I had been out of church for a long time. Military deployments, military moves, up all night with babies – there was always a reason. Mostly, I just didn’t miss it, or more accurately didn’t want it.
We finally settled down in San Antonio, TX with a rambunctious 2 year old daughter Isabella. Almost a year later, I did a Google search and found a great dance company to put my daughter in, and after a time became friends with the owner of the studio. While being with the company for almost 2 years, I was invited to church several times. Never overwhelmingly, which made the invitation enticing. In the 2 years we had been in San Antonio we had visited a church here or there and tried to make it our home, but just never really felt it. Probably because I still didn’t want it. I fell out of church for so many reasons and I kept harboring those reasons every time I sat in a pew or stepped into a church lobby.
In February 2012, my world came crashing down when my son Isaiah was born 13 weeks prematurely. Devastating doesn’t even begin to sum up the first few days of his life. The doctors told us he wouldn’t make it a week due to his birth injuries. Family came to stay with us and in the midst of it I still remember my mother-in-law telling me something comforting about God and prayer. I also remember replying with a not so nice sentiment – telling her if this is what her God is about then I wanted nothing to do with him (or something a little less nice than that).
Time drug on in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Days turned into weeks that turned into months. We counted our son’s life in days he had survived – hope was all we had. Heading home from the hospital in the early morning hours, I was scrolling through radio stations and came across a Christian station playing Kutlass “What Faith Can Do” and I pretty much lost it. I lost the strength I was holding on to, the walls I had built up and for the first time in my life I didn’t care about the reasons I had been away from church. Suddenly, I realized in those moments that we not only had hope, but we had faith.
Isaiah came home in June 2012 and within a few months we had talked ourselves into checking out Life Point Church, which our friend had invited us to years earlier. I thought, “What’s the harm in just going once to check it out?” One of the first sermons I heard was about miracles and I will never forget it. God doesn’t give miracles to people that haven’t got any problems. They don’t need them. The bigger the problem, the bigger the miracle that can happen.
It’s now 2015 and we haven’t looked back since.
In the last 3 years my family has been through so much. Our faith, hope and our church family are the only reasons we are still standing.
Published by Michelle Estrada