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44 | Finding Faith to Face Infertility & Miscarriage | Abigail Sikma





Join us for a hope-filled conversation with Abigail Sikma, bereaved mom and founder of the ministry Something to Hold. After experiencing two early miscarriages, Abigail was confronted with the choice to either run from or turn to the faith she was raised with. For the first time in her life, she turned to her faith as her own and clung to the promises of God to get her through several years of infertility and miscarriage.


In this episode, we discussed:

  • Clinging to the faith you were brought up in

  • Trusting God over Google

  • Perspective to get through dark seasons

  • Growing the Kingdom through vulnerability

  • Reframing the "Why Me?" question

  • What is our number one mission as believers?

  • The story of Something to Hold (How it started and what they do)

  • How to get involved with their ministry

  • A special Christmas giveaway for our listeners!


Full transcript below.

 

MEET OUR GUEST


Abigail Sikma is the founder of Something to Hold, a ministry that donates blankets to grieving moms.


Abigail is a wife to her high school sweetheart and an infertility mama with two babies in Heaven and one in her arms. She is a children's book author and illustrator, homemaker, and suburban homesteader.


Connect with Abigail:

Instagram: @somethingtohld

Facebook: somethingtohld

 

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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 1,400 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:

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EPISODE TRANSCRIPT


Episode 44 | Finding Faith to Face Infertility & Miscarriage | Abigail Sikma


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 another episode of Cradled in Hope. Today we have my friend Abigail Sikma, from the nonprofit ministry Something to Hold. Abigail is a Christian and a wife to her high school sweetheart, and she's a homemaker and suburban homesteader. She is an infertility momma with two babies in Heaven and one in her arms.


She is passionate about supporting mommas of loss through her ministry. I am so excited for you to hear her story and learn more about Something to Hold. Also, be sure to listen until the end because Abigail will be sharing about a special giveaway she's going to do for Christmas. She is going to give away three bundles of her special blankets along with Christmas ornaments in memory of your baby.


So be sure to listen for those details at the end of this episode so that you can enter that very special giveaway. Let's jump in now.


Ashley Opliger: [00:04:40] Welcome, Abigail, to the Cradled in Hope Podcast.


Abigail Sikma: [00:01:42] Hi, yes, thank you so much for having me.


Ashley Opliger: [00:01:47] I'm so excited to be here with you. Our listeners can't see us, but we are both cuddled up with blankets in our respective places; I’m in Kansas, and she's in Indiana, which we were laughing about because she runs a blanket nonprofit, so it only made sense that we were all cozy with our blankets doing this recording.


But I am so excited for our listeners to hear your story and how God has used your losses and your pain for His glory in starting the nonprofit ministry Something to Hold. So Abigail, would you introduce yourself and share your story with us?


Abigail Sikma: [00:02:24] Absolutely, yeah. My name is Aby. Our story starts, I feel like, right at the very beginning of when my husband and I got married, I married my high school sweetheart. And that wasn't without typical high school turmoil and ups and downs and the toxic break-up/make-up type of thing.


And through different moves, the Lord always brought us back together, which was such a foreshadow into what we would go through in our life and in our marriage. And being so young and being together, I think, was the core of what built the foundation of what we were about to endure.


So, like I said, we got married really young and we knew we wanted to have a family, so we started trying right away and we had no idea that it was going to take as long as it did. We had about a six-year journey to growing our family. And in that six years, we said goodbye to two babies much too soon.


The first baby was, we found out that we conceived pretty much as we found out we were losing him or her. And it was right at the start of COVID. We actually found out that we were pregnant the day the world shut down, which meant I had a difficult time getting in to doctors. I had a difficult time getting any answers.


We had tried so hard for this. It was four years into this trial of negativity and, “Nothing's working,” and failed treatments. We did several years of treatment and 14 rounds of medications and nothing worked. And the Lord gave us this baby completely naturally in a time that we weren't trying as, I guess you could say, as hard as we were before. It just felt so right.


