2020 was a turbulent year for Donna Jensen. Not only did she have to face the global pandemic of COVID-19, but the tempest also brought the loss of her son and moving from her beloved home into a new apartment.
Usually a beacon of light and laughter, Donna was weighed down by grief and loss. “I was so depressed,” Donna said. “I missed my son, Jack, so much, and everything felt like it was slipping away.” Friends and family tried to console and support her, but things just weren’t right in her heart anymore. Though she kept coming to church each Sunday, she was mad at God and broken inside.
Then, one Sunday morning, the Spirit of God arrived in the form of a four-year-old girl. Donna sat in her normal spot, quietly waiting for worship to begin, when Vyvian* silently slid up next to her and took her hand. “I don’t know what happened, but it was as if God’s hand had taken mine,” Donna recalled. Vyvian’s love and care poured out from her small hand into Donna’s frail hand and heart. In that moment, Donna knew things would be okay.
Donna felt God moving in her life again. She knew that, as the Psalmist wrote, “Sorrow lasts for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” “I still miss Jack, and I always will,” Donna said, “but it doesn’t feel like the world is crashing down anymore.” She began to find joy in life again, her sense of humor returned, and her normal personality bubbled up and out into the world once again. As she moved for the second time into assisted living, she approached it with joy, making friends, and sharing the love Vyvian had restored to her.
The care and love of one little girl, the embodiment of who Spirit Alive! is called to as a church, reawakened the Donna’s heart to the Spirit. Vyvian learned to share love through the family of faith in this community. Thank you to all who make this ministry—a place where the youngest show the love of God the clearest—possible!