Where do I begin, I am child number 6 out of 7 kids born to David and Marline Lewis. I can start my testimony right there. Growing up our household was always full of love. If there was one thing that was always consistent it was the level of love that was felt as well as the God first upbringing. We went to church every Sunday and most Wednesdays. My childhood was good, actually very entertaining with as many brothers and sisters that I had…smile. I come from a singing family so some of my distinct memories are of that of us forming a little group singing the latest song that was out at the time. I didn’t have many friends, I was closest to my family since the ability to be social was in excess considering my large family. The time honestly seems like it flew by like the wind. When I was just 14 years old. I met my husband Maurice Epting. He was 18 at the time so at first my parents (mother specifically) was very reluctant to allow us to begin courting. I was always mature for my age since most of my siblings were 5 or more years older than me. Somehow I managed to convince my parents that he was a decent guy and they took to him quite well. I would not be honest with you guys if I said this was easy back then. I had everyone you can imagine telling me that this relationship was a bad idea from the start. Mostly because we became serious so quickly and soon decided that we wanted to make a lifelong commitment. Everyone said I was way too young and that it was just puppy love and that it will blow over. I questioned my feelings quite often thinking is this real???...I remember very distinctively praying one night to God that if he was not for me to please just remove him from my life. The amount of grief from family and friends that I was getting at the time was overwhelming. Instead we grew closer…. We began marriage counseling when I was 17 and I knew it was something I wanted to do. I had to explain to my parents like this, ok, we get married and do this the right way or when I turn 18, I will move out and then we will begin “shacking up”. 

For me, it was as simple as that, they had to reflect on what the bible says on the matter which is reflected in 1 Corinthians 7:9 ‘But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.” and as hard as it was for them they had to let go. They signed me over to be his wife on the same day that I graduated from high school… Ha! …..Now here is where the story really begins….exhale…..Marriage……So even though we were now husband and wife my mind frame for around the first 6 months was still that of a child. I still allowed my parents to influence me in some ways (which they were only doing what they felt was best at the time) and I became convinced that I needed to be on a form of Birth Control. I was told “Your too young to have kids”….so without discussing it with my husband, it was decided that I would begin the Depo Provera shot. I received the first shot and had complications from it that lasted for over one year. It completely threw my body out of whack and I had to see another Doctor to help get stabilized. From about a year in my husband and I decided that we did in fact want a child and that the time was now. We tried on our own for about 3 years with no luck. As a woman this is one of the hardest things that you can ever go through. You start to question if you are inadequate and if the Lord feels as though you can take care of a child. 

This was one of the lowest points of my life. The strain of trying to conceive just to be reminded month after month that it did not happen is one of the hardest things. This caused a rift in my marriage and my husband and I began to fight more and more. One day a dear friend of mind recommended that I go see her doctor which happened to be a Fertility Specialist. She said that everyone that she had sent to this Doctor helped them to conceive a child. At this point I was thinking what do I have to lose…..one of the first things I did was undergo a diagnostic procedure called “Laparoscopy” to explore and see if there was anything obvious causing me not to conceive. The findings were normal…..my husband got evaluated….the findings were normal…..Now to some this may have seemed like good news but for me it almost seemed like if I had something to blame it on it would all have made more sense. But still I trusted in God and the doctor and he recommended that I undergo one series of medication. The doctor told me that it was about a 4% chance that it would work. I’m thinking to myself…here we go again…..what do I have to lose….So as instructed I took the medication and returned to my doctor’s office at the time instructed. The doctor did an ultrasound and said that he could see where I had ovulated and that he thinks that I may be pregnant. He sent me over to get lab work done and prescribed a medicine that would help the pregnancy “stick” if I in fact was pregnant. This was exciting news to me but at this point and the level of disappointment that I had already experienced I tried my best to contain my emotions. 

While at work the next day I received a call from the Doctor’s office. The nurse said words that I will never forget… ‘Mrs. Epting yourrrrrrr pregnant!” Lord the joy that I felt was absolutely unexplainable, God had done it! I called my husband and he immediately answered the phone sounding sad just knowing I would tell him once again that he would not be a Father. When I told him the news he screamed REALLY!!!! And then immediately told me he would call me back so that he could call his mom….LOL….Zaniyah Niara Epting was born 06/29/2009. 
Our precious gift from God. 

One year and 3 months later we conceived again with NO help spontaneously with our second baby girl Mariah Amani Epting. God is so good, he gave us exactly what we wanted and needed at the time that he saw fit! I considered a lot of different options during that time But GOD! There has been a lot of ups and downs in my life. The devil has consistently made his grand appearance just as he loves to do by trying to destroy my life, my marriage, and everything in between…..But GOD!

Just about over 5 months ago I was laid off from my job after over 5 years of service. I had been in the field for close to 10 years…..funny thing is I knew that if the Lord allowed me to be a part of a lay off that he would show up and show out on my behalf. In fact when I was told that I was being laid off I cried tears of joy and told the Lord that I was ready! For so long I tried and tried to move things on my own career wise but it just never seemed to happen for me….BUT GOD…..by the time my last 2 weeks were approaching on the job I had around 3 job offers. The job that I accepted…NONE other than the Lord could have orchestrated. I honestly couldn’t have drew out a vison more perfectly for myself career wise. God is so good!! Right now I have a prospering and successful career that I love and allows be a comfortable lifestyle, I have obtained a college degree while pursuing another, my children are beautiful and healthy, and my marriage almost 11 years in now is standing on God’s word. 

Soon and very soon I will be starting a non-profit that empowers women in all areas that focuses on redefining and uplifting the everyday woman. There is so much more… I could and wouldn’t mind speaking to any woman that has been thru anything. I am a living and walking testimony of God’s grace and Mercy. I am far from perfect but every day I strive to be a better me. God has his hands on me and I am holding on with everything that I have! If there is one thing that I have realized, is that God is not complicated. It is US that makes things and him complicating. When something is for you it is FOR YOU…. Period. 

If you find yourself going thru hoops and performing magic tricks to make things happen….perhaps it isn’t supposed to be. One of the most powerful things you could ever do is sit STILL and become totally humbled where you can hear God….im telling you, it’s a distinguished sound/voice and there will not be ANY confusion as to what or who he is. Pray…Meditate and find God for you, everyone’s walk is different. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about getting up every day and using every moment trying to be better and do better. 

God bless you and I pray my story helps you in some form or fashion and gives you hope because GOD IS REAL.  Don’t believe me.  Just watch !
 
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             Zipporah Epting