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Living in the Light

 

 

Filtering by Category: Trials

Is Miscarriage Divine Punishment from God?

Jessalyn Hutto

In the third interview question I received from Rachel at The Purposeful Wife in regard to my book, we tackled a very important question:

"You discuss how miscarriage is never God's punishment of our personal sin, because of our standing in Christ. While I am 100% in agreement here, I couldn't help but think of David and Bathsheba's infant dying as a result of their sin. How do you understand this story within your theological framework? How could we give Gospel hope to a woman who brings it up in concern that her miscarriage was divine punishment?"

Inheritance of Tears is a short book, and purposefully so. We wanted it to be resource that could easily be handed out to grieving women--both to those who have a theological foundation and those who do not. For this reason, many of the topics I cover in its 100 pages, can certainly be studied in greater depth. This topic is one of them. I was so grateful to have the opportunity to further explore this idea with Rachel: that while death and suffering are a result of sin, we shouldn't immediately link a specific sin to a specific trial.

You can read my full response here.

What My Grieving Process Looked Like After Miscarriage

Jessalyn Hutto

I'm so happy to have the opportunity to share more about my miscarriage experiences over at The Purposeful Wife today. While every miscarriage and every woman is different, I know that it can be helpful to hear the testimony of God's faithfulness to another when you are walking through a similar trial. Therefore, I pray that this little description of my own healing process will be a blessing to other women who are in the midst of miscarriage.

Over the next two weeks, I will be answering Rachel's questions regarding pregnancy loss and my book Inheritance of Tears: Trusting the Lord of Life When Death Visits the Womb. I hope you will join us as we discuss this painful trial in the context of the good news of the gospel.

Also, I'd like to invite you to send in any questions you may have about miscarriage, grieving, or the book. You can do so through the comments of these posts or by emailing me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Will You Be Happy With Her?

Jessalyn Hutto

There was a time when a positive pregnancy test meant unhindered joy and excitement and we simply couldn’t wait to tell our family and friends the wonderful news. Unfortunately, that time for us was short lived. In fact, it ended as quickly as our first pregnancy did. When we lost our first baby, pregnancy suddenly mutated from a thrilling, dreamlike experience to a battle for joy, peace, and trust in the Lord’s sovereignty.

Each time we found out we were pregnant, the joy of a new life growing within me was also mingled with the painful reality of how quickly that new life could slip away. My husband and I have had to offer up each new baby to the Lord, trusting in his good and holy will, and praying for his peace which surpasses all understanding...

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Don't Assume the Lions will Spare You

Jessalyn Hutto

Many of us live under the false notion that we don’t truly need Jesus every day of our lives. Sure, we may not say it out loud or even dare to think it, but our daily lives profess it–our preoccupation with self and the world prove it.

Yes, we love our God and are so thankful for the salvation he has provided for us, but when it comes right down to it, we think very little of him in our daily duties and decisions. We go about our lives as though we’re strong enough to overcome sin and do good in our own strength, or worse yet, we give up the fight completely, content to live our earthly lives in a state little better than an unbeliever...

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When God's People Suffer Well

Jessalyn Hutto

I have come to the point in my life when I can honestly say I am well acquainted with grief. I’ve now lost three of my grandparents, watched as my father navigated through the despair of losing both his parents within a month’s time, and have had two babies taken from me before they were even born. One of those babies was big enough to hold in my hands and burry. Yes, I know what grief is.

Grief is a terrible, debilitating reality that affects us all at one point or another. It is like a crouching lion hiding behind the tall grass of happy moments, waiting for an opportunity to pounce upon its prey. In this world, death and sickness are realities that plague the human race; enemies that our first mother and father allowed to slip into existence through the willful decision to sin.

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Death and the Sovereignty of God

Jessalyn Hutto

A Question from a Reader:

I recently had another (this makes 4) friends from high school die. It wasn’t until I heard the Pastor at my friend’s funeral say “God didn’t want Cody to die at such a young age” that I realized I guess I believed God knew what was going to happen before it happens. I had no idea I thought that all this time, and then started questioning my whole belief system when it comes to death. I don’t believe God knows everything we’re going to do, we have to be left to make our own decisions (and hopefully the right decisions) otherwise you get into predestination etc… So I’ve completely confused myself and would love your input if you have the time! ~Lindsey

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When the Dream of Motherhood Becomes a Reality

Jessalyn Hutto

As mothers, we have a choice to either believe the world and view the daily difficulties of motherhood as an unfair burden or to believe the Word of God and view them as divine gifts meant to draw us closer to our precious Savior. The fruit of believing the world’s lies is anger, bitterness, discouragement, and dissatisfaction, but the fruit born from the Spirit as we trust in the eternal Word of God is joy, peace, perseverance, and sanctification.

