whatever you need. There is no respect of persons with God. Keep the faith and trust Him for your very own miracle!


I trust you have been inspired by this guest post written by my dear sister in the Lord, Cheryl Smith, who shared this beautiful story of faith.


Cheryl Smith is the author of the blogs Biblical Minimalism where she writes about minimalism from a Biblical perspective and Homespun Devotions where she writes devotionals and conducts “Inner Views.” She loves to spend time with her husband and son in the mountains, sing and play Bluegrass music, and write.

Please visit Cheryl and enjoy more of her writing and her heart by clicking on the following links:

Homespun Devotions 
Biblical Minimalism
Homespun Devotions Pinterest

Cheryl, thank you soo much for sharing your story of faith with Growing Together in Grace and Knowledge.  Your desire to bring Him ALL the Glory was so evident.  You have blessed us all.


You might find me on these link-ups:

Grace & TruthWoman to Woman Ministries, Inspire Me MondayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Good Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog Hop  Tuesday Talk   Faith 'N Friends Sitting Among Friends   House to Home  ,Wonderful Wednesday , Literacy Musings Mondays,Imparting GraceDance with Jesus Booknificent Thursdays  Fresh Market Friday Moments of Hope Wonderful Wednesdays , Tea & Word Tuesday Heart Encouragement Thursday Hearts for Home Messy Marriage Link-up Friday at the Fire Station Link-up Tune In Thursday Faith on Fire Link-upSunday Scripture Blessings Link-up, Sunday ThoughtsWriter Wednesday, Faith Filled Friday God Sized Dreams Link-Up Sitting Among Friends Be Thee Inspired Graceful Tuesday Link-up Aprons & Pearls Link-up Trekkingthru Link-up  Encouraging Word Wednesday  Grace Moments Link-up  Encouraging Hearts and Home Worth Beyond Rubies Seeking Sabbath Scripture and a Snapshot IHeart Verse Welcome Heart Kingdom Bloggers Outdoorsy Mommy Anchored Truth Tuesdays IHeart Verse InstaEncouragements

Comments

  1. Oh, sweet friend! Thank you so much for sharing our testimony here! SO very thankful for your friendship and kindness. God bless you abundantly!

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    1. Hi Cheryl, You are very welcome! Thank you so much for providing this beautiful testimony of God's faithfulness.

      Sending you much love,

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  2. Cheryl, every time I get another slice of your story, I'm blessed by the way God has chosen to put his great love on display through your life!

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    1. Hi Michele, I couldn't agree more! :-) Cheryl's humility, kindness and immense love for people and especially for the Lord are so evident in all that she does.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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    2. I am so sorry I am just now seeing these kind words, Michele! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your sweet encouragement. And, Karen, your words just touched me so deeply, too. I am so glad the Lord led me back here tonight - He always knows what we need and when we need it most! Much love and gratitude to both of you dear sisters.

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  3. Awww... thank you, Cheryl for being so transparent and sharing your story! That is going to reach out and touch someone (many someones most likely) who really needs to hear it and needs to be encouraged. It was an encouragement to me today!

    Thank you for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

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    1. Hi Patsy, Thanks so much for stopping by and offering such kind words and sweet encouragement to Cheryl.

      Indeed! Her story will reach out and touch someone who needs to hear it and be encouraged.

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    2. How sweet and encouraging your words were to me, Patsy! I apologize I am just now seeing them. I trust God will richly bless you and keep you in these troubled times. Thank you SO much for your kind comments, and you, too, dear Karen!

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  4. You are brave to be sharing this story and inspiring faith in all of us.

    Welfare unto all
    Rab rakha

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    1. Hi Ruby, Thank you for visiting and encouraging Cheryl in her beautiful post about God's faithfulness.

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    2. Thank you so much, Ruby. May the Lord richly bless you and keep you!

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  5. What a beautiful story and testimony you bring to us, Cheryl. Thank you for sharing with us, and thank you, Karen, for sharing her story with us at this week's Encouraging Hearts & Home party - you ladies have both encouraged our hearts!

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    1. Hi Linda, You are very welcome! Praise God!

      Thanks so much for stopping by. :-)

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    2. Thank you ever so much, Linda! Your words brought so much comfort and blessing to me tonight. May the Lord richly bless you and keep you!

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  6. Thank you for sharing your story. I nearly died giving birth to my first daughter and had to have a hysterectomy to save my life. I felt so many of the emotions you described and so did my husband. But God knows best. I'm so glad things turned out for you and that you can His faithfulness

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    1. Hi Valerie, Thank you so much adding to the conversation and sharing your story of God's faithfulness in the midst of a dire situation. Your story and Cheryl's certainly encourages us to remember God's faithfulness.

      Thanks so much for stopping by.

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    2. Oh, bless your heart, Valerie! I am SO sorry to hear of your awful experience and am so grateful God brought you through that ordeal. Your words were such a blessing to me, and I am so thankful you shared your story here. May the Lord bless you always!

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  7. I had a brief couple of years of infertility, and I understand that baby hunger so much. I love babies and often cry for the innocents lost to abortion. God is good to us. Rejoicing with you for Zachary and the blessing of children.

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    1. Hi Glenys, Thank you for sharing your tender heart regarding those who struggle with infertility and for the tragedy of abortion.

      Indeed God is good to us. Cheryl's story reminds us of His great faithfulness and his desire to bless His children in His perfect way.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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    2. Aw, bless your heart, Glenys! You can surely relate to those sad feelings since you walked this path. I, too, ache for the babies lost to abortion. Who would they be if they had been permitted to live? Can you imagine that over 61 million people have been murdered legally since Roe v Wade? I cannot even fathom it and wonder how God is able to bear watching it all. Thank you so very much for your sweet words and encouragement. May the Lord richly bless you and yours!

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  8. Such a beautiful testimony of faith. It is such a comfort when we can sit and ponder on the thoughts that God is always able to do above and beyond what we ask or think!! Thank you for sharing this story with us! #graceandtruth link-up

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    1. Hi April, Indeed! Cheryl's story certainly showcases that very fact. :-)

      You are very welcome!

      Thanks for stopping by. :-)

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    2. Thank you so very much, April! I am so grateful for your encouragement and for sharing in our joy! May the Lord bless you always!

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  9. What a wonderful story of God's faithfulness!! Thank you for sharing!!

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    1. Hi Kym! Indeed! So thankful that Cheryl was able to share this beautiful testimony of faith.

      Thanks so much for stopping by. :-)

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    2. Thank you so much for reading and for your kind words, Kym! God bless you abundantly!

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