While leading worship, singing a song called Miracles by Jesus Culture, the words “I believe in you, you’re the God of miracles” came from Tasha Layton’s mouth. At that very moment, Tasha Layton and her husband, Keith, experienced something quite miraculous.
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You mentioned, off-camera, your struggle with infertility and I know that that is something that impacts so many people right now, but every story is unique, even though it’s universal in a lot of ways, it’s so unique to each person, so I would love if you wouldn’t mind sharing some of that process and journey for you and your husband.
Yeah. My husband, he’s a musician too. I call him a freak of nature because he’s so good at everything.
You’ve seen him on stage with TobyMac.
Yeah. He’s part of Diverse City and he has been for a long time and we love Toby and that camp that I couldn’t have asked for better people for my husband to be traveling with. Apart from our family all the time and so we love them.
But when we got married, he had known for maybe 10 years that he couldn’t have kids and we had been told by doctors it was probably due to a back injury he sustained as a teenager.
So when we got married, I had already been told that I would have to have a surgery and some shots to be able to carry a child and then there’s his story. And so we really just started the process of adoption and I got some packets, I started reading through and researching, and then January 1 of each year, we pray and fast for what God wants for the year. And in the last couple years, it’s actually gotten to be the first three weeks of January because our church does a fast, so I feel like it’s getting longer and longer, but we prayed and fasted for the rest of the year on January 1 and we made our lists and we came together and I looked at the list and I said, “Keith, we don’t need God for any of this.
All of this is stuff that we can achieve in our own strength. We need to ask God for something that if it didn’t happen, it would sting. It would hurt. We need to have that kind of faith.
And so we went back, we split up again into our separate rooms and we’re praying and journaling, and we came back together with a different list, and on that list, I had written “baby” and I was so afraid to tell him because I knew that he had grieved that for so long and dealt with those emotions and he’d always said, “What would it say about God if he couldn’t heal me? And what would it say about me if he wouldn’t?”
And so I did end up telling him and he struggled with it for a few days and he came back to me and he said, “You know what? I’m with you. I’m with you.” And so we prayed throughout the year and one of the things on our list was a trip to Africa for Keith, because I really felt… It’s my happy place. Let’s just be honest. It’s my happy place and I felt like he would understand me better if he went to Africa.
Why is Africa your happy place?
Because I love it. I love the people, I love the culture, I love the food. I always gain weight. It’s amazing. It’s amazing. I love it and what God does there is incredible, and so we had prayed for the ability to take him to Africa, but we had also been saving for another house and so it just wasn’t in our budget.
So we got an email, I think around May or June saying, “Hey, we want you guys to come teach at a worship camp in Uganda.” And it wasn’t a trip for just Keith, it was for both of us.
At that point and they were covering all the cost and it was just an incredible answer to prayer and so we go to Uganda and we’re teaching at this worship camp because they had raised a bunch of money for an orphanage over there, and they asked the kids what they wanted to do with the money. They thought they were going to say a basketball goal and they ended up saying, “We want to learn how to be worship leaders.”
And so we brought the team in, each person taught a different instrument or skill and one night, I was leading a song called Miracles by Jesus Culture. “I believe in you, you’re the God of miracles.”
And I look over to my right and Keith is on the ground crying, and I didn’t… You know, good old Baptist boy, reserved over there and I was like, “Well, Holy Spirit, you’re doing something with him.” And so he comes up to me in the middle of the song, weeping. Mind you, there are thousands of people out there.
And he said, “I think God just healed my back.”
Because he had always had excruciating back pain. Every day, he was complaining about his back. Same injury.
And I can imagine a plane ride to Africa is not good for your back.
No. And then you’re sleeping on cots. It’s a lot, and we had just had a three-hour walk in Istanbul because we got lost and it was this whole thing and he said, “I think God just healed my back. I’m warm all over and I can’t get it to hurt.”
Oh, my goodness.
And he was weeping, and that night, they prayed for us that we’d be able to have a baby and we’re pregnant with Levi two months later.
That is incredible.
So then we had Levi, whose name means “set apart”, and he really is. Oh, my gosh, he’s so precious. He has me wrapped, empty my bank accounts, just you can have whatever you want, you have my heart.
We had Levi and then I thought, “Our family doesn’t feel done. I feel like we’re supposed to have another.” And yet we didn’t know, “God, was that a one-and-done situation? Are we healed completely or did you just give us one?” You know? And so we prayed again, we were on a vacation and literally just prayed again, just he and I together, and within three months, we were pregnant with Lyla, so we have two precious, oh, my gosh, they are just precious babies.
I just… I think God knows what he’s doing, and even when you feel lonely and frustrated and all that, just lean in. I had someone tell me one time, “Depression is just the body’s way of saying something needs to change.” And I’ve seen it as such every time I’ve had a wave of sadness since, and I lean into it instead of avoiding it and it really has changed my life and how I operate, because if I ask myself those two questions, “Am I lying to myself about anything?” And, “What needs to change?” Usually, God works it out pretty quickly.