by Linda S. Van Fleet
“Why can’t I have a baby, Gramma?” Michelle asked her grandmother with tears streaming down her face. Her cousin was having her fourth child and Michelle was childless though she had tried for ten years to get pregnant. For a moment hatred arose in her heart toward her cousin and she struggled to control the ugly emotions of envy and jealousy.
“Michelle, God has something very special in store for you and when the time is right He will give it to you,” her grandmother said softly. “Be patient. He always answers our prayers.”
Michelle dropped her head and tears splashed against her hands. She was already over thirty. Her biological time clock was ticking fast. Patience was not her strong suit. She wanted a baby now! But she also knew her grandmother’s prayers were always answered. Hope sprang up in her heart. She lifted her face and said simply, “If it’s a girl I’m going to name her after you.”
As the years passed, Michelle’s hopes began to dwindle. Soon she would be forty. Her grandmother had passed away and the faith those simple words instilled in her heart were fading into a faint memory. Then one Easter Sunday while attending church with her mother and listening to the choir singing songs of hope and resurrection, God spoke to her heart, reminding her that he was still the God of the impossible. She bowed her head as tears splashed against her hands again. She made no effort to hide her emotion. As the service was dismissed and people began to disperse she sat there sobbing softly, her mother’s arm around her shoulders. Finally she asked her mother to please get Pastor Steve. She wanted someone to pray with her.
When Pastor Steve and a couple of deacons gathered around, he asked Michelle, “What do you want God to do for you, Michelle?”
“I want a baby,” Michelle sobbed unrestrained. “I want a baby.”
“Michelle, are you willing to accept whatever God says — even if he says no?” Pastor Steve asked gently after he instructed her in the ways God answers prayers. She stood there listening to his words, hesitating, afraid to speak. Finally she answered, “I will accept whatever he says.”
As she prayed that day the tiny seed of hope was again rekindled in Michelle’s heart. And when someone later remarked about how “off-key” someone in the choir was that morning, she replied, “None of that matters when you are listening with your heart.”
As the weeks and months passed and she did not get pregnant, Michelle accepted it with peace and even spoke with her husband, Eric, about the possibility of adoption. He was in complete agreement, so the new chapter of fulfilling her life-long dream of having a baby opened. However, the chapter almost as quickly closed as she discovered that, in their state of residence, Michelle was “too old” for adopting an infant. A heavy disappointment settled on her as she had always longed for a brand new baby to hold, to love, to watch as the child grew and developed. Michelle finally resigned herself to the fact: God was saying “No.” She may as well give up her quest.
Then one day a co-worker mentioned a woman and her husband who were having a baby – their seventh child – that would be taken away from them because they were registered child abusers. The aunt of the pregnant woman was searching for an adoptive parent so the state would not take the child as they had taken five of the other children. The aunt wanted to adopt the child as she had adopted the last baby, but she simply could not.
Suddenly Michelle’s heart filled with new hope. Could she and her husband adopt the baby? Would they let her have the baby even though she was forty-years-old? The baby was due in one month; could they cut through the red tape in time to take the infant home from the hospital? It was a big challenge, but one that Michelle and her husband, Eric, embraced with excitement and courage. She called her mom and said, “Mom, please pray that we get the baby!”
Although a formidable task because of legal issues, God moved like a whirlwind at every obstacle to clear the way. First, the birth parents signed the papers stating they wanted Michelle and Eric to adopt the baby. Then the judge ordered the required home visits and interviews to be done immediately, a process that usually takes six months to a year to complete. The hospital was informed the adoptive parents would be taking the baby home from the hospital. In an amazing four-week period of time a baby had been found, the home visits and interviews were completed, the paperwork processed and the legal proclamation made: Michelle and Eric were the parents of a newborn baby girl.
Michelle’s hope had become reality: a baby of her very own, a beautiful little girl whom she named Cora after “Gramma”, her dear grandmother who had meant so much to her. Now whenever Michelle is faced with what seems to be insurmountable circumstances she simply believes that God will take care of it for her. Says Michelle, “How can I not believe when I look into the face of a miracle every day of my life.”
Note from the Author: This is a story of just one of the steps of faith taken by my daughter, Michelle, who truly believes in miracles, and with good reason! When she discovered she had the dread disease I asked Michelle, “Darling, I believe God can heal you. Do you believe?” She responded with words I have heard her say several times since she and husband, Eric, adopted our darling little granddaughter, “Mom, how can I not believe? Everyday when I look into my daughter’s eyes I know I am looking into the face of a miracle.”
Michelle has discovered again there is nothing — absolutely nothing — that is too hard for God to do.