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Episode 39 - Important Truths about Babies in Heaven with Ashley and Kristin


Join us for this special 3-part summer series called "Conversations of Hope with Ashley and Kristin." This is episode 2 of 3. To listen to the first episode in this series, click here: A Foundation of Biblical Hope.


Ashley Opliger and Kristin Hernandez are both bereaved moms who desire to point other grieving moms to the hope they've found in Jesus.


New episodes will release each summer month (June, July, and August) with this month's episode title being "Important Truths about Babies in Heaven."


At the beginning of the episode, Ashley shares a personal update about her son, Brenner, and his recent surgery and medical issues.


In this episode, we discussed:

  • Where do babies go when they pass away?

  • The differences between the temporary Heaven and the eternal Heaven

  • What age will our babies be in Heaven?

  • Do our babies become angels?

  • Our babies taking part in the Resurrection

  • What purposes do angels serve in the Bible?

  • Can my baby send me signs from Heaven?

  • Is it OK to consult a medium to talk to my baby?

  • New Age practices in grief (and why to stay away from them)

  • The occult and how these roads lead to Hell

  • Repentance and accepting forgiveness for our sins

  • Jesus Christ, our Mediator and Intercessor

  • Why the hope of the Gospel is better than the counterfeits offered by Satan

Full transcript below.


EX-NEW AGE RESOURCES:

“Don’t Dance with the Devil” - Understanding the Times Podcast (can be found on Spotify or Apple Podcasts too)

Heaven and Healing Podcast by Angelamarie Ucci

 

MEET OUR GUEST

Kristin Hernandez is the author of Sunlight in December.


Kristin is a writer, podcaster, wife, and mother to six children—one in her arms and five with Jesus.


Connect with Kristin:

Facebook /sunlightindecemberblog

Instagram @sunlightindecember


 

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Please also leave a review to help spread the message of hope with other grieving mommas!


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 1,300 hospitals in all 50 states and comforts over 30,000 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:

Facebook /ashleyopliger

Instagram @ashleyopliger

Pinterest /ashleyopliger


Follow Bridget’s Cradles:

Facebook /bridgetscradles

Instagram @bridgetscradles

Pinterest /bridgetscradles


Follow Cradled in Hope Podcast:

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Instagram @cradledinhope


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JOIN OUR CRADLED IN HOPE COMMUNITY FOR GRIEVING MOMS

 

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT


Episode 39: Conversations of Hope with Ashley and Kristin


Important Truths about Babies in Heaven


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: [00:00:50] Welcome back to the summer series of Conversations of Hope with Ashley and Kristin. This is the second of three episodes that Kristin and I are doing together this summer. The first episode was called A Foundation of Biblical Hope. If you have not had a chance to listen to that one, I would recommend going back to Episode 38. But if you have not listened to that, you do not have to listen to them in order. This episode can stand alone.


I'm so excited to dive into the deep content that we're going to be addressing today, some really important topics about our babies in Heaven and what they're like in Heaven and what Heaven is like.


And we'll be addressing some hard topics such as: Do our babies become angels when they go to Heaven? And can our babies send us signs from Heaven? And should we try to talk to our babies in Heaven through someone called a medium? Even if they're called a Christian medium, should we be doing that?


And the answer is no, we should not be doing that. But you will hear us talk about why we shouldn't be and the hope that we have in talking directly to Jesus. So we will be addressing all of that in this episode.


This is honestly one of the best episodes that I've recorded. I feel very passionate about this message, and I really feel that the Lord has something for everyone in this message.

But before we go into these topics, I do just want to talk about what's been going on in my life with my son, Brenner. This episode was delayed another two weeks. To be honest, I've had such a hard time keeping on the podcast schedule, so I first want to thank you so much for your grace and patience as we are trying to continue to produce podcast episodes. But things with my son have made it really difficult to stay on schedule. So thank you so much for your patience.


But I am going to talk for a few minutes about my son, so if that might be triggering to you to talk about a living son, feel free to just buzz over the next few minutes and then go straight into the episode. But I do just want to be vulnerable with you for a few minutes, just sharing what I've been going through.


My son Brenner, and I've talked about him before on the podcast, he has a rare GI immune disorder called FPIES, which is Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis. He also has some anatomical issues within his stomach and his pylorus, which the pylorus is the entrance between the stomach and the intestine, and his is very narrow and is not letting food pass through quickly. So he has a decreased appetite and a difficult time gaining weight.


And so we went to Denver in April to the Children's Hospital of Colorado and he had his first pyloric dilation, which is basically, they have a scope that goes down through his mouth into his tummy, and then there's a little balloon that dilates his pylorus to open it up and allow food to pass through there and have better motility. And that was very successful when we did that there.


And he, for about four weeks, had an increased appetite. But you have to do this procedure every two to three months until the muscles and everything just learn to be more open. And the purpose of this is to try to avoid surgery so that maybe after a couple of dilations, he would no longer need any more.


And so our plan was to do three dilations this year, so the first in April, which we did in Denver, the second one we did in Kansas City at Children's Mercy, and then we were going back in September for a third one in Denver and to meet with their entire GI team again.


However, when we went to Children's Mercy in Kansas City, he had his procedure done and we were discharged from the hospital and we went back to our Airbnb to give him a nap, just to let him come out of anesthesia. And then we were going to drive home to Wichita, which is about three hours away.


And when we got home (to the Airbnb) and he was trying to take a nap, he was profusely vomiting, and he became pale and his lips were blue. He wasn't making eye contact with us. So we rushed him back to the ER at the same hospital that he had done the procedure (which the procedure was an outpatient, same day surgery kind of operation).


However, we took him to the ER, they did an x-ray of his chest and of his abdomen, and they found that there was air in his abdomen, which there shouldn't be air there, which basically meant that there was some sort of perforation in his GI system. And they basically said that when they did the scope earlier in the day, which of course these were different doctors, but that they must have perforated something and there was a hole.


And they looked at us and they said, “He needs to go back right away for emergency surgery to figure out where this hole is and to fix it.” And so obviously this was terrifying and just very, very scary.


If you listen back to the episode that we launched before, which literally we aired Episode 38 on June 15th, and all of this that I'm describing happened on June 19th in Kansas City, and in the last episode I mentioned that trusting God with my children was one of the hardest things, and that I have been continually learning to surrender my children.


And so anyway, I felt like, “Wow, this is now this opportunity to practice what I preach,” because here he is in this three-hour emergency surgery and this was one of the scariest moments of my life.


And I just remember when they brought him back, I was bawling my eyes out and crying out to the Lord, like, “Please, please save him. Please fix this and let him stay with me on earth.” Because as a grieving mom, my mind, of course, would go to the worst-case scenario, and it wasn't hard for me to imagine something horrible happening and him passing away.