For this reason, I would submit to you that your children are not just blessings when they are clean, obedient, joyful, and sleeping peacefully all through the night. No, children are a blessing in every way, even when they demand all that you have and seem to suck the life right out of you, because it is then when they have indeed sucked all of your selfish propensities and self-centered desires from you, that you reflect your Savior the most. It is then that you must cling ever so close to the cross and allow his sanctifying blood to drip over you and create in you a new person–a mother who delights in sacrifice...

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When God Asks You For Your Isaac

Jessalyn Hutto

I could hear an audible sob from my husband, but couldn’t bear to look back at him. My eyes wouldn’t move from that computer screen, the screen projecting our lifeless baby girl. In grainy black and white we watched as the technician traced his mouse over her tiny, motionless heart. I struggled as tears fell from my eyes and my chest began to heave.

A baby girl.

How often I had hoped and dreamed of raising a daughter, a woman I could disciple in the ways of Biblical femininity, a little girl whose hair I could braid and decorate with ribbon, a baby who would wear sun dresses in the summer and tights in the winter. But none of that mattered for those few minutes in that dark room. All that mattered was that she was dead, my little baby was dead.

Sleepless nights, hopeless days, blood shot eyes and puffy red faces: tokens of a sorrow running deep within our souls. And yet beneath the wavy, turbulent surface of our lives there rested a deep and abiding Spirit, a Comforter who anchored our faith.

“Will you give me your little girl?” I kept hearing those words over and over again.

With trembling lips and a frail countenance I offered her up to him as often as he asked; “Yes Lord, she is yours, I give her freely.”

Some wonder at our devotion to a God who would take something so precious from us, who would allow us so much hurt. Others look at us as spiritual giants who seem to possess such incredible faith. And all I can reply to both is, “How could we not love him? How could we not be completely devoted to the one who has given everything for us?”

If you truly met this Savior who loves his redeemed so deeply and serves them so faithfully, if you could see his blood stained brow, his nail pierced hands, his bleeding side, and you could hear him say he did it all for you, you too would give him everything, you would give him anything.

It is in these moments when I feel I can taste the devotion, wrought by the Spirit of God, tested by trials and upheld by his faithfullness, that Christian maturity longs for. It is at times like this that I can faintly taste the faith of our father Abraham, a man willing to do the unthinkable, because he trusted in the goodness of our God.

These most vulnerable of times, these most humble of moments seem to lift us to the highest of heights. We seem to almost feel God’s overwhelming presence. When our lives are stripped bare and we are left with Job’s bewildering poverty there is nothing to be seen but the fortitude of our faith, nothing but the grace of God bracing our frail spirits.

It seems that love is proven not in the heights of ecstasy, but in the pits of despair, when there seems to be no visible reason to give God our affections at all. Here in the pit of loss and longing our love is tested and tried. Here we are proven to be his beloved children, those who have been transformed by the inner working of the Holy Spirit, slowly being fashioned into the image of his Son.

And how brightly the Son shines in the darkness of despair. How lovely does he appear to his bride when she needs him the most, when she is shivering with grief. He, who cares so deeply for our every hurt, our every pain, carries us through such difficult times-times when our legs give way and we fear we will never again walk back into the light.

No, when he asked for my little girl, for my Anastasia, I couldn’t deny him. I could only thank him for the honor and blessing of carrying her for 17 weeks and then give back what was never truly mine to begin with.

When he asked me if I loved him, I could only respond with “How could I not?”

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Admonishing One Another Through Song

Jessalyn Hutto

I stood close to my dear friend who was broken in spirit and who’s heart was brimming with pain. Her eyes held an ocean of tears, an ocean she had already cried and another who’s waves had only begun to stir. We stood together in the gathering of believers and began to sing a song of joy and hope, a song about our Savior. I sang the words to her, full of hope for her future, and she sang the words to me, full of the experienced, sustaining grace of God. As our voices rose to heaven in united praise of the One in whom we have our being, our hearts united in love for one another and our fellowship with the Savior was real, authentic, unhindered by embarrassment or pride. We were singing the Gospel to each other. We were learning from each other. We were ministering to each other.

