As a newly baptized teen, I was disillusioned when our pastor started doing strongly-worded sermons pressuring people to give money to a controversial building fund. After not finding another church home, I left church at age 19. But I never stopped believing in God. And He never let me go.

I got married at 26, and my husband and I were believers but didn’t think we needed church. Then we heard about an interesting new contemporary church. You could wear jeans. Listen to relevant messages. Hear contemporary worship music.

Then 911 happened. It rocked our country and shook my husband and me spiritually. The first time we visited the new church was the first Sunday after 911. God clearly orchestrated the timing. So although 911 was a horrific event, it was a rebirth of faith for us.

But life didn’t get easier after coming back to church. During a Wednesday night baptism, I noticed an acquaintance kept turning around, looking at me and gasping. I asked if she was OK, and she said, “I’m supposed to tell you about your baby.” She asked for my Bible and showed me Isaiah 54, which says, “Sing, O childless woman! Break forth into loud and joyful song, O Jerusalem, even though you never gave birth to a child. For the woman who could bear no children now has more than all the other women, says the Lord.” And I found out I was indeed 7 weeks pregnant after years of trying. I was giddy and in SHOCK!

The following Monday I met my best friend, Bev, to tell her the news. I suddenly felt like I wanted to pass out, so I handed Bev my car keys and laid down in my car, going in and out of consciousness. She drove me to the emergency room and saved my life. But it was God who ultimately spared me. Sadly, I lost the baby due to a dangerous tubular pregnancy. Had I not been told of my pregnancy, I would have gone home to lie down, instead of to the hospital, and would have bled to death internally. So though we were devastated, we were thankful because I had been spared.

Then God spiritually “nudged” us to adopt by showing us verses about adoption, along with putting people in our path at church to help us adopt from Russia. Charlie became our son in August 2005. God saved my life so He could give us the better gift–our little boy. The verse about singing as a barren woman made sense now and took on a new, hopeful meaning. I just had to hang on in faith, which is difficult when you’re hurting. And I learned that the closer your relationship is with Jesus, the easier it is to get through those times and come out victorious.

“I have prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him.” 1 Samuel 1:27