“My dad died when I was 13. We were very close"

Janene’s story | Taking God’s word to heart

“My dad got leukaemia and he died when I was 13. We were very close. He used to pick me up from school and take me to after-school events. When he died, it was so hard.

“I remember about a week or two after he died, my mum and I noticed an old black Bible that had appeared on our bookshelf. We had never seen it before. We looked on the front page and it was my dad’s. His name was there. But it wasn’t his usual Bible. It must have belonged to him when he when was in his twenties, when he first became a Christian.

“I picked it up and I looked all the way through it, looking for his notes in the margins (that he normally wrote). But I flipped all the way through the Old Testament and the Gospels and there wasn’t anything written there. Then I came to Romans and he had drawn a box around Romans 8:28. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

“In that moment, God spoke to me about his goodness. It was so hard to understand, but my dad could see God’s goodness. Even when he was first diagnosed, he would walk around the hospital ward and encourage the other patients. So I started memorising all of Romans 8. I would walk to high school (especially if it was exam time), and I’d repeat Romans 8 over and over. Nothing can separate us from the love of God.

I still get teary now, thinking about my dad, but my tears are more hopeful and thankful. And I like the line in the song, In Christ Alone – “From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny.” And also, last year, I got married … and we read Romans 8 at our wedding.”

Janene’s story is part of Eternity’s Faith Stories series, compiled by Naomi Reed. Click here for more Faith Stories.

Romans 8 28 Bible verse

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