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When Cora went to heaven we were given SO many books.
Lots of books on grief and grieving.
Many of them have been helpful to us now,
but at the time we were so overwhelmed we didn’t even know where to start.
We knew we needed something.
But, reading book after book about grieving just didn’t sound that great.

But when we received this book in the mail, something jumped out at us.
I think it was the word HOPE.
That is what we were so desperately needing.
HOPE in the midst of our despair.
A friend’s sister sent this book to us.
She and her husband had been in our shoes.
They knew exactly what it was like to face such great tragedy.
They too had lost their first child and were left to face an empty house.
And Nancy Guthrie, the author of this book, has been in our shoes too.
God is using her story to reach so many people.
Isn’t it amazing how God can use something so horrible for such glory?
I love that about the God we serve!

This book has been a lifeline for both of us.
It has guided us as we seek to understand true HOPE.
It has directed us to some amazing truths in the Word–
truths that we really needed to be reminded of.
And it has helped us remember that there is real HOPE,
even when our hearts are hurting so deeply.

I love this definition of HOPE that Nancy shares in her book:


the expectation of a favorable future under God’s direction.

And Joel and I are actually going to have the opportunity to meet Nancy and her husband. We are so excited to learn more from them. I will tell you more about that soon…

  • Jane In The Jungle - What a blessing for y’all to be able to meet them. And for them to be able to share with y’all.


  • Givinya De Elba - Wow. Sounds like a great book. And, not like you need baby name suggestions, but I’m suddenly thinking what a lovely name/middle name “Hope” would be … unless Baby Mac is of the blue variety of course!

    No, no, no way did I just blow in, a stranger from another continent, and give you a baby name suggestion! Never! That would have been rude!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - I love reading your blog for the unflinching testimony you offer. I’m not sure exactly how I found your blog, but I’m sure it is somehow related to the fact that my daughter is also named Cora. My heart grieves with you when I think about what it is like for you to come home to a house without Cora. Though I haven’t personally walked in your shoes, I have close friends and family members that have, and I so appreciate you telling your story! Blessings to you and this new little one soon to come!ReplyCancel

  • That's Just Us - I read “Holding Onto Hope” while going through a very difficult time in my life as a momma. It helped me in so many ways. I read and re-read the book. I offer the title to many that are going through tough times. I really enjoy your blog and your faith.ReplyCancel

  • Lexi - Hi, I love your stuff! The dresses are sooo cute! I am wondering where you got your cute “coras” labels done? I am looking for somewhere to do some for my shop! Thanks!

  • PamperingBeki - Hope is so powerful!ReplyCancel

  • Julie @ Joy's Hope - Hope is what I clung to when there was nothing else. We even toyed with the idea that if we had another daughter naming her Hope. Our friends beat us to that, and then we decided to name Halley after Hallelujah.
    I am so glad that you have found comfort in Nancy’s books and will be so blessed to meet her.ReplyCancel

  • Christina - It is so wonderful to be able to lean on others…
    and you too are being used by Him!
    We have had some Sunday School lessons on hope recently, and it seems to me that although it isn’t talked about as much as faith and love, the three hinge on one another, and without one or the other none makes as much sense. I pray that you continue to hope in that favorable future. It is a promise!ReplyCancel

  • misty - i wanted to share this video w/you but it will not let me post it~ if you go to youtube and search ‘sky angel cowboy’ it will bring up the video.ReplyCancel

  • dawn - i am reading that book now…love it. I lost my son 10 years ago and wish it was around then. My sister lost her daughter this past spring, and a stranger gave this book to her and it has been a lifeline. She encouraged me to get a copy too.

    so glad you have this book…and will look forward to hearing about your meeting with the guthries.ReplyCancel

  • Julie - Love you Jess and am praying for you and Joel this weekend!ReplyCancel

  • House of Collinsworth - My husband and I really need a good book like this to read together since losing Noah. I will have to pick this one up! Thank you for sharing about it.

    I agree with a previous comment…”Hope” would be a beautiful name if you have another girl.ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - I heard the song “glory baby” by watermark and the lyrics are incredicible. It brought great healing to us.


