Meet Ryan from White Bear Lake.
I grew up going to church, having God as an active part of my life. Inquisitive by nature, I had faith questions that weren’t being answered. I began to feel like it was all make believe—just a bunch of stories to keep me in line. Soon, God was no longer a part of my life.
I didn’t have any rock bottom moments, but I lived a sinner’s life for many years and got nothing out of it except hangovers, debt, drama, and a general sense that something wasn’t working. My faith story came to life after a dramatic wake-up call.
During my “time away,” I married a wonderful woman who was in the same place I was: same upbringing, same unanswered questions. She had a friend who had been prodding her to go to her church. So, we decided to check out Eagle Brook.
Honestly, I thought it was just a bunch of hoopla. I was so far away and so numb, I really didn’t care to open up and try to change my life. I just went through the motions.
I even volunteered and thought I was doing what was right, but emotionally and spiritually I wasn’t fully committed.
Around this time, we were trying to have kids and soon became pregnant. Sadly, we lost the baby. It tore my wife up emotionally and made me even more numb. If I ever needed an out to step away spiritually, this was it. We went to church less and less and I focused on myself. We found out that medically we shouldn’t even be able to get pregnant. We went through all sorts of pills and procedures but still had only a two percent chance of becoming pregnant. So, we opted for surgery.
The surgery was scheduled on a Tuesday. On a whim, Emily bought a few pregnancy tests. She said a prayer the Friday before she took a pregnancy test. It came back negative. She then prayed this prayer, “Lord, I want to give birth before I’m 30 years old and I want so badly to be pregnant again. If we end up getting pregnant, it will solely be because of you. I will give you the glory.”
Something spurred her to take another test on Monday, the day before her surgery. I will never forget the screams that came from the bathroom. We both cried and hugged—and that is when she told me about the prayer she prayed. I couldn’t believe it was answered in such dramatic fashion. We went to the doctor to check on the baby and she looked back at us dumbfounded. It was a miracle.
It took a miracle for me to allow God back into my life. Since doing so my quality of life has increased in all aspects. Best of all, I get to see God’s work through being a father. I am still a very broken man, but now I am brimming with hope, positivity and a sense of completeness that I have never felt before.