Join us for a conversation with Kelley Ramsey about waiting in hope through infertility and pregnancy loss. Kelley is the founder of Waiting in Hope Infertility Ministries and has experienced multiple miscarriages and waiting seasons as she has tried to grow her family.
In her heartache, God revealed to her where her true hope really lies—not in a baby—but in her Savior. As she walked with Jesus in her sorrow, she surrendered her desires and trusted God's will for her life. Kelley encourages grieving moms to trust that God knows what is best for them and will use their pain for His glory.
In this episode, we discussed:
Relying on God in moments of utter despair and sorrow
Why you need to grieve in order to find healing
Our identity as mothers and as Christians
Songs of lament in the middle of the waiting season
Intimacy with Jesus in our brokenness
How our neediness leads us to dependence on Christ
Desiring God's will more than having a baby
How babies can become idols and what should our hope be in?
The even-if mentality and coming to a place of surrender
Heaven's perspective and how it changes us
More information about the ministry of Waiting in Hope
Full transcript below.
Each episode has a special Hope Guide that you can download by clicking the button below. It is packed with hope-filled resources and extra information from the episode!
Discussion / Application Questions (leave your answers below in the comments!)
Kelley talks about how she wanted to want God's will more than her own desires (of having a baby). This is so hard. Do you feel that you can trust God with "even-if" kind of faith? Write a prayer of surrender to Him and acknowledge the obstacles in the way.
Kelley says that God wants what is best for us and will use our pain for our good and His glory. Is it hard for you to believe that? Write about it in a journal. Also, write down the ways you have seen Him bring good from your season of sorrow.
In this episode, Ashley and Kelley discuss how wanting (or even having) a baby can become an idol and that being a mother shouldn't be our sole identity. Our hope can't be in a baby but needs to be in Christ. Have you struggled with this? Share about your feelings in a journal.
Graphics to share on social media or pin on Pinterest!
MEET OUR GUEST
Kelley Ramsey is a speaker, writer, and teacher of all things infertility, women, faith, and hope. She is the founder of Waiting in Hope National Infertility Ministries.
Kelley has experienced years of waiting, infertility treatments, and miscarriages. She has written faith-based curriculum for women experiencing infertility to point them toward the true source of Hope.
Connect with Kelley:
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MEET OUR HOST
Ashley Opliger is the Executive Director of Bridget's Cradles, a nonprofit organization based in Wichita, Kansas that donates cradles to over 1,250 hospitals in all 50 states and comforts over 26,000 bereaved families a year.
Ashley is married to Matt and they have three children: Bridget (in Heaven), and two sons. She is a follower of Christ who desires to share the hope of Heaven with families grieving the loss of a baby.
Connect with Ashley:
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JOIN OUR CRADLED IN HOPE COMMUNITY FOR GRIEVING MOMS
Episode 25: Waiting in Hope through Infertility and Loss with Kelley Ramsey
Ashley Opliger: [00:00:00] You’re listening to the Cradled in Hope Podcast on the Edifi Podcast Network. I’m your host, Ashley Opliger. I’m a wife, mom, and follower of Christ who founded Bridget’s Cradles, a nonprofit ministry in memory of my daughter, Bridget, who was stillborn at 24 weeks.
Cradled in Hope is a Gospel-focused podcast for grieving moms to find comfort, hope, and healing after the loss of a baby. We want this to be a safe place for your broken heart to land.
Here, we are going to trust God’s promise to heal our hearts, restore our joy, and use our grief for good. With faith in Jesus and eyes fixed on Heaven, we do not have to grieve without hope. We believe that Jesus cradles us in hope while He cradles our babies in Heaven.
Welcome to the Cradled in Hope Podcast.
Ashley Opliger: [00:00:52] Our guest today is Kelley Ramsey from Waiting in Hope national infertility ministry. Kelley is a speaker, writer, teacher of all things infertility, women, faith, and hope. As the founder of Waiting in Hope, Kelley launches new Waiting in Hope local support groups throughout communities in churches across the country.
