Episode #28 Mission of Hope after the Loss of a Child. Melissa Zerby

Quick Links
From Today's Episode

Melissa Zerby and her husband Jimmy share how they experienced God’s tangible presence and miraculous interventions following the loss of their eight-year-old son, Brysen. We hear about Bryson’s love for life and how Melissa and her family turned their profound loss into a mission to inspire hope in others through their ministry, ‘Brysen’s Hope. Their private tragedy became national news and aired on The Today Show. We witness the tangible power of prayer, the audacious prayer of their little daughter, and the spread of the gospel, even as far as Africa.

Today's Verses
  • Acts 20:24
  • Romans 12:12
  • Psalm 28:7
  • 2 Corinthians 4:18


Mission of Hope after Loss of a Child. Melissa Zerby

[00:00:00] Welcome to the Unshakable Hope Podcast, where real life intersects redeeming love. I’m Kellie Hall, and this is where we wrestle through faith questions, such as how do I trust God’s heart when His ways and delays are breaking mine? We’ll hear from people just like you and me, who have experienced God’s faithfulness when life didn’t unfold as they expected.

My prayer is that God would renew our hope in His Word and His love through these conversations.

Hey, guys, I’m so glad you joined me today.

My guest is Melissa Zerbe and at one point we’re actually joined by her husband, Jimmy, who will add some extra highlights to their story. After the heartbreaking loss of their eight year old son five years ago, this family has been on mission to bring hope to others through the ministry they’ve established called Bryson’s Hope. Before I drop you into the [00:01:00] conversation, I just want to tell you that ever since recording this podcast, my faith has been so encouraged because of the miraculous tender ways God’s worked in and through their story.

You’ll hear how God sustained them through this time of heartbreaking loss. And you’ll hear how God answered the audacious prayer from their amazing little six-year-old daughter, how their story went viral and how so many have come to know Jesus and experience the hope and comfort that only he provides. Melissa, thanks for joining me today. Welcome.

Melissa: Thank you so much, Kelly, for having me and I really look forward to having a conversation with you and sharing some of the hope that we have found in Jesus through our experience.

Kelly: Absolutely. And could you start just by telling us a little about yourself and your family

Melissa: Absolutely. Yeah, I’m Melissa and I married my high school sweetheart, Jimmy. We’ve been [00:02:00] married for 18 years, which seems unreal.

We keep saying that we are now an adult marriage because we passed the 18 year mark. And I always wanted to be a mama. That was my dream. Some people want to be a doctor, a lawyer, teacher. I wanted to be a mama. And after a lot of struggles to get pregnant and have babies the Lord blessed us and we have a 14 year old Abby who is just delightful.

We have an 11 year old Chloe who is quite the joy and probably strongest little girl I’ve ever met. And we have a four year old Daughter, Delilah Hope, that I can share a little bit more about later. And and we have a son who would be turning 14 in December. But he lives in heaven now.

Kelly: Oh, what a sweet family. Wow. That’s a full house too.

. So now tell me how the Lord is currently speaking to you.[00:03:00]

Melissa: Yes. As a family really but also just individually, we have just been on a mission and To just share the Lord’s hope with others for the last five years, really.

And so our family verse is acts 20:24, which is, but my life is worth nothing. to me unless I use it to finish the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus. The work of telling others the good news about the wonderful grace of God. That is the verse we stand on.

And we’ll, we’re going to hear how that plays out in your life today for sure. Before we get into the story of how Bryson passed, we really want to hear about him. We want to fall in love with that kid. So tell us about his heart. Tell us about your son, Bryson

Melissa: our Bryson, he was 8 years old when he passed. He was our his typical little boy. Full of energy.

I always called him my freckle face redhead. And he was ornery, so ornery. [00:04:00] But just the best. He he gave the best hugs. I can still sometimes just feel his little arms wrapping around my waist because he, Was a lover. He was the kid that always wanted to sit and snuggle with me on the couch and wanted me to snuggle up in bed with him, to read books to him at night.

Just such a great little boy. He loved sports. He played his favorite was football. Although my husband was a race car driver, so he really wanted him to love racing. He loved racing, but I would say football was his. Number one.

Kelly: You said your husband was a race car driver?

Melissa: He was, yes back in the day.