And so to find out such good news along with bad news so quickly was such a confusing time for us. From there, we were actually at the time living in Florida for a year in an RV. We had a year of adventure, and that's when the Lord gave us such a huge blessing and also just turmoil. But that's okay; we had each other and we had our faith and we clung to that.


And from there, we prayed for our next move, and that included moving back to our hometown. And then after moving back to our hometown into what was a dream home of ours, exactly a year later from when we found out we lost our first baby, we found out that we were expecting our second. And it was just so incredible to experience that again, and this time with more hope, more good answers, able to see this baby on an ultrasound, see the heartbeat, share good news with some of our family.


And right before we were able to share the good news with the other side of our family, we found out that the baby no longer had a heartbeat. This was the Tuesday before Mother's Day and then also right before we stood up in a family wedding.


And all this time, I was carrying our baby that was no longer living inside of me, but wasn't ready to leave my body yet. Or my body just wasn't able to say goodbye yet, and just going through a whole other side of what miscarriage looks like. And it brought so much perspective to us.


We had two miscarriages that were just completely different and all the sides that go with loss and all the situations that happen in lives that just carry on. You really don't know what's happening deeper down or what people are going through.


So we found out that we lost this baby on May 4, that there was no longer a heartbeat. And on May 17, I was able to labor the baby and have so much closure with the process of being at home and making it as, for lack of better words, as real life as possible, because I had strived for so long and prayed so long to be a mom and I felt like I was missing all these things.


I was still having these babies that I don't get to hold right now, but I know I will be reunited with them. And there were just aspects that I felt like I was a mother, but there were parts that I was missing.


And me being able to have that baby and hold that baby for a little bit, even being so little, brought so much closure to me and so much peace, and opened my eyes to stories that other mothers, you pray nobody has to go through that, but stories that could help another mother who are going through such an unknown time and just don't know what to do with it.


After that loss, we were so blessed to get pregnant a third time, again, all naturally, even after all those years of treatments. And now we have an almost-16-month-old giant little baby boy, who is a huge blessing to us.


And I think about those first two babies and what we're missing out on who they would be, who would they be now, boys or girls, red hair. Our son has red hair, we have no idea how, blonde hair, brown hair, what they would look like and who they would be. And I just have so much hope knowing that I will one day know who they are, who their soul is.


But without those first two babies, we wouldn't have our now third baby. And I could not imagine being a mom to not this third baby of ours. So seeing that bigger picture, we just cling to when things are hard.


And when we think about the past and what we've had to endure, we hope that after the really difficult first hurdle of what grief is, that they can grasp the concept of if they have faith, then they will be reunited with these little ones. And that this bigger picture you might not see right away, but when you do, it is a beautiful picture of what God is doing, even amidst all of the heartbreak that it is.


So actually, it was right before we found out we were pregnant again, I really just wanted something to hold. You labor your baby and you don't get to hold that baby anymore other than in your heart.


And so I went to the store and made myself a fleece tie blanket. I feel like every girl in sixth grade, it was initiation into girlhood, you made yourself a fleece tie blanket. And I found fabric that just connected with me, made it, and it was so great. I got to hold it. It kept me warm. It was a tangible visual that represented the babies that we had in Heaven and what we wanted and what we were working so hard for.


Then we found out that we were pregnant with my now son Gentry, which was fantastic and just a huge blessing. And then that October, over Pregnancy Loss and Infant Loss Awareness Day, I shared on my Instagram that I wanted to make a blanket for somebody else.


And we had eight families be brought to our attention and we didn't know who to pick from there, so we just said yes to all of them. So we went back to the community and said, “Does anyone want to help?”


And within 30 minutes they were funded and either fabric was already purchased or signed up to be made. Regardless, within 30 minutes, all eight blankets were accounted for and we were able to send them out, which was just crazy to witness. People that haven't even been touched by loss in the way that we have just had a heart for it, because they might've had a loved one go through it. Or there's just servant hearts out there, and it's just incredible to be able to see that firsthand.