She has a passion for discipleship and watching leaders love on women and couples wanting to grow their family but who instead find themselves getting lost in the struggle. Through her own journey of years of waiting, infertility treatments, endometriosis, surgeries, miscarriages, roadblocks, adoption dreams, and a calling to step out and share, Waiting in Hope was started.
In finding purpose in her painful journey, Kelley has seen joy and hope take root and grow blooms of healing in her heart and thousands of others. She has created six Waiting in Hope studies, a curriculum that is now being used by hundreds of women each semester to guide them towards the True Source of hope. I'm excited for you to meet Kelley and hear more about her story and ministry.
Ashley Opliger: [00:01:57] Welcome, Kelley. I'm so grateful that you're here today.
Kelley Ramsey: [00:02:00 ]Thanks for having me.
Ashley Opliger: [00:02:01] Well, we were connected and I was able to learn more about your beautiful ministry Waiting in Hope. And what I love about your story is that this was all created out of your waiting seasons. And so I would love for you to share your motherhood journey and your experience with miscarriage and infertility with us.
Kelley Ramsey: [00:02:21] Yeah, that's a big question.
Ashley Opliger: [00:02:23] I know.
Kelley Ramsey: [00:02:23] And a long one.
Ashley Opliger: [00:02:24] I know.
Kelley Ramsey: [00:02:25] I'm like, “How much time do we have?” So yeah. Waiting in Hope Ministries was really created, like you said, it was during our season of infertility.
We went through about a year all by ourselves. We were the first ones to get married out of any of our friends. And so for us to go a year without having anyone really know what was happening besides a few close friends, we were so isolated. And the enemy was using it in such a terrible way. And it was like, “There's gotta be others out here.”
And after our first loss, it's when it hit me. And I was like, “Whoa, we need people. This is not meant to be done alone.” And that's when I reached out to our church and to the women's director and was like, ”Do you have anything? This is what I'm going through.”
And she was like, “Actually, there's a few of you who've asked.”
And of course, in the conversation, I had said, “I'm willing to do whatever you need.” And so then I became co-leader of what became the infertility support group, which eventually would turn into Waiting in Hope and then would grow from there.
But my motherhood journey was full of so many ups and downs and things I would have never written or understood. And while we're recording this, it's National Infertility Awareness Week and I just shared yesterday about that I'm one in eight, but I'm thankful I'm better because of it.
I'm better because of my infertility journey, something I probably would've never been able to say to you year one or year two, but it was definitely a process of the Lord working through my heart and working into my faith and really pushing those, “Do you trust me, Kelley,” moments.
And it was in those moments of utter despair and sorrow and frustration and roadblocks that it was like, “He is all I have. And if I don't trust Him and allow Him to direct this path in my heart, then I'm going to fall apart because I can't do this. There is no way.”
And so that's probably the biggest overarching theme of my journey to motherhood. We had three losses that were really hard. They were usually pretty early on, but our third one came with no treatment, no trying for infertility’s sake. And it was just so hard because I'm taking these meds and it's taking a month for my hormones to go back to normal. And I just remember crying out to the Lord, “Why can't this just be over? Can't we just move on?”
And I remember the Lord just being like, “Pause, wait, I need you to work through this emotion.” And because in my own, I think, control of the situation I would've just moved ahead. I'd have been like, “Let's move on to the next trying.”
And the Lord just wanted to be like, “You haven't dealt with this and you haven't come to Me with this.” And so it really took that long, extended loss in the third one to be like, “Oh, I actually need to deal with this and not push it aside and not move on as quick as I could to get to the next thing,” which is our natural reaction. We don't know what to do with grief. The world doesn’t know what to do with grief.
Ashley Opliger: [00:05:22] Yeah, it's so uncomfortable to sit in pain, for yourself to sit in it and to feel the emotions. And for me, I always thought, “If I sit in this place too long, I'm going to go to such a dark place. I don't think I'll be able to get out of it.”
And so sometimes I was fearful of allowing myself to feel the full weight and despair of what I was experiencing. But also, as you said, the world is so uncomfortable with grief; it doesn't know how to handle it. And everyone really wants you to get back to normal and to be your old self and to be doing the things that you used to do.
