Please help me welcome Nancy Montoya! She was the first mommy-friend who reached out to me when my husband and I were traveling with his nursing job. It landed us in the beautiful town of Pueblo, Colorado and she was the smiling face who greeted and instantly befriended us at church. She’s such a beautiful woman of God, inside and out!
Nancy is a loving wife and mother of 4 beautiful girls. She is such a selfless individual and her positive perspective, despite fighting for her daughters life time and time again.
Me: It’s so exciting as a woman to discover there’s a precious life growing inside of us! Tell us about your pregnancy with Lily.
Nancy: I was a clueless 17-year-old when I became pregnant with Lily. We didn’t know while I was pregnant that she would be born with disabilities. We first found out when she was 3 months old. Her not being born perfectly healthy hadn’t even occurred to me. I was more concerned about how my life would change and how I would be able to give her the kind and loving home I had growing up.
Me: You and Jacob got married and soon after, found out some terrifying news as new parents. The doctors couldn’t believe she was even alive. What a miracle baby! You said you didn’t know anything was wrong until she was 3 months old. What happened?
Nancy: Initially we had noticed her eyes weren’t tracking and I thought she may be blind. Then she suddenly began dropping weight. My mom actually had a dream where Jesus appeared to her and told her to bring Lily and I to the hospital. We went to the hospital the next day and were completely stunned.
Her doctor came in and said a phrase I will never forget. With tear filled eyes he said “the outlook is pretty grim” and began to explain that Lily was born without most of her left and middle brain. As a result she was missing most of her optic nerves, her pituitary gland -the master gland- her hypothalamus and other parts of her brain. He was amazed she was alive and did not think she would survive and at best be, for lack of a better word, a vegetable. I cannot put into words the mind shattering, soul crushing, heart breaking feeling that became my reality.
Me: Girl, I can’t even begin to imagine. As a mother, my heart breaks for you! Were you and your husband believers at the time?
Nancy: It was 9 pm, an hour after visiting hours were over, and Jacob and I who were not saved looked at each other and simultaneously said “we need God”. Not 30 seconds later the pastor of my church knocked at our door. He was there to pray with us and for Lily.
We accepted Jesus and in that moment I had a revelation about the absolute power, purpose and provision of God. I was overcome by His peace and was able to just completely rest in the knowledge that He has already dispatched my help before I ask for it and that He alone holds my baby’s future. And when I have nothing to give He is more than enough. I have been fortunate enough to operate in that understanding from that moment forward.
Me: I love it that you found Christ in the middle of your greatest trial. How awesome is that?! With the challenges Lily faces on a daily basis, were you at all fearful to have more children?
Nancy: I have an autoimmune disease called ulcerative colitis that became active about a month after Lily was born. For years I was so consumed with her constant care, but years later when her health became stable, I weeped for another child. My disease kept this dream from becoming a reality.
One night after being particularly upset, the Holy Spirt woke me up with a whisper – “read 1 Samuel.” I read of Hannah who wept before The Lord for a child and The Lord opened her womb. I took this as my promise from God.
A year later at a revival in Lakeland, Florida we were worshipping in the alter when an evangelist from Africa we had never met grabbed me fe behind and said, “The Lord says it is your time to have another child. You do not have to fear. Your disease will not be an issue. You will be healthy and the baby will not have any of the struggles Lily had.”
We stepped out in faith on that word and a week later I was pregnant! Evangeline was born healthy and I have been the healthiest during my pregnancies. God is so good!
Me: I have chills reading this. Wow, wow, wow! What a timely word from The Lord! What would you say you have learned through this journey?
Nancy: I have learned that it is easy to truly lay my burdens at the feet of Jesus. That there is a peace that comes from true brokenness before the Father. That I can do nothing good in and of myself and only God in me brings forth love and life. And that I am blessed to have been so broken that I got to experience complete and utter reliance on the Father for my every moment.
Because it is so easy to believe the lie that we have things under control and we are doing just fine all by ourselves. The truth is we need to be desperate for Him everyday. We need Him to direct our paths. We need His strength and His peace and His hope and His joy. Because those things from any other source are fleeting. They will not endure. We can only truly obtain them and sustain them if they have come from the Father. His faithfulness and provision is ever evident in my life. And I am just so grateful to have been freely given such a perfect love.
Me: Such a beautiful brokenness. Your story is such an amazing picture of grace and mercy. Even at your lowest, God lifted you out of the pits of despair and showed you His loving kindness in a way you had never experienced before. Absolutely incredible.
What advice would you give to someone going through a difficult situation right now? And how has your perspective changed everything?
Nancy: I would say that living in victimhood is a choice. And as Christians we are not exempt from a pain free life. On the contrary, Jesus told us “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart for I have overcome the world!”
When living through the darkest nights we all have a choice to make. Will I let this defeat me and rob me of the peace and joy that was freely given to me? Or will I cling to the promises of my Father and trust that He will deliver me, restore me, protect me, provide for me and help me?
God is good to keep His word. And His word says He already overcame everything that could ever attempt to overcome you!
Thank you so much, Nancy, for sharing your heart with us! God has truly blessed you with a beautiful family who have learned together that perspective changes everything.
We still have one more story with share with you! Don’t miss out! Check back this weekend to hear from Jessica Shonebarger about how God held her during one of the scariest storms in her life.
Share this with a friend if you were encouraged today! Remember – perspective changes everything!
Life Life Unscripted,