top of page

49 | We Shall All Be Changed | Whitney Pipkin

Join us for a hope-filled conversation with Whitney Pipkin, author of We Shall All Be Changed. Whitney wrote the book after experiencing the loss of two babies to miscarriage and her mom after a twenty-year battle with cancer. She reminds us that God changes us through grief, often in unexpected and beautiful ways.

In this episode, we discussed:

  • Holding joy and sorrow together

  • Having a timid hope through pregnancy

  • Coping with anticipatory grief and facing grief head-on

  • Developing a "theology of death" using the metanarrative of Scripture

  • The difference between redemption and consummation

  • When will our hearts be healed?

  • 1 Corinthians 15 and the Resurrection

  • Sharing in the sufferings of Christ

  • How to feel the Lord's presence

  • The story of Elijah and why eating and sleeping is important

  • Why sanctification is more important than trying to perform or be productive

  • Sitting in the hard parts so we can stay soft and allow God to mold us

  • Receiving Christ's care

  • Taking care of living children after pregnancy loss

  • Stewarding your sadness in your kids' lives

Full transcript below.



Whitney K. Pipkin lives with her husband, three children and a dog named Honeybun in Northern Virginia, where she works as a journalist.

After losing her mom to the cancer she wrestled with for 20 years, Whitney has written a book she prays will serve others walking similar roads. We Shall All Be Changed.

Connect with Whitney:

Instagram: @whitneykpipkin



New episodes will be shared on the 1st of every month. Don't miss a single episode...subscribe wherever you podcast!

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


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:

Facebook /bridgetscradles

Instagram @bridgetscradles

Pinterest /bridgetscradles

Follow Cradled in Hope Podcast:

Facebook /cradledinhope

Instagram @cradledinhope






Episode 49 | We Shall All Be Changed | Whitney Pipkin

Ashley Opliger: [00:00:00] You’re listening to the Cradled in Hope Podcast. 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: [00:00:48] Welcome back to another episode of Cradled in Hope. I am so excited to introduce this next guest to you. Her name is Whitney Pipkin, and she actually grew up in my hometown of Andover, Kansas. She was a year above me in school. 

I am so excited because she just released her very first book, called We Shall All Be Changed: How Facing Death with Loved Ones Transforms Us. It came out in February, and so I'm excited to dive into the rich theology that's inside her book and her testimony of walking through two miscarriages and also losing her mom to cancer after wrestling with it for 20 years. She has a powerful testimony that I know will bless and encourage you today.

Whitney lives with her husband, three children, and dog in Northern Virginia, and she works as a journalist. You can find all of her writing on her website, She will share that again at the end of the episode, but let's dive into this conversation now. 

Ashley Opliger: [00:01:47] Welcome, Whitney, to the Cradled in Hope Podcast.

Whitney Pipkin: [00:01:49] Thanks for having me. 

Ashley Opliger: [00:01:50] Well, it's so fun how God reconnected us after all these years growing up in a little town of Andover, Kansas. And now you just released your book on grief and it was the number one new release in Christian grief and death. Is that right?

Whitney Pipkin: [00:02:04] That's right. Yes, although it's a moving target. But it has been for the last week or so, yeah.

Ashley Opliger: [00:02:08] Well, that is so exciting! I'm so proud of you and amazed at how you have walked an incredibly difficult journey in losing your mom to cancer and experiencing the loss of two babies to miscarriage. And yet you have taken that pain and used it to point other people to the hope of Christ. And so would you introduce yourself and then lead into how you ended up writing this book?

Whitney Pipkin: [00:02:33] Yes, I'd love to. 

I grew up in Andover. I live in Northern Virginia now; we've been here about a dozen years. We found a good church, and we just stayed put. My husband and I have been married, it'll be 15 years this summer, and we have three kids, ages nine, six, and three. 

And I work as a journalist during the day, did not want to write a book. It was not on my radar. People ask, when you're a writer by trade, “Oh, do you really want to write a book? Is that your goal?” And it never was, but I did end up doing more Christian writing and that really came out of the miscarriages we experienced. 