And you almost feel this pressure to be back to yourself and just to push it down and to act normal and to be strong and move on. But we know that's not healthy and that in order for us to heal, we have to grieve first. You cannot have healing without grieving, and grieving it fully and raw and real with the Lord and bringing your entire broken heart to Him, because we can't do this alone.
We can't control it and fix it ourselves. We have to have the Lord's help and we have to have community. And that's a big part of your story is community. And you really see the value in partnering with the local church and being around other women who are walking in this season. Would you share more about what community looked like for you as you started your ministry and as you were grieving yourself?
Kelley Ramsey: [00:06:45] Yeah. So we went to the church and asked what we could do. And so this group started and it was like, “Oh, my goodness! We can find healing and hope, but also understand each other and comfort one another,” because the outside world didn't know what to do with us. The church didn't know what to do with us. And so it just felt like our safe place.
And we were like, “If we can learn to “mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice” in here, then how much easier is it going to be on the outside world? How much easier is it going to be when so-and-so announces that they're pregnant or tells us that they're lapping us now and they're onto their second child and we've been trying way longer?
It's so much easier when you know you have that community. And so Waiting in Hope and partnering with the local church became so important for us because we knew that's where we could really see lives change. We could see heart change. We could see motivation change.
And I love when I get to hear from our leaders and our group members, how they're not so focused anymore about the outcome and the things that we desire and want. Those are good, and those are godly and they're beautiful, but it's so much bigger than that. I was writing the other day about just how much the Lord wanted my heart, how much He wanted to woo me and show me even through this pain how much I was loved.
And I know that doesn't make sense because I'm going through hardship and God is sovereign and He's big, and He could have said no to that. And so I know that's a hard conversation. We're not going to go there right now, but I just kept going back to who God is. And if God is holy and He is sovereign, and He allows what He knows will be best for us, then this pain is something that He knows He'll use for my best.
And my best was to sit in that sorrow, to join in with community and have others hold my arms up like Moses had, and to watch the body of Christ really love me and support me and hold me when I'm crying, because I have nothing left because that pregnancy didn't take and stay, and that treatment didn't work or that baby didn't make it past 11 weeks or 12 weeks.
And so we saw as the Spirit did this thing where He allowed us to be comforted and really see what the church was meant for, number one, and number two, to see that the Holy Spirit is our comfort, that the Lord enters into those moments and covers you and goes, “This is how much I love you, that I would use pain to show you how dear you are to Me, to show you that I am more important than all the things you want in this world. And all the pretty houses and all the pretty cars and all the pretty things and all the people around you. I'm the one who will hold you when you're, like David, on your face because you're in the pit.”
And the songs of lament in Psalms became my cry. I didn't know what to pray, what to say. I'm tearful right now thinking about it. And it was Psalm 42, “My tears have been my food day and night.” I started pouring out what David would say, because I didn't have anything anymore.
And that's when God really met me, where that lament, my song, and cries became songs of praise because I realized who God was and how He was going to work and hold me. Not that it would end, not that everything would be roses and butterflies and rainbows, but that it was going to be okay because He was with me.
I feel like the Lord, that's how He comforted me in my grief. I feel like that's what I've seen Him do in others and that we push them towards in Waiting in Hope and our partnerships with churches.
And we train leaders and allow them to really go beside these women because either they're going through it or they're just past it. And they get to watch as God uses their pain for purpose and gets to bring beauty from what didn't make sense, and as they go, “Oh, I was there,” just like what you guys get to do. “I've been there and I'm with you and you're going to be okay.” I mean, there's nothing more like Jesus than that.
Ashley Opliger: [00:10:53] Yes. As you were talking, I kept thinking of the word surrender as well, because like you said, God just wants our heart. And for me, when I was walking through infertility, I experienced infertility with both of my little boys, over a year of fertility treatments and waiting and questioning and wondering, “Can my body even get pregnant? And if it can get pregnant, can I have a healthy baby that will live full term?”
And so I walked through a lot of grief and questions with my own body and all of that, but I kept having to surrender each time. I would wait the two-week wait between when you thought you would conceive and when you could take the pregnancy test, and it would be another negative test.
