I was sitting in the middle of a circle of my friends who had gathered at my request to pray for me. It had been three long, agonizing years since my husband, Wayne, and I began trying to have a child. As anybody will tell you who has had to navigate through the fear of not being able to conceive, it is a heavy, tortuous burden, one that plays on your mind and tells you it isn’t going to happen no matter how hard you try. And try we had. Between the two of us, we had been tested in every way a man and a woman can be tested. The result was always the same. We had two very healthy bodies.
“Lord, open Cyndie’s womb,” they prayed one after another until we had filled the room with cries for God’s blessing for about 45 minutes. When the final amen had been spoken, our host excused herself and walked down the hall to her kitchen to retrieve something for us to drink. We were going to need it. We were exhausted.
“While we were praying," my friend said, “I could see you holding a baby girl.” Of course, my heart skipped a beat.
“You’re kidding?” my cousin said. “I got a very sharp image of you holding a baby boy.” It was all a little more than I could take. I wasn’t expecting to be a mom as soon as the prayer was over, to a boy or a girl.
Just then, our host walked in with a tray of lemonade and an odd look on her face. “Hey, everybody,” she said. “I have to say something. Cyndie, while we were praying, I felt like I saw you holding two babies.”
We all kind of flipped out for a moment to let the possibility sink in that God was moving in the spirits of the women there as if preparing me and all of us for something. I didn’t see an image, but they did, and that was good enough for me.
I couldn’t wait to tell Wayne. I drove home with almost as much enthusiasm as if I was actually pregnant. My car stereo was loud as I praised God, my smile was broad, and I felt more hopeful than I had in years. It seemed as if my car wasn’t even touching the ground; I was so happy. “Get off at Canyon Road,” I suddenly heard a voice say. I looked around my car. That was weird, I thought
“Get off at Canyon Road,” I heard the voice say again.
“God, are you telling me to get off at Canyon?” I said to no one in particular. “Why would I do that? There’s nothing there!”
I turned my music up louder and continued to drive. I had somewhere to be—at home with Wayne. “Get off at Canyon,” the voice said again as I was passing the exit.
I simply ignored it.
I took the exit to my neighborhood, drove up my street, parked my car, and put my key in the door.
“Go back,” the voice told me. I turned and with a bit of attitude, got in my car, and made a frustrated drive all the way back to Canyon where there is almost nothing but a park. A lot of sketchy people were known to hang out there, and I wasn’t exactly excited about being there. I parked my car next to the grass and turned off the engine.
“Now what, God? Why am I here?” I said as I looked in my rear-view mirror toward a large clearing. At a singular park bench, about a basketball court’s length away, sat a woman who looked as if she were homeless. She wore an old muumuu and a fishing cap. She had her head against the table. “Oh, I see, Lord. You want me to help that homeless lady.”
I got out of my car and walked toward her. She didn’t seem to move or notice I was approaching. “Ma’am,” I said as I got closer. “Are you alright?”
She lifted her head. “I’m alright,” she said. “Why do you ask?” I wasn’t about to tell her God sent me. I didn’t want her to think I was a nut.
“Well, are you hungry or anything?” I asked.
“No, I’m fine,” she said. “Why do you ask?” Again, I wasn’t going to reveal to her that I heard voices.
“Well, I didn’t know if maybe you needed a ride or something. Why are you here by yourself?”
“My car broke down, but help is coming,” she replied. “I’m fine. Why do you ask?” she said a third time. This time, I thought, well if she’s going to be that persistent…
“Well, you might think this is crazy,” I stammered, “but I really believe God sent me specifically here to you, and I don’t know why.”
She looked me dead in the eye. “It’s okay; you can go now,” she said. “God was testing your obedience until He can trust you with bigger things.”
I did not finish my conversation with her. The way I saw it, it was over. I turned, and with tears flooding my eyes I quickly walked toward my car. As I got in, I looked again in my rearview. She was not there.
I got out of my car and scanned the area. She was nowhere to be found. In just a matter of seconds, she was no longer at the picnic table, but there was nowhere for her to go — no tree to hide behind, no car to get into, no other picnic table. Just a wide swath of grass she couldn’t have possibly have run out of without being seen. I stood there alone looking at an empty bench. It was as if there was never anybody at that table.
In all of my life before that moment, I had never heard the voice of God talking to me, and I have never heard it since. What happened to me, however, is that about two years later, I didn’t walk out of the hospital with a baby, but something bigger. I walked out with twins—a boy and a girl—making me just about the happiest mom anyone’s ever seen.