And definitely being in that hospital after everything I went through with Bridget was very triggering, just being in a hospital in that kind of situation.


And so praise God, after a three-hour surgery with the best of the best surgeon that could be on call that night, which he was literally the chief surgeon of all surgeons, he was able to find a three-centimeter perforation in his stomach and pylorus area, and to repair it.


And he did all of that laparoscopically, which was amazing because it was a very serious surgery. They had to turn his stomach over, like his organ stomach, over. They were working around a very delicate area near the pancreas, and it truly was a miracle. And they told us that had we not brought him in, that he really could have died because of how severe it was.


They likened it to like a gunshot wound to the stomach and the stomach contents had leaked all over his abdomen; they had to suction all of that. He was in sepsis. He had to be started on all of these antibiotics to fight the infection in his body. Some of the infection went into his lungs and caused breathing issues. He had to be on oxygen. It was a very serious situation.


He was hospitalized for seven days and those were incredibly difficult seven days. But during that week, I not once questioned God. I knew He was with me. He sent so many different signs to show me that He was there, that He cared for us, that He was healing Brenner.


And I won't go into all of those stories because there's just too many to count, but you'll hear us later in this episode talk about those things, how those come from the Lord and how He cares for us so much to send us those signs to show us that He's with us.


But throughout that week, I kept thinking that Satan really wants to break my faith, and he's done a lot of things in my life to try to take me away from God and to have me question God's goodness and turn away from Him.


But this phrase kept coming to my mind throughout the week, and it was, “Satan, if you think this is what's going to break my faith, you're wrong.”


And although it definitely broke me down, and this was an incredibly difficult week seeing my son in the state that he was in and having to teach him how to walk again and how to eat and drink again, this was incredibly hard.


But at the same point, I felt the Lord with me, and my faith through everything I'd gone through in the past had prepared me to stand strong in those moments.


And so, even though I'm maybe in a different season of life than you right now, I am trying to walk all of these things out with you in a different season of grief and difficulties. And so I just want to say that through all of this, obviously it's affected my ability to keep up with the podcast.


I'm doing my very, very best. It’s something that's very important to me and I'm trying to stick with it even though things are hard. And he's been at home recovering the last three weeks and we still continue to have issues with him being able to gain weight, because he obviously lost a lot of weight and we now have less options moving forward because he can't be dilated again, as to how we're going to help him grow.


So I would ask for continued prayers for him and his health and for us as a family. But I just want to explain all of that so that you know if an episode releases two weeks later, I just want to thank you for your grace in that because there's been many times that I feel like just giving up because I can't be perfect in holding to the schedule that I want to, but I'm doing my best to show up when I can.


And so thank you for your grace. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you to all of you who showed up for us when we were in the hospital. There were so many people that sent us messages, texts, DMs and DoorDash gift cards, and showed up for us in so many ways. And we're so grateful for our family and for the community that surrounds us to support my family during this time. So thank you for continuing to pray for Brenner and for my family and, and I love you all so much.


We're going to go ahead and dive into this conversation now. But thank you for giving me the opportunity to share what's going on in my life and how the Lord continues to sanctify me through difficult seasons and how He continues to show me that He's faithful even in the hardest of times. So may that be an encouragement to you, and I hope you enjoy this episode with Kristin.


Ashley Opliger: [00:11:42] Welcome back, Kristin, for our second episode in this summer series of Conversations of Hope with Ashley and Kristin. I'm so glad that you're here and I'm excited to have the conversation we're about to have.


Kristin Hernandez: [00:11:41] I'm excited too. Thanks so much for having me back.


Ashley Opliger: [00:11:42] Yeah. We're just going to dive in. We have different topics that we want to address today, and they're pretty deep topics, and we're going to dive into a lot of theology as it pertains to our babies and where they live right now and what they're like in Heaven and all of that.


And so I'm just going to start us off with this question, which is: Where is my baby that has passed away? So if we've gone through miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss, we've lost a baby at any gestation, where is my baby?


Kristin Hernandez: [00:12:18] Yes. I believe that children are not to the age of accountability to make this decision for themselves, and so our babies who have passed away are with the Lord. They're with Jesus. They're in the presence of Jesus.


Their bodies may be here on earth, and one day those bodies will be raised again when Jesus comes again and when there is the Resurrection and the New Heavens and the New Earth. But until then, they are still with the Lord, though their bodies may be here.


And they are whole, they are not lacking anything. They're no longer in pain. They aren't missing us. As hard as that is for us to wrap our minds around when we miss them so deeply and we think about them every day, that they are just so loved and cared for beyond what our minds can even begin to comprehend.


Ashley Opliger: [00:13:04] Absolutely. And you referenced it when you talked about the New Earth and the New Heaven. But right now, there is a Heaven; it's a temporary Heaven until God brings down the New Jerusalem, the New Heaven to His New Earth. But in the meantime, there is this more spiritual Heaven that exists above us.


God makes it clear that Heaven is above us and that's where His holy place is. And He's seated on His throne there now. But this is more of a spiritual place where our souls go and our bodies are still here on earth; whether they're cremated or buried, they're awaiting that Resurrection.


And when we take part in the Resurrection, which I believe is at the Rapture of the Church, then we will be reunited with our babies in Heaven and that's when we'll have these glorified bodies. And until then, we're in this in-between stage where there's this temporary place, but this place is still Paradise.


So when Jesus was on the cross and He had the criminal next to Him, the criminal was asking for forgiveness and claiming that he believed that Jesus was the Son of God, while all these soldiers and people below Him were mocking Him and spitting at Him and saying, “If you're really the Son of God, you would get yourself off of the cross and come down.”


But he believed that Jesus was who He said He was. And Jesus said, “I will see you today in Paradise.” And so the current Heaven that is now is also Paradise. When we think of our babies there, we can imagine them in this good and perfect place in the presence of God.

Kristin Hernandez: [00:14:36] Mm-hmm. What a comfort.


Ashley Opliger: [00:14:37] So you mentioned the age of accountability and that all babies go to Heaven because they haven't reached an age where they can make a choice to choose Jesus and to follow Him, and I'm in agreement with you. There are other Christians that have different theological backgrounds that have different opinions on this. But I think we have a precedent here in 2 Samuel 12.


This is the story of David. And so if you go into the backstory, basically, David had sinned and committed adultery with this woman, Bathsheba, and then killed her husband, Uriah. So the Lord was obviously upset with this, that he had committed adultery and then tried to conceal it by killing her husband.


And David acknowledged that he had sinned against the Lord and his friend Nathan says, “The Lord's taken away your sin and you're not going to die for the sin, but He is going to have your son die.” And this was his firstborn son to Bathsheba.


