The Funeral That Started a Revival

I posted this on Facebook last year after a sweet friend past away. Today is the 1 year anniversary of her joining with Christ and death from this earth.

It has been a little over a month since my life has been completely rocked. I feel it’s incredibly important to share this story with as many people as I can tell. Many of you know that Krystle Dawn passed away unexpectedly in a car accident last month, but what many of you don’t know is that her simple love for Jesus and desire to be in the glory of God has been the single most radical life-altering event in my life.

I want to describe what happened. Mark and I made a last minute decision to make the 7-hour drive to Roswell. I had an urgency to get there. I just knew that something life changing was awaiting me (little did I know the total impact it would have.) I was anxious on so many levels. Saying goodbye to a sweet and talented girl that I admired in high-school, seeing all of my school mates after 12 years, facing my past, embracing the reality of the death of a young single mom – it was all so utterly impossible. Mark and I prayed while driving down historic Route 66. We grasped to life while basking in the hope of heaven. When we got to the church, parking was already sprawled out of the parking lot and blocks away. I clung to Mark’s hand as we entered the building. I knew there were many who made the journey to pay homage…to celebrate Krystle’s life…to worship our Creator. We walked in to find that every seat in the 400 person sanctuary was already filled – except the spots reserved in the front for the family. Every spot along the wall was already two people deep. We snuck in the back to find a spot where we could see. I glanced around to see familiar faces from my youth. Faces that I couldn’t even put names to anymore. As the precious family came through the back doors, my heart fell to the ground. Each one of them has played a vital roll in shaping my adoration for the Father. From worship pastor to choir director to school principal – this family had placed so many anchors in my life. I had spent the past 12 years running from Roswell and everything it held, but now my past looked so beautiful and precious. Their tears were precious. Their gracious smiles were precious. Their unyielding faith was precious. I knew at that moment that God had given me an incredible gift in my Gateway family. The service started with worship music being led by the voice of an angel…Krystle. They had recordings of her singing and we sang along. It was surreal to hear her voice and know she wasn’t here anymore. Then, her father gave a beautiful account of her love for Jesus, her love for her family and brought joy and humor to the whole ordeal. Next, was a breathtaking slideshow of pictures and videos of her life.

And then, what happened next, is the part that captivated me. Her family had a video of her sharing her testimony from a recent missions trip to Africa. The video was about an hour long and it was more of a sermon than a testimony. She was speaking of the importance of the Holy Spirit. She said the most precious gift we can receive from Jesus, along with our salvation, is the Holy Spirit. She spoke of the intimacy we can have from this precious gift. How the Holy Spirit is active and powerful in our lives if we receive this incredible gift. She recounted a moment in Africa where she experienced the Holy Spirit in a powerful way. She said she was worshiping God with her missionary team and she was overcome like a mighty rushing wind and suddenly she was in the “LAP OF JESUS AND AT THE FOOT OF THE FATHER.” These words stuck to me like glue. She said this was the best moment of her life. Better than when she had her children or her wedding day. This was the moment she cherished above all. She ached to be in the Glory of God again…she said that’s where she belongs. I believe she had a glimpse of heaven and she shared it with us that day. It was beautiful, glorious and powerful.

She then finished her sermon with an invitation to know Jesus and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The video ended…and her father took to the stage. He honored Krystle by asking the 600+ people in the room if they would like to know Jesus and accept the gift of the Holy Spirit. In all, about 30 people raised their hand at that funeral. It was incredible – she gave an alter call at her own funeral. This might be the first time that has ever happened. We worshiped some more, hugged the precious family, saw Krystle’s body one last time and then it was over. I have thought about Krystle and this funeral every single day. I have obsessed about it. I have sought out the Holy Spirit to show me his Glory and to reveal himself to me like he did to Krystle. And he has…
A few weeks ago, I was telling a friend about this funeral. When I told her that Krystle had been in the “LAP OF JESUS AND THE FOOT OF THE FATHER” when she was in Africa, her eyes widened and her face went pale. I asked her what was wrong. She smiled for a second and said that the little boy who experienced Heaven in the bestseller book “Heaven is for Real” described the exact same thing. I had never read the book but I immediately poured over it. I was overwhelmed by what I read. It was all the confirmation I needed to know that Krystle had caught a glimpse of heaven and she was there now – basking in God’s Glory just as she had hoped for. For those of you who could not be at the funeral, I hope this comforts you. As for me, I am experiencing a revival in my heart for Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. I urge you today to ask the Holy Spirit for power…for revelation…for comfort…for counsel…for anything that will draw you closer to Him. Krystle Dawn was passionate about the Holy Spirit and now I am too.

Being 11

I was radically saved at the age of 11. I lied to my parents and told them I was going somewhere with my big brother. Instead, I wound up at a Christian rock concert at church. By the end of the night, I was on my face on the front row crying my eyes out. I was a sinner in need of a savior. From that moment on, I was addicted to Jesus – on the front row, bible in hand, hands lifted high, praying for my school mates and leading worship. It felt just as real and passionate at the age of 11 as it does now…maybe even more.

I just got the opportunity to teach some 4 & 5th graders, ages 10 and 11. I was making excuses for them for not paying attention, not being passionate about Jesus’ sacrifice…because they are just “kids”. They knew the bible stories but they had no evidence of desiring God. So often, we don’t expect children to be capable of belief, devotion and passion in Jesus but that’s just not true. My own experience tells me that’s not true. My new goal over the next few weeks with these students is to provide a real opportunity for salvation, spark passion and encourage devotion. I will not teach another bible story for the sake of head knowledge.

It’s time for the next level and these students are more than capable of responding to the greatest love they will ever know!