Writer Offers Series on Grief
Many writers from across the Christian Reformed Church in North America and beyond contribute to ReFrame Ministries’ marriage and family ministry, Family Fire. They share posts each week that support readers in their relationships with their spouses, children, and grandchildren—and with Jesus.
One of the newest authors on the team is Jolene DeHeer, who brings a wealth of life experience and a powerful testimony of God’s faithfulness.
Jolene said her life story is about “the overcoming grace of God, who took an unwanted child raised in an alcoholic home, miraculously saved her when she tried to end her own life at age 19, redeemed her by his blood, and called her into ministry. Praise and thank God for his overcoming love and grace!”
Jolene met Jesus when she was 19; before then, she said, she didn’t know anything about God. God led her to meet an amazing Christian man named David DeHeer, she said, whom she later married. This relationship brought Jolene into the church (First CRC of Grand Haven, Mich.), where she discovered the truth about who she truly is—not a mistake but someone always wanted and loved by God.
Jolene added that her life found worth and significance because of all that Jesus did, and she chose to follow the calling God placed on her life. She learned that God loved her long before she knew him, and she wanted to love God back by selflessly loving and serving others, using the gifts she had been given, she said.
For the past forty-plus years, Jolene’s public-speaking ministry has taken her all over North America and beyond, often engaging with teenagers and youth ministries.
Jolene is also the author of the book Be Mine:Your Invitation to God’s Lavish Love. Over the years, she said, she has served as a spiritual mentor for about 20 young adults, which has been a great blessing in her life. And for the past ten years, her heart’s focus has been prayer ministry.
Nearly eleven years ago, Jolene lost her husband, David, after 42 years of marriage. David was a biology professor and had influenced many young lives with God’s love. Together they had navigated life’s challenges, including multiple miscarriages. Since her husband’s death, Jolene said, God has given her opportunities to share words of encouragement and hope to others who are grieving, and she has been blessed to walk with people through difficult times. The gospel message of hope for a hurting world is evident in all of her writing and speaking.
Jolene drew on these experiences to write a series on grief for Family Fire:
- “Praying through the Valley: Finding Hope Amid Loss”
- “Praying through the Valley: Overcoming Loneliness”
- “Praying through the Valley: Discovering My Self-Worth”
- “Praying through the Valley: Overcoming Grief”
Jolene said she sees God’s faithfulness carried along in her family as well. Her son, Jeff, and his wife have given her two beautiful granddaughters, she said, and one of them recently became a mother herself, to an adorable little boy.
“God has given me more blessings than I could ever ask or imagine!” Jolene added. To hear more of her thoughts on grandparenting, visit familyfire.com/articles/the-gift-of-grandparenting.
About writing for Family Fire Jolene said, “It has been such a gift of grace to me, and I praise God for the honor and privilege. I love to write about things that help people grow closer to God, to fall more and more in love with him, and to inspire them to live passionately for him. I would ask that God’s grace will abound as people are encouraged and strengthened through the articles they read. ”
Family Fire resources are available at FamilyFire.com.