On Saturday morning, December 13, 1997, I went in to get Allyssa Hope, my five-month-old baby girl, up for the day. When I walked up to her crib, my worst nightmare unfolded right in front of me. Ally’s face was discolored and she was not breathing! I yelled for my husband in the other room. As he started CPR, I called 911. Minutes later, our house was overrun by first responders rushing in to help. As emergency lights flashed outside our house, my entire world came crashing down into a thousand pieces.
After transporting Ally to the hospital, it was a doctor who gave us the news: they had done everything they could, they could not get her to breathe again, she was gone. It would later be determined that she had died from SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). A cause of death given when no cause of death can be determined for a baby under the age of one.
I remember thinking that night as I climbed into bed that it was going to be a long time before I would ever feel happy again. Life grew dark and cold and I felt so alone. There were days when I wondered how I could continue to go on when I was hurting so deeply.
In the weeks and months that followed, God comforted me in ways I had never known. He showed me how much He loved me, tenderly used His Word to speak truth to me, and in time He healed my broken heart. As He did, I had a deep desire to come along side other moms who are grieving and point them to the One who can heal broken hearts.
Suffering has a way of bringing people together. Grief stories unite people. This Christmas, it’s been 24 years since Ally’s homegoing. What a comfort and blessing to see God using her story right here at PWC! I consider it a privilege to come alongside women who are grieving and give them hope. Hope is one of the greatest gifts God gives to us. I am so glad He gave me Hope.