So this little child gets sick and he's praying and he is fasting for this child. Well, then eventually on the seventh day, the child dies. And at this point, David stops fasting and weeping. And his attendants are like, “Why are you no longer acting this way? Why are you not fasting or weeping now that your child has passed away?”


And he basically says he was fasting “so that the Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live. But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” [2 Samuel 12:22-23]


And so a lot of people use this story as a precedent that babies are in Heaven, that David knows that he will get to go to him in Heaven, but he will not be able to come back to Earth because he has passed away.


And so this is just one of many reasons that I believe that babies go to Heaven. But it is an example in the Bible of specifically an infant being talked about going to Heaven.


Kristin Hernandez: [00:16:31] Yes, and there were so many difficult circumstances in the conception of this child and whether or not that's the case, we see that even in that the Lord is faithful and was faithful to bring that baby into Paradise with Him and that David, who is one of God's chosen people who loved the Lord, even though he sinned and failed and was repentant and lamented over his sin, God still in all of those messy details was faithful to David and to his family.


And so as His children, He's faithful to us and to our children. And I think there's just such comfort in that passage as well, even with all the other messy details that are tied up in it, just the comfort of knowing that we will go to them. They will not come back to us, but we will go to them.


Ashley Opliger: [00:17:19] Absolutely. And it also reminds me if you read through 1 and 2 Kings and Chronicles as we're going through all the different kings of Israel, how the Israelites are God's chosen people. But they had many kings that did evil in the eyes of the Lord and they were not following God, and they were following Baal and other gods. They were setting up Ashera poles and the enemies that were around them, they were taking wives of these enemies and worshiping their gods.


And even though there were many kings of Judah and of Israel that were not following the Lord, there's so many times that God says, because He is keeping His promise to David and He wants to keep this lamp for the descendants of Israel, He's not going to destroy Israel because He has that mercy and love for His people.


And when Jesus came and died for the sins of Israel, but also for the Gentiles and the whole world. We are grafted into that promise and into this hope that God is not going to leave us even when we sin and when we mess up. That's why He had to come, because people couldn't save themselves and we needed a perfect Savior, and that's why He came.


And so coming back now to this question of our babies in Heaven, we believe that they are, and we believe that we're going to see them again. And right now this is a temporary separation and a temporary Heaven, but it's still a good and perfect place. This is where Jesus is at the right hand of God. And so they are in the presence of Jesus, but they're not yet resurrected with their bodies.


And so it's hard to think about what that looks like, a disembodied kind of spiritual Paradise. And I find it hard. I don't know about you, Kristin. This Heaven is the hardest place for me to imagine because it feels very ethereal. It feels non-earthly because it's not on earth.


And eventually it will become earth. And when there's descriptions in Revelation about the New Earth, I feel like I can resonate with that and picture what that's going to look like, eternity with Bridget. But this Heaven is a little bit harder to imagine. Do you feel the same way?


Kristin Hernandez: [00:19:34] I do. I think just in general, when I think about Heaven and eternity, there is so much that we don't know. And in that same breath, we can finish that sentence by saying, and there is a lot that Scripture is clear on and does tell us.

And so I think it's keeping our eyes fixed on those promises that we can be certain of and leaving room for the things that we don't know exactly. Like I don't know if, will our bodies be young or will they be old? Will it be the age we die? I mean, there's so many questions and people speculate on those things. They talk about those things.


I think it's okay to speculate but really, there's so many things that if the Bible is silent on it, we can't know and we can rest assured and have confidence and faith that the Lord does uphold every promise that He has ever given. And whatever it is, all the things that we don't know, they will be good and they will be perfect and we won't wish for something different when we are there.


When we get to the end, when we die, we stand before the Lord, we're not going to wish or hope for something different than what He gives us. And that brings us such hope when we wonder, “What will this be like,” and there are certain things that we don't know, we can cling to what we do know and know that God is good. He will fulfill every promise. And those details that we're unsure of now, they will be immensely satisfying.


Ashley Opliger: [00:20:56] Amen. And it says here in 1 Corinthians 2:9, it says, “What no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no human heart has conceived, God has prepared these things for those who love Him,” and so Heaven's going to be so much better than we can imagine.


And if you think about it, God created earth and earth is incredibly broken and stained by sin, but there's still so much beauty here and so many moments of joy and happiness.

And when you're in Creation, whether it's a waterfall or the beach or the mountains, or a pretty sunset, these are all things that God created and we get to enjoy in a broken state. Can we imagine what this is going to look like and feel like when we are not in a broken state?


Kristin Hernandez: [00:21:41] Perfect. Yeah.


Ashley Opliger: [00:21:41] And I always think about will there be colors that we get to see that we couldn't see on earth, or smells or tastes or all these things? Everything is just going to be so much better and more vivid and bright and just the way we're going to feel when you don't have to worry about sickness or death or fear. Because anything on earth that we've been troubled with or that's been a struggle, sin, temptation, all of that will be gone.


And it's almost impossible for our minds to even comprehend what that would actually feel like and be like, but I can only imagine it would just be complete and utter peace and just having this amazing reverence for God and knowing that we're there with Him and we're never going to have to be separated from Him or our babies again. So we know it's going to be good.


And like you said, we need to leave room for mystery because even though He's given us His Word to give us a glimpse as to who He is and what He has prepared for us and His story, He hasn't told us everything. And so there has to be room for this mystery.


And we should not add to His words or take away from His words, but leave room for these surprises that we're going to have. And you mentioned we don't know if our babies are going to be infants. So for example, like with Bridget, she was born at 24 weeks. So will she be 24 weeks gestation, really tiny 13 ounces like she was, or would she be a newborn? Would she be a little five-year-old or an adult?


I don't know, and there's really not Scripture that gives us a clear answer on the age that babies will be, nor really does it give us an answer as to what age we will be. Any adult that passes away, will they be young again? Will they be the age that they passed away? The Bible isn't clear on that.


And so we have to just trust that whatever it's going to be is going to be good.

And one other thing that I have thought about too is we don't know if we will “age” in Heaven because we're going to be there for eternity and we know we're not going to die, but will we always be the same age? Again, that is not addressed in the Bible, and so we can't necessarily speculate one way or the other, but it's just interesting to think about.


What will that be like in Heaven getting to be with our babies? Will we get to see them at different ages or will they just be one age the entire time? And so I'm not claiming one way or the other. I'm just saying we don't know these things, but it's exciting to think about what's to come and we know it will be good.


Kristin Hernandez: [00:24:15] Absolutely. And something that I think we just don't think about a lot while we're here is I hear us often and myself often, we’ll say things like, “I just can't wait to get to Heaven because I want a new body.” Or, “I can't wait to get to Heaven because I don't want to be in pain anymore,” and all of these things. And we hope for so many good things.


And there are things that Scripture does tell us that we will have when we get there. And yet, with all of that in mind, when we do get there, we are going to be in the presence of the Lord and that is going to be our greatest gift when we are there.


