Welcome to the Mamahood Stories guest blogger series!! I have asked several special mamas to write posts for this series and I really believe they are going to encourage you and build you up! My wish is that as you read these posts leading up to Mother’s Day, you are encouraged and exhorted to love on other mamas, waiting mamas, and women longing to be mamas!
Today’s post comes from my friend Steph! We know each other from the church we attended in the states before we moved to Budapest. Steph and her husband moved onto the mission field in the Dominican Republic shortly after Tim and I left for Budapest, so we haven’t been in the same location for years! Isn’t the body of Christ great though, we are living on different continents and serving in different ways, but still have Jesus in common and remain friends!! Steph and her sweet little family are back in the states now, though big parts of their hearts remain in the DR with the work they were a part of there! I just know you will enjoy reading this sweet mama’s story!
Hola! I’m Eliana’s mami. Adults know me as Steph, our friends in the Dominican Republic call me Estefani. Our precious blessing from the Lord will turn two in July. I want to share with you the miracle of Eliana’s birth. We were missionaries in the Dominican Republic for five years and Eliana was born in Barahona, Dominican Republic. While pregnant with Eliana, I came down with symptoms indicative of the Zika Virus. I went immediately to the doctor and although they did not have the equipment necessary to test me, my doctor diagnosed me with Zika. There is no treatment, so we prayed. I was already in the second trimester so she was not at great risk of being affected. We had a trip to the States planned a month later to visit family and friends and so I went to the health department in Maryland to be tested and all the tests came back negative! Whether I was healed or whether I never had it, the Lord protected Eliana’s little life.
Two weeks before her due date I was at my regular OB appointment and Eliana’s heart rate was low and the doctor was concerned. She did some other tests and decided she needed to do an emergency c-section that same afternoon. I started to panic a little as I wasn’t expecting that and they rushed me back to surgery before my husband could even get there with our belongings. While in surgery I was trying to remain calm, but was very nervous and a bit in shock. One of the nurses started to play Christian music on her cell phone and Océanos began to play. I’m sure you’ve heard the English version of this song, Oceans. So, I began to sing and immediately the peace of the Lord came over me.
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
The next day one of the nurses was talking about how Eliana had the smallest umbilical cord she had ever seen. That wasn’t the reason for the C-section but if I had gone into labor, it could have been a problem. The Lord directed every aspect of Eliana’s birth and He protected her. She is completely healthy with no signs of defect from the Zika Virus. She is an energetic little girl full of joy!
People have asked us if we were nervous about having our child in a third world country. The decision was easy for us. We were called to live and serve in Barahona. We were not afraid. It was not a question of where is the best health facility. We didn’t consider what the conditions were like or even where is the most comfortable place to be pregnant and give birth. We lived on a mountain with rocky bumpy unpaved dirt roads. We had no air conditioning. The climate was hot and humid. But we knew that the safest place to be is in the center of the Lord’s will.
I’m not saying it was easy. It wasn’t easy to be far from family. It wasn’t easy to keep my body cooled down in 100% humidity. But we were in the Father’s hands and our God is so marvelous and His plans for us are good. I am so unworthy of His great love and the abundant blessings He endlessly pours out on me. I can agree with the words of Luke 17:10, “So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ ” When I consider the work He has done for me on the cross and the work He is doing in me, making me more like Him each day, the little sacrifices I have made for Him can not even compare.
I want to encourage you who are reading this. What is the Lord calling you to do? Step out in faith, keep your eyes on Jesus and trust He will keep your feet above the water. He wants to use you. He wants to do miracles before your eyes. He wants you to walk on the water with Him, but you have to step out of the boat. Press forward, dear sister.
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12