So, after our first child, we had a loss before our second child, our son, was born. And I was so surprised by the depth of it and how deeply it affected me and for how long. And then I got pregnant right after that, I didn't even have a cycle in between. And so the difference between my first pregnancy and when I was pregnant with my son was just so emotional and such a careful hope, really. It just was very different.

And I had to rely on the Lord in a unique way throughout that pregnancy, just battling blues and bracing for disappointment the whole time. And so through that and really the postpartum and the postpartum blues that I experienced after that, I began to write and to journal and to do more Christian writing again, which is something I had done at various times, but it was not just in my journal.

So I did a couple of programs and then began to pursue that on the side. I had another loss again, right before my daughter was born, my second daughter. It was, again, no cycle in between. So we went straight into pregnancy from the loss of that pregnancy. 

It was very difficult because I had a blood clot that didn't heal right away. I was monitored through the first trimester for that. And then she ended up having to be delivered early because she stopped growing, and it was like three weeks early she was born. 

And we'd walked with friends through a stillbirth earlier that year, which is a very different pregnancy, like learning through those journeys, learning to hold joy and sorrow together, learning to have a timid hope. 

And how closely you have to walk with the Lord to not despair, to not give up, but to keep hoping for good and trusting His goodness, in that ‘even if’, in that ‘come what may’ with a child. 

My mom was diagnosed with cancer when I was in the seventh grade, so growing up, and it came back when I was in college. And so really it was a 20-year journey overall, kind of the backdrop to my sister and my upbringing in our life. 

When I started having kids, that was going on in the back burner, like this med stopped working, the cancer's now in this lung, and it's growing in this way. And so that was always on the back burner of our lives and something I was running from, not facing fully.

My sister and I talk about this now, but when you're pregnant and having kids and going through these seasons, your body, you do things to protect yourself emotionally that are maybe not healthy long term. 

But I just felt like I couldn't carry the fullness of the grief and anticipatory grief over my mom's illness while I was pregnant, I felt like I would hurt the baby, like I would get full body hives and stuff when she had bad news come up when I was pregnant. So you go through these seasons where you kind of function and do things to get through. 

And it wasn't until near the end that I was really able to face what was going on and to turn to the Lord and really grapple with what became a theology of death.  Like, “What is this thing we've been living under, this shadow? And how have I been living under it in unhealthy ways, not really wanting to face it, not really trusting God with it?” 

And in facing her death with her, we were with her those five days, her last five days, and I saw so much of God's presence and kindness, something I recognized from previous losses as well. 

And that was what became the book, this sense of urgency around testifying about God's presence when we do face death, when the worst does happen, and wanting people to show up for that process in their own lives.

Ashley Opliger: [00:06:48] Well, it's such a beautiful book, and I love the cover. I know that we shouldn't judge books by their cover, but there is such a sweet story behind the book cover.

And we will be posting your book on our social media, and you can certainly find that wherever books are sold as well. But would you share how the book cover came to be and how it has a really personal connection to you and your family? 

Whitney Pipkin: [00:07:12] Yeah. The cover, you don't get to just make it yourself as the author. It's a relational process with the designer, so they give you some options. And I had sent Pinterest board of ideas, including a painting by my grandmother of flowers that had been in my mom's kitchen. 

It was just these colors that were so my mom, it was the ‘90s mauve and green and burgundy. It was just this beautiful color palette to me. And so we had used this painting as the inspiration for the urn that we had blown at Karg Art for my mom's ashes.

So it was just a meaningful painting to me, so I had included it in the mood board, if you will, thinking, “Maybe they'll use the colors.” I wanted like a Dutch floral with flowers on it and a dark background. 

And so they gave me three options and one of them had my grandma's painting on the cover. And I was like, “Okay, sold. This is it.” 

