I’ll Testify From Death to Life

I have shared many parts of the story of my faith, and how my faith has helped me navigate so many seasons of life. Last weekend I was able to tell a person who had a significant impact on my faith how they had impacted me, and my faith.  

If you know me, you know I have lost best friends.  

This is what I know to be true about losing besties, I’ve wrestled with it since 1996:

I have hope because of Jesus.

I’ve lost grandparents & dear family friends, friends have lost parents & children, and we’ve had a miscarriage

Life is fragile, but Jesus gives hope of eternity.

In each of these stories, I’ve shared about hope.  My hope for eternity. The promise of heaven.  The belief in knowing we’ll be reunited when Jesus returns. But, I’ve never shared where or how I came to believe this truth.  

In March of 1996 I can remember sitting in my Dad’s recliner, a place I don’t often sit, and a pastor from our church sitting nearby.  It was shortly after my best friend died.  I was 19.  I was a Christian.  I had wrestled a bit with my faith in High School, was the decision I made at 8 years old to follow Christ “good enough” or did I need to be saved again, but was certain of my faith and knew Jesus had my name. However, I didn’t know how to navigate this type of grief, or how to be sure of heaven.  

Mr. Carrol sat nearby and tenderly told me about the steps of grief I would likely experience. You’ve probably heard those steps, denial-anger-bargaining-depression-acceptance, if you’ve experienced grief and been counseled through a pastor or a professional counselor. I remember him telling me grief was not linear, I wouldn’t go through those steps in a prescribed timeframe, and some might be circular that I would come back to. 

Then, he spoke to me about heaven, and the biblical truth of eternity with Jesus.  I knew my friend was a Christian, there was great comfort to me in that fact.  I believed in heaven – my great grandparents had passed, and I believed them to be in heaven.  It seems there’s something simpler to grasp in older people’s death than young people, though. 

Somehow I had to navigate going forward with grief, what my faith would be like, and ultimately what did I really believe. 

Because of the words Mr. Carrol spoke to me, the truths he shared with me from scripture and the prayers of people around me, I came to understand what hope in eternity really meant.  His investment  of intentional time spent with me and words spoken to me significantly impacted me, and changed my life.  I dug in a little deeper, I know who Jesus is, I know who I am to Jesus, I kept pursuing Jesus, and I  believed the truths of scripture to be true and faithful to my life, no matter the season.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” John 14:3

A couple of weeks ago, Mr. Carrol’s wife of 65+ years was called home to heaven.  Her days this side of heaven complete. A dear family friend to us. A wise voice, a regular laugh, a joyful heart.  No longer here. 

As I visited with Mr. Carrol the evening before her memorial service I had the chance to tell him how his words had impacted me and changed my faith and ultimately my life.  I couldn’t tell that story without tears – honestly I don’t know who I would be today if it wasn’t for the home I grew up in and people like Mr. Carrol and Mrs. Carol who gave their lives to service in the church and ministered to people like me.  I know I’m one of thousands their words have impacted.  And because of his words to me, the truths of scripture, I’m confident of Mrs. Carol’s eternal life with Jesus. 

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”  Psalm 16:11

It is always my prayer that because of my experiences I can share words of hope in Jesus with others in similar situations. Not because my experience equals anyone else’s, but because I believe the truths of scripture and they apply to each of us, for whatever experience and season we are going through. 

As we sang in church on Sunday…. 

But the miracle that I just can’t get overMy name is registered in heaven

Come together sons and daughters
Bought with blood
And washed in water
Sing the praises of the Spirit
Son and Father
Our God will finish what He started

If I’m not dead, You’re not done
Greater things are still to come
Oh I believe
This is my testimony from death to life

Our words matter. They have eternal impact.  Because of words spoken to me, I’ll speak them to others.  I’ll testify.  From death to life.  Eternity is waiting. The fullness of joy. In the presence of Jesus. 


PS: As always, blue/bold text is links to other posts or sites.


  1. Misty LeBlanc on November 21, 2022 at 8:45 pm

    So beautiful my friend. Love you.

  2. Kelly Johns on November 21, 2022 at 10:45 pm

    Great words Ang. Memories and blessings abound.

  3. Priscilla Hazelip on November 22, 2022 at 11:25 pm

    What a wonderful blessing you are to so many. “The Carols” were such a blessing to me as well.
    Thank you for sharing so much of yourself….it matters💗

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