Few parents have experienced the heartbreak of losing a child.
Fewer still have endured that suffering twice.
Lindsey Dennis and her husband, Kevin know the depths of that heartache. They also know how God’s comfort can bring beauty out of terrible circumstances.
Lindsey and Kevin are sharing their tragic and touching story with us on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “A Mother’s Story of Loss and Redemption.”
At what was supposed to be a routine prenatal visit, the couple was given shocking news: “We can’t find your baby’s skull.” Their baby was diagnosed with anencephaly. If she were brought to term, she wouldn’t live for long once she was born.
The doctors recommended abortion. However, Lindsey and Kevin were so like-minded in their faith, they didn’t even have to discuss what they wanted to do. They chose to carry their daughter, Sophie, to term and to celebrate every moment of her life that God gave to them.
Sophie lived for nearly 10 hours. And for that short time, she was held, nurtured, and loved like any other newborn. The hospital room was filled beyond capacity with family and friends, a birthday cake, and people singing Happy Birthday. Everyone gathered around the young couple and, through tears, celebrated the miracle of Sophie’s brief life.
Sadly, Lindsey and Kevin soon found themselves staring down the same awful circumstances, for reasons no one can explain. According to tests, Sophie’s condition had been an anomaly, and Lindsey and Kevin showed no indication of genetic risks.
However, months later, at another routine prenatal visit, the doctors said, “It’s not anencephaly. It’s acrania. The brain has formed, but the skull has not. This baby’s future will play out exactly as your last one did.”
Once again Lindsey and Kevin were swept up into circumstances so dark and devastating it was a wonder that they were able to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Where did they find the strength?
Where can you find the strength to face your suffering?
Lindsey and Kevin say it comes from the support of family and friends, and in their anchor, Jesus Christ, whose death and resurrection insures that the grave is not the end.
One of the Bible’s greatest stories of suffering is Job. You’ll recall that he lost everything he owned and all of his children in a whirlwind of devastation. Notably, as the story unfolds, Job never gets answers to his questions of why. He does get answers about Who.
The hard truth of this life is that none of us can avoid or fully prepare for tragedy and tragic circumstances. They happen, and they are crushing. But there is hope. The Lord is at work in our seasons of sorrow. He uses them to draw us closer to Him. And with His presence comes the peace and comfort that only He can provide.
Lindsey is sharing how God worked through her suffering and gave her hope again. She also shares encouragement and advice for couples enduring the loss of a child, a volatile experience that can pull a marriage apart. She also offers her wisdom about how God relates to us in tragedy, and how we can relate to Him.
If you’ve suffered the loss of a child and would like to speak to a caring Christian counselor, give us a call during business hours at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459). One of our licensed counselors would count it a privilege to offer you a free initial consultation. Call us, leave your name and number, and they’ll get back with you just as soon as possible.
Lindsey’s book is called Buried Dreams: From Devastating Loss to Unimaginable Hope. I’d like to offer you a copy for a gift of any amount. Visit our website for more information. If you can’t afford it, we’ll find a way to get it to you.