He would like to still be a race car driver. Okay. Yeah, he raced all growing up and moved to North Carolina to go to NASCAR college to be a race car driver. And I moved after I finished school, I moved out there with him when we got married.

And we lived there for about a year before moving home because we just [00:05:00] learned that lifestyle is just not a super good lifestyle for families. So we moved back home to be closer to family so that we could start our family.

Kelly: Wow. Okay. I didn’t know that. So Bryson football, it’s hard to imagine a little boy playing football, but that’s so cute.

Melissa: He he actually had just gotten his pads right before the accident and he was so proud of them, like putting them on and his helmet and his mouthpiece and all the things. He was so proud to have his. football pads.. He was ready to go, he always said, boom into people. He was always ready to go boom into people.

Kelly: Oh my goodness. That’s so adorable.

Take us to that day if you don’t mind. The day that Bryson passed and just walk us through how the Lord met you and your family there. None of us can imagine what this felt like for you. So just tell us whatever you want to share.

Melissa: So our [00:06:00] church was was starting a new campus that was going to have evening services.

And my husband’s job prevented him from going to morning services often. And so we were really excited about the evening service option. And we had been really involved. And that day as a church, we were promoting the new campus by by walking in a parade.

So I I woke up Bryson that morning. He was so excited. He was laying in bed with his little eyes still closed and he was like, it’s parade day because he was just so excited to be part of it. And off we went and, everything seemed to be going good. When I got there, I had shared with the kids that I didn’t want them riding on the float because we’re like encouraging the church and and I just didn’t want them getting off and on the float.

It just wasn’t safe. So we walked, we were handing out frisbees and candy and and soda and it was a blast, right? Everyone was having so much fun. And towards the end of the parade route, there was A bottleneck as [00:07:00] the floats were, turning and stuff.

So we came to a stop and and Bryson asked to sit down for a few minutes, which I told him he could. It’s funny to look back on it now. Cause he has so much energy and I’m like. It’s so funny that he wanted to sit down because he just never would have, but he sat down for a few minutes and then as I saw things starting to move, I said, come on, Bud, let’s get up.

Let’s go. And so our little Bryson went to get up right at the same time that that the trailer started to move and he tripped and he fell and he got run over.

It’s definitely, not something I would wish upon anyone, even my worst enemy. I would not wish upon them to experience the loss of a child.

Kelly: Yes….Bryson, was in the trailer and he got up and tripped.

Melissa: Yeah. He was sitting next to the pastor and the pastor’s kids and he got up and our pastor, as he [00:08:00] watched him trip, yelled stop, so that the driver would stop. And he did stop and it was just, it was too late. I was the first one there and it was just, it was so traumatic to be there with our entire family, with our with our kids, our little Chloe, who was actually getting ready to turn six.

Her birthday was two days later. She was standing right next to me and she saw the whole thing. And you can imagine in a little girl’s mind, that’s just impossible to even process. And so immediately our church family was just incredible. They gathered up our kids and they took them over with the rest of the church as we Jimmy was helping take care of Bryson.

I was just hysterical, but but they took care of our kids and they immediately covered us in prayer. I know that all of those people standing there. We’re praying over us and over our son, that entire [00:09:00] time that we were there waiting for the ambulance and going to the hospital.

In fact the person who began CPR was one of the staff at the church and he was incredible. And he actually, he rode with my husband in the truck to the hospital and he prayed he started to pray over my husband and my husband said, do not pray over me pray for my son.

And and he prayed the entire drive to the hospital. When we got to the hospital, it was very quick. I think, I knew he was gone right away, I think. And I think, they just did everything they could, even though they couldn’t do anything more. And so after they, after they left the room and it was it was just such a shock.

And honestly, we were just so confused just sitting there. I don’t even, I don’t even know what just happened but the staff and pastors were in there with us and praying over us immediately.

So I [00:10:00] was just standing there by his bedside and and I just remember praying, “God. He’s yours now.” And I so clearly heard the Lord speak to me and he said, “no, Melissa, he was always mine. I just lent him to you.”

Kelly: I know that the pastors were praying and then your husband said something that really just must have been from the Lord because it marked a vision in your hearts for how you wanted to honor Bryson’s life. Can you share that?

Melissa: Absolutely. Honestly, I think everything that went into those next few days moments and days, they were, they had to have been from the Lord because they would not have been in my human nature.

