Growing up, Tierra Matthews didn’t go to church. “Jesus was not a household name,” she recalls. But in Middle School, a friend invited her to attend Stampede, “I wanted to know so much more about this Jesus guy.” After years of searching, at the age of 19, she felt a tug in her spirit, “just go to church.” Tierra found herself at back at McKinney in a worship service, at the place where the first seed was planted. It was there that she read about A Time For Women in the bulletin and knew she had to go. Despite nerves and fear, she attended her first Bible study in Spring of 2013. "It was fantastic and like nothing that I’d ever known existed before. All those women together studying the Bible, it was nuts to me, but I definitely knew I wanted to be a part of that. So, I kept going.” Although she was growing and seeking Jesus, she still had a lot of questions, “I was getting pretty frustrated and still not at the point that I thought that I should be.” After one Tuesday morning study in the Spring of 2017, a friend asked her if she’d like to go through A Christ Centered Life together. When they finished, Tierra felt like she finally knew who Jesus was. “I wanted to scream from the rooftops that I finally understood. Somebody had finally explained this all to me!” Over the course of the next year, God began to do huge things in Tierra’s life: her parents were finally back in church, and Tierra discovered she was pregnant with a son – Levi. On Easter 2018, a year to the day since Tierra connected with Christ, she was able to look back on all that God had done with joy. “I attended church with my husband, children, and my parents. We took a lot of family photos that day. I was so happy and proud that it was my one-year anniversary of being a Christian. It was an awesome day” she recalled.
The next day, at a gestational diabetes screening, she felt Levi moving. That evening, exhausted from the day, she assumed he was also settling down to rest. But after a couple of hours of stillness, the panic began to set in. When she couldn’t detect a heartbeat, she told her husband to put their daughters to bed while she drove to the hospital. It was on that drive that the reality of the situation began to sink in. “I just started screaming at God, ‘Please don’t do this to me. Please let my baby move, please let him be alive!’” Tierra remembers pulling in a parking spot at the hospital to park and then pulling out again, “I went driving around the hospital maybe to give the baby a little more time, maybe to give myself a little more time, to give God more time to work a miracle.”
In the hospital, her worst fears were confirmed: no heart rate. Devastated, she started to make calls to her family and her best friend who she’d met at A Time for Women. Surrounded by friends and family, she wondered how this could be happening. “I remember thinking that this was it, I wasn’t going to be able to go on anymore, I wasn’t going to be able to face tomorrow or the next day or the next day after that. I wouldn’t be able to show my face at church again. I didn’t want people looking at me. I felt like maybe God had turned his back on me. That he didn’t love me like I thought he did. If he did, how could he let this happen to me? I felt so alone.”
After things had settled down, Tierra texted her Tuesday morning leader to tell everybody about Levi, and ask to ask them to pray. “And then I went to sleep that night. I can’t explain it. We just went to sleep and all my previous thoughts of how am I going to stay in this world when my baby is not here anymore, all those thoughts, just vanished. They no longer existed.” People were praying.
In the aftermath, the Matthews received visits from church members and friends, “that was huge part in the healing for my husband and me.” Cards started pouring in from friends she’d met at A Time for Women, “They were from my sisters in Christ. And all these cards, they were so important. They were my breath. They were my lifeline. I just needed to hear more about my God and my Jesus and that everyone was praying for me.” The meal train for her family was so full, people were turned away.
Tierra said to another friend at the time, “I cannot believe the love that is radiating from all sides. I feel the deep pulse of the church surrounding me and it is truly astonishing. My God has provided so much comfort. I can’t explain it, but I feel so much peace. I am not sad for Levi, but happy! He is in a better place than we are.”
After tragedy, Tierra is so grateful for the community at Tuesday morning Bible study. She says that discipleship changed her life and now she is discipling others. She would love for all women to experience A Time for Women on Tuesdays. “I’ve felt intimidation, and the fear of being alone, but it was the best thing to do! It has lasting impressions and is the gift that keeps on giving. God’s people are worth knowing. We were created to be in community.