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Mother’s Day EXCLUSIVE: Gospel Superstar Tasha Cobbs Leonard Opens Up About Infertility and Finding Hope in Heartbreak

Read more of Tasha's inspiring story in her new book Do It Anyway — on sale now!

Tasha Cobbs Leonard stood in her living room, tears streaming down her face as her heart tore in two. She’d just returned home from attending the 2014 Stellar Awards for Gospel music, and mere moments before, she’d been riding high from her seven nominations, amazed at all the good God was doing in her life. But then she received the phone call that left her shattered.

“Your dad had a heart attack while driving,” her cousin had said, as shock washed over Tasha like a tidal wave. A few agonizing minutes later, Tasha’s brother called to ­confirm the unthinkable, “Sis, he’s gone.”

Tasha Cobbs Leonard and her father, Bishop Fritz Cobbs
Tasha Cobbs Leonard and her father, Bishop Fritz Cobbs just before he passed

As the tears poured from her eyes, all Tasha could do was pray. “Thank You, God, for choosing me to be fathered by Bishop Fritz Cobbs, one of Your greatest gifts.”

Seven days later, Tasha was set to attend the 56th Grammy Awards, where she was nominated for Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance.

Struggling with grief, Tasha wondered how she’d make it through the ceremony without her dad, who’d been her biggest fan and supporter. Then she remembered her father had joked he wouldn’t be there anyway. Only because he can’t miss a Sunday at church, she’d thought with a smile. Suddenly, her father’s wise words echoed in her heart: When it gets ­challenging, will you keep going anyway?

The following Sunday, Tasha pushed through her sorrow and attended the Grammys. And when her name was called as the winner, Tasha made her way to the stage, wrapped in a swirl of emotions. Holding up her award, she said, “This is dedicated to my father.” And the entire academy stood to their feet and erupted in applause.

Tasha Cobbs Leonard giving her Grammy acceptance speech and dedicating her award to her father at the 56th Grammy Awards on January 26, 2014 in Los Angeles
Tasha Cobbs Leonard giving her Grammy acceptance speech and dedicating her award to her father at the 56th Grammy Awards on January 26, 2014 in Los AngelesGetty/Michael Buckner/WireImage

Tasha Cobbs Leonard finds blessings in disguise

In 2018, Tasha would once again have to rely on the strength and resilience her father taught her. A year into her marriage to Kenny Leonard, her producer, the physical pain and fatigue that Tasha had struggled with for years became unbearable. After seeing a doctor, she was diagnosed with severe endometriosis.

Tasha Cobbs Leonard and her husband, Kenny
Tasha Cobbs Leonard and her husband, KennyJeremiah Drummond

“We should remove your ovaries,” Tasha’s doctors encouraged. But she felt defeated. She loved being a mom to Kenny’s three beautiful kids, but having a child had always been Tasha’s dream.

We’ll do whatever it takes to have a baby, Tasha and Kenny decided.

Once a month, the couple flew from their home in North Carolina to Houston for treatment from a specialist. After a year, the endometriosis had cleared up enough to attempt in vitro fertilization. “Maybe this is the moment,” Tasha told Kenny. “Maybe God is giving us a window of opportunity!”

But, of their three embryos, only one was healthy enough to implant. Then, just before a performance at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tasha got the heartbreaking news that she’d lost the baby. “How do I sing about my faith when I have none left?” Tasha asked Kenny as desperation and pain set in.

But Tasha, remembering her dad’s words, “Do it anyway,” took the stage that night.

Tasha Cobbs Leonard performing at the Ryman just moments after she got the devastating news of her miscarriage

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Before going out, she confessed to her team that her faith was being tested. “I’ve seen God do miracles. But sometimes you can be faced with something so difficult that you still question,” she said with a shaky voice and tears streaming down her face. “But I know that even if God doesn’t perform the miracle in your life, it doesn’t mean He can’t!”

Tasha Cobbs Leonard performing
Despite her pain, the lessons her father taught her have stuck with her throughout her lifetime — giving her strength and hope even during her hardest momentsAshley Wright-Jolly

For the next three years, the couple battled infertility. Finally, Kenny suggested, “How about adoption?” And Tasha felt a stirring in her heart. Maybe this is the path God wants us to take, she thought.

An answered prayer

After paperwork and prayers, the adoption was complete. And in 2021, they joyfully welcomed Asher — whose name means “happy and laughter” — into their family.

Now, Tasha Cobbs Leonard and her husband, 
Kenny, cherish their 
blended family of six
Now, Tasha Cobbs Leonard and her husband, Kenny, cherish their blended family of six

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Now 21⁄2 years old, Asher’s life is a testimony to having faith in God’s plans, and being his mom is Tasha’s greatest joy. Despite the pain she endured, she’s reminded this Mother’s Day of all her blessings.

“God causes all things to work together for our good even when we’re in the season that doesn’t feel good,” Tasha tells FIRST for Women. “He is there for us on the other side. I can see Him and His hand moving throughout every moment of that hard season — even in the moments of doubt.”

Today, Tasha wants everyone to know that God keeps His promises and to always remember the advice of her beloved father: “When it gets hard, dig deep within your faith and do it anyway.”

Tasha and her son, Asher
Tasha and her son, AsherJeremiah Drummond

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Tasha’s Mother’s Day Self-Care Tips:

Feel refreshed: “Whether I’m on a plane, getting prepared for my day, getting the baby ready or even if I’m going to fall asleep, I will still turn on the Bible,” Tasha shares. “Most people don’t know you can play the Bible app out loud! Then sometimes those Scriptures will come back to my mind when I need them. If you’re tired, weary or just mentally drained, let it play. It is life-giving and refreshing.”

Live in the moment: “I used to never stop to celebrate moments. I was just living in whatever was next,” she admits. “But now, I try to live in the now, especially as a mom. My husband will see me working like a workhorse and he’ll make me stop and ask, ‘How do you feel right now? Are you stressed? Do you need to take a rest?’ Ask one person to help you manage stress. I’ve given people in my life permission to help me stay in the moment.”

Take life day by day: “In any season or in any situation, you can get back up again,” says Tasha. “I believe that every day, we must choose life, and if you fail that day, get up and try again tomorrow. Sometimes, you just have to take it day by day and minute by minute. If I fail this minute, then the next minute, I’m going to get up and try again. But I don’t beat myself up anymore. Tomorrow is another chance.

For more of Tasha’s inspiring story, pick up her new book, Do It Anyway — on sale now!

Do It Anyway by Tasha Cobbs Leonard
Do It Anyway by Tasha Cobbs Leonard
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