If you are reading this, it means the Lord has taken me home to be with Him.
I am no longer in pain.
I am no longer taking chemo and dealing with side effects.
My body is new and restored.
My housing has been upgraded to a mansion and I’m enjoying praising the Lord every moment of the day.
I am reunited with my Mom and other family and friends who have passed away before me.
Please don’t be sad for me. Trust me, I’m in a much better place than you are right now. 🙂
During my cancer journey, or whatever you want to call it, I was never afraid to die. I knew that because of my relationship with God, I would spend eternity with Him. The journey getting there was the part that made me afraid. You walked the journey with me. You saw how hard it was on me, on our family and on yourself. However, even though the journey was hard, the Lord was with me every step of the way and I am so thankful for that!
I am so thankful for all the love and support so many people gave our family during the time I was sick. Thank you for praying, texting, calling, emailing, visiting, cooking, cleaning…the list goes on and on. Thank you for loving our family.
Thank you also for continuing to love our family as time goes on. Please do not forget about Tom, our girls and our parents in the months ahead. Things will never go back to “normal” for them. Eventually there will be a different normal and I know you will be there to love and support them. Thank you for that.
I know many of you are grieving as well. I’m so sorry! As I write this, I pray that you will love each other and cling to God through this time. (Gosh, this sounds like I’m some amazing person that everyone can’t live without. I don’t mean for it to sound that way. LOL.)
As I write this final post, if you are not 100% sure of what will happen to you when you die, please don’t waste another minute, and ask Jesus to save you from your sins right now. Heaven and Hell are real! Those are the only two options after death. I am in Heaven and I really hope that I see you here one day. If you wait until after you die to see if what I am telling you is true, it will be too late! I beg you to not do that!
Below is a copy of what I believe and why I know I am in Heaven. Even if in the past you have not wanted anything to do with God, would you please take a minute to read it, for me? It’s the last thing I will ever ask of you. 🙂
I remember in High School when I was first asked to write down my personal testimony. You would not think this would be a big deal, but for some reason I had in my mind that my testimony was “boring.” I say this because I know I am not alone. There are many people who have amazing stories about how God grabbed hold of their life and saved them from drug addiction, alcohol abuse, physical abuse, etc. but mine includes none of those, so as a 15 year old, I thought it was boring.
Looking back on that thought, I now know that it was absolutely ridiculous! How could the story of how God saved me from my sins and an eternity in Hell be boring? There is nothing boring about the grace Jesus has shown me and continues to show me each and every day.
So, with that said, here is my “not-so-boring” testimony . . .
I was raised in a godly home with 2 Bible believing, God fearing parents. We went to church every Sunday and Wednesday and my parents sacrificed a lot to send me to a Christian school from Kindergarten through College.
At a young age I accepted Christ as my Savior. What does that mean? Many times Christians say things using “christiany” words without much explanation and assume others (like my young children) will know what we mean.
So, when I say I accepted Christ as my Savior I mean this . . .
I was/am/always will be a sinner. I was born that way, we all are, and my sins separated me from God (Romans 3:23).
The punishment for sin is death and eternal separation from God in Hell (Romans 6:23). Thank goodness things do not end there!!
Because of God’s love for me (all of us), He sent a Savior, His Son Jesus Christ, to take the punishment for my sins upon Himself through His death on the cross (Romans 5:8). I was a sinner in need of a Savior and Jesus was/is/always will be that Savior.
3 days after dying for my sin on the cross, God raised Him from the dead proving that His death was an acceptable payment (Romans 4:25). And now He sits in Heaven at the right hand of God interceding for me (Romans 8:34)!
Romans 10:9-10 says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
Salvation is a gift from God and there is nothing we can do to earn it. All we can do is accept it. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone. That’s it!
Back to my story . . . I lived in a very comfortable environment where it was “easy” to be a Christian. When a speaker would ask us to think of a friend who was not a Christian that I could share the gospel with, I could never think of anyone. All my friends and acquaintances were from church and school (which happened to be located at our church as well.) My friends all grew up in similar families and environments as I did. What peer pressure there was, was positive.
