Becoming a Mother Over 40 & Beyond…Janet Jackson isn’t the Only One…A Mothers Day Testimony & Miracle…

celeste

Hello World,

Editor’s Note: I originally published this blog post on Mother’s Day 2016, but for the benefit of my new subscribers, I decided to publish this blog post again because a miracle never gets old. Additionally, C. Celeste Marshall will be sharing her testimony on a radio program tomorrow, May 10, 2021. See those details at the end of the interview…

Last month when Janet Jackson announced she was postponing her tour to focus on creating a family with her husband Wissam Al Mana, my friends and I via text (our easiest way to communicate in our busy lives) speculated on whether Ms. Jackson If You’re Nasty was indeed with child at 49 years old (now our speculation has been confirmed) and whether being 40 or older is too old to become a mother.

Below are a few of our responses:

“It is weird.”

“It’s a miracle. If that is her dream. My friend just had a baby at 48. Not planned.”

“My grandmother had my mom when she was around 40. My aunt around 44. I had my son at 41. Let her story be a leap for womankind. She has led a fabulous life and is now embarking on a new journey.”

So Janet Jackson isn’t the only one who has defied the odds. That is the testimony of C. Celeste Marshall, a college friend who struggled with infertility for 10 years before finally giving birth to her son Terry Simeon Marshall in August 2013! Celeste recently released her book “Memoirs of a Barren Woman” Below is my interview with her about her journey to motherhood and her new book!

When did you get married, and did you want to be a mother when you first got married? Tell me about your desire to be a mother.

My husband, Todd, and I got married in 2001.  We were immediately ready to start our family.  During this particular time, we had a few nieces that I was very close to and we played the parent role for them at times.  My desire to become a mother intensified as I saw them grow and several months had passed and nothing had happened for us.

How and when did you find out you were “barren” or couldn’t conceive children? How did you husband respond?

After almost a year into our marriage, with no success, my doctor at the time felt that it was time to see a specialist.  A few days following this appointment, I remember getting the call at work.  The news was devastating, and work was not the place to receive it.  I was told that I would not be able to have children.  The doctor suggested that I have several female organs removed and that my best chance would be to try in vitro.  My husband responded in a very supportive way and tried to act like it would be fine if we weren’t parents, but I knew that his desire to be a father was just as strong as my desire to be a mother.

Why did you keep believing you would be a mother one day although you were told you couldn’t have children? Did you ever have any miscarriages? What were you doing for those 10 years?! Did you consider adoption?

In 2006, while recovering from my first surgery (fibroids and endometriosis), God led me to a scripture in II Kings.  It was II Kings 4:16.  It read, “this time next year you will be holding a son.”  I anticipated the day that I would be able to say that I was pregnant because I had never had a positive test before.  I never had any miscarriages because time after time I was always told that I would not be able to even conceive a child.  I had received a prior promise from God in 2004.  So during this time of waiting on God to fulfill His promise, I fasted and prayed about my desire and His promise.  After several years passing and my “this time next year” not happening, I mentioned adopting to my husband but he was not open to it.  I knew that it was my spirit settling and trying to rush God’s hand.

When and why did you decide to fast and pray and what was the result? Tell more about it.

I thank God that at the time of receiving this news, I was already saved and was a member of a church, Free Chapel, where fasting is literally one of the church’s foundations.  My pastor teaches it often and each year our church does an annual fast which has become a global practice for many denominations at the beginning of the year.  I had seen the results of fasting and praying in my own life and also in the lives of others in the church.  It is a powerful tool often overlooked in the Christian world.  I challenge anyone to try it for themselves.  When you abstain from food and replace it with the Word of God, there is an intimacy that comes only from fasting.  There are several types of fasting.

What was your “life-changing decision” after your fast?

My life-changing decision following a specific three-day fast in 2012 was to cancel a surgery, which would have been my 3rd during this 10-year period.  The doctor wanted me to have a full hysterectomy, but by the time the pre-op had rolled around, we had agreed on a partial hysterectomy.  It never felt right in my spirit because I knew my body had to be whole in order for God to fulfill His promise. However, my doctor deemed it necessary, but following that three-day fast, and hearing from God on 12-12-12,  I canceled the surgery completely.

How and when did you discover you were pregnant? Were you scared during your pregnancy after all that happened to you? Why or why  not?

I was back at work from Christmas break, and I knew I was “late” but really thought that it was stress related since I had spent most of the Christmas break caring for my niece who had broken her ankle.  I took an outdated pregnancy test at work of all places.  I had them everywhere because I always anticipated each month…..hoping…..praying…..waiting……When it came back positive I was elated and scared at the same time….when you read the book you will know why 🙂

What was it like to finally give birth to your son? When was he born? How old were you when he was born?

My pregnancy was good, but the delivery was a battle.  And when I say battle, it was a spiritual battle! He was born in August 2013.  I was 40 when I found out I was pregnant, and I delivered him when I was 41.marshall

Do you have any final words of advice for would-be mothers who are having difficulty having children or who are ready to give up? What about fathers who are married to women with these challenges and desperately want to be father too. Any advice for them?