And that's the greatest thing. We have all these good things that we look forward to, but even those wonderful things that we look forward to having, they're going to pale in comparison to being with God and to having His presence with us all the time. And that will be our biggest treasure when we are there.


Ashley Opliger: [00:25:05] Absolutely. Well, as we're talking about our babies being in Heaven, I do want to bring up a topic that I hear about a lot in our pregnancy and infant loss space. A lot of times you'll hear people call these babies that have passed away and gone to Heaven as angel babies or even us as bereaved moms, a lot of times you'll hear people say angel moms.


Within Bridget’s Cradles ministry, we have chosen from the very beginning to never use that terminology because we do not believe that our babies have turned into angels. And so we don't say angel moms or angel babies, we usually just say babies in Heaven or bereaved moms, grieving moms, or a mom to a baby in Heaven. We try to use that terminology to be clear.


But I really want to dive into this because it is very frequent that you see this online and even in what people say, like, ”Oh, God needed another angel in Heaven,” when they hear that a baby has passed away. Or “Oh, now you have a little angel looking over you,” or something like that.


And these people, I don't know if they actually believe that the baby is turning into an angel or if they're just saying that because they think it's a comforting thing to say. But nevertheless, I would love for you and I to have a conversation about angels and humans and why you and I do not believe that babies are angels and why that's actually a good thing.


Kristin Hernandez: [00:26:31] I’ve written about this at length a few times and I do want to say to anybody who has used this term, Ashley and I aren't sitting here to just poke fun at the phrases people use or to try to hit you over the head.


But in a way, we want to impart Truth because in my speaking on this, I've had people respond with, “We're just trying to bring comfort. I just want to be encouraging, I'm not trying to make a theological statement.” Or, “You need to be gentler with people because they're not trying to be theological, they're just trying to comfort someone.”


And really, I think it's so important for us as believers if we're going to comfort each other, to comfort each other with the Truth. Because if we're going to comfort each other with things that are not true, it's not true comfort. It's not lasting comfort. It's just words that are empty and meaningless.


And so we are not shaming you if you've used this word. I know so many people have probably used it without even thinking of the theological implications. But what we really want to do is present the Truth to you as listeners, especially if this is maybe a term you have used or one that you have heard and it's been confusing, because the Truth is far more encouraging than the statement, “I have an angel looking out for me.” The Truth is far more encouraging than, “God needed another angel.”


First off, God doesn't have needs. God is more powerful than anything we can ever imagine, anyone we can ever imagine. He can accomplish His will with or without us. He calls us to be part of that and to be part of that story. But Acts 17:25 says, “Nor is He served by human hands as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives all to mankind life and breath and everything.” And human hands can't serve His needs for He has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and He satisfies every need.


And I know that's kind of a side thing. People don't maybe really mean that God needed another angel, but the reality is, God doesn't need it. He deserves all of our glory. He deserves the praise from all the angels. He deserves glory from His Creation and from the rocks even crying out and from every breath we have He deserves our glory and our praise. But He doesn't need another angel. Jesus already sacrificed Himself for us. He already conquered all. It's not like God needs the death of someone to accomplish His will.


Ashley Opliger: [00:28:49] If He wanted another angel, He would just make another angel.


Kristin Hernandez: [00:28:53] Yes. And so as humans, we have something that is so much better than being an angel. As God's creation, as humans, we are created in the image of God. And so when we die, we do not become angels, but we have an even greater promise to look forward to.


This is what Scripture says, and Ashley and I already touched on the fact that we believe our babies are included in this. If we are in Christ, we have been adopted as sons and daughters. And so as sons and daughters, we are co-heirs. We are God's children. We have an inheritance that is waiting for us in Heaven.


And 1 Corinthians 6:3 says that God's children will even judge the angels. It says you will judge the angels one day. We are co-heirs. We are children. This is such an incredible promise and an amazing gift. We are not just angels sent to be God's servants and to praise Him, though God created the angels with their own purpose, and that is good. But God created us to be His sons and daughters.


And so we have a living hope. We have this eternal inheritance. We have an inheritance that no one can take away from us. And so we have that to look forward to in eternity and that is even better than being transformed into an angel.


Ashley Opliger: [00:30:13] Absolutely. And Scripture also makes it clear that when God made angels and humans, we each are different parts of His Creation created for different purposes. And so we'll dive into it a little bit more about what are the purposes of angels and how does God use angels, but it's very different than His plan for humans.


And so I'm just going to hit on a couple of points, and you've already covered some of them, but God created both angels and humans in perfection at the beginning. On that sixth day, He said that everything was very good. We don't know necessarily in the time frame exactly when the angels were created, nor do we know when the third of the angels that left with Satan when they fell from Heaven, because in Genesis we start with Creation and then we go into The Fall, but we don't have a clear timeline on when the angels fell from Heaven.


But we know that Adam and Eve are in the garden, that the serpent comes, and so by that point Satan had already fallen, obviously. But something that I've always thought about, because a lot of times we talk about how sin first entered the garden. Well, sin actually first entered Heaven because of Lucifer's pride and that he wanted to be more powerful than God, and so he rejected God and then he was cast down out of Heaven with a third of the angels.


And so we see there that angels also had this opportunity to choose God or not. And we won't go into a full theological thing about free will and choice and all of those things, but it's clear that some of the angels chose God and some did not.


And what's interesting to me is that salvation through Jesus really is only offered to humans. There's not any references in the Bible that I'm aware of about angels being able to repent, the fallen angels that chose to deny God and to follow Satan.


And it says specifically that angels are awaiting the judgment and they too are going to be cast into the Lake of Fire with the humans that also choose to deny Jesus as their Savior.


Matthew 25:41 says the judgment day when Jesus says “to those on the left, depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” And so that was prepared for those fallen angels. And humans have this opportunity to be forgiven and to take part in the salvation that Jesus died for us on the Cross.


But there are other differences, and I think this might seem obvious, but humans are the only ones that can bear children. So angels are not reproductive beings. Although if you look in the Old Testament, you'll see that there are references to the Nephilim.


And again, this is a rabbit trail that you can go study, but it seems that fallen angels might have seed or semen, I guess I can say that on the podcast, but they were reproducing with women on earth and creating Nephilim, these giants, and that was part of the reason that the flood happened.


We won't go into all of that, but angels themselves are not reproducing and can't bear children or create other angels, basically. And so that also makes humans very unique in that we have the ability to bear children and to have families.


And so there is a reference in the Bible where it's talking about when we die, what will it look like? And some people get confused about this because Jesus said we will be like the angels, but we're not becoming an angel.


So this is in Matthew 22, someone was asking, “Are we going to be able to marry when we're in Heaven?”


