Episode 26 - Why Prophecy Gives Us Hope to Be Reunited with our Babies in Heaven with Todd Hampson
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Join us for a conversation with Todd Hampson about why Bible Prophecy gives us hope to see our babies again in Heaven. Todd is the co-host of the Prophecy Pros' Podcast and a grieving father to two babies in Heaven.
Todd shares about the unexpected death of his son, Ethan, and how his faith proved to be real as he trusted in God to carry him through. His love for Scripture and Bible Prophecy allowed him to find hope in the midst of his grief. Todd encourages us to focus on our glorious future and spend the short amount of time we have on earth to reach people for Christ.
In this episode, we discussed:
The apologetic of fulfilled prophecy and how it led to Todd's salvation
Grieving differently than your spouse from a father's perspective
Faith becoming a matter of life and death and moving from theory to reality
The urgency in reaching people for Christ now
Why people aren't talking about Bible prophecy
Systems of theology within eschatology (the study of the End Times)
Interpreting the Bible literally and taking God's Word at face value
What Heaven will be like
Looking forward to the Rapture as a reunion with our babies
What will we do during the 7-Year Tribulation and the Millennial Kingdom?
What is the Bema Seat of Christ?
How old will our babies be in Heaven?
Where is the hope for grieving parents in these dark times?
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!)
Todd shares that death forces you to think about eternity and whether or not you really believe the Bible. For him, losing his son was a pivotal moment where his faith moved from theory to reality. How do you feel your faith has been affected after the loss of your baby?
Todd talks about having vision and staying focused on our glorious future in Heaven with our babies. When we have a clear vision of our future, we should spend our lives reaching people for Christ. How does the loss of your baby and perspective change give you an urgency to tell others about Jesus? What could you do to live out your faith more boldly?
In this episode, we talk a lot about interpreting the Bible literally and taking God's Word at face value, including when we read about future prophecy. What did you learn in this episode about the End Times? What questions do you still have? Write in a journal or notepad the areas you want to learn more about and make an action plan to study Scripture.
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MEET OUR GUEST
Todd is an author, speaker, illustrator, and animation producer. He and his wife, Tracey, live in Georgia and are the parents of three living children and two babies in Heaven.
Todd has a love for theology, apologetics, prophecy, and eschatology. He is the co-host of the Prophecy Pros Podcast with Jeff Kinley and also the author of many prophecy-related books.
Connect with Todd:
Instagram: @todd_hampson | @prophecyprospodcast
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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.
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Episode 26: Why Prophecy Gives Us Hope to Be Reunited with Our Babies in Heaven with Todd Hampson
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: [00:00:51] Hi friends, and welcome back. A few episodes ago, we had Jessica Speas on the podcast to talk about Bible prophecy for the grieving mother. This was actually our most popular and most listened-to episode of our podcast so far. This was Episode 22, if you want to go back and listen to that episode.
Many moms expressed interest in learning more about Bible prophecy, so I couldn't be more thrilled to welcome Todd Hampson, the co-host of the Prophecy Pros Podcast. I am excited to have our first bereaved father on the podcast aside from my husband.
Todd is a grieving father and will be sharing his story of losing his son, Ethan, with you and he will also talk about why Bible prophecy gives us hope to see our babies again in Heaven.
Todd is also an author, speaker, illustrator, and animation producer. He and his wife, Tracey, live in Georgia and are the parents of three living children and two babies in Heaven. Todd has a love for theology, apologetics, and prophecy, specifically eschatology, or the study of the Last Things.
While these topics can either be sensationalized or marginalized, they are key elements of Biblical Christianity. Now more than ever, people are asking the big questions of life and Todd’s goal is to help people understand the Bible in our times in order to apply God's Word to their lives. We are so excited to welcome Todd to Cradled in Hope today. You will be so blessed by the message of hope he shares.
Ashley Opliger: [00:02:19] Welcome Todd. It's so wonderful to have you on the Cradled in Hope Podcast today.
