Hope Restored in Tragedy

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As Hosea’s 3rd birthday is approaching in a couple days, I feel like talking about his life.


Nathan and I had two beautiful little girls–Micaiah Joy (2 yrs.) and Eden Grace (16 mo.)–when our third child, Hosea Nathan, was born.  He was born perfectly healthy and the joy of our home!  We were ecstatic about having a little man to add to our growing crew.  We had 3 kids under the age of 3, which was absolutely crazy, but so much fun!

Four weeks later, on a Saturday evening, as I went to feed my son I found that he was no longer breathing.  While paramedics tried everything, Hosea had already breathed his last breath in this life and had passed silently into eternity.  There was nothing wrong with our son.  SIDS is what they called it (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).  The medical world is baffled by this “disease” because there are not genetic links, no known causes, and no forewarning signs.


7 out of 1,000 infants in the USA die of SIDS each year.


Needless to say, our family was shaken to the core of what we believed about God and life.  Everything we had ever known was in the beginning stages of being “disassembled” and we have been on a three year journey of being “reassembled.”


We have grieved the loss of our son, the dreams we had for him, and the place he held in our family.  We still talk about him,  but God has given us a new picture of our son.  He is not dead; rather he truly is alive and well in heaven.  We have hope of seeing him again someday because of what Christ did on the cross for us 2,ooo years ago.


Hosea was born on Palm Sunday so Easter is a special reminder each year of the special Hope that we have because Christ rose from the dead.   For if Christ had not risen, we would be hopeless indeed.  We would have no hope of being reunited or living in eternity together.


While there is still an ache in our hearts to hold our son/brother, and tears of sorrow still spill over from time to time, we can say emphatically that God is healing our family’s hearts in a way we never dreamed possible 3 years ago.  We have come to know Truth about Him that we never knew before and our faith has becoming unshakeable.


While consecutive children never, ever replace one that you no longer get to raise, God has blessed us with a fourth child, another son, Asher Hosea.  His name means “happy” and he has been full of joy since the day he was born.  We are thankful beyond words for the life and joy that Asher carries.




For anyone who has lost someone, the journey is messy and actually quite ugly at times.  And there are no easy answers to make the pain go away.  But there is a Hope that can be found and a Peace that can come.


We are thankful for people who have allowed us to be real with where we are at–accepting us, mess and all!



Where are you at on your journey?   Have you found Hope and Peace or do you still feel like you are drowning in grief?   I’d love to hear your heart below!  Feel free to leave your comments.



  • My heart breaks over your story. I have a 1 year old son sleeping in the next room and moment to moment have to remember that “he who watches over (him) will not slumber”. I can’t imagine the depth of your sorrow.
    My sister-in-law (28) was murdered last July by her ex-boyfriend. It has been extremely hard for our family, God has also brought us so much joy even in times of sorrow. She was an amazing girl who loved the Lord and truly left a legacy. (Elizabeth Bowie, Atlanta Ga….google her).
    I know that God is growing you and stretching you through your loss. You have a beautiful family! The Lord gives and takes away.
    Thanks for sharing your story and I would love the extended version!
    Kathleen Roberts Bowie

  • We love you guys…

    Zach & Jody 11.04.2009
  • […] picture, we LOVE Roger Barnett and his beautiful family!  He personally called us 3 years ago when our son Hosea passed away.  That’s pretty amazing that a CEO of the largest nutrition company in the U.S. would take […]

  • Jenni I don’t know if you ever received my other reply or not but I was home alone and having a “melt down” so I was just spilling my soul to you. It helps to know someone you are talking to has “been there, done that” and they feel the pain deep in your soul that sometimes feels like it is bigger than the world, bigger than God or anything we could compare the pain t. My husband had been out of work for many months and got work a few weeks back and is gone most of the night and that is my hardest times. Even though he doesn’t share his grief like I do at least i know he is here. I told him yesterday that Friday nights sometimes I feel like I am reliving that horrible night just like it was yesterday. He surpisingly he replied to me “this second year has been way worse on med than the first”. I didn’t ask any quetions I thought to myself if he has said this much maybe he will start to talk to me about our precious Andy. He was a wonderful dad to Andy and treats me like a gueen. I could have looked this world over and never found any to be as good as he is to me. We just had our 31st wedding anniversary October 14 and only by goodness of God have never been separated in anger a night away from each other (that is because he is so tolerant of me) I could go on and on but having to stop and wipe the tears away. I really identified with what you told someone else about the weeks and days leading upto the anniversary dates.
    I would like to hear the rest of Hosea’s story. Thank you for your kindness, compassion and hugs the night of the reunion.

    Becky Ervin 26.10.2009
    • Hey Becky! Thanks for your reply and sharing your heart! It was so good to see you too. we are praying for you on your journey as well!

  • Dear Jenni,

    I am Meredith Engelmeyer’s mom and she told me about meeting you at the Shaklee Convention this past summer and the friendship that she has been blessed with in you.

    I saw your video of your little baby, Hosea. When I was 10 years old, we lost my baby brother, Christopher, who was almost 6 months old to SIDS. I know the heartache as a sibling….he was an incredible baby and God used his passing to do amazing things in my life. I understand your loss and it’s obvious you know He’s in Heaven being held by Jesus. You have a beautiful family and are doing wonderful things with your website, by not only sharing Shaklee, but sharing your faith in Christ!

    I hope to meet you one day!

    In Him,
    Shelley Stipes
    St. Peters, MO

    Shelley Stipes 12.11.2009
    • Hey Shelley,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to write you sweet words of encouragement. I really appreciate you sharing your experience with us. I am so sorry for your loss. I know that the Lord will redeem this in my own kids’ lives as well. They talk about Hosea daily. He is such a part of our family and I know this experience, as horrible as it has been, is being used to shape them into compassionate girls who will one day be incredible moms! And Asher Hosea will be a godly man who is carrying on his brother’s name.

      I can’t wait to meet you one day. Your daughter is precious! I wish we lived closer to each other (she would have to move here because we LOVE Nashville!). 🙂 We are becoming such great friends and we’ve only seen each other once! It’s so cool how God does that! You are a good mom…your daughter is a reflection of that!


  • […] is an incredible vehicle to achieve your dreams. Many of our dreams were shattered with the loss of our third son in 2006 to SIDS and the loss of 2 jobs thereafter. But Shaklee has allowed us to dream again. It’s […]

  • […] in neutral and just survive instead of move forward and living life.   For days, weeks, and years after my son went to heaven I experienced this internal battle.  Everyone’s life seemed to be flying by me and I was stuck […]

  • […] know exactly what that’s like.  After my 3rd child went to heaven from SIDS, nap times were brutal for me with my 4th son, Asher (who was born just 16 months after his brother […]

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