Highland News Leader

Finding hope and healing after losing a child

Jim Daly
Jim Daly

There aren’t many things more devastating than losing a child.

Pam Vredevelt and her husband have endured the incredible pain and grief of losing two children.

After nine years of marriage, Pam became pregnant for the first time. The baby was developing right on schedule, but at a routine check-up, Pam’s doctor said, “I’m not seeing any heartbeat. I think the baby is dead.”

They had three more children after that. Their youngest, Nathan, was born with Down Syndrome. He was a beautiful presence in their family, but he had a mischievous side.

He was a fearless adventurer who loved people. He was master escape artist, too. Nathan was so good at sneaking away that Pam and her husband were on a first-name basis with several police officers after repeated calls for help.

At halftime of an NBA game in Portland when he was 16, Nathan was escorted to the bathroom but figured out how to sneak away and disappear. He ran onto the highway and was hit by a car. He died four days later.

You might be suffering right now after losing a child. Pam Vredevelt knows your pain. She’s with us to share her story on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Finding Hope and Healing After Losing a Child.”

Some people are mystified by the admonition in Romans 5:3 that we should “rejoice in our sufferings.” Paul’s words make perfect sense to Pam. He’s saying that when we go through dark valleys and places of suffering, we meet the Lord there in a very personal and deep way. This is where He breathes into us fresh life and fresh perspective.

Hear Pam’s story on your local radio station, online, on iTunes, via Podcast, or on our free phone app.

We also have caring Christian counselors on staff, and it would be their privilege to speak with you about your loss and the grief you feel. Our number during business hours is 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).

Pam is a popular speaker and a licensed professional counselor. Her bestselling book, Empty Arms, recounts her story and provides hope to those who have experienced loss. I would love to put this book into your hands. I’ll send it you for a gift of any donation. And if you can’t afford it, we’ll send you one anyway. (Check our website for details.) We also have many other resources related to marriage, parenting, and faith available in our online store.