But yeah, my husband was standing there and after our pastor walked in, he said, I just, I can’t imagine why this happened, but the only thing I can think is that God wanted to use this. To bring others to Christ and [00:11:00] in that moment our pastor actually first said you need to know that God does not have to allow eight year old little boys to die, to bring people to Christ, but that he can use situations like this.

And and so we agreed with our pastor that was our goal going forward was to use this to bring others to Christ.

Kelly: I cannot tell you how much I admire that pastor. I see his wisdom. I am so grateful that he said that because I read a story a long time ago about a man who, he really felt like God was going to save his daughter’s leg. She had cancer. Her leg was amputated. People came to him afterward and said, well, God must’ve wanted to start a revival in our church. And he said, he was the pastor, and he said, God did not need to take my daughter’s leg to start a [00:12:00] revival.

And that’s the truth. God did not need to have a little boy die to bring glory to himself, and I’m so thankful that your pastor pointed that out and just pointed you, both of y’all, everybody to God’s heart that says, I see you. I love you. I’m holding you. I’m collecting your tears in a bottle. And yes, I will work in and through this to bring glory to my name and to bring about good, but I’m weeping with you in this grief.

Melissa: Yes.

Kelly: When I imagine this whole event, it’s hard to imagine what it felt like for everybody there but my heart just aches also for the driver of that truck. I can’t imagine how horrible he must’ve felt, did y’all talk to him afterwards?

Melissa: Yeah obviously we were rushed very quickly to the hospital and because, because of it being an accident, he had to stay at the scene and go through all of that. And as [00:13:00] we were leaving the hospital we didn’t know where to go.

There were tons of people at the hospital with us. And so someone from the church, I don’t even remember who, said why don’t you guys go ahead and go to the church and we’ll provide some food for everyone here. So we went and while we were there with our family and our closest friends and other people, they came and shared with us that the driver was was at the church and had asked if it would be okay with us if he came and said, hi. And of course we were like, yeah, our hearts, although so broken, losing our son, we’re also broken for him because we knew his heart would be hurting.

And and so he came up and and I tell you that moment was so beautiful as I watched my husband walk to him and embrace him and the two of them started crying and and I came [00:14:00] to them and his wife came over and and slowly everyone in the room just surrounded all of us and just prayed over us and our families and the healing and I tell you, that man has become a good friend of ours. And and we are blessed by that friendship.

Kelly: That’s just amazing. Amazing. You see the love of Christ being extended there. Stunning. I’d love it if you could just describe the next six months how the Lord met you and carried your family through this. I know you guys were in a fog, but you have to keep on living.

You have other kids and you have to eat and you have to go to work and do all those things. So I know God can do the impossible. So when we want to just shut down and give up and crawl in a hole or under a blanket and stay there until the pain goes away, You don’t have that luxury. So just tell us how the Lord [00:15:00] walked you through that time.

Melissa: Yeah. As far as food, people provided food and I was so grateful for that because I could not cook.

Kelly: Y’all must have had meals for days and months.

Melissa: So much. In fact, so much so that our daughter our oldest said one day, mom, can you just cook a meal? Because we had been eating from other people for so long, and honestly, that first meal was horrible. I burnt it. It was disgusting. It was horrible, but I did it. So that was a success, right?

Kelly: Yeah. When you’re grieving, you just can’t think in steps. You can’t have a concept of time. Nothing works right.

Melissa: It is true. It is true. Our minds just don’t work the way they normally do.

Kelly: Yeah. It’s pretty amazing how people stepped up though and helped you tell us about that.

Melissa: Yeah, one of the ways we were so blessed is that my husband’s sister [00:16:00] came to live with us.

She lived with us for three months and she was absolutely incredible. She loved on our kids. She helped really with whatever we needed help with. She didn’t really cook. So she wasn’t super helpful in that regard, but she helped in every, she cleaned my house for me.

But but it was just such a beautiful blessing to have her there taking care of us. But one of the ways that that grief really affected really all of us, was that we just couldn’t focus, like we just talked about. We you can’t focus and we couldn’t even focus to read.

I could not read a card. We got hundreds of cards. I couldn’t even read through a card, let alone a book. And we were given so many books and we just couldn’t even begin to read those. We also really wanted, like we said, we wanted to dive into using this to share Jesus with others.

