Life Story - Stephanie David
Our Rainbow Baby: A Promise After Our Storm "I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him." 1 Samuel 1:27 (NIV)
I remember sitting in the theater beside my husband, Algene; our movie just moments from starting. My father in-law had just went home to Jesus after a long battle with cancer. Our family's spirits were drained. My mother in-law took her loving husband's ashes home to the Philippines to grieve alongside my sister in-law who could not be here to say goodbye to her daddy. Understandably, my husband was desperate for time away from our home as it was just a reminder that his dad was not there any longer. We opted for dinner and movie. As I grabbed the popcorn and adjusted my seat a voice whispered in my ear, "Her name will be Evanora." I looked behind me and the seats were empty. I turned to my husband and asked if he heard what I just heard. After realizing what had just taken place, I told Algene and we quickly looked up the name I had been given by the Lord. "Life." Her name would mean 'life'. As we read through the meaning, I heard that same voice whisper, "Life, after loss." My immediate conclusion, was that we would soon be pregnant. Right? We lost my father in-law. This had to be it.
A year would pass and more losses met my family and I. I would also be told by four specialists, that Algene and I would never be able to conceive. That broke my heart and confused me greatly, considering what I had been told by the Holy Spirit a year before. It was around the end of June when I began experiencing a complete list of pregnancy symptoms. What a joy I felt. My heart knew there was life within me. I waited until the first week of July to have my husband buy a pregnancy test. Here I was, 11 o'clock at night, sitting on the sofa at the foot of our bed as Algene paced back and forth trying not to peek at the test sitting on our bathroom sink. Then I heard him jumping and as I looked up he ran to me screaming that we were finally going to be parents! One by one we called our loved ones and shared our good news. Our families joyfully posted our baby announcement on social media and by the following morning not only had everyone heard but Algene and I had also already planned out our baby's whole life! In the weeks to come we would find out her gender and celebrate with our family. My dad wanted her to be named Madison Isabella. We loved that name! And although I knew the Lord had given us a name once before, in my heart, I knew it wasn't for this baby.
On July 19th, I was taken to the emergency room and at 12 o'clock midnight, July 20, 2015 I miscarried our daughter. Nothing can prepare you for something like that. My whole world stopped. The moment I walked out of that hospital, my life was different. Like a scene from some post-apocalyptic film, everything seemed to be in ruins around me and all was gloomy and depression had gripped itself deep into my chest. My husband did what he could to be my support, even putting his own broken heart aside, desperately trying to piece mine back together. I was surrounded by family and friends who poured their love over Algene and I but I still felt alone and completely broken. The Lord would go on to walk me through depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. He would deliver me from medications and self-harm. He would restore my marriage and He would heal my heart and give me joy once again. After seeing a few more specialists and now being told that I could conceive, but that I would never carry full term and that all pregnancies would ultimately result in a miscarriage, my husband and I prayed deeply and the Lord gave us His peace! Like a favorite quote of mine, we knew that "science only goes so far and then comes God!"
It was 3 years later that I began hearing the Lord whisper to me that name once again. That name that I had never forgotten but simply set aside. "Evanora." This time He had also whispered another name with it. "Evanora Gene." I shared that with my husband as his dad's name was Eugene, and often called, "Gene" by family and close friends! We looked up the meaning and we were overwhelmed by it. "Gift Of God." Our peace was strengthened and we simply just continued to pray. Not soon after, I began seeing 1 Samuel 1:27 everywhere! I was finding pamphlets with it, books quoting it, clips of sermons shared online, and at times, I would just simply hear it in my mind. Then, it happened. I had all the pregnancy symptoms from before and they were now heightened! I hid it from Algene; from everyone. I refused to face the pain and humiliation of another inevitable loss. Then one day, the Lord sat beside me during our time together. I felt His peace. His comfort. His joy. His love. His hand. He told me not to be afraid but to boldly share my gift. "Tell the world what I have done." I remember the look on Algene's face when I finally told him. I blurted it out and he just stared at me. Then he smiled and then he laughed and then he went blank before shouting, "I'll go buy a test now!" We decided to wait a few days until Friday to buy anything. On that afternoon, I took 3 test-at one time! All confirming what I had already known! I was once again pregnant!
I took in every moment. I watched as tired mommies surrounded me at doctor visits, all somber from exhaustion, fatigue, nausea and swollen feet. And then there was me, smiling from ear to ear and announcing how great my day was! I'm sure they wanted me to leave before I could even sit! But I just couldn't help it! No matter how sleepless my nights were, how nauseous I felt, how swollen I was, or how huge my belly got, I was pregnant, and I was reveling in it! My husband had tummy time every chance he got, promising our little peanut the world and so much more. We had our baby shower on Madison's birthday weekend. We celebrated two lives that day. Our daughter who sits with the Lord and our daughter who will serve Him here. On October 9, 2018 our little girl was born. As they went about their routine, a nurse came to my husband and I and asked what name we had for her. I remembered again, what was whispered to me four years before, and I looked up and smiled and said, "Her name is Evanora Gene." "So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there." -1 Samuel 1:28 (NIV)