Imagine this with me for a moment: You’re sitting at your study table for your usual quiet time. You’ve just read your Bible, and you’re praying for the people you love, the place you work in … When suddenly a picture of a foetus in an ultrasound scan appears in your mind.
At first you dismiss it as a random thought; maybe you saw an image like that somewhere today.
You carry on with life as normal, but in the office the next day, the picture pops back up. Where is this coming from? You’re getting a bit worried. So you try to take your thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) and avoid thinking about it.
It doesn’t work; for the next few days, that vision of the foetus keeps coming back. So you decide to finally ask your pastor for help.
She tells you that perhaps God is trying to say something to you – ask Him to show you what it’s about.
You can’t even make educated guesses; you’re definitely not expecting a baby (you’re not even married!), but neither are the people in your immediate circle. You’ve never experienced something like this. You’ll just have to pray and ask God for answers.
Over the next few days, you start to notice that the picture comes back to you specifically at your workplace. Not only that, it appears when a particular colleague of yours walks past your desk. You’ve never spoken much to her – you only joined the company a while ago – but she wears a necklace with a cross so she’s probably a Christian too.
You decide to sit on it for a little longer, hoping you’re making all this up in your head. I’ll just pray about it for now, you tell yourself. But the vision weighs heavily on you like a sponge soaking up water, and in your silent distress you ask your pastor one more time: What happens if I don’t tell her?
“Either God will send somebody else, or maybe she won’t ever have a child,” she says. Now you know you have to tell her. In fact, you do so the minute you see her again in the office.
She sits across from you, nervously at first, thinking this is a work issue. But when you mention the vision and these words: “I think God wants to give you a child” – her countenance completely changes.
“I have a medical condition called early menopause,” she finally says, voice constricted with emotion. “I haven’t had my period in many years.”
Your heart sinks as she continues: “I cannot have children.”
Unbeknown to them at that point, this was the eventful start of Linnette and Kate’s journey of faith. Linnette had received the vision of the foetus on January 28, 2012, during her regular quiet time at home.
“I’d never seen visions or the supernatural aspects of God when I was growing up,” Linnette said, eyes wide as she recounted her side of the story. “To me, my faith was just going to church on Sundays and serving.”
As a shy person who kept to herself, having to approach Kate to give her a possibly divine message was terrifying. To then discover that Kate had been declared medically infertile in her mid-twenties – a good 6 years ago – should have been the end of her bravado.
“She was very cute; she brought her journal to prove that she’d recorded the first time she received the vision,” Kate shared in amusement. “I didn’t want to dash her hopes, but I needed to let her know the doctor had said it was impossible – if not very difficult – for me to conceive.
“Then she asked me: ‘Do you believe in God or what the doctor says?'”
“I don’t know why I said that,” Linnette said with a laugh. “I think God must have given me the words to say!
Kate was torn. By this time, she’d recently found out her IVF (in-vitro fertilisation) had failed. She’d already gone through years of fertility treatments, but her female hormones were so low that she couldn’t ovulate. Her doctor had also told her that her eggs were probably empty and could not even be artificially fertilised; in his professional opinion, her condition was worse than a 50-year-old lady.
Impossible had never looked so real. “But I’m a Christian!” Kate said. “I needed to believe that God can do anything. He was the only hope I’d ever have to get pregnant.” Though hesitant, she then told Linnette that she would choose to trust God over the doctor.
Encouraged by her response, Linnette pledged to pray with her every day until the vision came to pass. And for the next few months, their friendship grew as Linnette showed up at Kate’s table day by day to pray. If either one was on leave, they’d meet outside or over the phone.
Together, they started reading books on divine healing and miracles. “It was a crash course on who God is,” Linnette shared. “The Gospel was our only hope, and we kept claiming His promises that Kate’s child would come to pass.”
For a long while, nothing seemed to change. To Kate, it was a testing of their faith. “Every day I asked Linnette – is it happening yet? Do you think God still remembers?” she said.
“But we’d read the Bible and be reminded that ‘With man it is impossible, but with God, anything is possible.’”
True enough, six months into their wait, the tides of impossibility began to turn.
It started with a physical sensation in her womb. Kate wasn’t sure what was going on. “I felt a pulling in my womb; it ached, like a sign of something.”
She told Linnette, and they decided to do a pregnancy test. It turned out negative. Unwilling to assume it had been a false alarm, they went to see a doctor.
