When Dianne Leman stepped onto a college campus in the late 60’s, it was one wild party. Having grown up with a very legalistic faith, she was ready to leave her restrictive roots behind. College brought the opportunity to be free. When she met and married her husband, Happy, they made the decision to have nothing to do with faith.
But God is faithful, and He pursued their hearts. One day as Dianne was reading a Catherine Marshall book, she found herself crying.
“I had no idea it was a religious book. It was about teaching, and I was finishing my degree in education. In the middle of the book I began weeping and said, ‘I want to know Jesus like Alice,’ one of the characters in the book.”
That started Happy and Dianne on a journey to get to know Jesus. Not long after, they were baptized, started going to church, and tried to learn everything they could about Jesus. Both Happy and Dianne had come from large families, and they knew they wanted to have a large family of their own.
“I knew I wanted a big family and of course, I didn’t think that would be any problem. But I ran into all kinds of problems.”
Initially, they thought it would just take some time to get pregnant. But after having a series of medical tests, surgery, drugs, and spending lots of money, doctors said they were 99.9% sure they would never be able to conceive their own child. The news was devastating.
A crisis can either compel you toward Jesus, or cause you to shake your fist at God. For Dianne, it caused her to have an insatiable hunger to know what God wanted for her. What was His will?
Just as they were beginning to feel very discouraged, God spoke through a friend.
“Happy was at work, when out of the blue a friend said, ‘Do you know God is still doing miracles?’ We had no idea if that was true.”
The friend invited them to hear a speaker who was going to talk about miracles. They were nervous and skeptical, but they were desperate. Man hadn’t been able to help them, medicine couldn’t help them, and money hadn’t helped them. They had spent almost three years trying to have a baby, so they were willing to try anything.
They went to the meeting, but were disappointed when instead, he spoke about the Holy Spirit. When they came home, they decided to do a thorough Bible study to see if what the man was teaching, was true. That night Dianne had a divine encounter.
“I couldn’t sleep, so I got out of bed, and took the notebook from that meeting. I decided to pray the prayer for that encounter with the Holy Spirit. I had an incredible sensation of a river of living water coming forth. It bubbled up and suddenly I began speaking in a language I didn’t know. As amazing as that was, it was not the most profound change the Holy Spirit brought to my life. What happened the next morning when I opened my Bible to do my devotions – it was as if scales fell off my eyes and Jesus was more alive than he’d ever been to me.”
Suddenly, as Dianne was reading the Bible, it was clear – Jesus is a healer, and he is the same yesterday, today, and forever. She knew it without a doubt. As Happy and Dianne read stories of barrenness in the Bible, they saw God’s heart to heal. They began to believe God wanted to heal their infertility. They had an important appointment in Chicago with an infertility specialist coming up. That’s when, for the first time in their lives, God spoke.
“We didn’t know you could still hear God’s voice. Happy was out driving and he heard the voice of the Lord say, “You will go to Chicago, and you will get very bad news, but don’t despair, all will be well.”
Just two weeks later, they found themselves in the doctor’s office in Chicago. They had already been told they were 99.9% sure they couldn’t have children. What could be worse news?
“We couldn’t imagine that we could get worse news, but sure enough, it was worse. The doctor confirmed everything our local hospital had said, but they also discovered a growth about the size of a large orange, and they were recommending a hysterectomy.”
For the first time in many, many doctor visits over the past three and a half years, Dianne walked out of the office, but did not cry. If the first word was true – “you are going to get bad news,” then the second must be true as well – “don’t despair, all will be well.”
How could “All be well?” Hear the rest of Dianne Leman’s incredible story in this week’s episode of Epic.Dianne Leman – Faith and Infertility