My Story

“It seemed like life just couldn’t get any sweeter.
But then, in an instant it all changed.” – March 8, 2002

My testimony: GOD IS FAITHFUL!

On the outside looking in you might have thought I had it all. And in reality, I had a pretty charming childhood. My parents raised my two younger siblings (Julia and Jeremy) and me in a strong Christian home in a small town in Louisiana. Let’s just say I knew that I was loved and I never wanted for anything. Our family was extremely close and there was no reason to think that we would be anything but that way. My freshman year in college, I met the man of my dreams, Adams, in Sociology 101 class. We have a dramatic love story, but it will suffice to say that the Lord provided me with a really, really good man.40599_843818289271_7113835_n

It seemed like life just couldn’t get any sweeter. But then, in an instant it all changed. Friday, March 8th, 2002, started out as an ordinary day. My parents were vacationing in Florida waiting to board a cruise ship. My brother, Jeremy, a Junior in high school at this point, was in my care while my parents were out of town, and I was looking forward to just hanging out with him. Around dusk that evening my sister, Julia, and I both received phone calls telling us, “go to the hospital immediately. Your brother has been in a horrible car accident.” I remember crying out to God in the car while Adams drove as fast as he could. I ran into the hospital shouting and demanding to know what was going on. I remember seeing face after face of teenagers he was friends with…all of them crying and hugging each other. I found Julia and asked her what in the world was happening. The hospital staff ushered us to a private room and it was there that I was told that my beautiful, hilarious, larger-than-life brother was dead. There was no hope that he could be revived. No time to even beg God for mercy. It was just done. Final. He was only 17.

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“I cry aloud to the LORD;
I plead aloud to the LORD for mercy.
I pour out my complaint before Him;
I reveal my trouble to Him.”
Psalm 142:1-2

That night passed in an awful blur. Julia and I spoke to my parents on the phone from the hospital delivering the unfathomable news that their son was dead. Plans were made to fly them home that night. While lying on my bed in the fetal position, I felt as though a rubber band had been placed around my heart and was squeezing the life out of it. It was all so surreal…so unbelievable…so wrong. We made it through the next few days carried only by the prayers and love of our friends and the strength of the Holy Spirit. The funeral was filled with people that loved Jeremy. There was a tremendous outpouring of love on our family and we soaked in every story that was told to us concerning Jeremy.

Days turned into weeks and slowly but surely people began getting back to their normal lives. But there was no more normal for us. We were left with shattered hearts and it all seemed so unfair. We all grieved in different ways. I took more of an angry approach questioning everything that I had believed to be true of God. But thankfully I serve a God who is big enough to handle my hurts and questions. He was faithful to hold onto me and eventually heal my broken heart.

I learned so much about the sovereignty of God through losing Jeremy. I never will understand why Jeremy had to die that early, but I do know that God is still in control and His ways are higher than mine.

“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,’
declares the LORD.
‘As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.’”
Isaiah 55:8-9

With heavy hearts, my husband, Adams, and I tried to stay focused on our careers but it wasn’t long before I started having that maternal tugging at my heartstrings. We began trying to have a baby, but month after month nothing happened. I visited several doctors, had exploratory surgery, and went through several unsuccessful rounds of IUIs, but the diagnosis kept coming back as unexplained infertility. It was around this time that I joined a Bible study and it was in these dark days that my passion for Bible Study and God’s Word was ignited. I realized that I really had no control and that I didn’t even want control. I finally released all of the worry and pain to Him and was able to learn the true meaning of delighting myself in HIM, not in my circumstances. But my heart still yearned to be a mother and for three years I had not conceived even once.

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
Psalm 37:4

It just so happened that Adams had made a new acquaintance through his work who confided that he and his wife had been through similar issues. This couple took us under their wings and introduced us to a doctor in Alabama who would diagnosis us correctly and lead us through the in-vitro process. There is no doubt in my mind that this special couple, who have three beautiful girls of their own, were used as an instrument of God. We conceived our sweet Adelene on our very first round of in-vitro fertilization.

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“He gives the childless woman a household, making her the joyful mother of children. Hallelujah!”
Psalm 113:9

 

We welcomed Adelene (Addie) into the world in January of 2007, and every family member was so crazy in love with this precious baby. My maternity leave was coming to a close and I hadn’t yet found an acceptable day care for her, so I naively entered into the hardest job of my life…a stay-at-home mom!

Ironically, the arrival of our long awaited blessing proved to be a challenging time for Adams and my marriage. But we both felt as if we had made a commitment to one another so we began to diligently work on our relationship and tried to stop just surviving and begin thriving once again. It has been hard work and we sometimes still struggle with our roles, but I feel like we try to make the conscious decision to grow closer together as partners, friends, and lovers. God has been so good to develop a maturity in our marriage that I pray only gets better with each passing day.

“Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”
Romans 12:2 via The Message

Adams, Addie, and I settled in to our little family of three but it wasn’t long before we felt the desire for another baby. We returned to the same doctor and conceived another healthy baby girl. Ellanora Grace (Ella) was born in August of 2009, and she has been an overwhelming joy to our family. When I think about how abundantly God has blessed our family I can’t help but want to fall on my knees. He has given me so much more thanI deserve and more than I could even think of to ask.

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“You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever”
Psalm 30:11-12

Now seven years later we are once again living a sweet life. Sure, we have our ups and downs and I am far from the perfect mother and wife, but God is good and He can take my imperfections and still use them for His glory. That doesn’t mean that I don’t stumble or that I don’t sometimes eat the whole plate of lies that the enemy serves to me, but I know that I serve a God who is who He says He is! I pray that if you take anything from my story it is that you would see that God has been faithful through every part of my life. I know that He is not done with me and that there will be more trials to endure in the future, but there will also be more blessings to receive if I just keep praising Him and remembering that HE IS FAITHFUL.

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Your turn! Share your story here:

22 responses

    • Tammy Cagnolatti

      April, thank you so much for sharing your story, it truly touched my heart. I know we have had dinner together a few times, but I haven’t taken the time to really get to know you. Ashley, invited me to come hear you speak last weekend and I had no idea that you were a speaker and now I find you are a writer too. I would love to visit with you sometime. I am going through a lot right now and am struggling daily to stay in God’s word and keep my head above the water. He spoke to me yesterday morning on my “sanity walk” as I was debating with him, that I may not control the loss of my mother, but if I could keep a couple of areas in my like in control that I may just not completely lose it. He told me “don’t try to control anything, you can’t anyway. Just trust me as I am in complete control.” I thought for s second and finally resigned…I don’t want control, I’m tired, Lord please lead me. It was tough to get this instruct from God, but it really gave me a freedom and peace. I know he has been right by my side everyday. I see his great work and just need to keep moving ahead. Again, thank you for your confirmatiof that and sharing your story.

      • April Rodgers

        Tammy, I am so glad that my story (which is really God’s story) spoke to you. Yes, I would LOVE to get together and visit. To surrender to Him and His plan is hard for our flesh, but it is unbelievably freeing once we do. I am praying for you! Much love, April

    • Tammy Cagnolatti

      Sorry for all the typos, but it’s early and this keyboard is too small. Oh my gosh, I’m just seeing that Mrs. Kathi and Mr. Terry are your parents. So sweet.

  • Kathi Barnhill

    GOD IS TRULY FAITHFUL …..just reading April’s story brings this very truth to the forefront because she is my daughter and Ihave lived to see the blessings of the Lord in such tender ways.

  • Bridget

    God is so Faithful! !! Your story is amazing, and touched my heart. Reminds me how faithful God has been in my life.
    I would love to share my stories…..just nor sure where to start.

  • Brenda Schulte

    Hi April, Thank you so much for sharing your faith and faithfulness. I am touched to read your story.

  • Lillian Day

    I so enjoyed your story and am so proud to be related to you and get to watch your walk with our gracious and loving God.

  • dianne newcomer

    So glad I saw your blog today….your story is such a beautiful reminder of how great our God is.

  • Wow! Loved reading your testimony. Amazing. I can’t imagine what you went through losing your brother. Only by God’s strength and grace could you and your family go through this.
    Delighted to read about your husband and children. I love your honesty and your love for the Lord.
    Look forward to meeting you!
    Sharon

  • April, I loved reading your testimony. I can not imagine how hard it was to go through what all you have been through. Thankfully God is so faithful and your story is a wonderful testimony to that faithfulness and it really touches my heart.

    • April Rodgers

      Terri, thank you so much! When I gave my testimony a few years ago I kept seeing the Lord’s faithfulness through every season of my life. He is sovereign and He is good. Much love to you, my new friend!

  • Terren Badding

    Thank you for sharing your story. God is faithful always, it is just us that get a little sideways sometimes. Your story is a great reminder in my family’s difficult time. We need to realign ourselves with our Father.

    • April Rodgers

      Terren, yes, that is so right. Alignment with the Father is paramount in our faith walk. Thank you for reading my story and taking the time to comment.

  • Adelene

    Hi mama,
    I wish that Uncle Jeremy was still alive .
    Love your blog !

    Love,
    Adelene

    • April Rodgers

      Me too, Sweetie, but I bet he doesn’t. He gets to spend everyday face to face with Jesus. Isn’t that cool?

      I love you too!
      ~Mama

  • Adelene

    That is cool

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