So life went on. . . .
Fast forward to Junior High. Comfortable is definitely not a word I would use in the same sentence as Junior High. I was a foot taller than everyone (still am) and things were just . . . awkward. It was Junior High.
During one of those “wonderful” years, I had the opportunity to go to youth camp at Hume Lake. Among the beauty of nature and craziness of playing capture the flag in the dark forest, God changed my life.
I do not remember what the speaker spoke on that night, but I vividly remember wondering if my salvation was real. Did I believe what I did because everyone else around me did, or did I really believe I was a sinner in need or a Savior? My salvation needed to be for me, not for my parents, friends, or youth pastor, etc.
That night, under the stars, I rededicated my life to Christ. I thanked God for His gift of salvation and confessed taking it for granted over the past years. I repented and turned away from my old life and way of thinking and I prayed that I would honor and glorify Him in all that I did and in whatever situation He allowed me to be in.
Since that time (finishing High School and College, getting married, having kids, etc.), life is no longer comfortable and easy. I have been faced with trials and situations that I never would have imagined. But through them all, God has been with me every step of the way.
Hebrews 13:5-6 says, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So, we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” What an amazing promise from God. No matter what happens, He is always there!
So, where does that leave me now? How do I apply this to my life on a daily basis?
A few years ago, I was challenged to write a personal vision statement that addressed how I wanted to live my life with God in it. As I share this below, please remember what I said above, that I was a sinner and failed on most of these, if not all of them, regularly. I am so grateful for God’s forgiveness!! This is what I prayed for and tried to be with God’s help.
I choose to be a woman who:
• Is passionate about the Word of God and how that applies to my life, and that that passion is evident to others through my daily actions and my behavior. (Col. 3:23-24, Mark 12:30-31)
• Focuses on being content with what God has blessed me with (salvation, family, health, home) and not let anything rob me of that contentment. (Hebrews 13:5-6, Phil 4:11-13, 2 Cor. 12:8-10)
• Honors my husband (Prov. 31:10-12, 1 Peter 3:1-7, Eph. 5:33)
• Remembers my children are a blessing from God and trains them as the Bible says I should (Psalm 127:3-5, Proverbs 22:6)
• Honors my parents (and in-laws) (Eph. 6:2)
• Lives a daily life dedicated to integrity, commitment, challenge, and joy (Romans 12)
• Trusts God to provide for our family and not worry about the future (Matthew 6:25-34, Phil. 4:6-7)
• Spends time in the Word every day to grow in my relationship with God and to challenge myself (Matthew 6:33, Psalm 119:105, 2 Tim. 3:16, Phil. 1:6)
So, that’s it! That is my “not-so-boring” testimony. After all, how could receiving a gift I don’t deserve be boring?
If you have not yet confessed your sin to God and received His free gift of salvation, won’t you please do so now?! (And if you still have questions, anyone from our church office would be happy to answer them for you!)
Thank you, friends and family, for your love and support! I am so thankful for all of you. I truly hope to see you again one day….
A most amazing gift of selfless love. I am sending my thanks to you Jennifer, now at peace in Christ. A true gift of testimony of Christ’s power in our lives. And a gift of salvation available to all who ask Him to enter their life. Thank you for sharing your story how Jesus brought everlasting redemption, happiness and hope. Looking forward to seeing you later. Meanwhile there’s a very large church family who’ll wrap arms around Tom, Sage, Molly and Ashley.
I look forward to worshipping with you at the feet of Jesus.
Oh friend. Until we meet again. Praying for the girls and Tom. Well done faithful servant, well done. Matthew 25:23
Tears are mingled with relief for you to be safely “home” in heaven dear friend… you will be SO missed down here… but I imagine you being busy and happy and watching over us all from heaven… goodbye for now…❤
God bless you Small family at this sensitive time. What a beautiful spiritual heritage she left for her children to follow and treasure and share as a light in the darkness. Many people must be lined up in Heaven to thank her for the “not so boring” life she lived that was truly an inspiration to them.