Todd Hampson: [00:02:23] Oh, it's a pleasure to be here. Thanks for having me.
Ashley Opliger: [00:02:26] Well, I have just been blown away at your podcast. It's called the Prophecy Pros Podcast, and I have been binge-listening to the episodes. You have a wealth of wisdom and information to share about Scripture and the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
And so I would love for you to share who you are, what you do and your story of losing your sweet baby, Ethan.
Todd Hampson: [00:02:51] Sure. Yeah, absolutely. So yeah, Todd Hampson and I'm by trade for the long haul I've been an animation producer. We produce cartoons for ministry, and homeschool, and children's ministry, and family-friendly entertainment.
But also five or six years ago, the Lord also used my art background and made it collide with my writing ability. And so I started writing books on Bible prophecy, eschatology, other tough topics like spiritual warfare, things that Christians tend to see as too complex or too scary to touch, and then basically package it systematically in a way that people can understand.
And so I have a series of books called the Non-Prophet. He's the Non-Prophet, P-R-O-P-H-E-T. And then through the books, I connected with another author, Jeff Kinley, and we just were cut from the same cloth. We both love prophecy. We both grew up completely unchurched and God tracked us down and saved us.
And for both of us, what impacted us and helped lead us to Christ was the apologetic of fulfilled Bible prophecy. So in other words, everything that God said was going to happen when it happened exactly like it said hundreds, some cases, even thousands of years apart. So that was a compelling apologetic. So that naturally led me to love future prophecy or eschatology.
And then we'll talk more about that in the interview about how that coincides and helped me grieve and helped me get through everything with Ethan. And my wife and I, we had our first two, Daniel and Natalie, in healthy pregnancies. Everything went great. And then we had a miscarriage maybe just a few weeks in, and then about six months later, we got pregnant again and little Ethan was, everything was going great.
And we were about five months in and one day she just said, “He's really still today. He's not moving. I don't feel anything.” So we went to the doctor and we had a sweet doctor from Argentina. We lived up in Maryland at the time, I live in Georgia now, but he had a great, fantastic bedside manner. He was a doctor to the hilt, but he knew how to be compassionate.
And he said in his accent, I won't even try to do his accent. I won't do it justice. But he said, “This is a very quiet baby.” So we kind of knew what we were looking at. He said, “Let me send you for a sonogram just to confirm. But yeah, this baby is really quiet.” So got the sonogram, of course, heartbreak. And it threw us for a loop, woke up that day not expecting it at all, and then no complications, everything was going great. Then all of a sudden it just hit us.
And so of course, unexpectedly, the same day we go in to deliver. And I talked to my wife before this and I said, “Hey, is there anything you want me to not share or to share? I want to make sure I honor your feelings and how you grieve through this.”
And she said, “No, share as the Lord leads. He saw us through it and I know He's going to get the glory” But long story short, had to deliver little Ethan and he had some birth defects that looked like–we don't know what the reason was, of course, but the Lord took him early and it was a tough thing.
But my wife and I grieved in different ways in the moment. And then even as we processed it. And I had some elderly relatives pass before that, but that was the first time I dealt one-on-one with death suddenly like that. And yeah, that was a tough thing.
Ashley Opliger: [00:06:05] Yeah. I’m so sorry, first of all, for both of you and losing your precious Ethan and also your baby early in miscarriage. It's a pain that no parent should have to walk through and it's a really difficult time.
And it's also very common for men and women to grieve differently. And that's why there's so much value in hearing from men and from the father's perspective, because so often in our support groups of women, a lot of the women will talk about how they're feeling distant from their husband or feeling tension or miscommunications because their husband’s grieving differently than them.
And whenever we do couples groups and we get the men in here and they share their perspective in grieving, it's amazing because then the women are listening, thinking, “Wow, my husband is actually grieving the same way as all of these other husbands.”