And as you very well know, it's just a rollercoaster of hope and despair. You're just so hopeful, each cycle that comes around, this is going to be the time that you see the two pink lines. And then just all hope seems to be lost when it's not.
And I think from riding that rollercoaster I realized I have to surrender not only my plans for my life, but also to accept His will and surrender my desires to be a mom. Because I think when everything is taken away from you and you lose a child, you lose hopes and dreams. When you have nothing left but Him and He's your comforter. The intimacy that you have with your Savior is unlike anything you can experience in any other season of life.
I can't say that I've ever known His love and His comfort or His presence in any other season, but the ones where I'm on my face and I'm just so broken and so needy and so reliant on Him to be everything to me, because there's been times in my life where it feels like everything's been taken away and every hope and desire I've had in this world is gone.
And when you think about it, He is all that we really have. We can't control anything about this world. We can't control our fertility. We can't control our children's lives in the womb and outside of the womb. We truly can only rely on Him. He's our only foundation that’s sure and strong.
And so I love that you shared how the Lord was so close to you in that time, and really allowed you to accept that this was His will for you, even though it was painful, it was good for you, and it brought Him glory. And that's a hard place to come to.
So how did you get to that place of surrender? Because it's hard not to want to control everything. And I know the infertility journey, it's hard. You want to take matters into your own hands and fix it and take this treatment, go to this doctor, do this new thing that someone told you to do.
Kelley Ramsey: [00:13:42] Yes.
Ashley Opliger: [00:10:42] And of course you have people offering their advice and everything, which is most of the time not helpful, but how did you get to this place where you really could surrender everything to Him?
Kelley Ramsey: [00:13:53] Yeah. So I think you were talking about this, our neediness or desperation for Him leads to dependence. So we're like Hannah, face down, nothing left, crying so much that we look like we're hysterical. It's in those moments where we have nothing else that surrender is easy, when we see ourselves in light of who we really are.
We are small, He is big and grand. And though this doesn't make sense, we don't have any fake control. Infertility, you talked about this, there's a lot of fake control in how we can potentially fix it. And within infertility and miscarriage, there are these fake feelings of control. After miscarriage. You're like, “I should be able to move on.”
For myself, one of my miscarriages wouldn't end. Well, it never really even started. So I go to the doctor and there's no heartbeat. And baby has stopped growing two weeks prior is what they found. And so here I am with this miscarriage that won't end. And so I feel like they give me things to help me along because I'm not miscarrying. Baby is just sitting in there.
And so I'm already frustrated, feeling like I should be able to change this or make this better. And the doctor is giving me suggestions and telling me what needs to happen next. And I pretend and feel like I have control, but I have no control of when and how this is going to happen. And when I'm going to be in the bathroom on the floor or when the bleeding is going to stop or end or even start.
And so for me, there was this place of being on the floor, like we talked about with David, where it was like I had nothing left. It happened several times in my journey, whether it was just infertility or with my losses, where I was very much like Hannah and it was like, “God, You have to do this. You have to take this. I want what You want.”
And sometimes that even starts with, “I want to want Your will because I want my will so badly and I desire so badly to have this answered and to have a healthy baby, but I want to want Your will more.”
And that is really hard. It does not come easily and it's definitely fought for. And for me, it was just continuing to press in to Him in those deep, dark moments and to have people hold me up. And then that surrender became easier.
That surrender didn't just become when I was so dependent, because I was so desperate for Him. That dependency is when that surrender can happen. And that dependency only comes from us meeting God.
In our normal life and in culture, we're good. We're fine as a whole; we typically don't need a God, if you will, the God. We've got it all together for the most part. But there's in moments of things like this where we have nothing else that God's like, “This is how I show you that I'm here, because you guys get lost and not seeing Me because you think you have this control of your life.”
And I mean, He did the same thing with the Israelites. He did the same thing over and over again in the Old Testament of them feeling like, “We got this. We'll just stay in slavery. That seems a lot better. Can you just send us back there because we know what to expect there. And here in the wilderness, we don't know what's going to happen. We don't know if we're going to have food, if we're going to have water.”
