Singer Christy Sutherland and her husband Matt Dudney, son of country music star Barbara Mandrell, spent nearly 10 years — 3,557 days, more precisely — praying intensely that their dream of having a child would become a reality.
Unfortunately, disappointment plagued the couple for years.
But after 11 artificial inseminations, three rounds of in-vitro fertilization, three surgeries and two miscarriages, Dudney and Sutherland exclusively announced through Faithwire that their baby will arrive in April 2018.
Sutherland, who kept the faith throughout the long waiting period, said that she believes two factors, in particular, helped her hold on to hope for so long: prayer and the couple’s strong wills.
“Mainly, the holy spirit prompted an incredible number of people to pray for us, many daily, even for years,” she said. “Being in the ministry, we’ve been blessed to share our joys and sorrows with so many wonderful believers across the United States and around the world.”
Sutherland continued, “Every surgery, every procedure, every month, somehow, new hope would arise.”
The singer didn’t candy-coat the situation, though, admitting that there were “some very dark times” that led to grieving, frustration and even anger at God. In the end, though, she said both she and Dudney knew that the Lord was with them throughout their many disappointments along the way.
“We never could have held on to hope had it not been for the faithfulness of God,” she said.
She was so convinced that her pregnancy would one-day come to fruition that she would buy blankets or onesies and put them away, believing that she would eventually need them.
Sutherland also revealed some of the Bible verses that she would focus on throughout the ordeal — verses that helped stop her from throwing in the towel and giving up.
“The Word of God was my Rock,” she said. “I had a list of scriptures I would quote constantly. Psalm 113:9 NLT says, ‘He gives the childless woman a family, making her a happy mother of children.’ Malachi 2:15 NLT states, ‘Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are His. And what does He want? Godly children from your union.'”
She also relied on Exodus 23:26 and Romans 4:17.
Sutherland has a message for others who might be suffering in waiting and potentially doubting God in the process: “Take one day at a time. Jesus wants to carry our burdens, so ask Him to carry them for you.”
Considering that there are situations on Earth that Sutherland said people simply can’t handle on their own, she urged everyone to turn to God. Furthermore, the singer encouraged people not to beat themselves up over times of doubt.
“None of us are superheroes!” she said. “Remember the man in the Bible who said speaking to Jesus, ‘I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!’ Our Father uniquely understands everything we go through in this life, male or female, because Jesus Himself felt not only every sin, but every grief, pain and burden on the cross.”
Congrats to Dudney and Sutherland are most certainly in order.