“Faith, hope and joy to you.” These are the words I write on the dedication page of each copy of the book Ornament.
They aren’t offered lightly. The words are tested and true.
Kristen Fersovitch a thirty-year old wife, and mother of three boys under five, facing inoperable cancer, showed me over and over again how powerful the words are.
Even in death they ring true.
GREEN BALLOONS AND HOPE
Kristen passed away on October 4, 2013 after a two year battle with cancer.
The day after Kristen’s funeral I accompanied her body with John Davediuk from Serenity Funeral Services, to Garth Evangelical Cemetery – a small, countryside, cemetery.
In preparation for the graveside service three green-coloured, star-shaped balloons had been purchased – one each for Kristen’s sons.
A year earlier, Kristen had taken a green balloon – her favorite color – and released it from the backyard of their acreage home as her act of hope. The balloon and her prayers carried her fears and worries about the future to God.
The boys would release green balloons in memory of their mom.
The time came for each boy to set their balloons free.
As the balloons floated skyward, a breeze came up and carried them towards a stand of trees by the cemetery.
I held my breath wondering if the strength of the breeze would get them high enough to clear the branches. The first two balloons cleared the treetops by inches and floated away.
The ribbon of the third balloon caught on a branch.
People sighed an audible, “Oh” of disappointment.
We turned our attention back to Kristen’s casket.
The boys were guided away from the graveside.
HOPE IN THE FACE OF DEATH
I read from 1 Corinthians, chapter 15. The chapter concludes with hope in the face of death.
As I read aloud, I watched the 3rd balloon out of the corner of my eye. I came to the phrase, “Where, O death, is your victory?”
The breeze picked up.
The balloon, set free from the branch‘s grasp, began to ascend. I found myself telling everyone, “Look, its free!” As one we turned to watch.
Time stood still.
The word “free” echoed in my mind.
Kristen was free.
She knew what it was to be free of the cancer…free of the pain.
She was safe at home.
The remaining verses were read through my tears.
THE VALUE OF LIFE AND FAITH
The Bible says love is stronger than death.
2000 years ago God sent his Son to defeat death by dying in our place.
Death is not a defeat.
There is overwhelming grief and an ocean of tears,
But there is no defeat.
Jesus said, “I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and…has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24 NIV)
Trusting Jesus will bring you peace and joy that transcend the powers of suffering, loss, and death.
All who met Kristen remarked about her faith in Jesus especially in the face of her suffering and death.
You can read Kristen’s story of faith, joy and hope in, “Ornament.”
APPLICATION: Please leave your comment below. Thank you.
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thank you so much for sharing this wonderful story. Our prayers are with Kristen’s husband and her boys. May the God of all comfort continue to bring peace to them all. Merry Christmas.
Thank you for praying, Laurie. I know they will feel God’s comfort. Merry Christmas.
Thank you for praying, Laurie. I know they will feel God’s comfort through your prayers. Merry Christmas.
Kristen’s passing has touched so many lives, the Fersovich family will never know. I wonder if she had lived, or her life had been any different, that so many lives would have been impacted. Mike is a testimony to the love they shared and values they cherished. Their life is an inspiration, a continual inspiration. I have been reminded about the faith of Kristen daily and so has my family. Thank you Kristen for your willingness to share your hopes and fears so openly while you struggled with cancer has been a strength for our family. Thank you Mike for sharing your Kristen with us and for being courageous to light the candle of Advent. God speed, Adena Lowry
Thanks Adena for sharing your heart and encouragement for Mike. Good to know Kristen’s influence is alive in your family’s life.
Words are insufficient to express my heart’s emotions here. I join with those who live out Kristen’s passion – in our own way, we pay tribute to her life well lived, and follow the path she illuminated for us. Bob, you have helped so many navigate this road, thank you my friend.
Thank you Mannie for your support. The tribute to Kristen in the 2013 Singing Christmas Tree was deeply heartfelt. The Star in the Tree will be an ongoing reminder of her faith, joy and hope. Thanks for all you do. Already looking forward to what’s in store for the 2014 version of the Edmonton SCT.
You’re family’s experience has deeply touched my heart and faith and life. I do hold my own family closer now seeing the fragility of life and yet my faith has been emboldened by Kristen and Mike’s unfailing faith in our Savior. Our church and world has been so blessed by your family and Kristen’s faith, hope and love. Though we have not met in person, our family sends our prayers to your littles and to you. We also have two toddler boy’s. Yours will forever embody Kirsten and your’s love and her spirit. What beautiful blessings. May God ever love, bless and provide for you and your children.
Love the Schafer’s.
Thanks Jacquelyn for sharing. Others never know how you feel until you show or tell them. I know your post will be an encouragement to Mike and to Kristen’s family.
I can’t believe it has been a year already. I was in my way to work when I read on Facebook that Kristen had gone to be with Jesus. I just remember crying so deeply grieving for her family and friends.
I didn’t know Kristen personally but we did attend Millwoods Pentecostal at the same time and would always smile at each other when we crossed paths. Her story and her faith touched me so much and I rallied with her in prayer and fasting. Her journey brought me so much closer to God and her album as been a rock for me through some really hard times. For that I am eternally grateful.
I pray that God continues to be your rock Mike and that your boys grow up rooted in their identity in Christ.
Thanks Randie for your prayers for Mike and the boys. Kristen’s CD gets a LOT of airplay at home as well. https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/songs-from-home/id582014259
I didn’t get to know Kristen personally but I was blessed when I visited N.P. to be able to hear her sing, she sounded like an angel. Now she is one and among them. Blessings to her famlly.