During this week of season openers for Major League Baseball teams, a Triple-A pitcher for the Texas Rangers organization has much to celebrate. Jon Edwards underwent surgery to remove testicular cancer in December; one day later, his doctor had a good, although difficult to explain, report.

Now, defying the odds, Jon and his wife, Katelyn Edwards, are expecting their first baby this fall.

Jon shared his story earlier this week.

“Even though I had grown up in a Christian home, I have something of a prodigal son story. The St. Louis Cardinals drafted me out of high school in 2006. When I first started playing professional baseball within that organization, I got distracted by various things and was relieved in 2010.

I cried out to the Lord and asked for His help. I had identified with baseball as my identity for so long. He showed me what I was supposed to do and who I was. I began to develop a personal relationship with God and trust Him—with baseball and every other area of my life.

In December, I noticed some things were not right. One of my testicles was enlarged and things were not functioning as they are supposed to; I knew I needed to see a doctor. Our primary care physician referred me to a urologist, who immediately sent me to have imaging done.

Soon after, the urologist notified me it was testicular cancer. He was very concerned this was something that could spread to my lymph nodes and beyond.

When you hear you have cancer, it’s a big deal. One day I felt like I was getting ready for the season, and the next day everything came to a halt. I remember coming out of there holding back tears, then crying with Katelyn.

I was thankful I had her and other family praying for me, encouraging me. They reminded me of God’s promises—that He wants me healthy, and Jesus paid the price for healing. We began to hold fast to that promise and trust God with the results.

The day after surgery, the CAT scan came back clean: my lymph nodes, torso, everything completely cancer-free.

After we got through the surgery and receiving the good report, it really re-sparked a conversation about when the right timing would be to start a family.

So we were in Surprise, Arizona, at spring training and it was: Surprise, you’re pregnant!

One day after we found out we were pregnant, Katelyn sent a text message and used the phrase “super daddy” about me. In that moment, it really sunk in: Wow, I’m a dad. To be called that I felt excited, blessed, privileged; there’s a lot of emotion in that. It made me walk with my chest out a little more.

I really want people to know God loves them. When people see me, I want them to see how much Jesus has in store for them. A lot of people know God is sovereign, but not as many know how much He wants to be involved in every detail of our lives.

During the off-season, the message I share with youth is: Know your identity in Christ and be solid in that. Because when they do, they make better choices and they don’t have to go through some of the hard things I experienced when I first entered the “real world.”

I desire to be a man of integrity who walks with the Lord. When people see our family, I want them to see a happy, joyful family that loves the Lord.”