  • Darby - Jess, Nancy and David were at our church in the spring. They are amazing and I’m so delighted that you and Joel will have an opportunity to meet them… I will pray that the Lord will bless you through them!ReplyCancel

  • shepherdsgrace - in 2007, I had a miscarriage and my dearly loved grandmother died…she was about to move in with us…

    I was at Wallyworld looking at ornaments and their was a brass word…hope…it is hanging on my office desk to this day…that day it smiled at me and the Lord kept reminding me to hope…hope…hope…

    He won’t disappoint us…

    thank you for sharing…
    blessings in your meeting, may He be present in many sweet and wonderful ways,

  • Anonymous - Can’t wait to “hear” more details…Thank you so much for continueing to share your journey with us..Hope you and baby Mac are feeling well 😉ReplyCancel

  • Trisha Larson - We also received book after book when Nate died. I wish that I would have been given this one. I may have to order it.

    When your child dies you lose hope and joy. It takes a while to find it again. It takes FAITH to believe that you will. I’m currently on that path. Holding tight to my faith and trusting it to bring me hope and joy. Praying that you find it too!


  • TRICIA @ The Zoo - What a beautiful blessing to receive such a gift. God places the people in our lives that we need at the times we need them. You seem to be especially blessed in this area of your lives, and my heart sings for you.

    With love and continued prayer,

  • kelli - that’s awesome jess. nancy came to speak at JBU when i was in school there. her story has always stuck with me. so neat to see God’s sovereignty in bringing the 2 of you together.ReplyCancel

  • meg duerksen - WOW. that is so cool.
    and now you shared your book with so many others…who can share it with someone who needs it too. makes my heart just want to jump out! it’s so happy.

    annie has been LOVING her dress this week.

  • Anonymous - I will have to look into that book. I live in Florida about 20 minutes from the mother whose daughter (Somer) was kidnapped and killed last week on her way home from school. I believe this book may be a very good gift for her. Thank you for sharing.

    Valerie Pfeifer

  • Jenifer - It is amazing how he works …I prey for yall every nightReplyCancel

  • betseykerr - ‘Hope’ is my favorite word…I have always felt… that without hope, we have nothing…hope gets us out of bed the next day, hope gives us faith in tomorrow…
    what a lovely title for this book.ReplyCancel

  • Hightowerz - I think I may send this book to some friends that just lost their baby girl after only 3 days of life. Carried her to term and lost her unexpectedly. Good to know that this book was encouraging. Thanks for the insight!ReplyCancel

  • PamperingBeki - Praying for you today.ReplyCancel

  • Jessatsea - I couldn’t agree more with Givinya. Hope would be a beautiful name for your daughter. 🙂
    you have a beautiful soul that shines through every post.ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - I just started reading your beautiful blog & it is amazing. God bless you!!ReplyCancel

  • The Schilling's from Cimarron - Hi Guys,

    Jason was down your way last week and Fred said you were in Tennessee. I am assuming that is where you are meeting Nancy… Thank you for this post! A close Friend of mine passed away this summer and her parents are really having a hard time, so I am going to suggest they read this book! Can’t wait to hear all about it! Miss you always, and just know we love you and think of you all the time! wishing you happiness!
    love to you both!


  • Bill and Mary - Because your blog has always been so inspirational to me, I’ve given you an award over on mine!

    ~Mary 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Robin in Benton - Praying for you today and always. Grateful to the Lord for anything that gives you solace in anyway.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - I just have to say, this sounds awesome. In fact, I immediately ordered a copy online. I am always looking for books like this. Still haven’t found one I LOVE. We have lost two children, one 14 hours old, and one at 20 weeks gestation. I feel like I will always be in a state of grief—no matter how much time passes. The retreat you went on sounds wonderful.ReplyCancel

  • Lori - I’m so glad to know about this book, and how you were blessed by it. Every one of your posts encourages and inspires me! Bless you!ReplyCancel

  • Colleen - I have this book as well and when Ellie was going through all of her cancer treatments it helped me focus. I still keep it nearby and refer to it but during those dark hours when my mind got away from me and doubt crept in, this book helped get me back on track.

    Thank you for sharing it with everyone so they now know what a fabulous read it is.


  • Starsnrose - I am so glad to hear you have discovered the book that meant so much to me as well. A wonderful christian friend sent it to me at my lowest point in my grief. The Lord used this book to reach the furthest recesses of my heart where the hurt was hiding. I would recommend it to anyone who has suffered loss of any kind.ReplyCancel