As a pastor, I frequent tragic stories more often than most. It’s part of the job description. So if anyone has pumped their fist at God asking, “Why?” it’s those who walk in church leadership.

But for all our losses as humans–the impetus of which we invited wholesale into our earthly context, mind you–we still serve a powerful God who continually confronts my unbelief with the miraculous. And, I’m happy to say, I seem to be witnessing it more prolifically with every passing year.

Today I encountered one such story.

Alyssa has been coming to our church for 6 weeks. While her husband was (and still is) deployed, flying in Afghanistan, she was expected to give birth to their third child in April.

Until they discovered the baby girl had Edwards Syndrome.

Two intensive sonograms proved it beyond a shadow of a doubt:

“No hands. No feet. Carry-to-term still birth.”

The baby pictured above? Meet Libby Elyse, Alyssa & Sean’s baby girl, born just three months ago.

Perfectly whole.

Jesus still does miracles. ch:

UPDATE: Alyssa reminded me that Libby had multiple brain turmors as well. The tumors disappeared and hands appeared on the 32-week sonogram.

UPDATE: Alyssa Hennessy Hi! I’m Libby’s Mommy! The world has told me many things…

Diagnosis: 1998 Hodkins Disease Lymphoma, Stage 4. Survivable, not curable.

TRUTH: I’m 30 with no evidence of disease.Diagnosis: 2002 Ovarian inactivity. Probably because of chemotherapy. Probablity of being able to concieve is very slim, and if I did concieve, there was a high chance that the baby would have life threatening birth defects.

TRUTH: I have 3 healthy children.



Julie · 25 Jul ’11 at 1:10 am

What a miracle! God never ceases to amaze me. Glad she walked in faith and didn’t waiver:)

    Christopher Hopper · 25 Jul ’11 at 7:43 am

    Indeed; when the diagnosis came, her husband said, “No matter what, we’re just going to tell everyone she’s perfect.”

Jennifer · 25 Jul ’11 at 1:26 am

So incredible! Thank you Jesus.

Beth Walrath · 25 Jul ’11 at 6:12 am

Nothing is impossible for God! 🙂 even though we still doubt; He continues to preform miracles! He is faithful & wouldn’t give them something they couldnt handle. She is a beautiful baby! 🙂

Susie · 25 Jul ’11 at 7:48 am

wow…God’s so awesome. 🙂

Sarah novak · 25 Jul ’11 at 8:44 am

Yay God! Jesus getting what he paid for!

Theresa Hunt · 25 Jul ’11 at 9:59 am

What amazes me is ” WHY ” are we always amazed at what He can do, when it is around us every day. Thank you Father God!

    Christopher Hopper · 25 Jul ’11 at 10:17 am

    Theresa, SO true. I pray we move to a place where we’re shocked when things don’t happen.

Elisabeth · 25 Jul ’11 at 10:11 am

Such precious truth. Our Messiah is real!!

Scott Wood · 25 Jul ’11 at 10:19 am

There is a difference between fact and truth. The Dr.s had facts….Yahweh released the truth. Great testimony.

    Christopher Hopper · 25 Jul ’11 at 10:39 am

    Good word, Scott. I remember when my sister-in-law, Amber, was given a 0% chance of recovery from the neurosurgeon (head on with a tree after hitting black ice on an interstate), my father-in-law, John, said, “Doctor, I know what you’re telling me is true to you, and I appreciate your knowledge, but you see, heaven is our source.”

    Today, Amber is whole, working, driving, and most likely getting married soon. She also returned to that neurosurgeon’s office (a known atheist), and said, “Hi, remember me?” His only recourse was, “I must not know it all, and there must truly be a God in heaven.”

Sarah · 25 Jul ’11 at 10:26 am

What an amazing story! That’s so incredible!

Kathleen · 25 Jul ’11 at 10:29 am

Incredible. Love it! One day when I’m holding my baby…you can count it as a miracle as well!

    Christopher Hopper · 25 Jul ’11 at 10:35 am

    Oh Jesus! I can’t wait for that one! INDEED, dear Kathleen. Though, you both already are a miracle to me. Hug and kiss that man of yours for us.

