Finding Hope - Chris and Jess
Chris and Jess started out like every loving couple. They found each other; realized how much they liked being with each other and fell in love. Future plans flowed through their heads when one day Chris said at work, “If my morning coffee doesn’t settle my stomach down, I’m taking myself to the ER.”
Shortly after that statement they faced an admission, diagnosis, surgery and long road back from cancer. Among all the questions this event placed on their budding relationship, mortality had to make them question where was God in all of this, and how to communicate with Him? Chris remained confident that he was going to beat cancer. His doctor was equally proactive and suggested he freeze some sperm just in case he and Jess ever wanted children.
Remission and spiritual growth went hand in hand, and soon friends were joyously toasting them at their wedding. After trying for years, they shared more good news that Jess was pregnant with twins. What few people knew was the IVF conception of the twins occurred with their last supply of sperm. Naturally they thought of a miracle. For a couple already tested, this seemingly was the thank you for passing the test. Little did they know their love and faith would be tested to the max.
Both of their premature girls found their way to Jesus right from the hospital room. Devastated was not a strong enough word. How could this miracle be ripped away from them so quickly? In the Book of James, it says “. consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds because the testing of your faith produces perseverance". This was being tested to the extreme, and no one would have blamed them for being bitter and angry.
Instead they maintained their faith, allowed some healing to occur and found the courage to try again. Six years had passed since Chris' chemotherapy and although slight, there was a chance that they could conceive naturally. Chris requested a sperm count from his doctors.
In Chris' own words
"It was more than hope. More than faith. I KNEW it. I believed that God had a plan and was certain it was not just for me to stay on this planet but to have a child." To the professionals, it was almost laughable. The doctors gave the couple "no chance." The insurance company didn't even want to cover the "needless expense of the test."
Their faith and love were tested; they pulled closer to each other and to God. It wasn’t long before their little boy was conceived naturally. CJ is an active three-year-old today.
Recently I witness CJ selecting a few cookies from the Soul Café. He selected one for him, then mom and dad. He's a cutie. Chris says folks in preschool and work interact a little differently with CJ. There's an incredible awe and wonderment. It's as if they sense the miracle behind his birth. Chris knows this just wasn’t good luck; God has something big planned for CJ’s future.
For those who have faith; for those who persevere; for those who continue to love, God promised that your persistence will mean something. Believe it.
- Jim Randazzo
Finding Hope within a Community of Faith
Never give up on God even when it seems hopeless