Ann Stevens, Blessed Wife and Mother
The day my great uncle visited me changed everything. He boldly (and annoyingly!) asked why my husband and I didn’t have children. He told me we were going to miss out on the biggest blessing in life and would regret it someday. I was ticked off at him. It wasn’t like we had tried NOT to have kids. However, as I thought through our situation, I finally acknowledged that my addiction to working out and eating a strict diet was the reason I was unable to bear children. The Bible verse “physical exercise is okay, but spiritual exercise is much more important” posted in the Teen Ranch weight room was not true in my life and I knew it. I knew that if I had read God’s Word and put it into practice, the way I had read about fitness and put it into practice over the years, I would have a lot more peace, joy, and love for God and others…the way I had when I was younger.
I had given my life to the Lord in cabin #3 at Teen Ranch at the age of 13. Taking my bunkhouse leader’s advice I read the Bible and prayed every day. And I loved God. He was my best friend. Though I didn’t go to church those years, we were able to host a Teen Ranch Bible study at our home in Mississauga. I helped many times in the Ranch kitchen on weekends and was a bunkhouse leader in the summer. At the age of 18, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but I loved sports. I headed off to McMaster University to major in Phys Ed. I put my treasured Bible on the shelf, fully intending to read it. The busyness and fun of frosh week came and went and I didn’t pick up my Bible. Four years came and went and I still hadn’t read the Bible once. As you can imagine, I became increasingly cold toward God, and by the fourth year, I didn’t want to believe He existed. If He did, I knew I was in trouble. As God would have it, I ended up coming to the Ranch and He began to work on me once again.
Ten years later, in my childless situation, I began to pray – “Lord, whatever you have to do to change me, go ahead.” Asking for God’s help began an unforgettable journey I am so thankful for. God gently began to work on me. I had planned to sit and read the Bible at lunch for the first time since my university years…BUT, it was a beautiful, sunny spring day. I had no desire to sit and read. Instead, I headed out the door for a walk thinking to myself – “I will do God a favour and memorize a few verses.” Flipping my little red Gideon Bible received in Gr. 5 open to Romans 12 and after a quick glance, I thought, that’s what I am going to memorize.
As I started to memorize God’s Word, a miracle started to take place. Every day that week, God and I went for a walk and I began to see the truth of what I was memorizing. “Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” Romans 12:2. As the truth washed over me, God was transforming me and renewing my love for Him. Well now, guess what happened? I began to look forward to walking with the Lord more than working out as I continued to memorize. God gave deep peace that He would change me through His Word. At the end of that year, memorizing daily, God allowed me to get pregnant and nine months later, blessed Tim and me with a baby boy. Over the years, God chose to grant us six precious children. I know from the depths of my being, that God uses the truth of His Word to powerfully and totally heal us.
“…be transformed by the renewing of your mind” Romans 12:2