And of course, there are personality differences and what not, but on the whole, it's been so helpful for the women to learn from the men and the men to learn from the other women, because then it makes you not feel so alone that your husband is not this outlier or doesn't care, because a lot of times I think that's the perception and that women grieve heavier than men.
And so would you share from your perspective what your grieving looked like and also how it differed from your wife?
Todd Hampson: [00:07:25] Yeah, definitely. She was much more in the moment, like crying through it and also taking in the moment when Ethan was delivered, counting his little fingers and holding him and looking at him.
And I did all that as well. But I don't know if it's a guy thing or a personality thing, but in my mind, this is what it is: “We’ve got to get through it.” I saw it like–I'm very goal- oriented, so in me, it was like, “Okay, we’ve got to get to the hospital. What's the next thing in front of me? We’ve got to deliver the baby.” But not knowing some of the other steps really threw me for a loop. How do you grieve after that?
Also, I think I felt like I had to be strong for her in the moment, but when it hit me the hardest, I can't remember why, but we actually took two different vehicles to the hospital. I think I had to go do something or she had to go get something and then we met up at the hospital.
And so the first time I was alone was driving home from the hospital and it hit me like a ton of bricks, like just totally unexpected, sudden grief, like somebody just gut-punched me because I was alone. I didn't have to be strong. It was done.
And the other thing that was really hard was, whew. [pause due to emotions]
Ashley Opliger: [00:08:36] It’s okay…
Todd Hampson: [00:08:40] But leaving the hospital without Ethan. Our other two kids were born, we got to go home with them. So leaving his little body there was, that's what just really got me.
Ashley Opliger: [00:08:51] It’s so heartbreaking, that moment of separation. For me, I feel like when we left the hospital, that was harder than holding her and seeing her-
Todd Hampson: [00:09:01] Yes.
Ashley Opliger: [00:09:01] … because it was the separation. And in human terms, it feels like such a long separation, but obviously, as Christians, we know it's not the end. But it feels like the end until for the rest of our lifetime.
And so when you got home after having this time in the car by yourself and allowing yourself to feel the weight of your loss. I do think it's very common for men to feel like they need to be strong for their wife and for their family. And so it's sometimes hard to really allow yourself to feel it and sit in the sadness.
So when you got home and you were processing the grief together in the weeks and months that followed, what did that look like at home? And how did you learn to support each other through your grief, even though you were grieving differently?
Todd Hampson: [00:09:50] Yeah, that's a great question. It was definitely a process. We had a couple of good mentors actually that mentored us even before we got married, so they were there for us. So we had a great support group. We were plugged into a church. We had good mentors, good friends, and we talked openly with each other.
But I wouldn't bring it up. I didn't want to make her more sad than she was, but anytime I knew she was grieving or feeling it, we would just have a conversation, and same with me. And I remember too, there are moments when you read the description of grief, we hit all those: Anger. There are moments. I remember we had him cremated, and in even that there was confusion.
Do we have a funeral? Do we? All these questions that you've never thought you'd even had to think about before you're suddenly faced with. And you're having to make these split decisions on the fly and then hoping you made the right one and wondering.
But I remember going to pick up Ethan's ashes, just being angry, not angry at God, not angry at, just angry, just mad. Like, “This just ain't right.” It was just raw emotion and it didn't stick around and we processed it.
And I'll tell you, I don't know how people who don't know the Lord go through something like that, because our grieving process, honestly, I think it was pretty healthy. It was hard. Definitely the hardest, if not one of the hardest things we've gone through, but the whole time I had hope. The whole time I knew God was in control.
Matter of fact, there was one quiet moment after we got checked into the hospital and I went back to the elevator to go get her bag out of her car, my wife, Tracey, I had like 30 seconds on the elevator of silence. And I was just like, “Lord, what is going on?” And I just had this sense, not an audible voice, but I sensed Him say, “You're a warrior.”