Kalley Heiligenthal says she's choosing to start the new year with 'triumphant thankfulness' after daughter's death

Kalley Heiligenthal

Bethel worship leader Kalley Heiligenthal has opened up about the heartache of the last few weeks and how she is moving into 2020 following the sudden death of her two-year-old daughter, Olive, just before Christmas.

Heiligenthal said she felt "resistance to move into a decade without Olive", whose funeral was last week, but has chosen to push past it in the faith that she is alive in Christ.

She admitted that she could easily get stuck in the "searing shock" of her daughter's death, but is instead choosing to "cherish" the memory of her daughter as she embraces the future with faith that they will be reunited in Heaven.

In a New Year's Day post on Instagram, she wrote: "I can access the searing shock of the last couple weeks and stop there, but if I push one step further, 2019 is overwhelmingly saturated with treasured memories I would never trade and will fight to cherish."

Olive was buried on December 28 after the family called off an appeal to the global church to pray for her daughter's resurrection. 

Looking ahead, she said that Heaven was "more real" than life on Earth and that she could "live fully alive" knowing that her daughter was there.

"I choose tender thankfulness," she said.

"As for the future, as I feel the noble aching lack of her not with us for a lifetime, the better truth is I can look just beyond and know so vividly that this life is only a breath, and for all eternity we'll be close again. Jesus bought that for us. So I choose triumphant thankfulness. And the more I do it the more I feel it."

She continued: "There is a Heaven that is more real and vivid than what we have here and it's pressing in on us. Jesus is alive, Olive is alive in Him, so we press back and live fully alive too." 

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Last night around 11:55 I felt the tension. The resistance to move into a decade without Olive. I can access the searing shock of the last couple weeks and stop there, but if I push one step further, 2019 is overwhelmingly saturated with treasured memories I would never trade and will fight to cherish. So I choose tender thankfulness. As for the future, as I feel the noble aching lack of her not with us for a lifetime, the better truth is I can look just beyond and know so vividly that this life is only a breath, and for all eternity we’ll be close again. Jesus bought that for us. So I choose triumphant thankfulness. And the more I do it the more I feel it. There is a heaven that is more real and vivid than what we have here and it’s pressing in on us. Jesus is alive, Olive is alive in Him, so we press back and live fully alive too.

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