Yeah, so after that was the end of it. And then a month later, we had a friend ask if we had blankets. And I said yes, even though we did not and we had no plans of making more blankets, but we've just been making blankets ever since.


And now this is my way of being a mom to my first two babies, and I think about them every day. I would think about them regardless, but now I get to think about them in a sense of: They have so much purpose here. And I think when I get to Heaven and I am reunited with them, I feel like I'm still familiar with them, that they're not strangers, even though I barely got to know them. And I feel like I'm making them proud in a way.


And Gentry, my son here, is going to grow up witnessing this and being a part of it, and he'll know his siblings’ stories. And I think about when we have an eternal life, what would that look like? And that's what we're trying to live for is what that forever looks like. That is more important to me than anything.


So if I could do things here that will have reflection on what that time of our life looks like, then that's what I'm going to go for.


Ashley Opliger: [00:10:46] I love that so much, Aby. I love that you have an eternal perspective and that as you were walking through years of infertility and multiple losses, that God was working and stirring in your heart that eternal perspective, that you did have hope and that He was sovereign over your story and over your life and over your family, your children, and the timing of your children.


And that's a hard place to get to, to surrender and trust that God's plan is good and perfect, even in the midst of these really hard things. And that is not the kind of faith that just happens overnight. That is a hard-fought faith that really gets refined through these trials as you're walking through.


So let's go back to the years of infertility and walking through two miscarriages. How did God develop that kind of faith in you in the midst of such grief and pain?


Abigail Sikma: [00:11:40] Yeah, I don't think I fully saw it all happen until after the fact, saw what was really stirring in our hearts or appreciated it, like I do now, at the time. It was very much like there was no other choice.


What we knew is our faith. We were raised in the faith. I will never be more grateful for anything in life than to be raised in faith, both my husband and I, that we were able to have strength in that. But this would be our first situation that put us in adulthood that we had to cling to it for ourselves rather than what our families trained us up to be or whatever. So this was our first trial together, what really strengthened our marriage.


And there was nothing else to do. I mean, we try to take as much control into our own hands by doing different measures and just trying anything that Google will tell us, but we knew to our core that it was truly what was going to be God's timing and it would be that specific baby that was meant for us.


You just wonder why it's you, and the only thing that we could cling to was what the Bible says and that it's His story to write and we are just vessels for Him, and just reminding ourselves of that every day.


And even though the days were long and the years were long and every announcement that came our way of fighting all the emotions and feelings of happiness for our loved ones, but just utter heartbreak for ourselves, the days just went on.


And now, a friend told this to me and I don't know where she got it, but it was just so much wisdom, that when you're going through it, this plot, it feels like never ending. And it feels like you'll never get to the happy ending. But once you do get to that happy ending, and ours was six years of this plot, then everything just becomes just a sentence.


And in the time, I told myself, “This is the hardest thing I'm ever going to go through. I'll never forget any of these feelings and negativities.” But now, as I'm trying to share the story of it, I just see the hope that we prayed for and had faith for come into fruition. All of it truly is just a sentence.


I wish I was told that then, because the heaviness and the daily fight of what your brain tells you and what the devil is telling you, it's not of the Lord. And if I just remembered of what was of the Lord, then maybe the days would have felt shorter and not so long.


But yeah, I was truly just clinging to His truths and His promises. And I felt to my core that the Lord would allow me to be pregnant and carry a child. I don't know how I knew that. Just faith, I knew that. There's no explanation, but there doesn't need to be an explanation when it comes to God and His works. But now seeing it come into fruition is just so much proof to me of how our faith stood strong and that what we believe is true.


Ashley Opliger: [00:14:37] Amen. And I love that you talked about how in the midst of the daily struggle, sometimes it's so hard to see that there will ever be light at the end of the tunnel, that there will ever be joy again.


And we talk a lot on this podcast about how another baby is not where we put our hope and that our hope is in Christ, and what Jesus, the little baby that was sent to earth, what He offered us and the hope that we have.