And of course we wanted to [00:17:00] stay in God’s word, but we could not, we couldn’t even read a chapter or do a Bible study. It was just impossible to focus that long. And we set up. Verses of the day on our Bible. If you have a Bible app they have verses of the day where you can set it to pop up at a certain time.

And so we had ours set to pop up. And really that was about the focus that we had for the first number of months, actually. And even in that little bit of time that we were able to give full focus to God’s word. The Lord spoke to us so very clearly meeting us right where we needed him to one of the verses of the day actually the day before the accident was Romans 12, 12 rejoice in the confident hope and be patient in trouble and keep praying.

The Lord was preparing our hearts before the accident [00:18:00] even happened to lean into him and keep praying the day of the accident. The verse was Psalm 28:7. The Lord is my strength and my shield. He helps me and he truly did help us through those moments. I don’t know how I could have got through it without the help of Jesus.

Kelly: You felt his presence sustaining you.

Melissa: Oh, absolutely. I know we were covered in prayer. So many people were praying for us and we could feel physically feel people praying for us, especially in the evenings. It was absolutely incredible that we could feel just this unbelievable awareness of prayers being prayed over our family.

Kelly: Wow. The evening for us, the evening was when the grief settled in deeper because the activity of the day settles down and you don’t have to do anything and people are going to sleep and that’s when the grief and the [00:19:00] heartache would rise up and just be the loudest in our family, in our hearts. That’s so amazing God just opened your eyes and heart to be aware that you are being sustained through these prayers that other people are praying for you.

Melissa: Absolutely prayer is such a powerful thing.

Kelly: Can you tell us one….You had another verse too. What was that third verse?

Melissa: Yeah. One of the verse, one of the verses was a huge one. Our smart Chloe. I shared her birthday was 2 days after the accident. And as you can imagine, that was so hard and God, just like he always does, spoke to us clearly, 2 Corinthians 4, 18.

So we don’t look at the troubles we see now, rather we fix our gaze on the things that cannot be seen for the things we see now will soon be gone. But the things that we cannot see will last forever.

Kelly: Oh, one of my favorites.

Melissa: Yes, it is a beautiful verse.

Kelly: My heart just aches for little Chloe. She witnessed this happening at such a [00:20:00] young age. You can’t process something that tragic with your little bitty child brain and your child language and understanding. And so I’d love for you to just talk about the miraculous way that the Lord met her.

So lay that on us Melissa, it’s absolutely stunning.

Melissa: Yes, our our Chloe is just, she is her own little person and she is so strong and yeah, everyone was just so worried about her, obviously, as it came into her birthday and clearly we have been crying for days, right?

You just, that’s what you do. And and she said the night before her birthday she came up to me and Jimmy and said tomorrow’s my birthday. And we were like, yes, honey, we know it’s your birthday. And she said, it’s a no cry day. No one’s allowed to cry on my birthday. Okay. And we were like,

yeah. Okay yeah, we’ll do that. Clearly that’s easier said than done, but that sweet girl [00:21:00] still claims that now five years later, she still will tell us, my birthday is still a no cry day and it is, we celebrate big.

But a few a few months after the accident she was really struggling with whether or not the Lord could hear her, which, understandably so this poor sweet girl has lost her brother. She has experienced the trauma of seeing that her birthday has been overshadowed by it. And she’s hurting and that is understandable that she’s saying man, I just don’t feel like God can hear me. And so she talked to me about that. And I said, hey, honey, what can we do to help you feel that, that he can because he does.

And she said, I’d really like a teal sunset. Teal is her favorite color still to this day. And she had her heart set on God giving her a teal sunset. So that night when we were saying prayers, I said, [00:22:00] Chloe, would you like to pray and ask God for a teal sunset?

And she said, no, mama, will you please? And I was like, sure. So I just prayed God, our Chloe, she feels like you don’t hear her. And she would love it if you would give her a teal sunset. So they go to bed,

Kelly: your husband, meanwhile, is saying you can’t pray that

Melissa: he’s telling me, you cannot ask for specific things of God and you cannot tell God he needs to, and I said, We are going to ask him for a teal sunset.

That is what she needs. So the next day I was driving home with our oldest and we were facing where the sun was setting. And we live in Colorado, so there’s mountains right there. It’s just beautiful. And I look up and there’s that teal sunset. Just above the mountains.

