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Gainesville woman documents her journey of faith into motherhood
Celeste Marshall's memoir was inspired by her quest to bear a child
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Author Celeste Marshall attends a book signing for her “Memoirs of a Barren Woman: Faith, Fasting, Fervent Prayer.” Her book tells of her faith journey through being barren for 10 years. (Courtesy of Celeste Marshall)

A 10-year journey of waiting on God’s promise to come to fruition led to Celeste Marshall’s miracle child and a memoir of the experience.

At age 32 in 2002, the Gainesville resident received a devastating call from her fertility specialist telling her she could not have children.

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Celeste Marshall, author of ‘Memoirs of a Barren Woman: Faith, Fasting, Fervent Prayer." ’‘Anytime I share my testimony, I hope it activates mustard seed faith so that it can be sown into that dry area, that barren land, that desert place in someone’s place," she said.

“In 2001, my husband and I were ready to start our family. After about a year, the doctor I was seeing at the time told me it was time to see a fertility specialist. It was just a few days following the appointment with the specialist ... I was so broken because the specialist told me that my best chances of even conceiving a child was to have several female organs removed. I was told that was my best option and hope of becoming a mother.”

That year, Marshall began fasting and praying that her body would heal so she could become a mother.

“Later that year we were in church and God spoke to me clear in my spirit and told me I would have a son one day, and He gave me the name Simeon for him,” Marshall said. “When I looked up Simeon in the Bible, it means that God had heard. I knew God had heard my prayer and now I just anticipated when He would answer.”

Marshall said God showed her confirmation of that promise each year, even after she began questioning.

“Mustard seed faith is truly what it dwindled down to as the years passed,” Marshall said. “One year on a Wednesday night at church, I was sitting in a section that I rarely sit in and a woman turned around to me and said, ‘God told me to give you this,’ and she started to take her necklace off. It had the word ‘mom’ on it. She didn’t know anything about my situation.”

In 2012, Marshall was two days away from a partial hysterectomy surgery at Northside Hospital, when she felt God telling her to cancel the operation.

“I went home that night and told my husband that I knew I had to have the surgery because of the medical issues I was facing, but now wasn’t the time,” Marshall said. “He reminded me of the health risk and medical issues I was facing, but he agreed with me, and it was two weeks later that I found out I was pregnant.”

At age 41, Marshall gave birth to her son, Terry Simeon Marshall.

“To know that God does the miraculous, for me to witness it firsthand and for him to use me to be able to go and share this with people of His goodness and what He has done for me, He can do for somebody else, whether it is for a barren woman, barren finances, relationship, marriage, dream or anything that you may consider to be a dry place, something you think there is no way life can come from it,” Marshall said.

Marshall wrote a personal memoir, “Memoirs of a Barren Woman: Faith, Fasting, Fervent Prayer,” which was published by Heavenly Light Press in Alpharetta in April 2016. 

“I truly wrote it out of active obedience to God. I never considered myself an author, I never even imagined I would write a book one day,” Marshall said. “The Friday before I celebrated my first Mother’s Day, I sat down at my computer after hearing God telling me for weeks He had given me a story and I needed to write it. After six hours I had what I felt like was a book.”

Marshall said the book is a “powerful, quick read.”

“Don’t put God on a timetable. What He has for you, is truly for you in His timing and we have to trust that,” Marshall said. “It is hard to see it when you are going through the journey and waiting and believing God. We want everything to happen speedily, and some prayers are, but sometimes He puts us on a journey not only for ourselves, but for others.” 

The book is for “anyone believing God for anything,” according to Marshall.

“Anytime I share my testimony, I hope it activates mustard seed faith so that it can be sown into that dry area, that barren land, that desert place in someone’s place,” Marshall said. “I hope it activates their faith so that God can perform a miracle in that area for them like He did for me.

“I am so blessed because I can truly look at my son every single day in my home and know that God can do miracles.” 

For more information about “Memoirs of a Barren Woman: Faith, Fasting, Fervent Prayer,” visit memoirsofabarrenwoman.com.

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Photo courtesty of Celeste Marshall
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