I have always loved children even when I was one. I started teaching Sunday School when I was only 13 years old. Even though I had only been a born-again Christian roughly a year, I was well versed in Christian teachings, having gone to church all my life with my family. I had answered a plea by our children’s ministry leader for more Sunday school teachers and helpers, volunteering to be a helper in a 4-5-year olds class. I showed up on my first Sunday in class eager to interact with these darling little kids. I was not disappointed. In fact, perhaps I was over-eager because the next Sunday, the teacher never showed up. OK, maybe she took suddenly ill. But the next week she again did not show…nor the following Sunday. I promptly went to the children’s ministry leader and requested the curriculum. I told her that if I was going to be stuck with a room full of 4- & 5-year olds I may as well be prepared. From that day on I became the Sunday school teacher and was for many, many years. (By the way, the other teacher never showed up again).

But I divert. I wanted to have 3-4 children when I got married. However, after having been married for 4 years with no results in that area, I began to feel frustrated. Three more years later, I was beginning to identify with Hannah in the Bible, who is famous for saying “Give me children, or I die!”. She was saying it to her husband. I was saying it to God, in effect. But each time I begged God for children, I got no apparent reply. This went on for nearly 7 years – me begging, God silent.

We finally went to see an infertility specialist, with the arrangement of a good doctor friend. The specialist did not offer us much encouragement, concluding that both Chip and I had a ‘problem’ and unless we got at least one of us ‘fixed’ our chances of having children were very minimal indeed. Not good news. I was depressed.

One day, my answer from God came, when I was least expecting it. I was sitting in church, waiting for the service to begin, not feeling particularly spiritual or listening particularly for God’s voice or anything like that. The service leader opened with Psalm 113, reading aloud, when suddenly verse 9 jumped out at me like it was lit up with neon lights. “He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children” (NIV). Instantly, an inner voice seemed to say, “That’s you”! Looking furtively around, so as to not be too obvious, I verified that no one had sidled up to me and whispered in my ear. I sensed that God was speaking to my heart that He had indeed heard my prayer and was about to answer in my favour. I don’t know if I’d ever been that excited in a church service before, but I sure was then. I had my promise and I clung to it.

Funny enough, it was not long after the depressing interview with the infertility specialist that I began to feel the nausea. I was puzzled. I did not feel ill at all, other than this rotten queasy feeling in my gut. And it did not pass, such as it would have, had I eaten something that didn’t quite agree with me. We visited with some friends and were treated to a very nice Pakistani meal – which promptly made me sorry. I was up most of that night wondering what, in that lovely meal was so offensive to my tummy. We went to a famous all you can eat place in Nairobi called Carnivore, with some guests. I felt like a bottomless pit, unusually ravenous, eating as much meat as I could…again quite unlike me. I simply do not like a lot of meat! Then later, I truly regretted my gluttony. What was going on?

Finally, Chip and I began to consider the possibility that I might actually be expecting. No way! I could never tell by my monthly schedule because that was always highly irregular. I had visited the Doctor 3 times already, wondering if the long-hoped for pregnancy was evident, only to have my hopes dashed once more. I was determined not to go yet a 4th time for the same news. But finally, Chip convinced me that if I was pregnant enough to be losing my cookies a lot, surely, I was pregnant enough for it to show up in a test (no home tests in those days). So, I caved in and went.

Imagine my surprise when the Doctor informed me, with a twinkle in his eye, that I was expecting my first child! What?! It seems that miracles do still happen! This happening so soon after having been told that our chances of having children were very slim, felt almost like God saying “Well, we’ll see about that. I’ll show you who’s in charge!” This was the start of a new adventurous season in our lives.

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