It was orange, just a beautiful, bright orange. Then there were clouds above the clouds. The sky was just this [00:23:00] vibrant teal as it faded up into the sky. And became darker blue. Clearly I immediately called my husband and said, you have got to take Chloe outside. and he took her outside and he showed her that sunset.

And he looked at her and said, Chloe, what is that? And she said, that’s a teal sunset, daddy. And he said, what does that mean? And she said, that means that God can hear me, dad.

Kelly: I’m jumping up and down and celebrating here is the sweetest, most tender, beautiful gift from the Lord. The fact that she, I’m so amazed that this little girl could say, I don’t feel like God hears me. This is what I need from God. And she could claim that birthday as her own. No cry day. That, that’s a remarkable kid.

Melissa: It is. She is. She might be my hero. Yeah.

Kelly: And then God coming through. Oh my goodness. Can you imagine the delight on God’s [00:24:00] face as he said, Oh yes, oh, you just wait and see. I certainly will. Oh wow. Yes. Oh, I just love it. Another thing that happened is y’all began to share your story about the hope you have in Christ, the knowledge that you’re going to see your son Bryson in heaven one day.

And your story went viral. You recorded it and somehow it went around the world to a Muslim country in Africa. Tell us about that.

Melissa: Yeah. So because the accident was in a parade, it was coast to coast all over the news. It was on the Today Show.

It was huge. And because of that, there was a lot of media involved, clearly. And we didn’t know at the time, but they were requesting it. An interview with my husband and myself. And so my brother in his wisdom said, Hey, let’s not do an interview, but let’s do a video release. That way we have [00:25:00] control of what is said and and we can use it to point others to Christ.

So we did that just a few days after is actually the day after Chloe’s birthday. We did that video release and, the day of the burial we were, greeting people as they came through and and one of our friends said to us, Hey, I got to tell you a story. She said, I shared your video on my Facebook page and some missionaries that I know in Africa got it and they showed the video to some Muslim workers.

In Africa, and those Muslim workers said, you got to tell us about this Jesus, that family is still standing.

Kelly: Praise God. That is so amazing. I love that. So tell us how you started a ministry. You and your husband, God gave you a dream, a vision and you’ve named it [00:26:00] Bryson’s hope.

Melissa: Yes, absolutely. So we’ve known that we, that God wants to use our story.

We have a heart and a passion for other families who experienced the loss of children. We didn’t realize how common it is. And within the first year, really, we knew personally three or four families who lost Children that year and and so God just started stirring in our hearts a desire to love on these families and, and one of the things that has been huge for us is connecting the families because families who are experiencing grief and and couples who lose a child and kids who lose a sibling, there is. A huge majority of them that divorce and the family just falls apart.

And so it is our passion to, to bring families together and we were [00:27:00] so insanely blessed because it was such a big news story. We were gifted. All kinds of gifts. That we refer to as memory makers. We got to go to sporting events and and go stay at a camp site for two nights as a family to connect.

We knew that what we wanted to do for these families was offer a chance for them to come together, to make new good memories as a family and also give them a respite from their grief.

Because grief is all consuming your body physically hurts, your heart hurts, and we wanted to give them a place that they can go to just have some fun, connect, be. So we are still in the process of starting our ministry called Bryson’s Hope. Our dream for it is to own our own retreat center where we can host families [00:28:00] ourselves.

Full-time. And fly people to just love on them in the meantime, until we are to that stage, we are planning and hosting, retreats. We’re calling them family retreats to just bring families together and and give them that chance. We actually just our very first retreat and it was just so special and beautiful to connect with all the families and we are looking for some more retreat centers and some more options to start planning the next one. paRt of our ministry is is also Bibles. Our Bryson, we found out a few weeks after the accident That he had been reading his Bible to his friends not just one but all of his friends, he was reading his Bible too.

And we bought a case of those Bibles to hand out to his friends because we thought if he is sharing his Bible with his friends, then we are going to share his Bible with his friends and And we have now handed out [00:29:00] over 700 of those Bibles.

Kelly: Wow. Okay. And what was, this was a particular kind of Bible that I hadn’t heard of before. What was the name of it? Yes. Yes.