We exert a great deal of effort to forget those around us as we sing in church so that we can sing without feeling embarrassed or prideful. We want to be able to sing only for the Lord and focus our hearts on him alone. Yet, could we not do this much easier in the comfort of our home, in our very own private prayer closets? God, in his wisdom, commands us to come together and encourage one another through the uniting of our voices. Rather than drifting off into our own personal worship experiences we must remember that there are brothers and sisters in Christ who need to hear the words we are singing, who need to be taught and admonished by our worship. We must also remember that the testimony of believers worshiping the Lord around us is meant to fuel and excite our own worship and knowledge of the Lord as well.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Colossians 3:16 ESV

“The New Testament Christians gathered in large part to strengthen each other fro the purpose of glorifying God in their daily lives. Hebrews 10:24-25 exhorts us about “not neglecting to meet together” so we can “stir up one another to love and good works.” We’re to be “encouraging one another… When we sing, we’re “teaching and admonishi9ng one another” (Colossians 3:16). To express that reality, I’ll often open my eyes and look out at the congregation as I sing certain lines. I want to remind myself and the church that we’re affirming truth together.” -Worship Matters by Bob Kauflin

The Lord Gives and He Takes Away

Jessalyn Hutto

This is the letter we sent out to our family and friends after we miscarried our first baby...

Dear Family and Friends,

As many of you know, on February 25th we miscarried our first baby. I wanted to take a moment to share with you a little bit about our baby and what the Lord has done through him. On January 28th I shared with Richard one of the happiest moments of our lives; it was the day that I told him we were pregnant. You could not have found two people who were more thrilled or thankful. We quickly began to picture our future bundle of joy and all of the many blessing that would result from him. The news spread like wildfire and everyone was able to celebrate with us. Four weeks later, I began to miscarry. An ultrasound showed that the baby was about two weeks behind in development. Though it was approximately eight weeks old, it was only measuring six. And then on the 25th Richard and I shared one of the saddest moments of our lives together.

It is an incredible thing to gain and lose something so precious to you so quickly. I know the pain and sadness of that day will forever be etched in my memory. But as terrible as this experience was and still is for us, the weight and beauty of God’s perfect love gives us great confidence and contentment. We know that this tragedy is not outside of God’s control. It was part of his perfect and loving plan for us. He measured out the days of this baby, just as he has our own. Therefore we rejoice in the amazing gift that this child was to us. Through him we were able to experience many joys: a pregnancy test being positive, the amazement of a human life growing within me, and the joy of knowing that Richard and I created something by the Lord’s grace. His death has helped us to understand so many truths about the Lord more deeply. It is a vivid reminder that all of our days are numbered. We cannot control our lives or our family’s lives any more than a flower can choose where it is planted, when the rain will come and harm it, when the sun will shine upon it, or in what fashion it will die. We must therefore live humbly before the Lord knowing that it is He who is in control of all things and trust in His wisdom. Though we have cried many tears and felt immense sorrow, we are utterly in love with our Lord, Jesus Christ. Through this experience we have found new meaning in the numerous descriptions of Him found in the Bible. He truly has been our rock from which we draw strength. He has been our river of living water from which we have received nourishment for our parched souls. He has been the refuge that we found peace and joy in though all around our world was crumbling. More than anything, he has been a father to us. A father who deeply loves, cares for, and understands us. Though all around us waves of sadness, grief, and fear grew great, our Savior stood to calm them.

Immediately after I miscarried I began to think about the parallel between our loss and the Father’s loss when He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins. Perhaps now we have a minute understanding of what the words, “he gave his only son” truly mean. God willingly sent His son to die for sinners. We experienced the death of our child, but Christ’s death was infinitely more appalling. Unlike our child, Christ was the perfect God of the universe who suffered a cruel and unjust execution. We loved our baby so much, but our love could never compare to God’s love for His son. His love is without the blemish of sin; it is perfect. And yet the Bible tells us “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son.” Praise the Lord for His sacrifice for sinners! If it was not for his willingness to sacrifice His son, we would be lost and without hope for redemption. Our sins would forever be held against us and would condemn us for eternity. It is because of the truth of God’s love for sinners like us, that Richard and I have been able to accept and find joy in this tragedy. Without it, there is no joy and there is no peace. We pray that if this letter finds you without an understanding of this truth you would search it out diligently. Read the gospel of John and pray that the Lord would open your eyes and lead you to repentance.

We would like to thank all of you who have so diligently prayed for us. Know that the Lord heard you and His Spirit ministered greatly to us (and still is) as a result of your prayers. The Lord has provided in so many ways, both physically and emotionally. My mother was able to be with us through the whole miscarriage which was a tremendous comfort and service. Many of you have not only prayed for us, but graciously sent cards, letters, flowers, gift cards, even money to help us get through this unexpected time. We are not worthy of such grace and thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. We love you and hope that this little glimpse into our hearts will encourage you as you seek to know the risen Lord.

Love always,

Richard and Jessalyn Hutto