And of course, each child that we are given is a huge blessing and a part of that. But regardless of how someone's story quote unquote “ends” or where it leads, there is hope to be found and there is light at the end of the tunnel.


And so I think, like you said, the devil really likes to keep us in the darkness and make us feel as though this will never get better. And I think when you're walking through it, he wants you to just stay in this place of darkness and thinking, “My life will never get better. I'll never be happy again. When will I ever smile again?”


And so often, I think, especially when it comes to people who end up taking their own lives, they really don't see that it could ever get better. And that's just that mental and spiritual darkness that the enemy wants to keep us in. But every season is a season and God will bring us out of it.


And there's something that we do learn in the darkness and in the hard times, and He'll bring us out of that. We just have to hold on to hope even in the midst of it, and trust that He's going to get us to the other side.


And even when we do come out of it, this doesn't sound very encouraging, but there's going to be another trial and then there's going to be another trial. And I wish life wasn't this way, but Jesus Himself says, “Take heart,” because in this life, there is trouble.


And I tell people all the time, ever since losing Bridget, I've experienced lots of other hard trials and kinds of grief and difficulties. And so we as Christians really do need to just have that foundation of hope and know where we're going to turn our eyes to Heaven, to the Maker of the Heavens and the earth. That's where our help comes from, no matter where we're at in life.


And so would you just talk about, as you then had this little rainbow baby that God blessed you with and that God had given you this vision that you would one day have, how even with that gift, you still very much love and miss these little babies and are wanting to honor their lives, and how that grief changed and what that looks like now in your life?


Abigail Sikma: [00:17:09] Absolutely. I believe that one of the hardest things to date that my husband and I have gone through is the waiting for our family and the two losses that we have. I feel like the devil is going to use every part of your story for his good.


Obviously he's going to take even your good things and use them as negativities and weaknesses. And the parts of our story that are so hard, I feel like, need to still be God-honoring because it's what brings relatability, so people know that they're not alone, because the Lord created us to be in community and to talk amongst each other and support one another and just grow His Kingdom, get His Word out there and bring glory to Him and grow Heaven.


So I think that it was so important to us to take what could be so much negativity and what we could be like, “Oh, this is evilness,” and turn it into God's glory, because our babies are with Him and we will one day see them again and be with them again.


And sometimes I feel selfish wanting them to be here, because why would I want them to know the pains of earth and know the struggles that we're going through? They got to skip all of this stuff and just go right to the end goal. And I think that is just so beautiful now looking at [it].


It was very hard to have that perspective in the time. And I need to keep reminding myself of that and trying to keep the heartache that we had that created such beauty in our lives, I feel like, “Bring that glory to God,” and remembering them is making purpose from that pain.


So having this nonprofit that we started that God just completely started and chose us to be a part of it, I will always feel so blessed that He chose us for this ministry.


It's our way of making that negativity not be going towards the devil, not bring negativity to our lives and heaviness to our lives to where we have resentment or anything, that we're making it, “This is part of our story and we're using it to glorify God, to grow His Kingdom and to witness to other people and to show His goodness and His promises,” so then they have a vision and strive for Heaven and to live in a way that God calls us to live.

I feel like when you have hard things, which way is it going to go? Towards evil? Is it going to go towards goodness? And there's so much that you can do. It's a hard fight. It's a hard battle, but you can turn pain into purpose. And all of that creates such beautiful stories that the Lord is going to use for our number one call.


Our number one mission is to be fishers of men. And why not use even what is going to be the hardest part of your story? It’s going to, sadly, connect with other people. Because like you said, we are going to have trials.


That trial was then. I don't know what our trial will be in the future, but I pray that we keep clinging to this faith and what we've learned through our story and the beauty He's brought us from all of the evilness and the heaviness. Game on! If He's going to use it for a beautiful story, then yeah, pick me. Pick us. We got it, because He has us.


Ashley Opliger: [00:20:31] 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: [00:39:32] It's amazing when you can change your perspective to believe that you are blessed and honored to have walked through something so hard. And I know I didn't feel that way in the beginning, especially when I was walking through the complications of my pregnancy with Bridget, and I was on bed rest.


