Like many others, I have been going to church my entire life. My parents were pastors, and we were held to a strict standard at home. I was always involved in church, but only because I was required to do so. I was not a ‘troubled child,’ and I believe that I had an overall pleasant childhood. However, growing up, I had a view of God that was primarily based on fear and a duty to earn my way into Heaven by avoiding sin at all costs. Every day, I would fail in some aspect and feel like if I died in that moment, that I would go to hell. Nightly, I would pray a prayer of repentance and plead with God for another day to do better, only to repeat an endless cycle. I never had the desire to be a rebellious child, but simply had given up on trying not to sin and would pray for forgiveness and move on. I kept up a great appearance externally, and that kept people from noticing the ongoing internal battle within my spirit. I knew that I needed to fully surrender my control to God.
As a young adult, I had given up on any sense of freedom and wore the chains of guilt and condemnation. In July of 1996 I got married and Angel and I tried to conceive a child. But a year later I was confronted by the news that I could not bear children. A close friend was very persistent and asked me about my relationship with God and to talk to a pastor. I reluctantly agreed to her invitation. There I found myself,
completely broken and beat down with no fight left within me. However, in November of 2002, Pastor Daniel invited us to take a year prayer challenge. He said, ‘Give us a year of your life and go all-in.’ So, I jumped all-in and it was in that moment that God embraced me with His grace and filled me with His Holy Spirit. There was no question that this encounter was different than anything that I ever experienced before. Chains were broken off my life and I was finally set free. God took me on a journey of surrender to Him and showed me that He was worthy of my trust, whether or not I had a baby. He showed me how to worship Him while my hands were still empty, and my womb was still barren. God did something miraculous in me during this season. God did graciously heal my womb, and I was able to give birth to a beautiful baby boy whom I could never deserve in a thousand lifetimes. Not only did God heal my womb, but He also healed my heart. In some ways, that was the bigger miracle. While every prayer will not stop the sun, every prayer that reflects God's will can win your battle. Prayer is God's chosen instrument to release His power in our daily life.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thes. 5:16-18)