Power of Prayer: Glory Babies
The Christ-centered support group is for parents and grandparents grieving the loss of a child in pregnancy or infancy.
TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Families from around East Texas come to the Children’s Park in Tyler to make memories together, while others go there to mend broken hearts.
Glory Babies is a Christ-centered support group for parents and grandparents grieving the loss of a child in pregnancy or infancy.
They meet each third Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. in Allison's House, located on the park's south perimeter.
Tiffany Ayers discovered this serene sanctuary after losing her son to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome three years ago.
"He was a happy healthy four and a half month old little boy and he just went to sleep and didn't wake up."
She says the grieving process is a lifelong journey.
"I was very angry with God and I was in a place where I did not want to talk about God. i did not want to pray. I did not want to hear other people talk about what a great God he is."
Through Glory Babies, Ayers found other parents facing similar tests of faith.
"It's still a tough thought that there's no answer to. But you just have to trust that God is bigger than you and your plans."
Facilitator Jennifer Carson leads the monthly meetings.
"I think the power and a support group for people is that it helps them know they don't have to go into that place by themselves. They can come here (and) they can sit in this room. They can go to the depths of whatever that is. And there's a group of people that are willing to go with them so that they don't feel so alone and so afraid."
She started the Glory Babies group in 2001, still grieving after losing her son Brayden at birth in 1999.
"I was willing to let God use my grief. I was willing to let him make something beautiful out of it, make beauty out of ashes. And I think I was just willing. There's nothing special about me, but I was just willing to let him work through me to do what he wanted to do."
This safe environment allows families to express their pain openly.
"We've had lots of people that come through here that have been so angry at God and and we are okay with that," Carson said. "Because he already knows how angry they are and he wants them to be honest. And you it's hard to have conversations like that just in your day to day interactions with people."
Carson says her goal is to provide hope and healing, as well as reach those struggling with infertility.
"To be able to come into a group of people that are further down the road than me, that are still breathing and moving, just offers so much hope to people."
For Ayers, encouragement is an important part of the process.
"It's a truly great thing to have a friend just there that's going to sit there with you and be in the grief with you."
Gaining the ability to talk about those feels can take time. Ayers says family and friends shouldn't hesitate to console a grieving parent.
"It may make them sad but it also brings so much joy to hear other people talk about our child or mention their name. So just remember, with us, it's the greatest gift that anybody can give."
As families come to play in the park's ponds and relax in shaded gardens, they're surrounded by reminders of cherished memories. The names of more than 500 babies are engraved on stones lining the park's paths. Bronze statues depicting angels and children adorn the landscape, while simple playground equipment invite children to laugh and play.
For more information on Glory Babies, click here.
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