(This is the text of my sharing that was featured on Kerygma magazine’s February 2012 issue. I added in new pictures to bring more life to the story. 😉 )
By Lisa Bobiles as told to Tina Santiago-Rodriguez
“Pray, hope and don’t worry.” This is one of the most famous statements attributed to St. Pio of Petrelcina. Ironically, our family did not know St. Pio that well until last year, when he helped grant a prayer, a miracle that we had been waiting for.
My husband, Rhenee, and I got married on December 23, 2000. I distinctly remember telling him on our second anniversary that we would be celebrating our 10th year of marriage by renewing our vows, with our own children as part of the wedding entourage.
We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary last year but what we had initially discussed many years ago did not come to be – because we were still childless.
After much prayer, many check-ups and various unsuccessful natural fertility treatments, we had already accepted the fact that we would be one of those couples that would grow old together without the blessing of having our own children. We had even discussed the idea of adoption but never really seriously considered or explored it actively as we both work in Brunei.
In the last quarter of 2009, Rhenee’s employment contract ended and he decided to become a mission volunteer for our Catholic community, Couples for Christ, serving our CFC brethren in the Borneo mission area, specifically Sibu, Sarawak and Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. As for myself, the Lord blessed me with a new and more stable job with an international company, which was really timely as we were facing a very challenging financial situation at that time. All throughout this period, we continued to remain active members of CFC in Brunei.
A Blessed Homecoming
In July 2011, we went home to the Philippines to attend a cousin’s wedding. During that short trip home, Rhenee and I were able to hear Sunday mass at the St. Pio Chapel in Libis, Quezon City with my parents, sister and her family. My mom was the one who first told me about the chapel and St. Pio and the many prayers that had been answered through his intercession. She told us that Rhenee and I should visit the chapel and pray to St. Pio to grant our prayers for a child.
While waiting for the Holy Mass to begin, Rhenee and I were handed pieces of paper where we could write our prayer requests to St. Pio. We did so, and after the mass, we even stayed behind to be prayed over by one of the Eucharistic Ministers at the chapel. A few days after that visit to St. Pio’s chapel, I went back to Brunei while Rhenee remained for another week in the Philippines. He stayed in Brunei for a week or so before leaving for a 5-week mission trip to Sibu, Sarawak.
Pregnant at Last!
About a week into his mission in Sibu, I decided to take a pregnancy test since I had not had my monthly period for over 2 months. Actually this was not an unusual case for me as I had always had irregular periods since puberty. I don’t know why this time around I decided to take the test. Much to my surprise, the test result was positive!
I couldn’t believe my eyes and even thought that perhaps I had taken the test incorrectly. So, the day after, I took another pregnancy test, this time following the instructions carefully. The test still came out positive!
I immediately called Rhenee and told him the news, but we decided to contain our joy first until I had gone to a doctor to really confirm that I was pregnant.
The following day the first thing I did was to go to the clinic, where the doctor gave me another pregnancy test – the result was the same! Despite this though, I asked her to perform blood tests and an ultrasound because with my fertility history, I really wanted to be sure that I was positively pregnant before making any public declarations.
After my visit to the clinic, I immediately called my mom and told her the news, which she received with tears of joy, and she declared that God through St. Pio had granted our prayers.
A week later, the blood test results were “consistent with pregnancy” and the doctor took the first picture of my growing baby inside my womb at approximately 10 weeks old. God had indeed answered our prayers, through the intercession of St. Pio.
St. Pio’s words “Pray, hope and don’t worry”, had come true for us. Even if we had already given up on being parents, the Lord, through the prayers of St. Pio and all our family members and brothers and sisters in CFC, had granted us our desire. All praise and thanks to Him for this wonderful miracle of life!