“He asked her why she’d even thought she was pregnant,” Linnette said. “He told her that her hormone levels were so low that it was impossible for her to be pregnant.”
Had all those months of prayer meant nothing?
“I was very crushed,” Kate said. “My faith was really questioned. I questioned Linnette too, if she’d heard rightly from God.”
Linnette was also shaken, even calling her mentor to ask if she was doing something wrong. She felt as though she’d brought Kate up to the 100th floor and dropped her down from there. Great expectations had resulted in great disappointment.
And the pain didn’t stop there. “Kate also received an update from her twin sister that she was pregnant with her second child,” Linnette said. “She was already so devastated.”
In tears, Kate shared with Linnette that during the time she was trying to start a family and discovering her fertility problems, her sister got married and conceived a child soon after. And now again, just when Kate thought her womb might be coming alive – her twin sister was with child once more.
“I asked her if God had put the baby we’d been praying for in the wrong womb,” Kate mused. “I was so desperate that I believed he’d gotten my identical twin and I mixed up.”
Looking back, Linnette could see how this was an important step of emotional healing for her. “I challenged her to rejoice for her sister,” she said. “Because only when our old wounds are healed can we rejoice when someone else gets what we want.
“I felt that God was first reconciling her back to Himself after years of unspoken resentment and bitterness.
“What was left then was physical healing.”
Faith strengthened, Linnette led Kate into a time of worship that day, declaring that they’d still choose to believe God over anything a doctor could say. This time, they’d also pray for God to encounter Kate personally, as all this while it had been Linnette hearing from Him.
“And when we worshipped, I was really led into a vision.” You can see the excitement in Kate’s eyes, just telling us this. “It was like an out of body experience, and I found myself in a garden. There was a waterfall nearby, and I was kneeling under a tree.
“Then a man in white walked up to me, and in my spirit, I knew He was Jesus. He was carrying a baby, and when He came to me He put the baby in my arms.
“I was crying uncontrollably because it was so surreal. I also felt very comforted, like God was spiritually healing me and encouraging me not to give up hope that I would have a baby in my arms one day.
Within the next two days, her period came again for the first time in six years. The strange sensation she’d been feeling in her womb had been her menstrual cycle coming back to life!
“I’d seen the best doctors, spent thousands and thousands – tens of thousands – of dollars, and nothing worked. And God just comes in a vision and regulates my body immediately,” Kate shared.
“I was so happy, I believed I was one step closer to that child.”
But the next month, her period didn’t come again. Had the previous time been a one-time fluke?
Kate was doubtful whether she’d really been healed, but Linnette had other suspicions.
“She was telling me she had been very tired lately,” she said. “And the night before she had a dream that she was pregnant.”
Of course, there were fears that she might set Kate down a familiar path of disappointment if her gut feeling turned out wrong again. How could she convince her to take another pregnancy test after what had happened the last time?
But how could she not, after all that had happened in the past month?
“I had such a huge phobia of pregnancy kits,” Kate lamented as she recalled that moment. “And I was skeptical because my period had only just returned – even those with regular periods don’t get pregnant so easily!
“Plus, I really didn’t think I could handle the disappointment again.”
But under Linnette’s insistence, she relented. “But only if she was the one who read the results,” she said.
The test kit came out positive. The date was August 28, 2012: Exactly seven months from the day Linnette had received the vision of the foetus.
There’s something about barrenness that makes a perfect place for promise to grow. A womb – or heart – soaked in prayer, tears and desperation for the divine is the breeding ground for the prophetic to take hold and come forth.
Linnette and Kate’s story brings to mind the great men of the Bible who’d been formed in the emptiest of wombs: Isaac, Samuel, John the Baptist … Jesus. The nation of Israel, birthed from a woman barren of her husband’s love.
And then there’s little David, born to Kate and her husband in April 2013, seven years after doctors diagnosed her with early menopause. A resounding testimony of the power of prayer and God’s promises perfected in His time.
“I’d never been a prayerful person, but during that six months of praying I saw how every prayer is heard,” Linnette told us, eyes watering. “It was such a prayer growth for me.”
Even though she’s told this story countless times, the tears still fell.
“I really thank God for this huge journey and the privilege of getting to know who He really is.”
Kate and Linnette remain close friends and are now ministry partners, serving the community through prayer intercession and social initiatives.