Melissa: It is called the Action Bible and it is written like a comic book. The pictures are very realistic. But it has word bubbles and it tells the story in such a way that it intrigues the children and adults alike.

Actually, any adults that read it are like, this is so cool, but it shares, almost the entire Bible in in graphic novel story form. That,

Kelly: that’s just amazing.

Well, we weren’t expecting this, but we have the pleasure of having Jimmy, Melissa’s husband, join us. And so we’re going to get to hear an additional miraculous story that occurred within the first year after Bryson’s passing. So, hi, Jimmy. I’m glad you’re here.

Jim: Hi, I’m Jimmy. I’m Melissa’s husband. So we wanted a big family. And when we had first started dating and gotten engaged, Melissa said she [00:30:00] wanted 12 kids. I talked her down to six. But then we struggled to get pregnant like a lot of folks do and lots of specialists and doctors and medications and all the things.

And God blessed us with…with our first three. And we, we kept trying and kept going to doctors and trying all the same things that had worked before and they just weren’t working anymore. And then when Bryson died, we were like that’s it. God gave us three kids. We, you can’t. You can’t replace a child, right?

And so we had just settled on, okay, God had, God gave us three. and then it was five months to the day of the accident. So it was February 3rd Superbowl Sunday, Bryson loved football. And Melissa had a dream that she was pregnant and woke up and took a test. And she was pregnant. And our Bryson met Jesus in September of 2018.

And our Delilah showed up in September of 2019. And she, Bryson had vibrant red hair. I think Melissa had shared that. [00:31:00] And Delilah’s got red hair. Not quite as vibrant as her brothers, but she’s our little miracle baby. And Delilah Hope. Melissa had researched and the original meaning of Delilah in, was it Greek or Hebrew?

In Hebrew. The name Delilah means delicate. And so her name literally means delicate hope. And she was our little miracle baby from God. So she’s a blessing.

Kelly: That’s an amazing story. Wow the way God so intricately wove this story together is just beautiful. The way he redeemed the date, the way that, you miraculously got pregnant after trying for so many years. It’s just beautiful.

And now Jimmy, I know that you have a sleeve tattoo but your mom calls your tattoos “witness wear” because you use it to share the gospel. So we want to hear about this. Your witness wear.

Jim: As Melissa has shared we have lots of stories and [00:32:00] lots of amazing ways that God met us. That there’s no other explanation other than it was God.

And so I didn’t want to forget those and I wrote them down, but I’m a little wild and crazy. I decided to start tattooing some of our stories on my arm as an awkward conversation starter. And so I have a full sleeve of tattoos. It’s all of our stories.

So Melissa shared our verses of the day. So there’s our verses of the day. She shared about how Bryson was reading his Bible to his friends. And so this is the crucifixion. This is what? Oh, that’s the crucifixion scene. The crucifixion scene. Yeah. Sorry. Here we go From the Action Bible.

There’s the globe where, with Africa and the word starting to spread and the teal sunset. And I think a lot of people that get as many tattoos as I have they don’t look like mine do. And mine are very unique oftentimes have a lot of people ask me about them because they look so different.

And so I tell them like my, my eight year old son died five years ago. [00:33:00] And of course you get the normal reactions of, oh my goodness, I’m so sorry. At that point to have their attention. and so then I share, I’m like, it was terrible. And it was hard and it’s still hard and it still hurts.

But let me tell you about the good stuff because we like to focus on the good things. And I start sharing our stories of how God met us and how God has supported us and helped us. And I’ve been able to share with a lot of people just on my tattoo. So that’s my awkward conversation starter.And I use it to glorify the kingdom.

Kelly: Thank you. Thanks for sharing that with us. That’s so powerful. Okay. We’re not done with you yet. If you have a moment.

Jim: Sure. Absolutely.

Kelly: What stood out to you the most that highlighted God’s faithfulness? Can you identify any one thing?

Jim: Yeah. The body of Christ the hands and feet of Christ Melissa shared that we were prayed for the moment it happened. And continued on. It was incredible. The body of Christ, how they [00:34:00] surrounded us and held us to include when our girls showed up at the hospital we had to go tell them.

And they stopped us and they’re like, you can’t wear those clothes. Because clothes had things on them that our girls didn’t need to see from trying to help Bryson. And the man that had rode with me to the hospital literally took his shirt off. In the emergency room and handed it some awesome.