And He's like, “I will take care of your needs.”
Oh, that's not easy. It's painful, but it's worth it.
Ashley Opliger: [00:17:23] We hope you are enjoying this episode so far. We want to take a quick break to tell you about some resources our ministry provides to grieving moms.
On our website, bridgetscradles.com, you can find hope-filled resources on grieving and healing including memorial ideas, quotes & Scripture, featured stories, and recommended books and other organizations. We share ideas on how to navigate difficult days such as due dates, Heaven Days, and holidays.
In addition, every month I lead Christ-centered support groups for bereaved moms called Hope Gatherings, both in-person and online. You can find a list of upcoming dates and sign up for our next support group on our website.
Lastly, we would love for you to connect with us on Facebook and Instagram. You can find us on these three pages: @bridgetscradles, @cradledinhope, and my personal page @ashleyopliger. You can also join our private Cradled in Hope Facebook group for grieving moms to find community. We would be honored to hear your baby’s story and be praying for you by name. Now let’s get back to our episode.
Ashley Opliger: [00:18:34] And there’s so much beauty that comes from surrendering and realizing that He is all that you need and He is all that you desire. And especially in the infertility journey, at least for me, I feel like there were parts of my journey where I was making having a baby an idol, almost.
Of course, having Bridget, I became a mother, but I didn't have a baby in my arms. And I had so grieved her and was longing to have a baby. I mean, I remember going out to Bridget's grave in the middle of the night one night after we had a negative pregnancy test, after we were trying again.
And I was bawling and crying out to the Lord and so distraught over the journey. And I think when I finally came to a place that, that even-if mentality, “Even if You don't give us another baby, even if I don't have a living child in my home, I'm still going to love You. I'm still going to trust You.”
That's in the book of Daniel with the story of the three that were in the fire, they were basically being told to bow down to this idol of King Nebuchadnezzar, and they chose not to. And they said, “Even if the Lord doesn't rescue us from these flames, we're still not going to bow down. We're still going to worship the one true King.”
And I think for me, when I came to a place of surrender, “Even if, God, even if You don't grant me these desires of my heart, I am going to follow You and trust You.” And that's a really hard place to be at.
And maybe you could speak more to this as well, because in my line of ministry, I meet so many moms who, maybe they've been trying for years and years, they've gone through infertility for years, and then they finally get their rainbow baby, or so they think a rainbow baby, and then they go through a miscarriage or they have a stillborn baby.
And it's devastating not only because they lost the baby, but because it had been years of praying for this miracle baby. And then for them to finally have their baby and to lose the baby, it's just absolutely devastating.
Or I have stories of moms that come to our ministry and maybe they've had some living children and then they have a loss, whether it's miscarriage or stillbirth, and then they struggle to get pregnant again. And they question, “Okay, is this the end of our family? Is this the end of our story, loss after loss and struggling to get pregnant?”
And I always pray over these moms that they would one day have a living baby. Of course, that's an honorable and noble prayer to have, but at the same time, our hope can't be in a rainbow baby. I think we should hope for a rainbow baby, but if our ultimate hope is in having another child, I think that's a hard place to be in because we can't guarantee that, as much as I desire that for women.
What would you say about that as well? Because when you say, ‘waiting in hope’, you're talking about the Ultimate Hope [of Jesus].
Kelley Ramsey: [00:21:43] Yeah. I mean the whole reason our name is Waiting in Hope and not waiting to be a mom or mothering or something like that, is that the hope is Jesus. We are waiting through hardship and if it's not this, it's going to be something else.
But I walk beside women who are like, “This really helped me, my infertility and my grieving and loss journey helped me because I didn't know what was coming ahead.” That's my story. Following our infertility in our lives, we had a major house fire. I had a major surgery, brain surgery. It's been one thing after another that the Lord has had to allow those same tools to be used in the hardship of life.
And so I love that you talked about, the even-if. That is one of my favorite stories. And within our curriculum and our ministry work, we pray that our women will get to that point of, “Even if You do not answer, I will still praise You and You are still a good God,” because not everyone's going to have that rainbow and that big, red, happy bow at the end of their story.
