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Little did I know that as I was concluding the “Saints in Glory” series in June, that the Lord would take my dear wife, Jenni, to Heaven.  I had written the final article but had not yet sent it to our editor at Reasons for Hope* Jesus.  After Jenni’s passing, and with a heavy heart, I sent the last article, “Saints in Heaven and Saints Below,” to our editor.

Now, two and a half months later, I desire to add a fourth article, sharing my thoughts on my wonderful wife’s transformation from her earthly positions as a daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, and more to her heavenly position as a saint in glory.  It all began with…

A Trip to the ER

On Sunday morning, June 14, 2020, I took Jenni to the ER at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa.  After many tests and discussions with several teams of specialists, it was determined that Jenni had renal cell cancer and it had spread throughout her body.  They told us that she was too weak to survive surgery, chemo, or radiation treatments.  So with regret, they said our only option was hospice/comfort care. 

The ambulance brought Jenni home on Friday, June 19 at 4:45 p.m., and one hour later, she went to be with Jesus.  All four of our adult children, their spouses, and our two oldest grandchildren were gathered around Jenni’s bed (the other 10 grandchildren were playing like little angels in the basement).  Jenni was clear-minded, but not able to keep up with her severe dependence on oxygen, and she slipped away from us into the arms of Jesus.  We were stunned that she had left us so quickly but so thankful that the Lord took her so gently into His presence.

Finally Home

One of my favorite songs is “Finally Home”.  The chorus says,

Just think of stepping on shore, and finding it Heaven,
Of touching a hand and finding it God’s;
Of breathing new air and finding it celestial,
Of waking up in glory and finding it home…
finally Home!!!
(Finally Home, by Don Wyrtzen and L.E Singer, 1971)

For many years, because of Jenni’s allergies, she often found it hard to breathe.  Now she is breathing the pure, celestial air of Heaven, and she will never struggle to breathe again!

It blesses me so much to envision her enjoying the presence of Jesus, her parents, and all the saints in glory, for she has now become one of them!

Jenni Has Joined the “Great Cloud…”

When I sent that final article to the editor at Reasons for Hope* Jesus, I said, “Jenni has now joined that Great Cloud of Witnesses spoken of in Hebrews 12:1.”  Having Jenni as my wife and best friend for over 46 years made me a better man, husband, father, grandfather, and preacher.  Now that Jenni is in heaven, I am inspired to continue to be a man whom Jesus and Jenni will be proud of, and by God’s help and grace, I want to finish strong like Jenni did.

Life Without Jenni

Honestly, every day is a struggle, and the future without her is very intimidating.  But my goal is to live one day at a time, to keep the faith, and to finish my course with joy.

I’m learning to lean, learning to lean,
learning to lean on Jesus;
Finding more power than I’ve ever dreamed,
I’m learning to lean on Jesus.
(Songwriter: Jeannie Vee Clattenburg)

And I’m “Looking for that blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ”.  “Even so come, Lord Jesus!!!” -Don Johnston  8/27/20

In Loving Memory of Jennifer Sue Johnston
 March 23, 1955 – June 19, 2020
Jenni’s Favorite Bible Verse:
Call to Me, and I will answer you,
and show you great and mighty things,
which you do not know. (Jer 33:3)

Read More:

  1. What About the Saints in Glory?
  2. What are the Saints in Glory Doing?
  3. Who is in Heaven with God’s Saints?
  4. Saints Above and Below
  5. A New Saint in Glory
  6. Who are Heaven’s Heroes in God’s Hall of Faith?


Jesus is the Reason this Ministry Exists

At  Reasons for Hope* Jesus, we are committed to equipping, encouraging, and empowering Christians to know Jesus better, love Him more, and share their faith. We also reach the lost through our Salvation Page. 

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***A Hidden Message in Psalm 23?***  

Hidden in the six verses of Psalm 23 are 11 names for Jesus.  When you subscribe to our newsletter, we’ll send you The Names of God in Psalm 23 PDF that reveals all 11 names and Scripture verses of comfort and hope (link will be sent in your confirmation email).

A Room with a View of Eternity—The Last Will & Testament of Jesus Christ   Take a seat at the Master's table. Learn about the riches He gives to all who are His. This book will bless and encourage you, give you hope, and help you live in the joy of your salvation and the riches of Christ that are yours.

The Top Ten Got Questions? in 2023 

  1. The Meaning of NUMBERS in the Bible?
  2. Was Jesus CRUCIFIED on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?
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  10. Did Jesus Fight Satan to Take Back the KEYS of Death and Hell?

There is much to be learned from those who have gone before us in the faith.  Check out our Cloud of Witnesses category that features the words of departed saints who are now with the Lord in glory.  Their words equip and encourage us even to this day.  Take a few minutes to hear...

  1. ONLY ONE LIFE, Twill Soon Be Past – by C.T. Studd (1860 – 1931)
  2. “The Love of God is Greater Far” by Frederick M. Lehman (1917)
  3. Prayers from Billy Graham
  4. Who Was Robert Robinson? What’s the Story Behind “Come Thou Fount”
  5. “Immanuel” — A Poem by Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)
  6. Who Am I? A Poem by Deitrich Bonhoeffer (1905-1945)
  7. Understanding the Everlasting Arms of God, by J.R. Miller (1840–1912)
  8. 24 Reasons Why I Love America, by John Wayne (1907-1979)
  9. Give Me Perpetual Broken-heartedness (from The Valley of Vision)
  10. Abide with Me, by James Smith, 1859

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