This beautiful story of the healing of infertility for Bill and Cassie McCullers is from the book Amazing Grace for Families, as told by Cassie.
All my life, I dreamed of being a wife and mother, and everything I did pointed in that direction — from asking Santa for a baby doll when I was ten to deciding against medical school in my junior year of college.
I became pregnant rather quickly, but miscarried at ten weeks in October 1992. We grieved terribly, but using NFP made us confident we would be able to conceive again promptly. That was not to be the case. Following the miscarriage, we endured a two-and-a-half-year odyssey of doctor visits, lab tests, and a diagnosis of endometriosis that required six months of drug treatment. After all that, we were hopeful to be blessed with a pregnancy. When we passed that milestone, feelings of despair began to creep in. While we tried to remain faithful in the Lord, each month’s disappointment opened the door a bit wider to the fear that perhaps we might never conceive a child.
During all that time, faithful, wonderful family members and friends had been lifting us up in prayer. In late January 1995, my mother (a confirmed chocolate-lover) felt led to give up all chocolate as a fasting sacrifice until I conceived. Then, in the early spring of that year, my parents attended a healing Mass in North Carolina. My mother stood in for me when the celebrating priest prayed over her.
In the meantime, my brother John took a pilgrimage to Israel. He and a friend offered prayers at many holy places for Bill and me, and family and friends continued to pray — as did we. By the early spring of 1995, my parents and my sister Julie and her husband told me had been led to pray in thanksgiving for the child we would conceive. They felt the Lord had told them there was no need to “ask” anymore, that it would be done. I could only hope they were right.
In April 1995, Bill and I were very excited, then terribly disappointed, when I was a week “late.” On May 3, another healing priest anointed and prayed over Bill and me. On May 5, we attended a healing Mass, after which I planned to ask the priest to pray over me for complete healing of the infertility. The Mass was beautiful, and the presence of the Lord was very strong. (I should mention that every May 5, we’ve offered special prayers for the baby we lost in miscarriage, as May 5 was the baby’s estimated due date.)
On the way to receive Communion, Bill was praying — not thinking about babies, or infertility — when an amazing thing happened. He felt the Lord speak directly to him, telling him that I was already pregnant. Just like that. Anyone who knows Bill knows he’s not one to jump to conclusions without being certain. When he told me, right away I knew it was true. Crying, we began to praise and thank God for His goodness and the precious life He had formed in me. Based on signs and symptoms of ovulation, conception had to have occurred within 24 hours of this revelation. No lab test in the world could confirm a pregnancy that early, so we waited. Then, on May 19, my home pregnancy test was positive. A visit to the doctor confirmed it. Matthew arrived on January 21, 1996. In fewer than six years, he was followed by his brothers and sister, Will, Michael and Sarah.
Those years of infertility sometimes seemed like eternity, but the Lord used that time to teach us many things: to trust Him, to pray in the face of hopelessness and to seek His will — all of which are easier said than done. In addition, our experience has given us real sensitivity to couples who struggle with infertility. It is our sincere wish that this story of the power of prayer, God’s faithfulness to His people, and the wisdom of His timing, will give new hope to all who struggle with the cross of infertility.
Cassie McCullers is a parishioner at Mary, Mother of the Redeemer parish in North Wales.
For more inspiration, check out Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories From Everyday Families. Your children will laugh while learning big spiritual lessons with Dear God, I Don't Get It! and Dear God, You Can't Be Serious.