Despite all the medical approaches to infertility, two Chandler women think those who struggle with the problem might want to consider divine intervention.
That’s why Evangeline Colbert and Angela Williams wrote “Borrowed Hope: Sarah’s Story of Triumph Over Infertility” – the first in a series of books aimed at bringing comfort to women who have struggled with infertility and miscarriages by examining the struggles with infertility that are recounted in the Bible.
Colbert, a certified professional life coach, already wrote an earlier book on the subject, titled “A Seed of Hope: God’s Promises of Fertility,” and began working with Williams, a counselor and mediator, two years ago on the joint creation.
Now they’re working on publicizing that first joint effort, starting with a book-signing party at 2 p.m. Jan. 26 at Sunrise Faith Community Center, at 800 W. Galveston St., Chandler.
Both women think their own lives back up their encouragement and words of hope to women who struggle with infertility and miscarriages.
Though they both said they’ve been through similar ordeals, Colbert and Williams each are mothers of three children.
Williams, a resident of Chandler since 2013 who has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master of social work degree, and her husband, Glenn, have two daughters and a son. Colbert, a 17-year Chandler resident who holds an electrical engineering degree as well as coach certification, and her husband have two sons and a daughter.
They’ve known each other since 2013 and want “to share hope and encouragement in this series of books using relatable stories of women from the Bible who each were victorious over infertility.”
They started working together not long after they met.
“When Evangeline asked me to help her construct a workbook for one of her previous books, I jumped at the opportunity,” Williams recalled. “The more time we spent together and the more we discussed the workbook project, the more we realized that our vision was bigger than the workbook. The series on women of the Bible who struggled with infertility just evolved.”
Though Williams had never written a book, she is no stranger to the heartbreak of the subject of her first book – a problem that more than 7 million women in the country struggle with.
She and her husband had two children within the first two years they were married. But when trying for a third, she had a miscarriage and then was unable to have another baby for 10 years.
“After the first two children, I thought we were through,” she said, “but in 1992, I felt in my spirit that we would have another child. After a couple years passed, I didn’t think it would happen, so I put it out of my mind – five years later I was pregnant.”
Colbert and her husband had been married four years before they decided to have children.
“I did not get pregnant during the first year of ‘trying,’” Colbert recalled. “After numerous tests, I was diagnosed with ‘unexplained factors’ of infertility. In other words, they didn’t know why I wasn’t getting pregnant. We were both believers in Jesus. Freeman and I decided not to go the route of infertility treatments and to trust that God would make things work in my body as they should.
“After two years, a few negative pregnancy tests and many months of disappointment and grief, I finally got pregnant with our first child.”
Colbert had authored three other books before she began collaborating with Williams.
After a while they discovered “God’s plan – a unique presentation of women from the Bible who struggled with and overcame infertility.”
For their first book, they focus on Sarah and Abraham in the Old Testament.
“You’ll see and relate to the hopeless experience of Sarah, Abraham’s wife, who struggled for more than 70 years with infertility,” the authors said, calling the story an example of “the raw emotions women endure during the season of infertility – the fear, doubt, and anger, the rollercoaster of hope, and the monthly grief of not being pregnant.”
Williams and Colbert try to convey Sarah’s “conversations with God as she longs to understand and experience His love and faithfulness.”
Their intention is that the book “will empower the reader to be hope-filled and to expect victory.”
Williams said, “The more I wrote the book and talked to people, the more I realized that infertility is much more common than I ever thought. What I learned is that a lot of times, people just don’t talk about it.”
Indeed, Colbert said the problem’s breadth is staggering.
“Over seven million Americans deal with infertility,” Colbert said. “That equates to roughly one in eight married couples. Most of them suffer silently, being too embarrassed to share their plight. Male-factor infertility is almost as prevalent as it is for women. When I’ve talked about the book, invariably, people have told me that they, or someone they know, had experienced infertility.
“Hope is the one thing that needs to prevail because it helps people believe in possibilities,” she added. “My goal is to encourage people to not ignore the spiritual aspect of infertility. Trusting that God is working behind the scenes on your behalf builds hope. I want them to see how hope can help them experience victory in their circumstances.”