Grace for the Grieving

Grace for grief

There can Grace in griefbe purpose in our pain…purpose FOR our pain. Some of you reading this are instantly pissed. You’re walking through deep pain and grief and you know that there can be absolute no good reason for it.

Let me start by saying that God does not cause our pain. He does not “take” our loved ones away because He wants them close. God does not need another angel in Heaven. He does not cause (or allow) sickness to teach us a lesson or make us stronger. He does not punish. He does not turn his back instead of reaching out to save us. He is not the author of confusion, heart-break, sickness or loss. I will not try to give you an answer for why your loved one is gone, or why your child is sick or dying. I will not try to reason out why you’re walking through a horrible divorce or why you’re watching your dreams slip away.

God does not need another angel in heaven. Click To Tweet


But I will tell you that one day…maybe far off, but one day, God will show you that your pain can have a purpose. And right now He can and will give you the grace to grieve through your heartache.

I have a son. His name is Judah Tanner. He has blond hair and perfect lips and he lives in heaven.

On the night of November 17th, 2008 he slipped from earth to heaven and I didn’t get to say goodbye. Our c-section was scheduled for November 18th at 6am. We drove to the hospital that morning with such excitement, giggling about how fun it was going to be to have a boy. We talked about what a good big sister Mercy was going to be. We were ecstatic to meet our son. I remember Jake dropping me off at the hospital doors so he could park the car. I sat in the lobby and waited for Jake to return so we could get registered. As I waited, I rubbed my enormous belly and smiled. I started talking to Judah as I had so many times before. I whispered out loud that I was so excited to finally meet him. I told him that he was perfect and I was going to love him forever. I remember those moments so vividly, like it was yesterday.

Things can change in an instant. In one moment you can go from pure joy to excruciating pain. In a second you can hear 3 words that will change your life forever. “He’s probably gone.” that’s what our doctor said when he couldn’t find Judah’s heartbeat. “He must have slipped away last night.” We had an appointment the day before and we heard his little heartbeat. It was strong and everything seemed fine. But sometime as I slept he went from my womb to the arms of Jesus. And there was nothing I could do about it. I had no control over the situation. I had to go into an emergency c-section knowing he would not cry when he was born. My son would not grab my finger or ever open his eyes.

I can’t begin to tell you the darkness that enveloped me. As a mom, you feel like it’s your job to keep your children safe, to keep them healthy. I failed. I wanted nothing more than to hold him, stay up all night when he cried, feed him and kiss his toes. I wouldn’t get to do any of those things. If only he could have lived a few more hours.

If you would have asked me 8 years ago if there would be any purpose in my pain, I would have screamed at you and tried to punch you in the throat. But now I know… I know something I didn’t know then. I know the nearness of Jesus like I’ve never known. I know grief and I know the joy that can come when you walk out of grief into the land of the living. I know that when I share my story and speak of healing that can only come from Him, I see it bring hope to broken people. People who need to hear that one day they will have true joy again. Not seconds of joy that are immediately followed by painful memories, but lasting joy that comes from knowing God was there. His word IS true. and His love NEVER FAILS.

His word is True. His love never fails. / Grief 3

Walking Through Grief Holding On to Grace

I’m now able to pray bold prayers of faith knowing God’s word is true and does not return void. I experienced the birth of my second daughter. I heard her cry and giggle and I’ve kissed her toes. None of this happened over night. None of it happened because I forgot about my son or because I pushed away his memory. It happened because I let the Maker of the sun and the stars come close and heal my heart. I let him turn my mourning into dancing. He waited, of course, because He is a gentlemen, until I was ready. But as soon as I was ready, He came and put my pieces back together. God showed us how to walk through grief holding on to His grace. His grace covered our doubts and fears. His love held us during our darkest nights and He gave us purpose for our pain.

God showed us how to walk through grief holding on to His grace.

He will do the same for you. He will carry you until you are ready to show Him your wounds, anger, and pain. He will begin to heal you. You will experience true joy and hope and you will have a faith that’s stronger than before, a faith that’s been tested and put through the fire. You will begin to bring hope to others that are walking through the darkest time of their lives. I will share more later about some practical steps we took to walk through our grief. If you want to stay connected and get notified of future posts, please sign up for our mailing list here.

But for now, I want you to know that I believe your healing is coming. I am with you and He loves you…

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal.  2 Corinthians 4:18


  • Karen Goetz

    This was beautiful. We haven’t lost a child, but we are experiencing a lot of pain watching my husband go through a mental breakdown. It happened overnight. He has been in and out of the hospital since December 1 month, then back again 2 more times for 3 weeks at a time. He still has a long road ahead and made never be the same. It is painful to watch. It is like having a stranger in your house, someone took him away. I do have faith and trust God for healing in HIS time. I am closer to God than ever in my live, I love and trust HIM so dearly. He is my rock and my salvation. I know God will use this for HIS glory. I want to live my life with faith and love for Christ so people watching me know….that God’s got this! Love you guys <3

    • I’m so sorry, Karen. That must be so difficult. I can’t imagine. We’ll be praying for y’all! We love you.

  • Lana Daniel

    I love y’all. Like you, I know the closeness of Jesus like I’ve never known while walking through the loss of Judah. Thank you for sharing more of your story, Traci.

  • Jennifer Schumacher

    Tracey, my heart broke for you both again reading this. I still remember the image your grandma holding Judah. I’m so glad you were able to come thru this and now you can help others. I love you girl ❤️

  • Janice Gann

    We love you all!!

    • We love you guys, too! I remember Charlie showing up right away with a ton of food and drinks. He was so ready to do whatever we needed. We’re so thankful to know you guys!

  • Toyia

    😭 Gives me hope we will find joy again one day!

    • You will! He’s a good Father. I’m praying for y’all. We love you guys so much!

  • Gwen

    Now that was a truly inspired recounting of an incredibly sorrowful time. Thank you for taking time to share and thank you and Jake for being such faithful witnesses to the goodness of our God!

  • Diane tarnutzer

    Reading this I wonder how people go through trauma with out the lord love you,