Some of us are just going to have loss, or some of us are going to choose that our journey is over, even though it's not the way we pictured it to be. And maybe we're childless, but God does something different and has different plans for us that don't make sense, that aren't what we would write, but does not mean that they're not going to be more beautiful and more God-honoring and glorifying than if we had it.
And so even-if story is us realizing that, yes, baby can become an idol and something we want so desperately that it takes over that place that is only for God, where all we can see is baby. And all we can see is the hope of that baby, that becomes the hope. Baby becomes the hope. But baby can't hold that, whether it's lost, that's not fair to that baby, in your heart, or whether that baby comes to full term and is living and you're holding it. That baby can't hold that hope. It's not possible.
Ashley Opliger: [00:23:44] And that baby can't replace the babies that you've lost and also can't redeem the years of pain and waiting, because even though I have two healthy rainbow baby boys, it has not brought redemption from losing Bridget in that sense.
I'm so grateful for my boys and I cherish them, but I still very much grieve their sister and they would never be able to replace Bridget’s life and our mourning for her. And in general, I've had to learn with living children, I have to surrender them just as much as I've had to surrender Bridget because I can't control their lives either, and the hardships that they go through, and ultimately the number of days that they will live, either.
I've learned as a mom, whether it's through a baby that went to Heaven or a baby that stays on earth, I have to surrender them. They are not my hope. They cannot be my identity. Being a mom is a gift that God's given me, and it's a role that I play on this earth, but it is not my sole identity.
And I have struggled with that in the past of making being a mom or having a baby, my identity. I mean, through my infertility, I remember being obsessed with charting and making sure I was taking the medications and the timing of making the baby. I mean, all of it, it can become so overwhelming and stressful, all-consuming.
Kelley Ramsey: [00:25:15] Yeah, all-consuming is the perfect word in every way, because that's all you sometimes have to focus on, because there's so many things you have to do or can do or should do or can try, or, oh my goodness! And therefore you have this false control of, “I can do this,” and the world tells us we're powerful and we're warriors.
And yes, the Lord gives us strength and we can overcome this, but it's so much different than that. Like you said, we create these idols of wanting to create our identity in something. And the Lord’s whispering, “Do you trust Me? Do you see that you're My daughter? You’re so much more to me than a mother,” or than whatever that role is that you are trying to claim.
And then the enemy whispers the lies of, “You're not important,” or, “You're not special. You're not enough,” or, oh, they're so tricky. Right? Mine just kept being like, “You're not worthy. You're not worthy of love.”
And the Lord kept whispering, “You’re My beloved, You’re My beloved. I still love you. I'm not doing this to hurt you. And I'm actually holding this pain with you.”
And that's what I pictured. I asked the Lord, I can't remember where it was in my journey. I have an issue with memory, brain surgery, so I can't remember what part of my journey it was. But there's this part where I asked the Lord, “Where were You in that moment? Where were You in that pain?”
And this is something counselors do a lot with trauma too, and anything we're facing right now, whether it's loss or infertility is a trauma. And so I asked Jesus, “Where were You?”
And I just had this picture of Him holding me. It was like these big hands, which sound creepy, but it wasn't, these big hands and He's just holding me.
And there's also this moment where you were talking about your living children not replacing Bridget. And I remember later on, I had Carter, my first son, and I had already had two miscarriages and I remember someone asked me, “How do you move on from that? How does it feel now to be a mother?”
And I remember thinking and asking the Lord about that and Him reminding me, as I looked at my son, “Those were different children. Those were different children that I'm now holding and caring for. And because this world is broken and sin is here, that happened. But I'm holding them and they’re Mine,” and Him being like, “They're different children.”
And that was really encouraging and comforting to me, because I'm looking at this child and going, “Why you and not them? And why now and not then?” And I'm looking at him and I’m going, “God has such a purpose for him that I don't understand that is meant for right now, such a time as this.
And in Acts, it tells us we're placed in the places that we are for God's glory. And so that's something I've encouraged in him constantly, as he's grown up, as I'm like, “God has a purpose for you, so much so that you have brothers and sisters in Heaven because God knew you needed to be here.”
