MARIA'S STORY


God amazes me with what He does. He can take our brokenness and pain and turn it into something unexplainable. Here is my story:


First of all, I want to share something that took some time for me to be comfortable sharing. When God was calling me for more and to lead Selah Campus Worship the enemy attacked my marriage.


Cody and I met in youth group and got married young. To be honest marriage was hard for us. There was sin that God revealed to me that Cody had been dealing with off and on for many years. All of it came to light in August of 2019. Sexual sin in marriage is a very hard thing to overcome and deal with. But God always has a plan even when we do not understand. Cody and I went through a year-long separation individually seeking God.


I chose to take my son, Aaron, with me and move out of our home until the next step I felt comfortable with. I didn’t know what God’s plan was, but to wait and keep my eyes on Him. Even at my lowest God was there picking me up and speaking through His word every time I opened my Bible. His word is powerful. It is alive and active (Hebrew 4:12).


I continued to worship despite being at my lowest. I refused to let the enemy silence my praise. I refused to let all the negative thoughts in my head keep me stuck and captive. I chose to praise God with all I had. And God surrounded me with my mom and sister, who thankfully moved back to Yakima from Wisconsin when I had Aaron. I was also surrounded by pastors, mentors and friends who I needed to get through this season. God was there through it all.


Romans 8:25-28 NIV “But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”


Romans 8:37-39 NIV “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”


At the end of a year of separation, Cody and I both learned a lot and grew closer to God. Recognizing the enemy’s tactics, our marriage started to be restored. Piece by piece. There were lots of tough conversations between Cody and I, being honest and transparent. We both had changed only because of God working in us separately. Aaron and I moved back home with Cody after a lot of prayer and trusting in God’s timing. Our family was put back together again. After a little while we began to pray for what was next for us. Then came Elijah. Elijah means “Yahweh is My God”.


Several months into my pregnancy, I was sent to a specialist to check on Elijah’s health. At that appointment we were told that Elijah would have some heart problems. Cody and I continued praying for Elijah and believed that God blessed us with him after all God had done already in our marriage and family. Our faith was in the One true God that heals and works miracles. We believe in the power of prayer.


We were then sent to Children’s Village in Yakima to see another specialist prior to him being born. We were then told that his heart position and the area above his heart was abnormal involving his aorta. The aorta is the main artery that carries blood away from the heart to the rest of the body. Of course, we worried, but again we continued to pray and send in this prayer to the Stone Church text line to pray for us and Elijah. 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”


On Sunday morning, August 8, 2021, I led worship at Selah Campus and I was 36 weeks pregnant. The next day, I went to work and then had a 1pm OB appointment for them to monitor his heart. At this appointment the assistant was unable to get a consistent heart rate. So, I was sent to Memorial. Luckily Memorial had an opening, so I headed right there. I was taken to a room with a super kind nurse. She checked Elijah’s heart rate and there was the same problem. Equipment was switched to be sure and another nurse came in to witness. They decided to call in the doctor and do an ultrasound. I will never forget seeing Elijah’s heart rate on the ultrasound slow down. I had been praying all day it seems, but even more now. The doctor said “We need to do an emergency C-section.” I said, “Umm what? Did you say emergency C-section?” The doctor and nurse said, “Yes we need to go now.”


I was immediately rushed to another room. As I was leaving this room I asked for my phone, in which I had seconds to call Cody to tell him I was being rushed for an emergency C-section. Then I texted Pastor Keila right away. “Need prayer now, emergency C-section happening,” as I knew she would gather everyone to pray or somehow get it out for people to pray.


There was a lot of movement all around me with doctors, nurses, and staff in the room trying to quickly prep me for surgery. I honestly just stayed calm and continued praying speaking God’s promise over myself and Elijah. There were tears running down my face of course, but there was an unexplainable peace “that surpasses all understanding.” I had faith in My God.


Philippians‬ 4:6-7 NKJV “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”


I woke up from the surgery in so much pain and discomfort. I wanted to know if Elijah was okay, but I couldn’t talk or open my eyes yet. I felt Cody touch my head and he took my hand and said “I’m here and Elijah is okay.” Praise God!


What had happened was a placenta abruption, which meant the placenta was detaching from the womb and bleeding. My OB said that this was a very rare situation. He was shocked I didn’t show symptoms of what was happening and that everything worked out perfectly. If I didn’t have the appointments that I did, or if I had been sent home there would have been a different outcome. He told Cody because of where we lived, Elijah and I would have died. Elijah was out within 16 minutes based on what the report stated. The nurse who caught all of this and helped save my life was awarded and recognized. I am so grateful for her.


God is amazing. Elijah and I are still here. Elijah has an abnormal aortic arch, but the doctor says he is strong and healthy, just the “mechanics” are a little different.


We may not understand the things we go through and we can’t see the bigger picture, but God can. He always has a plan and purpose. Choose to trust in Him. He still works miracles, heals, restores, and so much more. Choose to worship through both the valley and mountain tops. Don’t let the enemy silence your praise.