I did still hem and haw about it a little bit, but it's been really sweet to honor her. She was a professional painter in Wichita all those years. And that's my mom's mom, and she died in 2018. My mom died in 2020. So it's just been a sweet way to honor her through the cover. And I give her credit for all the cover judging and pretty cover buys are thanks to Grandma.

Ashley Opliger: [00:08:25] Yes. Well, it's beautiful on the outside, beautiful on the inside. And so I want to dive into the inside of the book. And we were talking about how your book is just theologically rich and has just so much Scripture.

And one of the things that you do in the book is you take this zoomed-out view of death, and you walk through looking at death through the lens of the Gospel. And so, would you mind walking us through that? Because whether we've lost a baby or a parent or a loved one, death is this enemy that we all fear.

Like you said, you were living in its shadow as you were walking this journey with your mom. And it had to be so hard as you're growing your family and your parents are such an important part of your life. And so to walk through this, it would be really difficult. 

And so, as you're experiencing anticipatory grief, and some of our moms can really relate to that, we have some moms who have experienced being given a life-limiting diagnosis in pregnancy, and the doctors have told them that their baby's not going to live. And so they're anticipating grief and loss. I think there's a lot of parallels here. 

Something I've told you before is that we have so much to learn from everyone's stories, regardless of their loss and how many weeks their baby was. There's something to learn about other people's grief journeys and how they walked with the Lord through that season.

Something that someone can say, a part of their testimony, can impact us and help us on our journey. So this, in your book, I think, is so helpful. So, would you walk us through what death looks like in the context of the Gospel?

Whitney Pipkin: [00:10:02] Yeah, so I zoom out and do what I call a theology of death. I see theology of death as a subcategory of theology of suffering, which is something that it helps to have before you're in it.

It helps to have tried on the ideas of: How could God be good if this happened, if life doesn't go as I thought it should? So I use the metanarrative of Scripture, which is the broad themes running across the Bible, and that is Creation, Fall, Redemption, Consummation. 

These are places in the story of Scripture where we can place our own story when we're in it, and it helps us, I talk about them as buckets that we can put different aspects of what we're feeling. 

So the first bucket with Creation is: The reason we hate death, the reason it feels so tragic, is because we were created in the Garden of Eden to live forever. And we were in relationship with God and without the presence of sin.

And so the part of us that intuitively rages against death and that feels, especially the loss of a child, that this is wrong and it shouldn't be, is anchored in that, that past, that part of us that is made for eternity and was made for eternity. 

And then the reason that death exists is because of the Fall. So because of sin, generally in the world, we are all sinful and we all die. If Christ tarries, we will all experience death with loved ones and our own death, and so it's a reality that we should be prepared for. 

But it also doesn't mean that this happened because I sinned [or] this happened because I ate the wrong things during my pregnancy. It doesn't have a causal relationship. It's just a general truth that sickness happens. Death happens because sin is in the world. 

So I think that's a really helpful bucket to visit and to understand that we don't need to, necessarily, find a cause in our own story. We can find a cause in the story of Scripture and we know that this is the human experience. 

And yet, then we move on to Redemption. The reason that we have hope even in death is because Christ came. We have a God who entered into our flesh and our reality, took on our human nature and yet was sinless, and endured life perfectly, and then took on death for us.

We have a God who faced death for us and faces it with us. And so we have hope in that redemption. And yet sometimes I think Christians can leave our hope there and hope for full healing, full redemption in the right now. And that does not always happen. 

And so that's why we look forward to the Consummation, to the one day full eternal healing that we will experience, the full reunification with our loved ones, and the fact that we will have bodies that no longer cry, tear, break, suffer, but that will be as they were meant to be and more. They will be glorified as Christ's is.

I think that's a helpful big picture so that when somebody comes to you and they want to focus on healing, and you can say in your own heart, “I know that God will heal my loved one. I don't know if it will be right now. It may be in eternity, but I can anchor that hope for healing fully and certainly in eternity, even if I'm not sure that it'll happen right now”

It's helpful to know which bucket we're living in and which bucket to place our hope in.