And those were different children. And for me, my losses were so correlated in time. So the first one was a year before I get pregnant and conceived Carter. And the second one was several months before I conceived Carter. And so the thing is that I'm like, “Those children, he wouldn't be here, potentially. He wouldn't have been here if those two would have made it.
And not that makes it better or easier, but there was this comfort of God going, “I have a purpose for him that you'll never understand. I needed him here.”
And so there was this peace that came from that of me wrestling with, “Where were you, Jesus? Why?”
And He'll just give you little snippets of going, “This is what you need to see.”
You get this tiny little puzzle piece and you're like, “Okay,” where you read something in Scripture and you're like, “Okay, that makes me understand better, or trust more, or be able to be thankful. As hard as that is to be thankful, that was needed for me. And I needed to learn that because I would have a loss after him before my second living child.
And that one was really hard. We ended up naming her Hope, for the ministry, because we'd restart because it had fallen apart and eventually do what we do now. And Hope was really hard because we got to 13 weeks and we thought, “This is it. We didn't have to try for this one. It was just this gift. And here we are praising God,” as we should.
We weren't cautious about it. We were very open and shared early, didn't do all the things that I feel like we typically do of, “Let me hold it back and let me protect my heart and myself,” which is funny. It's another controlling, instead of going, “God's got me. Let me just rejoice in every day I get of this pregnancy and this life.”
And then it was just ripped out, and we were just like, “What just happened? God, we are giving You glory. This was amazing redemption and beauty.”
I don't know why. And if you're there right now, friend, and you're listening, I don't know why those babies have been taken from you and those pregnancies have ended or stillbirths have happened, but there can be beauty from ashes.
I have seen that over and over again of God whispering His love to you and telling you that you are beloved and you are special, and that they matter, and that He's holding them. I know He is. And I'm praying that you see that too. That's what I want for you right now is that you would see that God loves you and loves them.
I feel like you think about Heaven more than you ever have. Eternity holds our hope. And so if He's holding them with our eternity. There's no better picture. So if anything, if you need comfort, just start looking into Heaven. Start asking God about Heaven and praying, and that will instantly change your heart and your mindset because you will have a different vision of what this pain really means.
Ashley Opliger: [00:31:08] Yes. As Christians, we are citizens of Heaven, and that is our ultimate home. And we are supposed to have our eyes fixated on Heaven and on Jesus. But when you've lost a baby and your own flesh and blood, your precious child lives there, I think brings such a different perspective and a longing and a connection to Heaven than you would otherwise.
Because literally my daughter, who lived inside of my womb, who was flesh of my flesh, she left my body, and her soul through my body, I don't know how it works with souls, but went to Heaven through my body. And on one side, the physical side of it is sad to think that's where she died. But my womb was the place where she went straight to Heaven and got to see the face of Jesus.
And so to think of her going straight into Glory, it's a beautiful thought as well. I think if we could even see a glimpse of Heaven for a second, our entire grieving journey would be so different because we would know they're there. It's a beautiful place.
I've heard. I think it was Billy Graham said, “If we could see it for a glimpse, we would never want our loved ones to come back here,” because why would you want them here?
And it's hard for humans, because of course we want our children here. We want to raise them and to see them growing up and make all these memories. But we can't grasp the wonder and the beauty of Heaven. And one day we'll get to be there and we'll be there for eternity with them. And that's our ultimate hope.
And I love that you named your daughter Hope because that word is so key. We use it here in our ministry and as you do. So would you share about Waiting in Hope, the resources and services that you provide to women who are going through loss and infertility?
Kelley Ramsey: [00:33:00] Yeah. We partner with local churches to start support groups. We have curriculum that they go through, which is usually about two-year curriculum that really does guide them through their process, whether that's topical, then it leads to very Biblical application of where our heart needs to go.
And so it was done very purposely, not by me, but by the Lord as He put it together. And so we partner with them to try to train their leaders and prepare them to do this throughout the. So find a local group.
