Against All Odds
A mother shares how God enabled her to give birth to ten children with no spleen and only one kidney.
As a young teen of 15 years I wondered about the truth of the Bible and the reality of heaven and hell. I didn’t receive satisfactory answers from my mother, my stepfather claimed to be an atheist so I prayed to the God I wasn’t sure existed. “God, I don’t know if you exist or not, but if you do, I don’t want to come to the end of my life and find out that I made the wrong choice. So if one can know here on earth, I would like to know.”
Surprisingly a few days later I found myself in a sledding accident, losing my spleen and one of my kidneys. Statistically I was told that 70% of the people in accidents like mine die immediately and the other 30% die on the way to the hospital. I was a miracle! This accident stimulated a greater awareness of God but no forthcoming answers to my questions until my freshman year at Auburn University.
In Short, I found Christ and I finally knew why God spared my life at age 15. My life did have a purpose. My remaining years at Auburn were filled with happiness that only comes from a life surrendered to Christ. Upon graduation, with a double major in Education and French, I felt the Lord’s leading to humbly be a secretary. The Lord kept assuring my heart He would use my position. Little did I know that the very skills I was acquiring would be needed to help run the home business of my future husband. This would support all the children God would give us.
Upon graduation I lived with my mother in Atlanta. One of my goals was to be a witness to my mother for I yearned for her to see that I was now different from the ornery, spiteful, emotionally up and down teen-ager I had been. I started attending a Baptist church. There I met Lawrence at a Bible study he was teaching and we were engaged in February 1978.
During our engagement we met with a doctor who specialized in internal medicine. He cautioned us that it was seriously important I never get a kidney or bladder infection, to protect my remaining kidney. The doctor talked with Lawrence about the importance of him helping take care of my health. Lawrence came away from that meeting deeply committed to protecting my health.
Three weeks after we were married I became pregnant with our first child. Lawrence was not thrilled because we were headed towards the mission field. We had never studied the Scriptures regarding God’s perspective on children. The night after receiving the positive test result for pregnancy, some friends came over. They thought it was wonderful that I was expecting and quoted Psalm 127 “Children are an heritage of the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is his reward”. After they left, I’ll never forget him sitting in the slipcovered winged chair in the corner of the living room seriously reading the psalm. He closed the Bible and said, “If God says they are a blessing, then they are a blessing.” Yet strangely we did not see the logical link that this meant God wanted us to trust Him fully to have all the children He wanted.
After Joshua Stephen was born, we met a lady with five or six children who challenged me to consider trusting God to have children. What a novel thought! I spent the next few months searching scriptures to discover God’s viewpoint on birth control and children. I couldn’t find anything negative about children and nothing positive about birth control. What a decision for me! I knew that because of my missing organs, this could be a life threatening undertaking. How big was the God I said I believed in? Did I have real faith to believe that God could and would open and close the womb as the scriptures said? I came to the place that God was big enough to keep me through such a situation. I felt I should have the same attitude as Mary’s when told she would have Jesus, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” I shared my thoughts with Lawrence. He also searched Scriptures and he reached the same conclusions.
Sometime during or after the second pregnancy, I committed to not only trusting the Lord to have children; but also committed to being cheerful in having children. After this decision I looked forward to another baby. The Lord had some humor in not allowing me to have another baby for four years. He showed me that He indeed could close the womb.
During my first two pregnancies I looked to the medical establishment for understanding about my missing organs and all I found were conflicting thoughts. If they really were unnecessary why had God put a spleen there, or two kidneys, or any other organ? Why did I feel so sick when I ate nutrition-deprived foods? Why did I seem weaker than other healthy people? When a three-day cold went around, why did it last with me for weeks? Why was I so anemic in pregnancies? After delivery of a baby, why was I so weak with recovery and bleeding for weeks longer than my friends? Thankfully, I had a supportive husband who cared about all these issues.
As medical science caught up with reality, we found doctors with the latest info concerning the spleen. They recommended patients be put on antibiotics for the rest of their lives. Some doctors recommended women to have their tubes tied since their bodies are already facing extra stress with this missing organ.
From the first pregnancy I was extremely tired, and the fight with anemia was ongoing. Each pregnancy increased our commitment to nutritional pursuits. At the height of my physical problems we were gardening organically, raising chickens and goats, and daily grinding our flour for fresh homemade bread. God helped us to give up the nutritionally empty foods we enjoyed, and replace foods that would best help my health and it greatly helped me. Praise the Lord for a husband willing to sacrifice his desires to care about his wife. He grew up on junk food and disliked fruits and vegetables so I know it wasn’t always easy for him.