I tell everyone not to put God on a timetable.  We have in our minds by what age we should do this, this and this.  If we are truly in line with Him, and we seek Him daily, then we have to trust Him with the desires of our hearts.  When so much time had passed for me, I started changing my prayer…for God to remove the desire and He never did.  I knew what He had promised me, specifically a son, but satan is real and while God had given a promise, satan took advantage of any weakness and tried to steal my promise from God.  However, each year, as I would fast and pray, God would always confirm His promise to me, but of course I grew weary in waiting, but I stood on His promise and His Word: specifically II Kings 4:16.  And to the husbands of barren wives, never make your wife feel “less than, inadequate, or insufficient.”  Because these are the word satan would whisper to her.  satan often tried to remind me that the one thing a woman was created to do, I could not do…I felt broken at times, but I know that God does not make mistakes.

book

Why did you decide to write “Memoirs of a Barren Woman?”

My book was truly written out of obedience.  I never desired nor imagined that I would write a book.  After I had my son, I started getting invitations to give my testimony and what I realized is that God used my household for the basis of this testimony but He did not intend for it to stay there. I believe that my testimony if for anyone believing God for anything.  We all have a “barren” area in our life, male or female.

Was it difficult to write and publish “Memoirs of a Barren Woman?”And what has been the response?

 The book was not difficult to publish so to speak because God led me to the right resource the first time I inquired.  However, I had no idea about all of the editing.  There was so much back and forth for several months, actually over a year.  I started questioning what I had started because there was just so much delay.  But even in delay, I tell you God is working…putting things together.  The number of people who have reached out to me since reading my memoir to tell me the impact that it has had on their life spiritually has been overwhelming.  Young, old, male, female, single women, even women with children have commented on how my book has impacted their life in some form.  I look forward to sharing it on any platform God gives me.

Below is a video of Celeste giving her testimony at her church Free Chapel:

To find out more about C. Celeste Marshall or contact her, go to her Facebook page. Click on this link to buy her book.

Happy Mothers Day to all mothers, but particularly to mothers who are 40 years old and over! And see this poem written by C. Celeste Marshall in which she includes how she will be sharing her testimony on Monday, May 10.

This poem that I’ve written is the harsh reality of so many women, on this Mother’s Day. I pray for those that desire…

Posted by C. Celeste Marshall on Sunday, May 9, 2021

 

***Again, just be sure you see this, C. Celeste Marshall will be on radio station WGTJ Glory 97.5 FM/1330 AM at 9:05 am. Following the community focus segment with Ms. Millie Miller of Get Out Stay Straight/ Restorative Ministry, she will be sharing her testimony.

Any thoughts?

What You Thought Was Dead Can Now Come Back to LIFE on EASTER!

Hello World,

Happy Easter or Happy Resurrection Day! However you choose to refer to this day, this is the day that Christians the world over celebrate the most important day in our faith! Today we celebrate that while death is a powerful foe indeed, the power of death could not and cannot compare to the indestructible power of the Lord Jesus Christ! HE IS RISEN! We no longer have to live in sin, be ruled by destructive habits and or addictions or walk through this earth alone! We have a savior and a friend in Jesus Christ! Like the Baptists, I’ve got a reason to shout! Like the Pentecostals, I’ve got a reason to get my dance on! Like the Methodists, I’ve got a reason to be in silent awe! And then do it all over again! JESUS! JESUS! JESUS! Please find yourself in somebody’s church today because the Lord has a blessing for you, and you don’t want to miss it!

And speaking of blessings, I was reading the resurrection story in Matthew 27, and I read some verses that I don’t recall reading before…Do you know that Jesus was not the only one that God rose from the dead? According to Matthew 27:51-53, “51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.” Many theologians have differing opinions of what this miraculous occurrence meant, and it is not mentioned if these people remained on Earth or ascended with Jesus back to heaven.

As a lay person or a regular ole Christian or maybe even as a writer, these verses are further evidence that the death and resurrection of Jesus is not just about spiritual good that is just good for Heaven, it is also a good that makes sense right here on Earth! What do I mean? Using my sanctified storyteller imagination, I imagine that one of the dead was a mother who had passed away while giving birth to a son who had never known his mother except through the stories of family and friends. On the day that Jesus rose, this child was able to meet his mother for the first time! I can also imagine that one of those dead was a beloved husband of an elderly widow that had not seen him in decades unless she dreamed about him at night. Can you imagine how elated she was when he came to her during the day? Or what about the young woman that died suddenly after a brief and mysterious illness leaving her family and friends to question why God allowed this tragedy to happen? I imagined that they wept after she confirmed that even death could not keep her from the ones she loved! I’m sure this day of resurrection was a day of overflowing joy!