We can hope for healing, for sure, but we also hope in a greater healing one day, and that's what we want to anchor our hope in.

Ashley Opliger: [00:13:37] Absolutely. I love how you worded that because as grieving moms, I always tell other moms, “Yes, God can heal our heart and put the broken pieces together and bring joy back into our life.”

After we've lost a child, I don't believe that God wants us to live a life of bitterness and sorrow for the rest of our lives. But at the same time, I feel as though our hearts can't be fully, fully healed until we're in Heaven because death has separated us from our children temporarily. And until that reuniting, until we're in our glorified bodies and we're in the presence of the Lord forever and ever and ever, we can't be fully healed and whole.

So I always say, “Yes, God has healed me, and he's brought joy back into my life. And I have peace now and acceptance, but that doesn't mean that I'm not still missing my daughter and so excited to be reunited with her. And then when I am with her, and I'm with my Kingdom family, and I'm with the Lord, that's when everything will be perfect and right and whole.”

And so I love that you share that because, yes, there's healing that can be done now, but there's this greater healing, better healing at the Resurrection. And that's really the whole premise of your book, is: We Shall All Be Changed. That comes from 1st Corinthians 15 about the Resurrection. So would you share about the inspiration of using that verse as your title and the theme of it as it runs through your book?

Whitney Pipkin: [00:15:10] It's a play on words and that passage is talking about the hope that my mom will be changed at the Resurrection, that this one who has died will not stay dead, and that when she is resurrected, she will be reunited with a body that is perfect, that is new, that is made new like Christ, that is glorified, and will reflect His glory in a way that is unique to her and yet also reflecting God's image in a way it was always meant to.

There's a song that says, “I always knew you could be like this,” and I look forward to that aspect of being reunited with our loved ones, that we'll see them without the trappings of sin, without the things that were hard in our relationships. And we will rejoice in who we were each made to be in the fullest sense of it. 

And it's also a play on words in that I am changed by loss. I have been changed. And so walking with others is a way of trying on the transformation God has in mind that we get to experience in a lowercase t way in this life. We get to become more like Him through knowing Him and through fellowshipping in the sufferings of Christ, as Paul says. 

So we share in His sufferings that we may know Him and the power of His resurrection, becoming like Him in His death. As we trace these footsteps that our Savior walked in death, through death, walking with others through death, we also are transformed.

And Scripture talks about, as a fellow Kansan I can say, if you've ever seen a kernel of wheat, you can't imagine that it would become a field that would reflect the sunset and just the beauty that can come from that.

And so that is the degree of change we will have. It is immeasurable. The degree of change that our physical and spiritual bodies will have is incomprehensible. 

And so you, when you're at the front end of grief, the fresh loss, you can't imagine the change God will render in you. And you cannot really imagine that God would be good and that this would be used for my good and His glory.

And that's what I hope the book would do, is give people that imagination, give them a testimony of the ways God does change us through grief. And truly it's through His presence. It's through a knowing of Christ in our suffering that is unique to suffering. 

In the story of Joseph, it says God used what his brothers intended for evil, God used for good. And so it's not that God says, “This terrible thing is going to happen so that good things can happen,” but He turns it for good. 

And we see that throughout Scripture and we can see it in our own lives. We can testify to each other that it's not that I would have chosen this, that I would have written this story on my own, but that I can look back and it is good to look back and see Christ's nearness.

Because I think sometimes we only see it in looking back. We don't necessarily even recognize it in the moment. He feels very distant sometimes in our suffering. I talk about in the book that the thing we thought was a shadow of grief was really His presence, His shadow over us. Right?

This darkness, this heaviness that we felt, He was with us in it, and we were not alone.

And that is what transforms us, is His presence in our suffering.

Ashley Opliger: [00:18:20] 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,, 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: [00:19:29] I love that you talked about presence because that is so what we need. We need that intimacy with the Lord to walk us through it, to carry us when we can't walk ourselves and just be near to our broken heart. And He promises to be near to us. 