After the first two were born in hospitals, we started having home births. This reduced the risk of outside bacterial infections.
Babies five, six and seven were the most difficult. During a miscarriage between babies four and five, my one kidney became painful and seemed to weaken. To compound the situation, I became pregnant with Luke, six weeks after the miscarriage. I had to rest most of the time to reduce the all too familiar cramping symptom of miscarriage. Becoming pregnant so soon after a miscarriage with a large blood loss was very difficult and draining. But the end result was worth it – Luke, baby number five.
My health declined more. Babies six and seven were similar to the difficulties of the fifth pregnancy. I experienced another miscarriage between baby six and seven. This showed me how susceptible I was to miscarriage even though I had gone to great effort to take care of myself.
One well-meaning relative was very concerned that I would leave my children motherless as she had been left. My response was simple, “Which is better for my children - to live a shorter life obeying the Lord, or a long life disobeying Him?” I was confident that God would keep me here as long as my children and others needed me. On the other hand I was not going to hasten my departure by tempting the Lord unnecessarily.
As my health declined with the birth of additional children, my older children had to learn to pitch in and help at an earlier age. I noticed they developed skills and abilities beyond what I would have probably helped them do if my health had been fine. It also helped streamline our home. I had to think about things most people didn’t. I had to get rid of unnecessary trinkets to reduce cleaning time. I had to evaluate and time the chores to conserve energy. Not only did my health affect the way our house was run, but also it dramatically affected the food that came in our home. God used my situation to give our family better health and work habits.
Finally, the test of all those years was to be eased. Two weeks after the birth of our seventh child we had a family over that had started the biggest organic co-op in the world. During our talk we were surprised to find out they believed that even people who eat healthy organic food need to take supplements if they want the best long-term health possible. They told us we were right in theory; we should be able to get everything we need nutritionally out of our food but we had to live in the reality of real life facts.
They mentioned a government study on over 21,000 people evaluating how many received the minimal RDA in only 10 basic nutrients. How many do you think received that minimal nutrition out of those many thousands of people tested by the government? None. I was floored. They agreed that there were a lot of rip-offs in the supplement industry. However, they gave a little history of an over 40-year-old company that had the top scientists in the world developing and manufacturing the best products available. They convinced Lawrence enough to do more research, and he discovered this company had impeccable research behind the products. One of the company’s products had been tested by the USDA in humans and it raised their immune system 37% in just 20 days.
After he was convinced, I took the products and within a few day I noticed that my wipeout days were gone. My struggling days ended as I faithfully took my supplements. I also slept better because of the far superior calcium I was now taking. Best of all, to our surprise, after a few months my weak kidney strengthened.
Eight months later Priscilla was conceived (baby number eight). This pregnancy was totally different. I felt good. No excessive weariness. My immune system felt strong. I could skip some naps, stay up later at night, and was even able to take the stress of traveling. Babies nine and ten, were just like Priscilla.
My last three pregnancies and labor/deliveries have been better and healthier than the first seven! People who have known us for years have seen the difference and rejoice with us. The midwife who delivered our eight children born at home was so impressed that she started her whole family on these supplements.
We enjoy having children of all ages; from seeing our youngest learn to talk to having deep conversations with our oldest children who are 20 and 19. Lawrence tells people, “I would not trade one of my children for all the money in the world, and so you can see with ten children I am very rich.”
Ultimately our children belong to God, and we have been entrusted with guiding and directing their lives to live fully for Christ and His gospel, not centered on our enjoyment. What a blessing to see our children memorizing small books of the Bible, witnessing, not being peer dependent but yet being humble and teachable.
We are thankful to belong to a church where people do not look down on large families, but instead try to be of help in raising the next generation by being great mentors for our children. Children need more than just godly parents to grow up right. They need other members of the body of Christ to exercise their God given gifts to help edify our children to be all that they should be.
God deserves all the glory because we know we would have passed on the dysfunctional family life we both grew up in, if God had not made us new creatures in Christ and blessed us with a great church.
Buford, Georgia, USA
Many women have asked Marjorie to write out her feeding plan for young babies and also about how a home business helped their children's education. Also available from the Clarks, is information about the nutritional supplements that amazingly helped Marjorie. They will be happy to send you free information on any of these issues. Science has proven that good nutrition reduces birth defects at conception and protects a woman's bone density. Marjorie has also witnessed a number of mothers who have had far easier pregnancies, more energy, complications alleviated, better deliveries and healthier babies when following the protocol she now uses.
Call (770) 831-8730, 1-800-860-1936
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6083 Lake Lanier Heights Road, Buford, GA 30518. USA.