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My friend Marilyn is safely home.

She Prepared Well

She prepared for her departure with diligent attention: planned her memorial service with Jeanette, her best friend; gave me an ergonomic keyboard, and gave another friend her snow boots to prepare Sherry for a cold winter in a new location. Just so, God has prepared a way for us to live in our new, eternal home.

I was one of the friends Marilyn asked to share at her memorial, and I’d like to share my words with you.

In John 14:1-6 Jesus says:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

I met Marilyn about four years ago through a women’s Bible study.

A Student

I met Marilyn about four years ago through a women’s Bible study.

She was a student of God’s love letter to us. Mare always came prepared to share insights the Holy Spirit had given her through that passage.

She had exhibited her confident trust in God as she went through various stages of cancer before I met her. But for a while Marilyn did well, and we enjoyed our Bible studies, growing friendships, and beach retreats.

As her health declined again, Marilyn continued to trust God.

After learning there was a shadow in her left lung, Marilyn wrote this on 12/21/22:

“I’ve had some time to process this news and pray, so I’m in a place of peace and trusting that once again God will see me through the difficult days ahead.  This will be a rough road for a while so needless to say, I’m asking for your prayers.  I so appreciate your love and support; God is faithful and I’m comforted continually by His Word.  Please pray as the Spirit leads.”

Even in her struggle Marilyn didn’t demand prayer or beg. Just “please pray as the Spirit leads.”


Marilyn was organized, strong-willed and stubborn–no surprise to those who knew her. As an Executive Assistant at HP, she was fully capable of protecting her bosses from unwanted intrusions!

She also had a deep capacity to give and express love. I was touched by how often Marilyn looked at me and said, “Carol, I love you.”

Once Mare went into rehab and then hospice, it was my privilege, along with others, to visit her, massage her arms and legs, bring her forbidden treats like cookies or brownies, and read scripture or hymns to her. At times we cried together.

Mare’s last move before glory, was the hospital. When she was first transported to the ER, I went to see her.

Into the Emergency Room

I held her hand.

“Just think,” I said. “You won’t have to worry about politics anymore” (a passion of hers). She smiled.

Then I asked, “Do you fear dying?”

Her response was immediate.

“No. I look forward to it.” She turned away from me and was quiet for a short while.

Then she turned back to me with a radiant smile creasing her face, and said, “I just can’t stop thinking of Jesus.”

One day I was in her hospital room when a young doctor came in. He seemed kind and compassionate, and asked about our friendship. I told him we’d become friends through a Bible study.

The doctor smiled. “That’s great. It makes such a difference when we know where we’re going.” (See

After Jesus called Marilyn Home, Don and I read Jesus’ high priestly prayer (John 17).  I teared up reading these words (from The Message, v 24):

Father, I want those you gave me to be with me, right where I am, so they can see my glory, the splendor you gave me, having loved me long before there ever was a world.

Safely Home

Marilyn is there now, “safely home”.

In Revelation 21:2-4, John talks about that home.

I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

I miss Marilyn. But I am so glad my friend is no longer in pain. She is whole and free and rejoicing in the presence of her Lord!

And I look forward to joining her and all who have trusted Christ one day as we worship the Lamb who was slain for our sins. We have an out-of-this-world home waiting for us. What glory that will be!

I’m eager to see you there, Mare!

I’d love to hear any questions you may have about this eternal home, and how you can be sure you too will arrive “safely home”.

For a wonderful novel, I recommend Randy Alcorn’s book, Safely Home.


  1. Karen Kleinberg says:

    Inspiring and encouraging memories and scriptures. Frosting on the Cake for the day. Thanks again.

    1. Carol Loewen says:

      As were your words, Karen. What a meaningful day!

  2. JoAnn Payne says:

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful testimony, Carol! I heartily support your recommendation of the book Safely Home. I read it several years ago and now thinking about rereading it. (I guess you and Don are ‘safely home” from your brother’s wedding.:)

    1. Carol Loewen says:

      I’ve thought of rereading it too, JoAnn. Was so meaningful and uplifting. Yes, we’re “safely home” and heading out for another trip soon!

  3. Sherry Benz says:

    Beautiful, Carol. Marilyn was my CBS leader and then partner. Rejoicing that she is at home with the Lord she loves!

    1. Carol Loewen says:

      Thank you Sherry! Karen and Sherry Carter also shared very meaningfully. Hope you had a great Father’s Day away!

  4. Laura Bennet says:

    Beautiful words! I’m sorry for the loss of your friend. I’m happy that she is dancing with Jesus now. We all look forward to his return!

    1. Carol Loewen says:

      Thank you Laura. “What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see …” Amen!

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