But like you said, so often when we're grieving, and we're just going through those waves, I read the journal entry in your book where you talked about just wanting to get onto the shore for a little bit to bask in the sun and get out of the waves of grief, because it can be so intense and so overwhelming to be in that season of grief and just feeling like it's relentless. You don't know if you're ever going to make it to the shore or to the other side.

What advice would you have to a grieving mom? She's in the waves of grief. She can't picture herself up on the shore getting a break from just the intense emotion and missing her baby. So what advice would you have to help the mom feel the presence of the Lord, to meet Him in the suffering even when she doesn't feel His presence?

Whitney Pipkin: [00:20:32] I love the story of Elijah when he has just gone through this process with the prophets and Jezebel is after him and he is grieving the fact that he has had to murder these false prophets. He's been through this hard thing, he's done what God told him, and yet only bad seems to happen to him.

And he is exhausted, and he goes to the river, and he's like,”You can take me now, I'm done, I don't want to do this anymore, I am completely at the end of myself.” And God sends an angel to minister to him, and He has him sleep, and the angel brings him food and water, bread and water. 

And I think in those early days of grief, we need to sleep and eat and let that be enough. That's when it really matters that Christ's finished work on the cross was finished for us, that there's nothing we need to do in our grief to prove to ourselves that we're over it, to earn God's favor, to earn His presence, to draw near to Him, that He is drawing near to us when we cannot do anything.

And when we can't even conjure the will to open our Bibles, there are ways that He is still near to us. And so that would be a time to be listening to Scripture, listening to songs and to rest, to know that God, the Maker of you, the Maker of your baby, and the One who is over all that has happened, does not need you to perform in your loss.

That may make you more comfortable. That may make other people more comfortable.

That was one of the hardest aspects for me was just not being able to be productive and not knowing when I would be able to again. And to learn to trust God in the bottom of that pit of just an inability to get my own self out.

And yet, coming to the end of myself allowed me to receive His care in a unique way because I had no other choice. It wasn't like, “Oh, should I rely on God or should I brush my teeth?” It was like, “I can only rely on God. I can only trust that He is doing what I cannot do in me and for me. And He will bring others in to minister to me in that depth of grief and that I can't control the process of healing or the timeline or any of those things.”

And also that I was helped by the book Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund in my grief and the picture that Christ's heart goes out to us in our grief, that He does not stand far off, but that He is compelled, the compassion, when He is moved with compassion in His time on earth, that is His emotion toward us in our loss and grief, is one of being moved with compassion to draw near to us. And so we can assume that He is with us, even when we don't feel it. 

And I also love the story of John 11, how we see Jesus when Lazarus is dying and has died and how He comes alongside Mary and Martha in their grief of their brother. And they say, “My Lord, if You had been here,” and they lament that this happened and that He could have stopped it, which is what we all do. 

“It didn't have to be this way. You could have stopped this.”

And Jesus tarries a distance for two or three days, takes His time coming and they are totally mystified. “Why didn't You come? Why didn't You save our brother?” 

And when He shows up, He doesn't give them answers. First, He weeps with them. He stops and, “Jesus wept”. And He enters into our grief so fully, so bodily, and He makes time and space for it in Scripture and in our own lives.

And then He tells Martha, “I am the Resurrection and the life.”  

He doesn't tell her, “I'm about to resurrect your brother. Don't worry.” He says, “What you need in your grief is Me, the One who can resurrect, the One who can bring life where there's only death. That is where your hope needs to be.”

When you don't know whether resurrection will happen in this life, when you don't know whether you'll be saved from the loss yet, He is with us in that.

And so just seeing His patience toward them and their grief and what that process looks like has helped me to imagine His presence in my own grief when I didn't necessarily feel it, and to proclaim it for others when they don't feel it. 

Because I think we want to prove to others that we're growing or prove to ourselves that we are making progress and then that progress is not the goal. It just can't, it doesn't happen. There's no linear progress in grief. 