I did not want that to be part of my story. I was really resisting it and feeling very abandoned by God and very much questioning, “Why me? Why would You allow this?” But with time and perspective, I've actually changed that, “Why me,” to, “Wow, why me,” in a honored kind of way, which sounds so strange, especially to people who haven't experienced this and walked through the journey of seeing God use your pain for purpose.


But I do now feel like this is a calling and something that God chose me for. And so it is an honor to have suffered and taken up my cross and in a sense, in one way, I mean, obviously it cannot compare to what Jesus did on Calvary, but it's one aspect of our human suffering and using the brokenness that we've walked through for His glory.


This is in Jeremiah 1:5, it says, “Before you were born, I set you apart.” And God is talking to Jeremiah there, so this is not something that I'm claiming that God said to me, but I do feel like God, in general, He does have a purpose for each of us and that is to be fishers of men.


I mean, every Christian's calling is to make disciples that make disciples, to share the Gospel. And to your point, like you said, we relate to people in their weakness. We relate to people in their struggles and their trials. That's when you go deep with people, when you can be vulnerable and when you can really make connection in relationship, because people aren't going to necessarily connect to you if you have this perfect life and everything's going great and you've never gone through anything difficult.


And so there is just this being able to relate to the brokenness and being able to commiserate in the pain, but then also that propels us to the hope and walking and living out a life of faith that says, “I've walked through this. This is really hard. I wish I didn't have to go through this, but now that I have, I am going to use it for God's glory.”


And I'm honored to be a part of that because we're all, like you said, we're vessels. We're His hands and feet on the earth to share the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus. So I love that you shared all of that and I love what you're doing with Something to Hold.


You've already shared the beginning story of how it got started, but would you now share with our listeners what it looks like now and what you do, what you offer, how people can get involved with your ministry, all of the things?


Abigail Sikma: [00:24:29] Yeah. Like I said before, this started very unintentionally, which is every single aspect has been such a clear picture of God's hand is in this.


It is His ministry and He's doing the work and He is using the babies that He gets to hold. We don't get to hold them, but He gets to hold them and He's using them, too. I mean, they're even making fishers of men and they're up in Heaven.


And they're using us as parents to do that, which I just think is a beautiful, an honoring picture of how we can still be moms to these little ones. And we are still moms to these little ones.


So yeah, Something to Hold that we're making blankets and sending them out to loved ones and people that have gone through the loss of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss. And it's all purely by donation. We have it set up on our website and we ship all across the United States.


We have local pick-up. We're in Northwest Indiana, so if you're in that area and want to connect, I'd love to connect with you. But we do ship across the United States and it's all donation based. So you would submit a form online, and you then get added to our waiting list.


And we just ask questions of if this blanket is for you, if it's for a loved one, and if so, if you'd like your name written on a card. We include a little letter written from me, another mom of loss, just to connect and to allow these moms to feel seen and heard and that they're not alone.


Loss is, the statistics are way too common, but it's also such a lonely experience to go through. So if we can create community out of any of that, then I feel like that's fulfilling a calling that we have from the Lord with this community call that we have, called to gather.


We make all these blankets at events. It started out just in living rooms, whether it was me in my living room or my in-laws in their living room and all the nieces making blankets. And now it has just become all throughout the United States.


Now people are hosting events, making blankets with their small groups, with their friends, with family, truly anyone that they could get together and make blankets and funding the fabric. So that's all donated basically to Something to Hold so these blankets can keep going out and we could keep getting caught up on our waiting list of moms that are nominated for these blankets.


So it's been so cool to see the willingness to serve in this. It's given an answer to loved ones who hear of these losses and they don't know the right words to say and they don't know what to do. This has given them an opportunity to do something.


We, by default, keep everything anonymous, only because they're not our stories to share. And some people want to love on others but feel like a wall is up because they don't quite want them to know it's from them. So, by default, everything is kept anonymous.


