November 17, 2009 by Tony Reinke
One of the winners in our ESV Study Bible giveaway
was Vanessa. How could we not give her a new Bible in light of her original entry?
Hi, my name is Vanessa and I would love to win this for my husband. He left his ESVSB on top of his car on his way to men's study. Not knowing he had done this I left the house and drove over his Bible. He called me later to tell me he thought he had left his Bible on top of his car and at that moment I knew what I ran over. On the way home I picked it up off of the road and, well, let’s just say it was broken. So I hope I can win one for him.
Haltom City, TX
Last week C.J. chose Vanessa’s entry as one of the ten contest winners. Upon hearing that she had won (despite not writing anything about her pastors or church) she was eager to share a second story.
We were so deeply moved by her follow-up email that we wanted to post it so you could read for yourself the important role her church and pastors played during a critical season in her life.
I'm so excited I won even though I entered wrong. I had no clue I had done that until I saw the video, which made me laugh really hard. This is also perfect timing as my husband's birthday is tomorrow.
I don't want to miss the opportunity to honor my pastors. They have been such a huge blessing in our lives. We had been attending our church for a little over a year when we discovered that I was 19 weeks pregnant with conjoined twin girls. We learned that our girls were facing each other, joined from the chest to the stomach. They shared one liver and one heart (which had only one ventricle). They had a zero chance of survival. In fact my doctor believed I would miscarry.
We continued with the pregnancy knowing that is was God who was forming Melody and Madison in my womb. He created them and He would decide when they left this earth. I am so thankful for our pastors because they taught us the hard truths of God's word. Because of their teaching we were not scared that Satan was controlling our lives but rested knowing that God was sovereign over our babies' lives and my life. Everything that was happening God was allowing for His glory and our good.
I ended up going into labor when I was 32 weeks pregnant on November 11, 2008 and—glory to God!—our daughters were born alive and lived for one hour. We were able to spend that time with them and we have a ton of pictures. The mourning process has been hard but a blessing at the same time. God has used our pastors to encourage us and stand alongside us during this most difficult time in our lives. I don't know what we would have done without them. Thanks for the opportunity to honor these men that God has placed in our lives.
To our pastors, Jay and Emilio, we love you guys and praise God for allowing us to sit under your teaching.
I am now 27 weeks pregnant with a healthy baby and we continue to praise God and give Him all the glory!
Haltom City, TX