But what does happen is we get to be held. And that produces something in us spiritually that is of utmost value in the Kingdom economy. And it may not produce much on our calendars and it may not produce much as far as the things we need to do that day, but it is a process worth sitting in because God is working in us that which is pleasing to Him. 

And He's making us His workmanship, like Ephesians talks about. Ephesians 2:10, we are His workmanship, we are His, the literal word is poema, so we are His poetry. He is writing a story in us and through us that is one we would not write ourselves.

But somehow through going down into death, He intends to bring us up into a story of resurrection that is unique to each of us and yet ultimately will look just like it does in Scripture. 

Ashley Opliger: [00:25:42] Well, that was so beautifully said, Whitney, and I just love that you are sharing with our moms to have this permission to grieve and to allow Jesus to come in and sit with them in it.

Because, like you said with the linear thing, we so want the healing. We so want to feel good again and to be out of the pit and to go back to normal life. But the truth is, this grief and the loss of our baby, the loss of a loved one, this has changed us forever. We're not ever going to go back to our old normal.

I always use the phrase new normal, but there is so much value and sanctification that comes from the sitting and the grieving, because you can't find the healing if you don't do the grieving. Because if we just push it down and we try to be strong and we try to keep busy and distracted and go about our normal life and be productive.

And I struggle with that too. I'm really good at just being busy when I don't want to feel something, because it's like I don't want to sit in how hard this is going to be. I know it's going to be painful.

But just giving moms permission to grieve and give themselves grace to say, “That's okay if I'm not productive today. It's okay if my schedule doesn't look the way that it is or that I'm at the end of the day, I only made it through the day, and that's it,” but God is doing a healing work internally.

And we don't have to earn His favor. We don't have to strive to do anything or prove anything to Him. He is going to be enough, and He is going to be our strength when we're weak. 

And so I love that you painted that picture for moms because it's so hard. And culture has this pressure on the grieving to do the very thing that we said, is to move on and be strong and get over it. And that's not what we should do.

Whitney Pipkin: [00:27:30] I'm thinking of how Scripture talks about us as pottery and clay, and that with pottery, there is a time when it can be shaped and changed, and then it's hardened, and it can't be anymore. 

And there's a unique time in our grief, if we can linger in it, where it's working something in us. It's making something beautiful. It's changing us and transforming us.

But if we don't linger in that and we just harden in the form that we're in, in that immediate loss, that form of bitterness and intense pain, it will lead to more brokenness, more shattering, a more remaking needed. 

And so there's an opportunity in loss that I just am desperate for people to show up for. I don't know what it will look like. And it doesn't mean sitting in depression, but it does mean receiving Christ's care, which is different from the world's self care, which is, “I need to go get a massage to feel better, and then I can serve other people because I've served myself.”

Receiving Christ's care is becoming that watered garden that has dormant seasons. That is, nothing is happening to the naked eye, but there's so much being done in the soil of our lives in those dormant seasons of loss and grief. And if we push through them, we will not see the full fruit that God intends to render from the hardest things. 

That was my prayer. It was like, “Whatever You're doing, just use it. Please use this pain. Please do not waste it, because that would be the saddest thing to me, to breeze through it and to not be changed or to become a worse version of myself through bitterness and hardness.”

But staying soft is really painful. And yet it softens us to the world. That's how Christ walked through this world, was as One who is soft and compassionate. And it makes us better comforters to others once we've received the comfort that Christ has for us.

Ashley Opliger: [00:29:28] Whitney, that was a Word. I'm over here just nodding, like, “Yes!” Those analogies of the pottery and the garden are just so impactful and beautiful and paint such a beautiful picture of what it is to grieve.

It's almost like a perspective shift of, “Okay, yes, we can see it as this negative thing of we're grieving, but can we see it as this beautiful opportunity to be molded in the likeness of Christ?”

Isn't that, as Christians, what we want, is to be sanctified and pruned and God to take out anything that's not producing fruit, anything that's not of Him?