If the person sending a blanket wants this mom to know it's from them, we have a space that they could leave their name. But it has just opened, I feel like, so many doors to love these moms and offer a tangible comfort when their arms are empty and they just need something to hold.


Ashley Opliger: [00:27:32] Well, I love that idea, and I love the blankets. They're so beautiful. For everyone that's listening, you need to go onto her Instagram page, her Facebook page, her website. It's all so beautiful, and just your graphic design and the way you've curated everything, it's very aesthetically pleasing and beautiful.


And I feel like these are blankets that you would want to have in your living room out displayed. They're very cozy-looking and beautiful. So I'm really excited for people to get involved. Like she said, you can go onto her website. It's by donation to help cover the shipping costs and things like that, and the fabrics.


But I love that people are doing this all across the country and they're doing these little pop-up events, like you mentioned. And so I'm assuming people can host these events and then they would get the materials, they'd make them and then they would ship them to you. And then the requests come in to you and then you send them out. Is that correct?


Abigail Sikma: [00:28:28] Yes. Also, first, thank you so much for saying that about our branding as a whole. And the blankets, how they look is so important to us that we have these blankets connect to the moms and the fathers, that they want them in their home, that they want to hold them and everything. And it is just a detail that has been so important to me from the beginning. So I'm just so appreciative that you even mentioned that.


So yes, for hosting events, we have a spot on our website that you would sign up. And we're in the beginning stages of creating a team that could help manage all this, so you have all your questions answered.


And we have almost like a hub that we'll send you to that's online that gives you all the answers you need on how to make the blankets, what fabric to buy. We even fold them a fun way that has been a pretty fun thing to show at events.


So you will see that if you go to our website or on any of our social media and see a picture of our blankets. Every detail is so intentional because we want these to be presented to these families, a lot of times they don't know that they're coming.


If a loved one is sending, it shows up on their door and they don't even know about it. And so we want it to be a bundle and we want it to be a gift that they just see this and feel like they have been thought of in every which way and that they are just so loved. It makes me emotional thinking about it and talking about it.


So yes, if you wanted to host an event, you would have all the information you need. And then we have different methods. We have waited on the idea of shipping them back to us only because we want to be really good stewards of the funding that we have. And sadly, there's just always a need.


So if you were to host an event, we could always talk about what to do with the blankets after. A lot of times, the host will just hold on to them and then they become a pillar in their community for this, to where if someone from this event knows of somebody that needs a blanket, or if they find out someone needs a blanket, they have them ready to give out.


And we can send our little letter that we include with, we have a little sprig of greenery that we put on there and some string, and we can send all that to you as a host, so your blankets could look just like how our blankets look. But then they're just ready in your community for when there's a need.


Ashley Opliger: [00:30:39] I love that. Thank you for clarifying that, because for anyone who's listening and affiliated with Bridget’s Cradles. We have a little bit different model with ours.


We have the patterns that people make when they sign up to be a volunteer, and then they ship them all to us and then we distribute them out to the hospitals. But it's a different ministry and different ministry model and not that either one is right or wrong. And I think what's important is that both models we are trying to get them out to as many people and to bless so many people, and that's what you're doing.


And so if anyone's interested in hosting an event to make blankets, we would love for you to contact Aby and her team. Also, if you're interested in receiving a blanket for yourself, you can go on to her website and fill out that form she mentioned. And if you're a friend or a family member of someone who's lost a baby, you can go on there and do a donation and have one sent to a friend or family member.


And I love that you are in the details. And I know that's a gifting that God has given you and your branding and in how you curate everything so beautifully, because it does make a difference in grief.


And we have a different branding, obviously, than you, but we have very high standards and we really do try to just pursue excellence in everything that we do, because we know that this little cradle is going to this precious little baby, God's most prized possession.


And so we do have high standards on how the cradles are made and what yarns they get to use and what charms we allow on there and the dimensions and all of those things, because we're like, “This is so important for the baby and for the family.”


And I love that you have those standards and that you are so intentional about those details because I think that makes all the difference in these families feeling loved and cared for.