We also have couples’ retreats. I was telling Ashley before we started the podcast that is our heart's desire is to take care of the marriage, because within loss and within infertility and this waiting and this hardship, our marriages take the brunt of the pain. And we grieve differently, and we struggle differently, and we walk through this waiting differently.
And so we want to make sure that unit stays united and stays focused, that you're a family even before you have a baby or you become pregnant. That is so key. And so we do couples’ retreats. We have some that are online, and then we have some in-person. Hopefully, now that COVID is calmed down, we'll be able to restart those as well.
Ashley Opliger: [00:34:19] That’s beautiful. I love that you not only are caring for the moms but also the marriages because it is so important. It is so stressful going through infertility and especially as the weeks and the months and the years, if you've been walking this journey for a long time, it can add a lot of tension and strife in a marriage.
And so I'm really grateful that you have specific resources for couples. We will be sure to link all of her resources for Waiting in Hope on our show notes and in our Hope Guide, so be sure to check that out after you are finished listening to this episode.
Kelley Ramsey: [00:34:59] Yeah, waitinginhopeinfertility.com is where you can find our website. We have lots of great resources, blog posts, different stories. You can also find a group to join through the website or connect to join online support group.
We also have an online network that is outside of social media to give you a space that's safe and protected, where we have things like the couples or courses or just a community that you can understand and, “Okay, I have endometriosis too,” and you can click and find those people.
If you are on social media, by all means, take a break. If you can't handle that, I feel like that's always a needed disclaimer. Don't be on there if you're getting upset.
Ashley Opliger: [00:35:54] I love that you have a network that's outside of social media. That's a very smart and needed ministry, so thank you for doing that.
Thank you for everything that you are doing for all these families. That's definitely a ministry birthed out of a lot of pain and waiting, but we know God does not waste the waiting and He does not waste our pain and I love that you're a living testimony of that. And so would you close us in prayer?
Kelley Ramsey: [00:36:21] I’d love to, thank you.
Lord, we come to You right now and we thank You. We thank You for this space. We thank You for these ministries that we get to take part in to do Your work of loving these women, of loving these women who are just hurting.
Father. I pray that You would speak right now to whoever is listening, to Your daughter, and that You would say, “I love you,” that You're telling them they are beloved and that they are cared for and that You are with them. May they remember that and see that right now.
I pray that this episode would encourage them, would uplift them, would have them cry alongside me, and to see and hear Your heart for them.
Father, I pray more than anything that You would heal the wounds that have been created and that You would grow beautiful skin to cover those wounds of Your new life and of Your beauty and of how You restore things.
Lord, I pray for healthy babies, Lord, as only You can do. I pray for changed hearts and I pray for dependence on You. Lord, we love You and we trust You even-if, and even-when. It's in Your Name I pray, Jesus. Amen.
Ashley Opliger: [00:37:32] Thank you, Kelley. Thank you so much for being here.
Kelley Ramsey: [00:37:35] It was so great to meet you.
Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss new episodes when they release on the 1st and 15th of every month. You can also find this episode’s show notes and a full transcript on our website at bridgetscradles.com/podcast.
There you can also download a free PDF for each episode, called the Hope Guide, which is filled with notes, Scripture, links, discussion questions, and so much more. Be sure to leave your email address so that we can keep you updated on podcast episodes, upcoming support groups, and other hope-filled resources.
If you’re interested in volunteering or donating to Bridget’s Cradles in memory of a baby in Heaven, you can find information on our website on how you can get involved and spread hope to other grieving families.
One way you can help is by leaving a review of this podcast on iTunes [or the Apple Podcasts app]. Consider the minute of your time as a way YOU can personally share the hope that you’ve found here with another mom whose heart is broken and needs healing.
Thank you so much for listening and sharing. Until next time, we will be praying for you. And remember, as Jesus cradles our babies in Heaven, He cradles us in hope. Though we may grieve, we do not grieve without hope.
Cradled in Hope is part of the Edifi Podcast Network, a collection of faith-inspiring podcasts on Edifi, the world’s most powerful Christian podcasting app. To listen to Cradled in Hope and find other podcasts by leading Christian voices, download the Edifi app in the Apple and Google Play stores or online at edifi.app. Thank you so much for listening.
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