Heartstrings is a ministry of Grace Community Church of Kingston, Tennessee designed to help families, who are dealing with miscarriage and child loss, find the peace and hope that can only be found in Jesus Christ.
Heartstrings was formed in 2015 by Grace Church after we realized that there were no local resources available to minister to families grieving the loss of their children. Through our desire and efforts to minister to families grieving miscarriages and the loss of their children, Heartstrings was born.
We chose the name Heartstrings because it pictures the experience we have with our children. Our heart begins to play the melody of joy when we become aware them, but once they are gone, we feel as though the strings of our heart are broken and can never feel joy or make music again. We chose this name, because we know that Christ can heal your broken heartstrings by understanding his faithfulness and his promises. Our mission is to be a light for Christ while helping others walk through their darkest of times. We know the pain that losing a child brings, but we also know the wonderful healing that Christ can bring and we want to help others find that peace.
Heartstrings is led by Kandi Leffew, Isaiah Ruffner and Brittany Ruffner.
Kandi and her husband, Brandon, have three beautiful children and are charter members of Grace Church, where Brandon serves as a deacon. They serve the church family in many capacities. Kandi and Brandon have known the heartbreak of multiple miscarriages.
Kandi’s personal story:
After having two normal, uncomplicated pregnancies and with two healthy children, we never expected or thought anything would go wrong with our third pregnancy. January 2011, we suffered our first miscarriage. Then, again on Mother’s Day 2011, we suffered our second miscarriage. I will never forget the image of that ultrasound without a heartbeat. I felt like my heart was pulled out of my body. Even though I only got to carry those two precious babies for a short time, we are blessed. Through the tears, the pain, and the sadness our Lord was there to carry us and lift us up. We do not know what would have happened if we did not have Jesus and his peace through our trials in this life. A couple of months later, which was a complete surprise, we were blessed with our fifth pregnancy. It was overwhelming with a lot of anxiety and fear then all of the “what if” questions began to plague our thoughts. Thankfully, the Lord allowed us to welcome our little blessing into the world at the end of March 2012. This precious blessing was God’s perfect timing for our family as we were grieving the loss of Brandon’s father just three months before. This baby was the bright spot we needed and God’s gift to us in a time of sorrow. When I think about this time the verse Isaiah 55:8 comes to mind…
”For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
We have learned to rely on His ways and His plans, not ours. We hope our loss, our experience, and our faith can maybe help others who are going through the same trial.
Isaiah and Brittany Ruffner have two wonderful children, and are also charter members of the church, where Isaiah serves as a deacon, and where the couple lead the youth program of Grace. Isaiah and Brittany have experienced both the pain of miscarriage and the loss of an infant son.
Their personal story:
On November 24, 2009 our lives were forever changed. On that day, our sweet baby Chase went home to be with the Lord. Living our everyday life since then has not been easy. At times, we have felt like we could not go on, falling into deep depression so dark that we were afraid we would never see light again. At other times our hearts have felt like they would burst with joy thinking about what our little boy was experiencing in Heaven. All praise be to our ever-loving God and Father for He has carried us through every step of the way since our great loss! He has loved us through our anger, sadness, happiness, brokenness and joy. Every emotion that we have experienced, He has been there right with us holding our hands. So, the purpose for this ministry is to share our story with you in hopes of helping you, if you have experienced the loss of a child. Always remember, if you are His then you are never alone! Our verse of hope is 2 Corinthians 1:3-7, which says
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort, too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.
For details about joining our Facebook group, please visit Heartstrings of Grace on Facebook.