So I just commend you for what you're doing and most importantly, that you're doing all this in Jesus’ Name and for His glory and not for your own. And it's just such a beautiful ministry. So would you tell our listeners how they can find you, your website and your social media channels, all of those details?


Abigail Sikma: [00:32:40] Yeah. You can find us at somethingtohold.org. That is our website. And then we are on Instagram and Facebook, and that will be somethingtohld, but don't have the O in the hold. So something to H-L-D, only because the other one was taken. So that's our social media, Facebook, Instagram, and then, yep, on our website.


And then we have an email list that we're starting up to get information out on that different events that we have. We do a lot of local events, but like I said, we are all around the United States now.


And we just are going to keep going in the trajectory of the growth that the Lord has for this and the eagerness to serve in this and love on these moms and these families that are experiencing this loss. So we will see. We are open to whatever the Lord has for us.


Ashley Opliger: [00:33:33] Well, it's so beautiful and you have been so generous to offer three bundles, and I’m going to let you explain what the bundles are in just a minute, as giveaways to our Cradled in Hope listeners that are listening to this podcast.


If you go onto our social channels, so our Facebook and Instagram., we are going to have the details of the giveaway, but she's going to be giving three bundles away. That includes a blanket and she's going to share, what else? Go ahead.


Abigail Sikma: [00:34:00] Yes. With the blankets, when you make these blankets out of this fleece fabric, you have to cut the square corners out of each side. So we were left with these five-by-five-inch fleece squares, and I've kept them from the beginning because I didn't know why. It felt like too much to throw away. I wanted to be a good steward and I didn't want to be wasteful. So I kept them and I didn't know what to do with them.


And then the thought came to mind around Christmas time that we can make ornaments out of them. And we figured out how to make little angels out of these fleece squares and a little felt ball. And they're so cute and we have fundraisers around Christmas time and we have them available for donation at all of the markets that we're at.


So with this little bundle that I'd love to give away three of them, I would love to give away three of these blankets that we have as a tangible comfort, the comfort that we have received from Him, as a way to remember our little ones that we don't get to hold here, and then also a matching little angel ornament that is made from the same fabric that your blanket will be made out of.


Ashley Opliger: [00:35:09] I love that. I think it's going to be so comforting and beautiful, so thank you so much. And we'll post all of those details on our social pages and then we'll also link and tag you in those. So excited about that!


Aby, thank you for being so generous and all the things that you're doing for so many families. It’s truly a beautiful ministry that you've created and I'm so honored to get to partner with you. And you've now listed Bridget's cradles on your website, which we're so grateful for. And we're going to be, obviously, sharing all about your ministry on our pages too. So would you close our time together in prayer for all the moms that are listening?


Abigail Sikma: [00:35:48] Absolutely, yes. All right.


Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for bringing us here together. Thank You for each and every person that is listening to this, that You have their ears open to this for a reason. And I just pray that Your words were able to speak through both of us today and that Your mission is met and Your people hear You and people are encouraged and find hope in the promises that You have, because we have been blessed by it in mounds and mounds over again, Lord.


Even though there's trials and there's heaviness, I just pray that we continue to take that pain and make purpose out of it for the glory of You, and that we're fishers of men, and that we are a vessel of light into the communities around us that are just going through such heaviness, that we could walk together, that we can band together. And where two or more gathered, Lord, there You are also, and we welcome You into this space.


So thank Y0u again for this opportunity and the blessings that You've given us and the little ones that we have, whether here or there, that we will all be reunited once again, and our families will feel complete for the first time.


We look forward to that day, and until that day, Lord, we honor all of those that You get to hold up there while we're here and we're moms to them all, and to continue to be an encouragement to one another. So, Lord, take all of this as You need it. We are Yours and we love You. In Your name we pray. Amen.


Ashley Opliger: [00:37:13] Amen. Thank you so much, Aby. It's been a joy to have you here today.


Abigail Sikma: [00:37:18] Thank you.


Ashley Opliger: [00:37:20] 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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