Sue Clement · 25 Jul ’11 at 10:32 am

Praise God —– He is truly amazing and magnificent… Praise God for the faith in God that young mom had to not abort her child on the proven test results…. How many young mom’s don’t make that choice and suffer the rest of their lives. Faith in God’s power is what we need….. not faith in MRI’s, catscan’s etc. Thank you Jesus for saving yet another life to serve you…… As a mom that lost 3 children to miscarriage and had 4 very premie babies (that are strong healthy & serving Jesus) — this post blessed my heart… thank you for sharing.

    Christopher Hopper · 25 Jul ’11 at 10:35 am

    Amen, amen, amen, Sue. Totally agree with you. Alyssa’s faith was/is remarkable. As is her husband’s, Sean, who when he heard the news said, “When she is born, I want us both saying, ‘She is perfect, because she will be.'” Glad it could encourage you today.

Laura · 25 Jul ’11 at 11:22 am

God is AMAZING!! Totally don’t want to stir the pot here, even what I’m about to say does NOT discount what God can do and His miraculous power. Often sonograms are wrong. No matter how great the tech or how great our medical technology is- its still often wrong. Our trust has turned so much to medical technology…. Whether that applies in this situation or not it doesn’t matter. Its just something we never think about but has such an impact on every pregnancy…

    Christopher Hopper · 25 Jul ’11 at 12:07 pm

    No, very true. And our dependance on technology could stand a step-down. 🙂 I happen to know more details about the extensive testing done, so it’s a legit miracle, but your point is well made.

Marcia Bauchle · 25 Jul ’11 at 3:40 pm

Thanks, Christopher! This gives me so much hope for the healing of my little grandson, Andrew, who was concieved with Alper’s Syndrome. There have been miracles, but we are believing for the “big one”. For every cell in his little body to conform to the image of God and form healthy mitochondria in every cell in his body, in JESUS name!!!

    Christopher Hopper · 25 Jul ’11 at 4:10 pm

    Amen! Andrew, we speak LIFE over you in Jesus’ name! May every part of you be brought into alignment with the plans and purposes of God for your life! May Jesus get everything He paid for in you!

Mo · 25 Jul ’11 at 4:18 pm

Oh wowwwwww!!!! Being amazed with His great wonders. I mean you so have to got à lot of faith to survive the 9 months..

    Christopher Hopper · 25 Jul ’11 at 5:53 pm

    So true, Mo. She’s a true hero, as is her husband.

    (Love and miss you guys).

Rachel · 25 Jul ’11 at 8:46 pm

This was so encouraging! Not only am I a Pastor’s wife in the middle of an intense season of spiritual warfare, I am also a woman waiting on the Lord to bless us with children. I am so thankful and blessed to serve the God who still does miracles!!

    Christopher Hopper · 25 Jul ’11 at 9:07 pm

    Rachel, we will definitely be praying for you. I’m blessed to know my post was an encouragement to you, especially being a pastor and knowing those unique family challenges acutely. You are a blessing to many kore than you will ever know. Keep fighting; never give up.

Billy Jepma · 25 Jul ’11 at 8:59 pm

Wow, I am in awe of the Lord’s power right now… just, wow. I am so happy to be a child of THAT God. The God who performed a miracle, a wonderful miracle. 🙂

    Christopher Hopper · 25 Jul ’11 at 9:08 pm

    As am I Billy. As am I my brother! Love your guts.

Beth Walrath · 25 Jul ’11 at 10:34 pm

Love the update! Just shows only God knows the plans He has. No one can tell God it’s not possible.
My aunt had 7 miscarriages & was told she couldn’t go full term. She has three healthy wonderful children. 🙂

    Christopher Hopper · 25 Jul ’11 at 10:55 pm

    How can one not live all these great testimonies and believe, eh? Proof that hard hearts need softening from Kingdom-minded culture shapers.

Allyn Shsnks · 25 Jul ’11 at 10:39 pm

This is great, and so is our lord!!!

    Christopher Hopper · 25 Jul ’11 at 10:54 pm

    Thanks for commenting and celebrating with us!

Margie Lundberg · 26 Jul ’11 at 9:29 am

This is our God! Thank you ch for spreading the good news. I saw Jesus’ miraculous healing of my womb when I was pregnant with my daughter, so this hits home for me.

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