Encourage – From Fear & Grief to Peace that Transcends

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This week’s testimony of encouragement is a story of God’s ability to take a tragic life experience and pour out His grace on the lives of those He loves. Listen as Trina shares with you …

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My husband David and I so wanted a baby, but we were having difficulty getting pregnant. We had done test after test and gone to multiple doctors. We were told by out fertility specialist that we had a one percent chance of conceiving. Little did we know, however, that at our visit we were already pregnant! That’s right! We had conceived. We were so excited and thankful for this opportunity to be parents.

During my eighth week of pregnancy I began having problems, though, and at week 18, I was put on bed rest. At that time I spent two weeks in the hospital before returning home. While in the hospital we discovered that I had a genetic disorder that made me prone to blood clots and three weeks later at 23 weeks I was hospitalized for the duration of my pregnancy.

We lasted two more weeks and then it became necessary for me to have an emergency C-section. Our Abby Grace was born at 25 weeks gestation. She was in the NICU for five weeks and experienced lots of code blues over those weeks. It was an emotional roller coaster to say the least. Finally the doctors determined that she needed surgery. Abby Grace lasted only two days after that.

I have never faced anything more difficult than this in my life. Yet even in the midst of it, I can recall  God’s provision and blessings. We had so many encouraging doctors and nurses who love the Lord. And on the day that our Abby Grace died, our family was there and each of us got to hold her and say goodbye. It was a sweet, though hard-wrenching moment in time.

People who knew me said to me numerous times throughout our difficult journey that they didn’t understand how I could hold it together so well. I can’t really explain it either other than an extreme working of God’s grace and peace. A verse in 2 Corinthians describes what I felt as the Holy Spirit supernaturally sustained me.

My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

It was a though I was enveloped in God’s presence. He sustained and carried me through all of it. It’s really difficult to explain because you can’t really understand that kind of grace until you’re in need of it. The best way I can explain how I felt is through this familiar poem.

One night I dreamed a dream. 
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord. 
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
 For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, 
one belonging to me and one to my Lord.

After the last scene of my life flashed before me, 
I looked back at the footprints in the sand. 
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life, especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
 there was only one set of footprints.

This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it. 
”Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
 You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life, 
there was only one set of footprints.
 I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”

He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you, never, ever, during your trials and testings.
 When you saw only one set of footprints, 
it was then that I carried you.” – Author Unknown

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Trina shared with me that God’s Word and the prayers of others carried and encouraged her most along the way. Several verses that really comforted her during this time were:

Trina told me that when God places you around those who are hurting, the very best thing you can do for them is pray for them. She explained that she felt the prayers of her friends, neighbors, and church family. She said that, along with the comfort from God’s Word and the power of His Spirit, got her through.

Though God only chose to allow Trina and David to be with precious Abby Grace for a short time, He later blessed them with another baby girl through adoption. Sara Beth is a precious gift to them and they are grateful!

I pray these testimonies of encouragement have blessed you. I wish to thank all of our brave ladies for being so real over these two months. What courage it took to share these life stories. They have encouraged and challenged me, and I hope they have done the same for you.

Next week we will begin a new devotional series! I hope you’ll join me.





Jacqueline Heider is the Director of Women’s Ministry, Prayer & Resource Specialist at Warren