And Jesus said, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. At the Resurrection, people will neither marry nor be given in marriage. They will be like the angels in Heaven.” [Matthew 22:29-30]


So it's not saying that we will become angels, it's saying we will be like the angels in Heaven, which is to say that the angels in Heaven are not married and are not having children.


And I know this kind of makes you feel sad when you think about Heaven because it's such a joy here on earth to be married and to have children. But again, we have to trust that when we're in Heaven that everything will be complete and perfect and we won't necessarily desire for these things. But this is another verse that talks about what our role is and what the angels’ roles are.


And as you mentioned, the Bible clearly says that as believers, we are heirs with Christ. The angels have their own very specific purposes. And so the purpose of angels in the Bible that we see from various stories, a lot of times they're messengers of God to come and deliver a Word of God.


And so the word angel actually means messenger, and so a lot of times they would appear as men like Gabriel and Michael; these angels would come and deliver these messages or warnings to people like with the judgment that was coming for Sodom and Gomorrah.


But also there's these spiritual battles that are waging in the spiritual realm between Satan and his fallen angels or demons and between angels. So I'll let you take it from here on some more purposes that angels serve Biblically.


Kristin Hernandez: [00:35:50] Yeah. I think we see a lot of pictures of angels that just aren't correct. When we see what angels look like in Scripture, it's usually a little scarier than that or a little more intense than just these cherubs or these cute little babies with wings, and they're usually these big warriors.


Or we also see references in some of the later Old Testament prophet books and also in Revelation where there's just multiple eyes and wings and all of these things going on. Just so much going on. Scripture, like we were saying earlier, is silent on certain things and so I don't want to add unnecessarily or ever take away from Scripture.


But we do see in Scripture that angels, they serve the people God saves. So they serve believers, they minister to God's children. Paul has an angel come to him during a storm at sea. We see Elijah served by angels.


And you touched on this already, Ashley, we have a lot of times where angels are messengers. Like Gabriel comes and he interprets the vision for Daniel. He tells Zechariah about the birth of John the Baptist, and then also tells Mary that she will be the mother of the Messiah.


Angels are engaged in spiritual battle. We know that there is spiritual warfare going on all around us, and they engage in spiritual warfare. Angels worship God. That has been one of their purposes from the beginning. They worship the Lord.


And so those are some of the ways that angels are different than us. And there are times where God calls us to be His messengers, like we are called to praise. There are some overlap in some ways, which I think is how sometimes we can get confused, but we are distinct.


The Bible is clear that we are two distinct parts of God's Creation and we do not become angels. But that doesn't mean that we are not special and precious to the Lord. We are precious to Him, have such value to Him and such worth to Him as we are His children created in His image.


Ashley Opliger: [00:37:48] Yes, absolutely. In James 1, it actually says that, “He chose to give birth to us by giving us His True Word. And we, out of all Creation, became His prized possession.” [James 1:18]


And so humankind, even though we're sinners and we're broken, we are His prized possession out of everything that He made. And like you said, there's different overlaps with angels and humans in terms of us wanting to speak God's Word and to go out and evangelize and all of these things. But angels really do serve a very specific purpose.

And angels are in the spiritual realm, and so we can't see them right now. I think that they probably look a lot different than what we imagined them to be, based on paintings and the ways that they've been portrayed to us in movies and art and things like that.


I actually saw a while back there was a 3D rendering of one of the angels in one of Ezekiel's visions that came from God, and this is a type of angel. It's called Ophanim. I might be saying it wrong, but it's spelled O-P-H-A-N-I-M, and it basically means wheels. In Ezekiel 1, he describes the Ophanim as the appearance of wheels and that they have “Their rings, they were so high that they were dreadful and their rings were full of eyes around them,” [Ezekiel 1:18] and so very interesting description.


It's hard for our brains to comprehend, and there's many other descriptions of these winged, half eagle, half lion, and different things that we have not seen on earth like the Seraphim. And so it's interesting to think about all of God's Creation and the beings that exist in the spiritual realm. And I think it's going to be eye opening when we actually see these. And when I saw the 3D rendering, I was like, “Wow, this is so different than what I've imagined.”


And so nonetheless, none of these things that we're sharing are to scare you by any means, but just to open our mind up to God's Creation and how we are grateful that as human beings that have had our precious babies, who are also humans, that we get to partake in the Resurrection with them, that they're not going to become another type of Creation or another being. And that's actually the best situation possible.


And so when Kristin was saying we're not here to try to make you feel bad for saying angel babies, it's just that when we say these things, we want to be clear on a theological stance and what we believe. And that Truth is, like you said, so much more hope filled and better because we want to see our babies in a resurrected body one day and not as an angel.


So another thing that comes up often in this space is that I'll hear things like, “Oh, I was walking down the street and I saw a bird or a ladybug or a penny on the ground, and I just believe my baby was sending me a sign from Heaven,” or, “that my baby was the ladybug,” kind of thing. “Oh, that was my baby showing up for me to remind me of him or her.”


And although I believe that God can send these kinds of signs on earth, I think it's important for us to realize that human beings that have passed away and are in Heaven right now awaiting the Resurrection, we don't find any Scripture to suggest that they have any sort of power to control things on earth. I know you would be in agreement with me.


Kristin Hernandez: [00:41:26] Correct. I agree with you on that, and I think this is another one of those things that I know brings such comfort to grieving moms. And again, we want to encourage you with the Truth because the Truth is always going to be more encouraging than just things that are fluffy and feel really good but aren't going to stand, that aren't going to last, and that don't have a foundation behind it.


So I recognize that at grieving mommas, we long for our babies, we long to just speak with them. We would give anything to have something from them, to be able to hold them again, to be able to see them again, to know that they're okay. And so Scripture is our guarantee that we can look to, to know that they're okay.


And then as far as them giving signs, I agree with you, Ashley. I think the Lord can certainly give us little gifts. I think of them as little love letters from God. I can think of days when I have just really needed some encouragement and God has allowed a song to come on the radio at the right time. Or a friend texted me at that right moment; through the Holy Spirit, He prompted a friend to text the Truth I needed to hear, to text me Scripture, to just call me out of the blue and for me to realize, “Okay, that is the Lord working.”


Even little things that someone could call a sign. I remember going on a walk one day after we had our miscarriage and there was a flower that was growing through this crack in the sidewalk, and I remember feeling this closeness with the Lord, like, “God, I feel like You gave me this flower. It's like You sent me flowers.


This flower should not be thriving here and it's growing through concrete and You caused this flower to grow. You dress the lilies in splendor. You sustain all of Creation, and so You are sustaining me. You will sustain me in this dry season where I feel like it's just like concrete and nothing can grow.”


And so I think there are so many moments like that where we see, maybe you see that bird or you see that ladybug or you see that thing and remembering that the Lord is sovereign over all of His creation and He is sustaining all of His Creation.