Jennifer, I’ll see you at the Lambs Supper. Can’t wait to see you and many others I love again. Praying for peace and Strength for your family.
Praying for you Tom and your sweet girls. Jennifer was a best friend to me for a season of my life. I have missed her terribly ever since you moved.
She has been such a shining light to all of us. She is a great example of what it looks like to depend upon Christ in times of trials. I can’t wait to worship our Lord and Savior with her in eternity.
I will miss you here on earth, my dear friend. I can’t wait to see you again one day. Until then, I will be grateful for the years of friendship I had with you, the love you gave so freely, and the beautiful legacy you left.
Covering Tom and your sweet girls in prayer now and in the coming days.
What a kind thing you did to write this for us and have your family send it out. They loved you deeply, as we also did as your friends. You will be missed…your honesty in this blog has been a breath of fresh air. I am sorry that this is your last entry. But, I am rejoicing that you are free of pain and the body that decayed…I am rejoicing that your heart is unencumbered by flesh and sin to worship Jesus perfectly and that you know nothing of the damage of cancer and never will again! So many on FB have written that they will be praying for your family which is a testimony of how you impacted us all. Precious “port sister”, I was sorry to watch you continue to battle against the disease that overtook you, but now I praise the Lord that He has seen fit to heal you. I believe that the testimony of how you clung to Jesus through it all will help in the lives of your girls and I am encouraged with how you clung to Him, with the grace He gave you each and every day…so may it be with all His children should He call us to suffer as you did. I won’t have the opportunity to thank you for that…but, you don’t need it from me – the Lord Himself will say to you “well done, good and faithful servant”. I think it’s fitting to quote part of this Psalm as it was written for the Sabbath day; the day you passed into your Eternal home Ps 92:1-2 “A Psalm, a Song for the Sabbath day. It is good to give thanks to the LORD and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; To declare Your loving kindness in the morning and Your faithfulness by night”. Praying for your family and hoping to see you again! Love, your port sister
My heart aches, but I feel selfish as I know you are fully restored and filled with the love of the Lord.
Thank you for this beautiful love letter. What a remarkable gift that you left for us. My faith needs to read and reread your letter and the scriptures you chose.
I will continue to keep your family in my prayers. Until we meet again, my friend. Love you.
To Jen’s family: I am so very sorry for your loss. Jen was such a dear friend to me. Even though we never met in person, our internet friendship flourished. We were both diagnosed with breast cancer within a short span of each other and that’s what bonded us along with our faith in Jesus. Although I knew this day would come, I wasn’t quite prepared for it when I read this post. Please know I am praying for all of you as you transition into a new life without your sweet Jennifer. She was a remarkable woman of God and I can’t wait to sit down and talk with her in person one day when I get to heaven. Many blessings to you all, Bonnie Annis
I have been checking for the last few weeks on Jen, hoping things were improving but knowing that likely they were not and I hated reading today that I was right. However I am glad that she is no longer in pain because it seems she has been suffering for quite some time and I hated reading about that aspect. I felt compelled to say my condolences to her family and I’m glad Jen had the courage to share this journey with so many of us. I watched my mom battle cancer for many years and then was there when she finally lost her battle. Two months later…I received my own bc diagnosis and though I’m just about 4 years out from that diagnosis and spent that first year going through surgery, chemo and radiation it’s something that it so hard to push back out of your mind. I know so many cancer survivors and those currently battling know what I mean. It can be so mentally draining but Jen put on a brave face and showed us the highs and lows throughout. I’m sure she is now watching over her family every single day.
God Bless You Tom, Sage,Molly, Ashley. We are praying for you all. Your sweet Mother was perfect. I treasure memories of your wonderful family.
“Jennifer caught a glimpse of Heaven and it took her breath away” My LOVE IS AROUND YOU ALL
Thank you for speaking truths to our hearts that will be remembered & cherished. You spoke from your heart to ours. We will meet again in the sweet bye & bye. Praying for your sweet, precious, loving family.
Thoughts and prayers for the family and friends of Jennifer! I only know her through her blog, but she has been an answer to prayer for me! Could you let us know when and if an obituary will be published.