So what does this mean for us today? First of all and most importantly, we have a risen savior that promises to give us eternal life with Him in heaven. And while we are here on Earth, Jesus can break the chains of sin, addiction and destructive habits and give us joy and peace that sustains us through everything! AND he can bring back to life what we thought was dead…Maybe you dreamed of launching a business but you no longer have the financial backing to get it going. Don’t worry. Just pray! He can bring this dream back to life. Maybe you’ve been set back by setback after setback. God can restore your life! Maybe you are still grieving the death of a loved one years later and have been unable to really move on, God can show you how to live and not die!

What you thought was dead can now come back to life…Ponder on these verses…God will show you exactly what they mean to you…

Praise Him Even During This Pandemic!!!

Any thoughts?

Why Cheating Christian Relationship Expert Derrick Jaxn’s Wife Da’Naia Jackson Needs Prayer Most of All…

Hello World,

I’ve had an eventful week so I’ve been off of my blog schedule, but I’m back! Although I wasn’t blogging, I was paying attention to the stories at the “cross section of faith, relationships and pop culture” because that is what I specialize in here on After the Altar Call, attempt to humbly anyway…

One such story is the whole saga of Christian relationship guru Derrick Jaxn who confessed in a true spectacle of a video on YouTube that while he was building his relationship expert brand by advising single ladies how to have relationships with men, he was also having relationships with the single ladies. Maybe that would be okay as a single man, but Derrick Jaxn is a married  man. His wife, Da’Naia Jackson, who was garbed in a beret, which looks like a night bonnet, and misshapen clothing, said that she was aware of his cheating and that they had worked through what he did and are now moving on with their lives as a married couple. I only mention what she was wearing because there has been much controversy about her choice of attire and overall appearance while he appears well groomed. Attire isn’t always important, especially at home, but often it is an announcement to the world how we feel about ourselves.

As far as the content of his confession is concerned, it appears that what he said about his cheating being in the past is not true allegedly as another one of his alleged mistresses popped up this week. I don’t have the time nor inclination to run down the whole matter, but this Christian Post article provides an excellent summary…. Please see the article below…

“Derrick Jaxn’s Christian wife rebukes critics as new mistress calls his apology for affairs a sham” by Leonardo Blair 

The defiant wife of embattled Christian relationship guru Derrick Jaxn invoked Scripture and the “blood of Jesus” against critics of their marriage Wednesday, as a newly revealed mistress called him a “sex addict” and alleged his recent confession of being a changed man is a sham because they had sex only days ago.

“I did not come here to play games and to play dress-up. I came here in my battle suit. I came here in the battleground covered in the blood of Jesus. I received the anointing of the warrior and I spill the blood of the enemy,” Jaxn’s wife, Da’Naia Jackson, declared in a broadcast on Instagram Wednesday.

Jackson’s response came after critics raised concern online about how she was dressed as well as her mental health when she appeared with her husband in an apology video on Monday, in which the man who helped promote a “Black Men Don’t Cheat” campaign confessed to cheating on his wife of four years with multiple women.

“You see a bonnet, I see the helmet of salvation. You see an army green shirt, I see the breastplate of righteousness. I see the belt of truth, I see the sandals of peace, the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God and the shield of faith. And I’ve come to the battleground covered in the blood of Jesus to proclaim victory over sin,” Jackson declared to her critics, insisting her marriage will survive her husband’s scandal.

Read the rest HERE…

Now, my first reaction to this saga was my humorous Facebook post on Friday below…

I’ve been silent ’bout this all week, but your first mistake is trusting a dude with the last name Jackson spelled Jaxn #Huh #SMH

Posted by Jackie Holness on Friday, March 26, 2021

I think I saw one of his popular YouTube videos years ago, but I had no idea that he had since blown up. Now, I was joking in my post, but one person who commented brought my attention to a disturbing and serious sexually explicit recent IG post from his wife Da’Naia Jackson. If you click on Facebook post, I think you can find a link to it. However, this post below is also a good example of her state of mind.

From all of her IG posts, it is evident that she is a strong Christian who is knowledgeable about the Word. And that is admirable and necessary. In her latest post, she is literally describing her self as a Christian soldier on the battlefield for our Lord and for her marriage, which is also admirable and necessary. But on this Palm Sunday, I’m reminded that Christ died so that we can live abundantly right here on Earth before we ascend to Heaven. And another one of my favorite verses is the joy of the Lord is our strength. From the IG posts that I have seen on her profile, I don’t see a woman living an abundant life in the joy of the Lord. Now, I know that we all have crosses to bear as Christians and we will have trials in our lives, but there is something about Mrs. Jackson’s demeanor that makes me fearful for her sanity. Now what happens between a married couple is their business but since they have made their business public and continue to do so, I think the public is not wrong in evaluating what has been shared so publicly.

I was thinking of closing this post with a Scripture, but Mrs. Jackson has shared them all. At this point, I think she needs to stop with the Scriptures and seek help. God gave us the Bible but He has also given us Christian professionals such as therapists for example who will help us sort out such issues. So let’s pray that  Da’Naia Jackson also stops the social media and seeks help privately…

And for the record, here’s a Christian relationship expert and psychologist, who doesn’t hide the fact the is married, who I think should be followed on social media…

 

 

 

I guess that’s all I have to say on that…

Any thoughts?