And we can take joy when we see those things. Neither of us are saying just be a skeptic about, just be sad about everything and never notice those little beautiful details. Notice those things because those are gifts from the Lord. He may have put that in your path that day to encourage you. And also remember and cling to the Truth.


I think so many of us, we feel incomplete without our children. And so I think the assumption, even if subconsciously, I think sometimes we would never say this in words, but I think subconsciously we almost assume that our babies are incomplete without us. We feel incomplete without them, so they must be incomplete without us.

And so I think we subconsciously take on this idea of they want to make sure we're okay, like, “They still are thinking about me, they're still concerned about how I'm doing and they miss me,” or, “They're waiting for me,” all of these things that bring us such comfort because that's what we do. We miss them.


We want to know that they're okay. We want to comfort them, rather than realizing that they already have all of that and they're not lacking anything from us, from the Lord, anything at all in all of the world, they're not lacking anything.


And so that is such an encouragement to me. Even on days like Ethan's birthday, when I have thought, “I feel like I want to do something for him,” that thing is for me. It's not for him because he doesn't need that to feel more loved, to feel more complete.


And so I think sometimes we turn this thinking around on us of, well, we need those things. We want that. We want to know because we are incomplete here on earth. We aren't in perfection. We are living in brokenness. We are sad. Our hearts are broken. And so just remembering that our babies are not lacking, they have all they need.


And I know that this can break our hearts as mommas, and so hear me out when I say this. Our babies are not as concerned with us as we are with them. And I don't even know that they're concerned with us at all at this point, because imagine that you're in the presence of the Lord and you have every single thing you could ever want.


And this is another thing that Scriptures went on, and I don't want to add to it, but we don't know what time is like in Heaven. I don't know how long, but I know it's not going to feel to them like they're just waiting years and years. They're not waiting and longing. They have nothing to long for anymore. They have it all. We are the ones that are longing and waiting.


And so while I know it feels impossible at times for us to wrap our minds around the fact that they don't miss us, I think it also brings us comfort to know that we miss them and that is okay, that is an appropriate response, that they do not miss us.


They are not trying to get back to us. That desperation is not something they carry. It's something we carry. And as mommas that can bring us such comfort to know that even if we don't feel okay, we can know that they are okay.


Ashley Opliger: [00:46:18] Yes. And I think too, it brings me comfort to know that the God of all Creation is in the details and loves us so much to send us these little signs.

And when we can attribute them to Him versus our baby, because like we said, our babies don't have that kind of power to do those things, but God, the Most High, all powerful over all Creation, He loves us so much that He knows our hearts so intimately that He knows what little thing it would take to show us, “Hey, I'm here with you in this moment.”


Like for you and the little flower, He knew your heart in that moment that would bring you hope and peace and comfort, and that you would know that it was from Him. And God does that for me all the time, and they're the littlest things. And He's in the details and He is showing up. And it's going to be different for me than what it would be for you or for another friend.


And if it is a bird that flies by and it's like, “Wow, God, You've shown me this bird,” it's because God sent that bird. You know? And it's amazing to think that He would care for each of us in that way to want to be present in our day-to-day, in our grief and show these signs. But I just feel like it's important to say that is from God or the Holy Spirit, or even His angels.


Like we said, angels have the power to be messengers. We don't know how it all works in the spiritual realm and how God is delivering these signs to us. But Scripturally, we know that the power is from Him and in Him.


And when we see these things, rather than thinking that the bird or the ladybug is our baby, or our baby specifically did this, we can take comfort and just praise God that He's in the details and that He's watching over us and He's paying attention to our coming and our going and every little moment. And I love that He does that for us.


He recently has done several things like that and it's been the smallest little things, but I know when they happen, they're from God because it's not a coincidence. I really don't believe in coincidences. I believe that God orchestrates all of these details.


And so we say all this to comfort you in saying although it may make you sad that our babies can't do this, it's amazing to think that God knows our stories and our hearts and knows that we are missing our babies and can send these little things to comfort us in those days.


Ashley Opliger: [00:48:46] 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: [00:49:56] We talked about the fact that our babies can't send us signs, but that God can. But should we be talking directly to our baby in Heaven? This is another topic that comes up often, so I'm going to let you lead the way and then I'll chime in.


Kristin Hernandez: [00:50:11] Yeah, I’ve seen this a lot lately of people talking about just trying to connect with their babies in Heaven, and the Bible is very clear that consulting with the dead is something that the Lord, in Deuteronomy 18:11, it uses the term, this is a direct quote from Scripture…it's detestable to the Lord for us to do.


And so again, Ashley and I want to speak with you, we want to give you Truth. We're not going to water down the Truth. I just want you to imagine us looking you in the eye and holding your hand and feeling the desperation you feel.


We know that desperation and we know that this is coming from a place of desperation. And also hear us when we caution you that you need to seek Truth. Use that desperation to cling to the Truth and not to things that are not of the Lord. Because trying to talk with our babies, consulting mediums, this is very against what God says throughout His Word.


And I can point to a few Scripture references in a minute here, but there is a spiritual realm around us, all around us, like we just talked about. There are also demonic spirits as well. And I think in first world countries in 2023, this is something that we do not talk about a lot and probably do not talk about enough because the Bible is clear that there is a spiritual battle going on. And so we are not to open ourselves up to demonic spirits and to spirits that are not of the Lord.


And when we do this, when we consult with mediums, when we try to talk to the dead, we are interacting often with spirits that are demonic. That is wrong. That is sinful. That is evil. Good intentions do not make something good.


Adam and Eve were tempted by Satan and he did not come to them telling them that, “Hey, this fruit will destroy your life. This fruit is going to …” He disguised the truth. He twisted the truth. It was, “Well, you'll be more like God. You'll understand things.” And while yes, having their eyes opened to more did allow them to understand things, it brought in sin and destruction and death.


And so the enemy does not come to us with a pitchfork and scary eyes like we see in movies, trying to scare us. He often comes disguised as this angel of light trying to show us, “Hey, this will actually make your life better. This will bring you comfort.” And it's always temporary comfort.


There is such a thing as a spiritual realm. And so there are times where you may hear a story from someone who did consult with a medium and they did know things about them. They did provide them some level of truth, if you will, like details that made sense to them. And that is because there is a real spiritual dimension going on. There are these real spiritual forces at work.


And when we consult with a medium or we use Ouija boards or whatever that is, we are interacting with demonic forces. And so even though there may be times where we see that bring people temporary comfort, that road always leads to death.


And I want to touch on just one thing too. I've heard people use the example that, and this is a crazy story that I think I didn't even realize was in the Bible until probably about a year ago. So there is a story in the Old Testament of Saul consulting a medium to bring Samuel back. There's this whole story of Saul says, “Someone bring up Samuel so I can talk to him.”


