Is it possible to experience hope in the midst of grief? What does it look like for God to redeem the pain you go through in your life and leadership?
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In this episode, you’ll hear a conversation that Holly has with our guest Ashley Opliger. Ashley shares her story of infant loss with candor, grace, dignity and such love for those experiencing similar circumstances. You’ll hear about the moment she knew God called her to use her grief to fulfill his call on her life, how she walks with other women in their grief, and how people close to those hurting can be a support.
Ashley also shares how her non-profit ministry grew, how they encourage and uplift their volunteers, and how they have been able to be so impactful on such a small budget.
While infant loss and miscarriage is a hard subject to talk about, God shows up in this conversation in such a comforting and real way. Ashley shares some powerful reminders for those of us who support others in grief. Her story of healing can bring hope for those walking this hard road.
Key Points Discussed:
- Ashley’s leadership journey
- Ashley’s story of loss
- How others walked through grief with their family
- How to support others you know who experience this type of grief
- The moment God called her to start what would become Bridget’s cradles
- How God grew the ministry on a small budget
- How to grow volunteers and donors by making them the hero
- How Ashley can serve through grief
- Loneliness in leadership
- Roles of mentors in her leadership
- Leaders are learners
“Having that safe place to share [Bridget’s] life, and for her to be acknowledged in our family has meant so much.”
“A huge part of my journey is having other women to walk with and to kind of hold me up in my grief and likewise mutually support them on their hard days.”
“Just being willing to listen and willing to sit in their pain with them goes so far–you don’t have to have the perfect words to say.”
“It wasn’t some overnight thing that we were able to do all of this. It was just one small step of obedience after another after another.”
“The ministry is really just this middle ground, where you’re connecting people [or volunteer] with a need.”
“You just never know how God is going to redeem pain.”
“Having other people that understand the dynamic of leadership and have that weight is so helpful for me.”
Connect with Ashley Opliger:
Bridget’s Cradles Website
Ashley Opliger is the President and Executive Director of Bridget’s Cradles 501c3 nonprofit organization based in Wichita, Kansas. Bridget’s Cradles donates cradles to over 1,090 hospitals in all 50 states and comforts over 26,000 bereaved families a year. She is the host of the Cradled in Hope podcast and the leader of Hope Gatherings support groups.
Ashley is married to Matt and they have three children: Bridget (in Heaven), and two sons. She is a fully-devoted follower of Christ who desires to share the hope of Jesus and Heaven with families grieving the loss of a baby.
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