He gave her the shirt off of his back. And so I would say from day one, the body of Christ and community and just feeling supported right out of the gate was probably the biggest takeaway I had where I knew God was holding us.

Kelly: Wow. Yeah, that’s powerful.

Was there a particular scripture that held you close to the Lord as you walk through this time? Cause we all process grief differently. Melissa has talked about how she was held. By the Lord. And what really helped her, but what comforted you the most, Jimmy?

Jim: Goodness. I grew up in the church and I grew up going to [00:35:00] church and prayers to say in the right words to say. And you always hear people, Oh, we felt your prayers or yeah, the Lord spoke to me. And I had probably said that before as well. But didn’t really fully understand or grasp, what I was saying or what that meant and hadn’t really experienced that.

And I think Melissa shared feeling prayer. It was unbelievable how you could feel it. In addition to hearing God speak. Here is day.

Whether that was through scripture. Melissa shared the verses of the day. If you don’t believe God was speaking right to us I don’t know what you think.

Kelly: Yeah, that’s so cool. The way God highlighted those scriptures and that they were so powerful. We always say God speaks primarily through his word, but when, and that’s because the word of God is living and active.

And so when he invigorates those Words, they go just straight down into the deepest needs of our soul. And so I love that y’all have a testimony about how God spoke through his word. So I’d like to know what [00:36:00] you learned about God that helps you trust him more now.

Jim: God is really there. He really walks with us. I mentioned like I grew up in the church I hadn’t experienced God walking with us and I don’t know if in my mind I had just written that off as something that happened back in biblical times that wasn’t happening anymore.

But I know that now and God is still real. He’s still alive. He is still speaking to people and he’s still holding people and walking with them and you can feel his presence and if you’re really searching and seeking and trying to live in his word and develop a relationship, you can feel him. And know that he is real and know that he is there right there walking alongside you.

Kelly: Amen. He is our ever present help in times of trouble, and you experienced his tangible presence. So powerful. Well, I’m so thankful. [00:37:00] Jimmy was able to join us to share his perspective on those stories and to emphasize again, the power of prayer. Sometimes we feel like praying is the least we can do, but we’re hearing from Melissa and Jimmy that prayer is the most powerful resource that we have.

So Melissa, you and your husband are setting up a nonprofit. You’ll be able to receive donations to support this powerful ministry. So how can people connect with you?

Melissa: Yes, absolutely. We have we have an Instagram page called Bryson’s Hope. We also have a Facebook page called Bryson’s Hope. And you can connect with us on either one of those.

Kelly: Okay. God gave you this vision and you’re walking forward in it with courage!

We’re coming to the end of our time and anything else you want to share, I’d love to hear from you.

Melissa: yes, I would say that God loves each of us and he wants a personal relationship with each of us. And he [00:38:00] wants us to have the hope that is only found in him and that through the difficult situations we can be used for him no matter our age. No matter where we are in life we just have to allow God to use that and that Our story is not because we leaned into God more than others or because we’re so much better or because our son was perfect or that we’re perfect.

God is using us because we know the hope that is found in him and we are allowing him to use us to share that with others.

Kelly: That’s so profound and it’s so important for us to remember, it’s not that we’re so faithful. It’s that God is so faithful. And we can’t get ourselves to heaven, but our Jesus can. I think Bryson would have just loved hearing [00:39:00] that presentation of the gospel and , he was out there telling everybody about Jesus

Melissa: yes, he was

Kelly: And just to remember Chloe’s story, and a teal sunset. I just, I love what that says about God’s heart.

Melissa: Our God is a big God who who can be there for everyone. And he’s a personal God who was there for us.

Kelly: Yes.

I have this written all over my Bible. God, you are immensely powerful and intensely personal. Every part of the Bible speaks to that truth and your story highlights that truth as well. Thank you so much, Melissa, for being here today.

Melissa: Thank you so much, Kelly, for having me.

Kelly: If you were encouraged in your faith today, it’d be great if you’d help get the word out by subscribing, sharing with a friend, or leaving a review. I’d love to hear from you. You can reach out through my website, kellyhall. org, and pick up some free resources while you’re there. Thanks for listening to the Unshakable Hope Podcast.[00:40:00]

Subscribe to the Podcast
  • Apple
  • Spotify
  • Android
  • Email
  • RSS