It was a beautiful summer day in 1996, when I looked up to the endless blue sky, wondering if this life I was living was all there was. I had everything I’d ever hoped for – a beautiful family, home, career – all the things I thought were important for a good life with purpose. But, in that moment I knew in my heart something important was missing. I just didn’t know what it was.

I forgot about that moment until June of 1997 when my grandson, Hunter, was just four months old. He was born a beautiful healthy boy; but, within a few weeks of his life, he became increasingly inconsolable. After a four-month search for answers, he was diagnosed with Krabbe Leukodystrophy, a painful progressive genetic disease with a life expectancy of 13 months.

At that moment, everything I had ever hoped for didn’t matter. How could anything matter when my daughter’s son was dying? In my desperate search for medical help, it didn’t take long to realize there was no help for Hunter, there was no hope for his life.

There was no place to turn, but to God. I cried out to Him… A God I grew up knowing about, but never knowing. Every minute outside of helping Jill and Hunter was spent crying out to God, studying the Bible, and learning from Christians. I needed help. I needed hope. Hunter needed healing.

Over time God answered my prayers, not with healing for Hunter or answers as to why this happened to him and our family. But, through His amazing grace, He filled my heart and life with Himself. He was what was missing in my life, and now I know Him. I was blind and now I see.

Yes, I continued to pray for healing for Hunter, but now I trusted God with his life. And, if God chose not to heal Hunter this side of heaven, it was okay. I knew I would see Hunter in the next life, for all eternity.
Now I had hope. Hope in eternal life, where there is no sickness, no tears.

I still miss Hunter deeply with a sadness that overwhelms my soul. But, I am no longer alone in my sadness, God holds me and reminds me of a jubilant life to come for all eternity.

~ Jacque Waggoner
Grandma of Hunter Kelly (2/14/97 – 8/5/05)


Heavenly Father,
I didn’t know what I needed, but You did.
You were there for me.
You saved me.
Lord, I ask that You be there for those who need You.
Show them who You are and light their hearts with more of You and Your Glory.
Comfort them as they need You so.
In Jesus’ Name,

Psalm 30:11-12

You turned my wailing into dancing;
You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing Your praises and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise You forever.