And Samuel comes up and he has a whole conversation with Samuel. And I have heard people use this story as an example of, “Look, consulting a medium is in the Bible. We see that Saul consults Samuel and Samuel comes up and asks him, ‘Why did you disturb me and why are you calling me back?’” And so I've heard that as an example.


But I think it is worth mentioning the rest of this thought that that story is not there as an example that we are to follow. 1 Chronicles 10:13 -14 even says, “So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the Lord in that he did not keep the command of the Lord and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance. He did not seek guidance from the Lord. Therefore, the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over …” and goes on to say the Lord basically took the kingdom from him.


And so I think when we hear examples like this, we need to study our Bibles in the full context because while, yes, there is an example of one of Israel's kings consulting a medium, and he brings up Samuel, who's a righteous man of God, who is a prophet, and so we see that in Scripture.


But just because that story is in Scripture, it is there for other reasons. It is not there like, “You, too, can do this. You, too, should [do] this.” But yes, it happens. So yes, people have consulted the dead, people have done this, but this is something that throughout Scripture the Lord forbids us to do, does not want us to do. And it did ultimately lead to Saul's death and the kingdom being taken from him.


Ashley Opliger: [00:55:08] Yes. The Bible is very clear on the use of mediums. I'm going to share a couple of other verses that you mentioned in 1 Chronicles 10, but in Leviticus 19, it clearly says, “Do not turn to mediums. Do not seek them out and so make yourselves unclean by them. I am the Lord your God.”


Again, in Leviticus 20:6, it says, “If a person turns to mediums, I will set My face against that person and will cut him off from among his people.”


And then again in 2 Kings, this is another story about a different king that did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger. And what was it that he did? He was using fortune telling in omens, and he dealt with mediums.


And so over and over we have these examples in the Bible of God calling the use of mediums and seeking out the spiritual realm evil. And so obviously this is something we want to stay away from.


I know most of you listening are thinking, “Whoa, this is really deep. This got really heavy, really fast. What's going on here?” But you would be shocked. I am in many different pregnancy and infant loss Facebook groups, just like the groups that you can get into after you've lost a baby, and I am seeing over and over almost weekly of people saying, “I consulted with a medium,” or, “My aunt is a medium, and she was able to tell me more about my son who had died,” or people asking, just inquiring, “Does anyone know a medium so I can contact my baby?”


And then the scarier thing is people even saying that there's such a thing as Christian mediums, which we're just going to go ahead and say there is no such thing as a Christian medium. That is completely not even a real thing because that's blasphemy saying a Christian and a medium go together because we're here telling you Scripture says mediums are evil.


But that's the thing about Satan. He's getting very tricky and conniving and using that wording to be like, “Oh, if it's a Christian medium and they're just consulting these loved ones that have gone on to Heaven and we're doing this through Christ, then it's okay.”


But they're not going through Christ. They're going through, as Kristin said, these demonic spirits. And again, this is not talked about enough in our culture, but this is a very real thing and there's a very real spiritual battle going on. And so we don't share all of this to scare you, but I just say in today's world with social media and the different things that you're going to be bombarded with as you're grieving, this is going to come up and you might see it become more and more common.


Because all in all, we are seeing our culture moving more into the occult, moving more into New Age practices. I see it all over, not just in the grief space, but just in general. You're seeing Tarot Cards and crystals, astrology, people claiming to be energy healers or manifesters, that they can channel spirits, and this is becoming very common and popular, especially on social media and it's infiltrating the grief space.


And if you think about it, it makes sense because when you're grieving, you're looking for hope because you feel very hopeless. And unfortunately, a lot of times people look for hope in the wrong places and they get caught up in these things. And that's why Kristin and I are here to share. We want hope, but we want it to be hope that's grounded in Truth, that's actually going to come to fruition, and that's real and is not going to turn us away from the one true living God.


And a lot of these things. I was talking to Kristin before we hit record. I really believe they're like gateway drugs in the sense of, “Oh, well, let's just dabble a little bit here.” “Oh, it's okay to hold a crystal while I'm praying.” Or, “it's okay to consult this person about my baby.” But these open up these doorways into the demonic and they really are pathways to Hell.


And I don't say that, again, to scare us, but I think we have to use discernment on what we're doing as part of our grieving process and who we're seeking out and practices that we do to heal. And really everything should be rooted in the Word of God and through Christ, but this world is so broken and people are so lost and confused and they're looking for something to comfort them because they're in pain. And these different things promise them something that they're looking for, and so they clinging to that.


But what I have been so encouraged by is I'm following several different women who are deep into the occult, into New Age practices, that have met Jesus and have become baptized and completely turned their lives around. And now they're devoting their lives to calling out those New Age practices and sharing their testimony of what Jesus broke them away from.


And I'm going to share that on our blog for this episode, and we'll share some references on social media because there's actually several podcasts that I could send you to. If you're listening to this and you've dabbled in any of this, or you were thinking about looking into some of these things.


EX-NEW AGE RESOURCES:

“Don’t Dance with the Devil” - Understanding the Times Podcast (can be found on Spotify or Apple Podcasts too)

Heaven and Healing Podcast by Angelamarie Ucci


I have some really solid resources of women who have walked through it and have turned their lives over to Christ and can really share from their own personal experience what that looked like and can relate to this way more than I can, since I don't have a history of this. But it is definitely becoming more prevalent. Kristin, are you seeing the same thing?


Kristin Hernandez: [01:00:47] I have seen a lot of that. And if I can add something, Ashley, I was thinking as you were talking, we keep saying this. We're telling you the Truth because we want to encourage you. And like you said, these are roads that lead to Hell. They lead to destruction. And the good news in that too is that God is a God who redeems and saves and we can repent.


I mean, there are sins all of us have done. I can think of things I've done where at the time I don't even know that I realized I was doing something. I just didn't know that that was wrong and was later convicted of something. Sometimes we're blinded. We're blind to our sins sometimes, and so if that is something you are realizing, we encourage you, you can come to the Lord and ask for forgiveness.


And Scripture says if you ask for forgiveness from the Lord, He is faithful to forgive you of your sins. Call upon the name of the Lord. He will forgive you of your sins.


But something I was thinking of earlier too as you were speaking, Ashley, I was thinking how in all of these things, we are recognizing that if you have done any of these things, whether it's called your baby an angel or have tried to consult with a medium, we know that these are all things that often come from a place of desire and longing. And so as we have said over and over in this podcast, the Truth is always more encouraging than the counterfeits that we try to use to comfort us.


And so I was thinking as we were talking about mediums that we do desire somebody to mediate. A medium is somebody who mediates, speaks on our behalf, goes in between and speaks. And so just to encourage us that God gave us a mediator, we have a mediator. That is why that longing is in us.


