“I see two little girls standing next to you, you’re holding their hands and they look to be about 2 to 3 years old. They have dark hair and rosy cheeks. You’re also married to a Hispanic man.”
I stared back at the preacher’s wife who had just spoken directly at me across the table, blinking hard in disbelief. The table had fallen silent as she spoke in a soft, yet authoritative manner.
I don’t remember much of what was said after, only that in that moment my eyes had filled with tears. The angry, burning kind. How could this be the word God had for me in that moment? My heart was still broken and veiled with grief. I sat there, a young widow, only 9 months after the sudden death of my young husband.
The table of onlookers nodded and shared sympathetic smiles as my face contorted with emotion. They thought this was a message of hope for me. They thought this word from the Lord had sparked hope.
It had not.
I could not understand how God felt this is what I needed to hear. How could I pick up a new dream when I was still grieving one that had died? I was not ready to receive His promise. In fact, my heart rejected it entirely and my mind methodically shoved the words away into a dark corner (where other trauma lived) to be processed another day.
“Another day” came six years later. Imagine my shock, when I suddenly remembered those words and realized it was all coming to pass. I was living, breathing, and fulfilling God’s promise to me. Her words flashed back vividly when my now husband and I got the call to adopt two newborn baby girls - twins. God’s plan had already been in motion.
Sometimes when we think life is on pause, God is still writing.
As I write this today, during the sweetest of seasons, I am so glad God’s mercy pressed through my unbelief that day. I have proof in my heart that the Lord is my Comforter and my Redeemer of hope. I have proof that His word is forever settled (Psalm 119:89).
It happened like this:
Two years after God gave me that word…I remarried. To a man named Isaac – his name was fitting because God needed to first restore laughter. This man knew pain and loss in the same exact way I did. We both had spouses and babies in Heaven. Together we would rebuild new dreams. We would reach again for hope. This man happened to be…Hispanic.
We struggled with infertility. Those who have gone through great pain are never immune to more suffering. The months stretched to years; we waited. God’s original promise to me remained tucked away in that dark corner.
Isn’t it incredible that while we may reject and doubt His gifts, He never stops giving?
Four years after God gave me that word…He reminded me of that original promise.
After a powerful altar call, a visiting minister called on my husband and gave him a very specific word. He said, “Brother Hernandez, you have been in darkness for some time now, but God has sent me to tell you that there will soon be sunshine and rainbows.” This time, my heart was ready. I ran to my husband and held his hand as the preacher prayed. I was desperate to show God I was ready.
Not long after, my husband answered the call to evangelize. It was not an easy step. We knew a deeper calling in ministry would mean sacrifice. We sold everything and waited for God’s direction, feeling an urgency to be obedient. We never imagined this season would open the door to adoption - a dream we entertained but never acted on.
Two months later, in the middle of an extended revival, we were given the opportunity to adopt twin baby girls. It was no coincidence we answered the call at the time we did. The blueprint was perfectly designed by a perfect God. He makes no mistakes. Our adoption story is nothing short of miraculous. We now hold in our hands tangible, breathing, pictures of redemption and life.
“Sunshine and rainbows”, the preacher said, plural for two rainbow, dark haired, rosy-cheeked babies who would fill our lives with joy. They have been a healing balm to our hearts.
God never wastes any hard thing that we go through that we yield in His hands. Isaiah 61:3 says, “to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”
Every hard season has taught me this: following Jesus doesn’t spare you from suffering. Following Jesus gives you renewed hope through suffering.
"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;" (2 Corinthians 4:17).