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No Longer Barren but Fruitful
They believed God could heal them if He wanted to, but ten years of prayer that yielded no results crushed their faith and expectation. That's where the story begins.

"Oh, my gosh! I can't believe it! Give me those instructions again! I think we're pregnant, Sweetie."

"We can't be! It's impossible!"

Lynley Allen and baby Jordan Mikaela.

We stared wide-eyed at the pregnancy test strip that seemed to have a "neon" blue cross pulsating the message, Positive! Positive! Positive! In that moment our lives changed.

We are in our early 40's, and until the fall of 2005, we had lived the previous ten years of our marriage believing that we were infertile. Everyone at TACF knew it, and so did many other friends throughout the world. We even wrote an article for an issue of Spread the Fire in 2002 about letting go of your dreams in favour of God's best plan describing our struggle with barrenness. But it was the Lord who had the last word, and probably a laugh! This is what happened.

The bad news

In March 1997, we received the news from our fertility clinic that it would be impossible for us to conceive a child. We were devastated. That same day John and Carol Arnott, pastors of the Toronto Airport Church, were starting a series of meetings in our hometown of Auckland, New Zealand. We met for dinner before the meeting started, and with heavy hearts, we prayed a simple, pivotal prayer, "Father, we trust you."

Those meetings were the catalyst that started a new chapter in our lives. Exactly one year later, we were in Toronto, Canada attending the School of Ministry at the Toronto Airport Church. We eventually became the directors of the TACF School of Ministry and learned to be content blessing the spiritual lives of other people's kids. Most of the time we were at peace, until Mother's Day came around. It was too difficult to see children honouring their mothers and know that this would never happen with us.

We resigned ourselves to the will of God the best we knew how. However, for ten years we continued to receive numerous prophetic words about having children. Each time a word came, we would build up our faith and hope and believe for a miracle only to give up in disappointment when nothing happened. After a while, we asked people to stop praying for us, and when they asked if they could, we politely said, no. The pain of hoping was too hard.

Then in September 2005, Mahesh Chavda was speaking at one of TACF's conferences and at the end of one of his messages, as he walked past Lynley he pointed to her and said, "I see you with a baby." Here was another prophecy.

Later that day, we were talking with John Arnott and said to him, "Why do people do that?"

John was sympathetic, but then he said, "But what it it's true?" We responded, "Well, I guess that's all right then."

The following Sunday, Lynley was scheduled to preach and had prepared a message entitled, "Never Give Up." She had no plans to share about our infertility, and the message was based on other testimonies from her life. But as she walked onto the platform, the Holy Spirit came upon her in a very powerful way, and Lynley shared the story of our barrenness through many tears. We believe that during her message that Sunday, God healed us.

The sermon provoked a flood of e-mail from TACF's members and those who watch the services over the Internet. God was mobilizing an army of prayer warriors across the globe. Just nine weeks later we stood in our bathroom staring in disbelief at the pregnancy test that confirmed that we had experienced a miracle.

What we learned

On the day we discovered that we were pregnant, Lynley asked the Lord, "Why now and not ten years ago?" He answered, "If your child had been born ten years ago, the baby would miss the destiny that I have planned for it."

As we pondered this, we realized that the Lord's timing is always perfect and that was enough for us. We have our ideas of what should happen and when, but life doesn't always follow our self-prescribed plan. We have to learn to have faith in the One who is faithful and to rest in the truth of His promise that He has a plan and a purpose for our lives, and He really will fulfill it.

Over the years of waiting, we had given up hope. We no longer prayed for a child. We didn't believe that we would be healed of barrenness, and we had no faith or expectation. We said that God could heal us if He wanted to, but we never thought that He actually would. We had become too weak to have any faith, and we found out that He is faithful. We are learning that in our weakness, He is strong. When we reach the end, He begins. It is a strange concept, but within it is peace if you can find it. Perhaps this is what the Scripture means, "Let us labour diligently to enter His rest … " (Hebrews 4:11).

On July 18, 2006, the momentous day arrived. Lynley gave birth to a healthy, happy baby girl whom we named Jordan Mikaela. We marvel at the faithfulness of our God.

If you are facing disappointments, if the plan isn't coming together, if your hope is lost and faith seems to have drained out of your toes, take heart. There is a God who loves you. A God who is faithful and who is perfect.

We know that your situation is unique and that your pain is your own. One set of circumstances is like no other; but although we are individuals, our God never changes. Be free to hope again because your God is our God, and He loves you. Place your hope in God and His plan, not yours. He has the power to raise your dream from the dead.

Stuart and Lynley Allan are senior staff members at TACF, former directors of the TACF School of Ministry, and the proud parents of a baby girl, Jordan Mikaela Allan, born July 18, 2006.

Originally published in Spread the Fire, January 2007.




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