If that longing is in you to have somebody mediate for you, that is because we need a mediator, and that mediator is Jesus. God gave His Son Jesus to be the mediator between man and God to allow us to speak to God. We have the greatest power that we can speak to, that we can consult with, that we can have relationship with.


And so that desire in us to have that mediation done for us is a right desire. We just need to direct ourselves to the right thing, not to things that are evil and against God's Word, but to God's Son, to Jesus Christ, who does mediate for us, who allows us to speak to God, who is everywhere at once. He can hear our prayers. He does have the power to act.


Our loved ones who have died do not have that power. They don't have those attributes. God has the power to answer prayer. He has the power to hear us. He's all powerful. He knows everything; even before we pray, He knows our needs. And so just for us to be encouraged again, that all of these desires we have, we have this desire in us and the Truth is better. The Truth is better. God's Word is better.


The reality that we are made in the image of God is better than being an angel. The reality that we have a mediator in Jesus Christ is far more encouraging than being able to consult with our loved ones through a medium. We have these comforts when we look to God's Word. And so just to encourage us that that desire is there because we need mediation, and that is met in Jesus alone.


Ashley Opliger: [01:03:49] Yes, absolutely. And I know you and I have talked a lot about the Holy Spirit and the Trinity, the Godhead. And so I like to think about it as Bridget is in the physical presence of God the Father and Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the third part of the triune God is in me. And so here I am in the physical presence of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and she's in the presence of Jesus, and so we are not that far away.


And you call Jesus the mediator, He's our intercessor. It says that if we don't even have words, God will intercede to the Father for us. And so when I think about, it's like I'm just going to tell Jesus what I want him to tell Bridget, because He's there with her and He's in me. I can talk to Jesus because He's here and He wants us to be continually praying to Him.


And so sometimes I'll just say, “God, will You just tell Bridget that I love and miss her and give her a hug for me?” I'll say that to Jesus because it's okay for us to talk to Jesus. He's our God and our Father, and so just keep that in mind.


And I like that you used the word counterfeit because that's what Satan is in everything. He's a counterfeit. He's a cheap fake. He wants to try to promise us some sort of false light. And so these mediums and psychics and fortune tellers, manifesters, energy healers, whatever they call themselves, it's a cheap fake. They have demonic power, but they don't have the power of the living God.


And I also like that you brought us to the point that there's always repentance. A lot of times when we're in sin, we're under some sort of deception and we don't even realize that we're being deceived by Satan. And so you may have done these things thinking that because of this longing that you have or because you thought it was okay.


But the beauty of God and also of the Holy Spirit, who convicts us of our sin and shows us the Truth, is that we can repent. And these ladies that I've told you that I'm following on Instagram and they have these podcasts, it's really beautiful because they have some testimony videos and they actually will show videos of them when they were in the New Age and doing these things, and then what it looks like after they've been baptized and they're following Christ. And it's actually a physical transformation in the way they even appear, as what God has done to completely transform their lives.


I'm not sharing their names on here but I'll link everything and you can go and look at this later, but one of them, they had a whole Instagram page devoted to this New Age stuff and she chose to keep it all there even after she was transformed and all of her content completely changed. But she went back and on every post she put, “This person in this video is a false teacher, and I know she's a false teacher because it's me and this was before I was saved.”


EX-NEW AGE RESOURCES:

“Don’t Dance with the Devil” - Understanding the Times Podcast (can be found on Spotify or Apple Podcasts too)

Heaven and Healing Podcast by Angelamarie Ucci


And I was like, “What a testament to God's grace.” And now she's trying to reach other people that were dabbling and dealing with the same things that she was, and she kept that content because that's the content that those people are looking for.


And now she's like, “Here's the content. Let's point to the true hope of Jesus.” And so hopefully that's an encouragement here is we're not trying to shame you, but like Kristin said, we want you to know the Truth and to follow God and to have this beautiful hope that we can see our babies in Heaven again.


And so I know we've talked a lot about some really heavy topics but I feel like it needs to be addressed because it is becoming so prevalent and so popular. And we know that in these Last Days, Satan is doing an all-out attack and trying to deceive people left and right and have some sort of hope that is not in God. And this is just one of the many ways that he can use, because when we're grieving, we're weak and we are vulnerable to these kinds of attacks and to deception.


And so it's all the more important to stand on Truth in this time because it's easy to be swayed when you're sad and you're longing and you're looking for hope.


And so thank you so much for listening to this episode. These have been topics that have been on my heart for a long time. And then I ask Kristin, would you talk about these hard topics with me? Because I feel like we need to have these conversations and get this out there.


And we would love for your help in sharing this episode with other moms that are grieving the loss of a baby, to point them to the hope. You can go back and listen to the one before this was our episode on A Foundation of Biblical Hope, and we really go into that.


And then our next episode is going to be questions that you ask Kristin and I that we're going to answer as many as we can in an episode. So go to our podcast survey. There's a link in our blog in our Facebook group. You can also go to bridgetscradles.com/podcastsurvey, answer your questions and we will answer those in the next episode.


Kristin, would you please close us in prayer? And we will look forward to having you back for our third and final summer episode.


Kristin Hernandez: [01:08:47] Yes, absolutely.


Heavenly Father, thank You so much for this opportunity for us to come together and look to Your Word and to encourage one another with the Truth.


God, I just pray that You would comfort every woman and even any men listening to this podcast today, wherever they're at. We pray that Your Holy Spirit would continue to stir in their hearts and prompt them toward the Truth. We pray for Your comfort. We know that only You can give us lasting peace and lasting joy, and we just pray that over our listeners.


Lord, I pray for anyone who maybe has dabbled in the occult or in mediums or just any of those things that aren't of You, Lord. We thank You for Your forgiveness. We pray for repentance and also peace, knowing that You do forgive, Lord, and we do not have to work to earn Your forgiveness, that we can turn from our sin and just accept the forgiveness that You lavishly pour on us even when we don't deserve it, that we don't have to work hard to earn Your forgiveness, but we can just turn to You and turn from our sin, turn to You, and that You are good and faithful to forgive us over those sins.


Lord, You know that we miss our babies. We thank You that You have given us a mediator in Jesus Christ. We thank You that we can come to You, we can consult with You, and that You listen and that we're able to come to You right now because of Jesus and because of what He has done on the cross for us.


Thank You for Heaven. Thank You for the hope of salvation that we have. Thank you for offering us adoption as Your sons and daughters. We love You, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Ashley Opliger: [01:10:22] Amen.


Ashley Opliger: [01:10:24] Thank you for listening to the Cradled in Hope Podcast on the Edifi Podcast Network. We pray that you found hope & healing in today’s episode.

Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss new episodes when they release on the 1st 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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