And it's been interesting for me, and I'm sure you would agree with me, it's in these dark and hard seasons that the most pruning happens. It's when you're most in tune with the Holy Spirit. It's when God can do that work. And I think the pottery example is perfect because we're moldable, we're soft, we're vulnerable with the Lord.

And so I love that you encourage moms to just linger in that and know that, yes, this is hard and it's painful, but it's a good, good work and it's worthy work and it's worthy time to sit in it because something good is going to come from it. 

And ultimately, that's not only what I believe the Lord wants from us, but I would say the same for our babies. We honor our loved ones and our babies in Heaven when their lives had such a beautiful impact on us. 

Yes, we miss them. Yes, we grieve them, but they changed us for the better. And now we want to be compassionate. We want to use our grief for good and we want to bring God glory. 

There's a song by Anna Golden, it's called Get Your Glory. And there's several lyrics that say, “Get your glory out of me, every single ounce, Lord. I want you to get all of it out of me.”

And it's like, can we have that perspective of, “I don't want this to go in vain. I want You to use every single ounce of my pain, every tear that I've cried, for Your glory”? And, “Lord do whatever is in Your will to do that.”

So thank you so much for reminding us that there is good coming from this season, and it's okay to sit in this and let the Lord work. 

You mentioned briefly about the mom not sitting in depression, and so I want to speak now to the mom who does have other living children. She's lost a baby, but she has children in the home. And so she's trying to navigate grieving a baby in Heaven, yet taking care of her earthly children, and that can be very complicated and hard to really sit in it. 

So, do you have any advice? Because I know you were walking through your grieving season as you were taking care of your children.

Whitney Pipkin: [00:32:06] Yeah, that's one of the hardest aspects, I think. And one of my biggest laments with the Lord was like, “How are You asking me to do both of these at the same time?” 

It felt very, very hard. And in that, I had to trust the Lord that He would use my grief to shape me, and that He was doing a work of sanctification in me. 

And then I had to trust Him another layer, that He would use it in my kids’ lives, that He could be at work through my kids having a sad mom for a minute, that that would be a trial that He intended for their lives as well. 

And for them to, like my oldest, to start folding laundry, or ways that they could practically help, but ultimately to show them, to work in them a work of compassion and a desire to comfort.

I think we just get so stilted in our roles, like, “I have to be this certain mom in this certain picture.” And I just couldn't do that. 

I wanted so badly to be fun mom again, to be like, “Let's dance in the kitchen!” And that does come and it will come. But when it doesn't come, just to receive that from the Lord.

Every day, became, “Okay, how are these emotions that I'm encountering something I can steward well?”

And so there's something to steward in our sadness. There's something it has to teach us and our children. And we can do it in a way that honors Him. 

That doesn't mean performative Christianity. It doesn't mean faking happiness, but it does mean if you're crying on the stairs and your son finds you, letting him enter in with you and letting him hold you. And seeing his tears on his face too. “Oh, are you sad? Are you missing Gram? Are you sad? Do you miss the baby that you lost?” 

And then they know that's a normal part of life. I don't know about you, but why are we surprised by these things as we grow up? I think the more we can model to our kids, “This is part of life, something that God is present in, that we can meet Him in and that He wants to use in your life also.”

Ashley Opliger: [00:34:03] Amen. And also the opportunities to have conversations about death and Heaven and the Gospel in such deeper ways than we would ever be able to talk with our children about if we hadn't walked through this. 

My son, Branton, who's about to be seven, he grew up knowing about his sister in Heaven and going to a cemetery. That was a regular part of his life. I never went to a cemetery as a kid, and so death was always very scary. Cemeteries creeped me out, to be honest, when I was little. 

But then as I got older and now I visit them all the time. There's a comfort and a peace that I have there, and it's a normal part of his upbringing. And he knows Bridget's body is under the ground where we walk, but her soul is in Heaven, and one day God's going to resurrect her, and this grave is going to be empty, and we're going to live forever with his sister in Heaven. 

And so I think there's such beauty, too, in the conversations and the depth that we can go with our children, obviously in an age-appropriate way, depending on how old they are. 

