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She Was Told To Say Goodbye To Her Baby—But After This Widow Held Her Child In Her Arms, A Miracle Happened

Thirty-five-year-old Sarah Rodriguez has processed more pain and suffering in a few short years than most of us could fathom enduring in a lifetime. But this widowed mother’s warrior spirit has become all the stronger for it. And now she’s sharing her profound journey of beauty from ashes in her new book, From Depths We Rise.

It all started seven years ago when her husband Joel was diagnosed with an aggressive form of kidney cancer.

“We found out in 2010 that he had Stage 3 kidney cancer that had eaten away his entire kidney,” recalls Sarah.

Though chemo treatments sent Joel into remission, it returned stronger than ever two years later, just three short days after their son Milo was born.


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This time, Joel would not win the battle against the “Big C.” But several months before the kidney cancer took his life in 2013, he left his wife with a message that she was simply unable to shake.

“I need to tell you something. You and I are going to have another child and it’s going to be a girl,’” he told her. “I’m looking at him, thinking, ‘There’s no way we’re going to,’” Sarah recalls.

After Joel passed, Sarah couldn’t help but think about the frozen embryos they had placed down the street in an infertility clinic. The couple had struggled to get pregnant for five years, and after successfully conceiving Milo through in vitro, they decided it may be their only shot at having another baby.

Sarah just never thought she’d be doing it alone.

But as it often goes, God’s plans don’t necessarily align with our own. Soon, He opened her grieving heart to the idea of having another child. Sarah even recalled a dream she had years before Joel died, where she was holding a little girl named Ellis, and she wondered if it could have any tie-in with the prophetic words of her late husband.

“Within days of his death, I thought about that conversation and knew there was this piece of him – two more embryos – just down the street at the infertility clinic,” said Sarah. “I had this feeling in my heart that I should have another child and that there would be purpose to her life.”

Sure enough, on Nov. 6, 2014, she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Ellis.

As Ellis reached her tiny fingers up to clutch Sarah’s necklace embossed with Joel’s thumbprint, the proud mama could taste the bittersweet redemption this miracle child would bring.

“She was the beauty that came from the ashes of our story,” she said. “It felt like a part of Joel had returned to me with her birth.”


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However, just two weeks later, she would be faced with losing the little miracle that had brought so much meaning to her life.

Ellis’ health quickly took a turn for the worse after she contracted a deadly form of Bacterial meningitis and Sepsis. Doctors gave Sarah no hope for her daughter’s survival and recommended she be taken off life support.

“Basically, they told us that she would not live, and if she did, she would be in a vegetative state,” she told ‘The Church Boys’ podcast. “A decision had to be made to remove the [ventilator].”

As Sarah stood in the hospital bathroom processing the unfathomable event that was to unfold after the devastating loss of her husband, she asked God in a tone reminiscent of Job, “Haven’t I endured enough?”

Kelsey Straeter
Kelsey Straeter
Kelsey is an editor at Outreach. She’s passionate about fear fighting, freedom writing, and the pursuit of excellence in the name of crucifying perfectionism. Glitter is her favorite color, 2nd only to pink, and 3rd only to pink glitter.

Chip and Joanna Gaines: 11 Godly Secrets to an Epic Marriage and Family

Chip and Joanna Gaines are teaching us important lessons about marriage and family as they walk away from their HGTV show for the sake of their family.

‘My abuser is here today’: Miss Kansas Uses Interview Portion of Pageant to Call Out Abuser Before Being Crowned

Miss Kansas 2024, Alexis Smith, has captured national attention not just for her beauty and charisma, but for her bravery in addressing a deeply personal and harrowing issue: domestic abuse.

Rory Feek Remarries 8 Years After Losing Wife Joey to Cancer

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