006: Three Messages of Hope for the Darkest Times

This week, my family has been through a terrible loss: the death of my son’s birthmother, Katie. We’ve had an open adoption with her and she became part of our family over the last seven years.

We are grieving deeply, and I couldn’t go on with business as usual on the podcast; so I took a break from our usual show format to record some thoughts on how we can find hope, even in the darkest of trials.

Listen in as I share three scriptural phrases that gave me strength during my long battle with infertility and the ups and downs of the adoption process. Whether or not you’re religious, whether or not you’ve ever adopted, I think these messages of hope will uplift you. They are universal.

  1. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
  2. He gives unto them beauty for ashes
  3. When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

Hold your families close this week. Much love.

Noah's Birth

Noah's Sixth Birthday with Katie

In Memory of Katie Rose Stratford

Joy Comes in the Morning // 3 in 30 Takeaways for Moms

Beauty for Ashes // 3 in 30 Takeaways for Moms

Come Forth as Gold // 3 in 30 Takeaways for Moms

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About the Podcast Host, Rachel Nielson

Rachel taught high school English for five years before deciding to be a stay-at-home mom to her two miracle babies, Noah Atticus, who was adopted, and Sally Grace, who was conceived through IVF.

In her life, Rachel has experienced great sorrow but also great joy--and she loves diving deep into the topics that matter most. Thank you for listening to the podcast and giving her a chance to share her heart.


  1. Elizabeth Stratford on 11/20/2017 at 1:25 PM

    Thank you Rachel. We needed to hear this today. We are forever grateful that we will always have Noah to remember our Katie. We love you!

    • Rachel Nielson on 11/23/2017 at 12:14 PM

      He is such a gift!! And so is Katie! She brought all of us together and made the ultimate sacrifice of love for Noah. I miss her, and I am so grateful to have a piece of Katie in my home forever. Love you all!

  2. Hannah Preszler on 11/20/2017 at 3:43 PM

    Thank you for this amazing tribute. I was friends with Kate as a teenager. She will be missed. These truths are hopeful and applicable to all of us.

    • Rachel Nielson on 11/23/2017 at 12:12 PM

      Hi, Hannah! Any friend of Kate’s is a friend of mine. I love her! Were you at the service yesterday?
      I’m so glad you found the messages of hope to be universally applicable! Please pass them along to any of your friends/family who may be in the midst of a dark season. xoxox

  3. Benjie Medlock on 11/20/2017 at 10:00 PM

    Love you Rachel. I weeped listening to this tonight.

    • Rachel Nielson on 11/23/2017 at 12:11 PM

      Thank you, Benjie! It’s been such an emotional week! Love you too.

  4. […] Three Messages of Hope for the Darkest Times […]

  5. Bethany Adair on 02/07/2018 at 9:05 AM

    This was so beautiful and touching. I really feel the application of these principles in my life right now. Thank you!

    • Rachel Nielson on 02/07/2018 at 9:50 AM

      Thank you so much!! I hope these scriptures/thoughts bring you strength.

  6. Kary Clark on 03/29/2018 at 3:46 AM

    I finally listened to this, and I want to thank you for giving me three verses to remind myself that my trials have made me who I am; they have refined me and given me hard but necessary lessons. Love to you, today and always.

  7. Amy on 09/08/2018 at 5:02 AM

    I’ve only just found your podcasts after being an avid follower of your blog and journey. It made my heart so happy to see how you created a giant family for Noah. Hearing this news and your voice broke my heart and I shed tears for you all. For Katie’s family. For her friends and for you and Noah. Mental health issues are a fight unlike any other she must have fought so hard to achieve so much. I’m praying for you all. Thank you for sharing your heart so honestly Rachel it was powerful and I’ve marked those verses in my Bible. 💞

    • Rachel Nielson on 10/13/2018 at 12:10 PM

      Amy, thank you so much for following along on our journey for all these years. I feel like the people who read my blog throughout the process of adopting Noah understand better than most just what a loss this is for our family. We will miss Katie every day. Yes, mental illness is a fight unlike any other–and she always fought the hardest for Noah. I am so glad we have the letters from her and photos of them together so we will be able to show him someday. It means so much to me that you care about our family. Thank you!!

  8. […] parents group on FB https://www.facebook.com/groups/569722193074649/ Episodes from 3 in 30: “Three Messages of Hope for the Darkest Times“ “How to Support a Loved One who is Grieving“ -Have you ever thought about […]

  9. […] parents group on FB https://www.facebook.com/groups/569722193074649/ Episodes from 3 in 30: “Three Messages of Hope for the Darkest Times“ “How to Support a Loved One who is Grieving“ -Have you ever thought about […]

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