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  • Maggie Wallem Rowe

#5 - When God Grows a Family: The Ecstasy of Answered Prayer (and our July Giveaway)

Welcome back to The Lemonade Stand for the fifth in our summer series on using whatever ingredients you have — the sour or the salty, the savory or the sweet — to find beauty in life.


Stephanie. Amanda. Ashley. Erika.   Gretchen. Jessica.


Six names on a yellow sticky note that lived inside my kitchen cabinet door ever since we moved to Peace Ridge six summers ago.


Six young women whose names were on my lips daily because of what they had in common—my love for them and their longing for a child.


More than six years of waiting, crying, praying for a pregnancy that came easily for many but was eluding them.


Last week, we talked about the thousands of people over the last half-century who have left prayer requests in a mysterious mailbox on Sunset Beach in South Carolina—prayers that others might see but only God would hear.

Are there any more fervent prayers than the heart-cries of one who longs for a child?

“How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day?. . .  Turn and answer me, O LORD my God!” Psalm 13: 2-3

Two of the friends for whom I interceded had a single child and were experiencing secondary infertility. The other four had suffered the dashed hopes and heartrending indignities of every kind of assistance science could offer only to see their hopes miscarry once more.


But in the final week of June in the year 2024, guess what just happened?!

. . . . . . . . . .


God, being God—the one who conceived the idea in the first place – has so many ways of creating a family.


He can make babies from scratch, taking a man’s seed and a woman’s egg and baking that little bun in mama’s womb, or in that of a loving carrier through surrogacy.


He can deliver a child fully formed from another mother into the arms of a waiting family who has already grown that child in their hearts.

And he can provide children already half-baked on their way to maturity, just as he did in our family when we five became seven overnight many years ago.  


Physical childbirth. Adoption. Surrogacy. Foster-to-forever care. So many kinds of love—so many ways of conceiving a family.


Stephanie. Amanda. Ashley. Erika.  Gretchen. Jessica.


Do you know what they are now?


 Mothers, one and all.


In these last six years, Ashley is now the mother of two beautiful children born through gestational surrogacy. In the past four years, Stephanie and Amanda have borne children for the second time, and Erika carried her first child to term after five miscarriages (and now she’s expecting her second!)  


Three months ago, after eight years of waiting, Gretchen and her husband were chosen by a birth mom in a selfless act of love to be the adoptive parents of a perfect little boy.


And just five days ago? The reason I've joyfully removed that sticky note from my kitchen cabinet?


Friends, I’m not implying what happened was due to my personal intercession – so many sent petitions upward throughout the years – but our prayers matter even if we are but one voice in a chorus of many.

The power of answered prayer resides not in the one who prays or the specific prayer offered, but in the One who hears those prayers.

We pray because Jesus modeled a life of prayer for us, and Scripture tells us that “he lives forever to intercede with God” for us (Heb. 7:25 NLT).


And now, drumroll please. . .


Meet Montana Ward Chin, the brand-new son of Jessica and husband Feo, shown here with surrogate-friend Cary, whom in Jessi’s words “did such an amazing job growing and delivering this perfect little snuggler!”


(Photos shared with family's permission)

Remember what the apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth?

“You are helping us by praying for us. Then many…will give thanks because God has graciously answered.” (2 Cor. 1: 11) 

So please rejoice with us today for the gift of baby #6. Thanks be to God!


(Do you have someone on your heart who is longing for a child? If you can do so without violating privacy, please leave first names only in the Comment section below. I promise to start a new sticky note.)


Pam Farrel, co-author of "Discovering Wisdom in Proverbs"

JULY GIVEAWAY: Looking for a terrific summer or fall Bible study? This month I’m giving away a copy of this beautiful creative journaling resource by Pam Farrel and friends, Discovering Wisdom in Proverbs.

 If you’re interested in winning a copy, please use the word “wisdom” somewhere in your comment. Winner will be chosen on July 6!






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