Devotional Contributing Authors
Alex is, first and foremost, the daughter of a loving and pursuant God who never ceases to give her opportunities to grow in faith. She is a wife to Kurt, a picture of God's provision, and most recently, the blessed mother of two children--one in her arms and one in heaven. After two years of heartbreaking infertility, the Lord gave--and then took away two weeks later--Alex and Kurt's first child in July 2010. Then after further waiting, and through the amazing gift of modern reproductive technology, Alex was able to conceive and give birth to a beautiful daughter on October 15, 2011, which, quite aptly, is also National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.
Alex and Kurt continue to seek opportunities to use their gifts and passions to be part of God’s redeeming work on earth; and they look forward with hope to the family God has planned for them.
Heather is a devoted wife and math teacher, but her greatest love? Jesus Christ! She is passionate about international missions, scrumptious dark chocolate, and making people snort water out their noses. She and her husband have been on the bumpy & exciting road of foster-to-adopt while still riding the infertility/loss rollercoaster. To their great joy, Heather’s womb has been blessed with two children—their first baby Ellis preceded them to heaven, while their second daughter is expected to arrive in May 2012.
Julia and her husband John are the mother and father to seven much-loved children in heaven (six miscarriages and a lost twin) and one precious living son who was born at 29 weeks. (Doctors say he was 11 weeks early; we know that God’s timing is perfect and he was born exactly on time.) Formerly a fine art children’s photographer, Julia is thankful to have entered the most joyous season of her life as a stay-at-home wife and mother. Before God brought them together, Julia and John had endured a season of singleness throughout their 20’s which was in many ways as difficult as long-term primary infertility (Julia refers to that dark time as “long-term primary singleness”!). John and Julia’s prayer is that God might use their years of heartbreak to minister to others going through similar journeys.
Julie has been the blessed and grateful wife of Brian since January 2005. Brian and Julie have walked through both primary and secondary infertility, including many months of medical intervention to both establish and maintain pregnancy. They were overjoyed to welcome a sweet gift from God, Anna Claire, in December 2008, and are currently expecting a precious little boy due in May 2012.
Julie has known God's grace through the grief of both early miscarriage and embryo loss, and holds in her heart 9 beloved children awaiting her in heaven. She spends most of her time homemaking, mothering, and serving in the church, as well as teaching and freelancing as a professional musician.
Kerri has been blessed with a marriage to Jeff for 11+ years. Their first pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage at 8 weeks. Only God knew that it would be 6 long years of infertility tests and treatments before their next pregnancy. But in His wisdom God had something different planned for their first-born son Hunter, who was born into heaven during labor at 37 weeks. Following another miscarriage, they were finally blessed to take home a living son. Now, after a third miscarriage, they are trusting in the Lord that “Sweet Baby Six” will arrive safely into their arms in summer of 2012. Kerri’s faith in Christ and dedication to her family continues to be fortified by her journey to motherhood, and she is encouraged by the outreach work God is working through her and the memory of baby Hunter.
Kristi is a pastor’s wife, former ESOL teacher, and the mother of seven—two on earth and five in heaven. She and her husband Eric have been married for nearly fourteen years. Their first daughter, Lydia, was born after several years of a frustrating “unexplained infertility” diagnosis. Less than a year after Lydia’s birth, they were delighted to be expecting again. However, at 18 weeks, Kristi developed a non-pregnancy-related abdominal infection that took the life of their unborn daughter, Naomi. Over the next year and a half, they lost two other children in first trimester miscarriages (Kyria at 8 weeks and Jordan at 4 weeks) before conceiving their son, Caleb, who was born shortly before Easter in 2012. Two years later, they experienced the brief joy of two more pregnancies that also ended in miscarriage, and they look forward to meeting the other five members of their family in Heaven. Kristi and Eric minister to other parents of babies in heaven through Naomi’s Circle, which is an outreach to parents who have lost babies during pregnancy or shortly after birth. The other hours in her day are spent homeschooling, helping with her husband's ministry, and enjoying time with family and friends.
Lindsay is currently enjoying maternity leave at home with her baby girl. She enjoys sewing, knitting, baking, gardening, and curling up with a book. She and her husband of seven years were blessed with two previous pregnancies before the birth of their daughter. They look forward to meeting their first two children on the other side of heaven’s doors.
Lindsay doesn’t plan on going back to work anytime soon and instead is looking forward to renovating the dollhouse her grandfather built her many years ago.
Melissa is wife of Steven and mother of nine. After a devastating first miscarriage, God granted them a living son, Gabriel (which means “the Lord is my strength”). After three and a half years of medical research, testing, treatments, and trying for another baby during which time they endured the overwhelming recurrent grief of six more miscarriages, God granted them a second living son, Asher (which means “happy and blessed”), appropriately born on Thanksgiving Day. Their family seeks to glorify God through the story He is speaking through them, in their sorrows as well as their joys. Steven and Melissa seek to grow His Kingdom and proclaim His faithfulness to their children, their neighbors, their church, and the world. Through the help of modern medical science, God has provided health and protection for Melissa’s “rainbow and redemption baby.” And through the power of the Holy Spirit, He has provided renewed faith and strength for their entire family.
Melissa seeks to grow in godliness, femininity, and joy as she pursues being a deeply dedicated wife, mother, and homemaker through the strength of Christ Jesus her Lord.
After five years of marriage, Ramona and her husband Tim decided to begin adding to their family. During the first two years of that time, they lost two pregnancies to early miscarriage and are now pregnant a third time. During these challenging times, they have learned to lean on God and his word for strength, hope, and guidance. Ramona continues to grow in her relationship with God through regular Bible study and serving as a volunteer leader at their church. In her free time she enjoys playing with their two dogs and training for and running various triathlons and marathons.
Tahirah is blessed to be the wife of a godly man. She has 7 children, 5 in heaven with our Lord and 2 here in her arms. She enjoys encouraging others with the encouragement she herself received to walk more closely with our Lord. She struggles to be all that God designed her to be as a wife, mother and keeper of the home so she leans heavily on the promise of God that He will show His strength in her weaknesses. She longs to one day hear from her Father, “well done good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your Master.”