It has changed over time, and that's been beautiful, too, walking with my son. There have been more details and deeper theology that we can talk to him about as he gets older. But it's part of his life and part of his testimony that he's going to get to share.

And so, we shouldn't shy away from it or be scared of that, because God can work good for our entire family. And so thank you for sharing that. 

And I am just so grateful for your book. I'm so thankful that we have a Christian Gospel-focused book on grieving and reminding us that we are citizens of Heaven, that our loved ones have gone on to this beautiful place where we're going to be one day, and one day this Resurrection will happen. And that's something for us to put our hope in!

So, would you share how our listeners can find your book, how they can find you and your writing? 

Whitney Pipkin: [00:35:56] The book is sold anywhere books are sold. It's from Moody Publishers. It's on Amazon and everywhere else, your local bookstore. And I'm on Instagram @whitneykpipkin, and on the internet, Whitney K. Pipkin. Yeah, that's where you can find me.

And I would love for people to read this book before they think they need it. Honestly, I think that would be the best blessing is that people could be more prepared than I was for what we will walk through, which is losing loved ones, and to have a vision for how God could use it.

Ashley Opliger: [00:36:27] Well, I just want to share a little story real quick before we close.

I already told you that a mutual friend brought me two copies of your book. And so, I put one copy in our Hope Library at our headquarters for our grieving moms and then another copy at my house for me to read.

And this week, actually on Monday night, my husband's grandma passed away, so my mother-in law's mom. And she was the one that had met this mutual friend and got these books. 

And so she knew I had it. And I said, “You know what? I think the Lord has this for you this week.” And so I gave her my copy and it is already blessing her.

So on Monday night, we knew that she was very close to going to Heaven and we were talking like, “Grandma Elly is on the cusp of eternity. She's right there. She's about to be in Heaven.” 

And a beautiful thing about her life is she actually lost a two-year-old son a long time ago, 60-some years ago. And she grew up in a time where she wasn't allowed to grieve.

You couldn't talk about your child who passed away. And so she had an entire lifetime of missing this little two-year-old. 

And so we were thinking on Monday night after she went to Heaven, “She now is with her son! And this lifetime that she spent waiting and missing her son, she's now with him, and she's been reunited and she's made it!” And it just made us so happy.

She passed away at the age of 92, so she got to live a good earthly life. But when we have that perspective of, “Yes, we miss Grandma Elly, but she's there now, she's reunited. She's in this beautiful, perfect place,” and so I wanted to share how that blessed our family this week and the reminder that we are going to be changed and that Heaven is the greatest hope that we have.

And honestly, I told my mother-in-law, I said, “I'm sad that we all have to stay here in this broken place. We shouldn't be sad for her. We're sad for us staying behind.”

So thank you for writing this book. I hope everybody can go out and get a copy. And so I'm going to have you close us in prayer. 

We will link your book on our show notes. You're also giving away a copy, so we will post all about that on our Instagram and tag you in it. So be sure, if you're listening, to go and check out those details to win a copy of Whitney's new book. So Whitney, would you close us in prayer?

Whitney Pipkin: [00:38:47] Lord, thank You that You are not surprised by any of the losses and griefs that define our lives, and that You made a plan in eternity past to enter into our pain and suffering to turn it for good and for Your glory.

And so I pray that You would meet every listener in his or her suffering, that You would be a God who is near, as You promise, in the valley of the shadow of death, and that in that valley You would do a work of transformation in each of us to make us more like You, to cause us to long for glory and to lift our eyes to our eternal hope, and that we would anchor our hope in that even as we suffer. 

Even as we linger and groan for it, Lord, that we would know You and the power of Your resurrection in our suffering. And in Your beautiful Name, Jesus, we pray all these things. Amen.

Ashley Opliger: [00:39:44] Amen. Thank you so much, Whitney. 

Ashley Opliger: [00:39:46] Thank you for listening to the Cradled in Hope Podcast. 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

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.


Subscribe to our RSS Feed!

bottom of page