A Tribute to My Mom

Earlier today my mom died of a heart attack. She would have been 70 years old later this month. She was a special lady. She loved deeply. She forgave. She taught. She encouraged. She believed in the importance of a biblical foundation and Christ-centered education. She prayed for her children and grandchildren to follow Jesus. She encouraged me to grow and use my gifts for God’s glory.

I’m writing this tribute because she encouraged me to write. In elementary school I used to write short little stories about sharks and boys and heroes. A few years back she gave me a box for Christmas. It contained some of those stories and many other things she kept from my childhood. It was one of the best Christmas gifts I ever received. You see, she kept everything out of love for her children.

While she can’t come back and tell you anything in person, I’m pretty sure I can speak for her on a few things.

My mom would tell you she was far from perfect. And that is true. She had her faults. We all do. But her faults were forgiven. Now her faults are no more.

My mom would tell you that her relationship with Jesus is better than ever. She used to say she was not a deep-thinking theologian. But she did know her Savior. She prayed and had a vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ. Her prayer life is an inspiration to me. No other person taught me more about prayer and God’s faithfulness than my mom.

My mom would tell you that her children were God’s gift to her. After having children of my own, I think I know what she meant. This afternoon I sat down with my boys, Will (7) and Nathan (3), to tell them that their “Meme” had died and gone to heaven to be with Jesus. I said that I was very sad and would miss her deeply. Will spoke up with a bright smile on his face and said, “You don’t have to miss her. She’s right here” (and he pointed at my heart). I burst into tears of sadness and joy. I know what she meant. My children are God’s precious gifts.

My mom would tell you that it is wonderful to be better. Her last few years were filled with aches and pains that few knew about. She lived in constant pain. But not anymore. I am deeply saddened by her death. But I am so happy she will not cry out in pain tonight. I’m so happy that her knees and hips and ankles and back no longer hurt. I am so happy that she got to see her mom and dad. I am so happy that she got to see Jesus.

My mom would tell you not to be sad for her, but to pray for her family. She always told me she was praying for me, for my family, for others. If you are reading this and want to take one thing from the life of Elaine Hefner, would you pray? Pray for those in your family who need Jesus. Pray for those who need strength. Pray for those who are suffering. Pray for those who need to sense God’s peace and presence tonight. I am proof that God answered the prayers of my mom.

Thank you mom. Love you. Will see you again one day.

24 Comments

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24 responses to “A Tribute to My Mom

  1. chuckmealy

    I woke up unexpectedly and checked my email, and found this precious tribute to your mother. I am so sorry for your loss, and think about the time that I also lost my mother. When these unanticipated events come to take our loved ones to heaven, they are filled with mixed feelings. You feel the great loss, but you are so pleased that what her life lived for, she is now experiencing!

    Just yesterday I wrote this note to you after reading your latest blog. Please let me send it as I intended, and with your Mon’s passing, it also seems fitting.

    Thanks Chris for your timely articles. I find them Inspirational, and as I share with others, through a printed or spoken prayer, I find that your words come to mind frequently. I’ll be praying for you and the special ministry you have of encouraging others with your message.

    I prepare and send a Weekend Prayer to several friends around the country, and I’d like to include you as part of that team. You can decide if you want to continue to receive it. I’ll include you in next week’s prayer for you to consider. Either way, please know that I’m encouraged by what you write and want to do my part to support and encourage you.

    God’s best for each new day in this year. I live in Clemson, so sometime when you come to Fruitland, perhaps we can have lunch in Hendersonville.

    My prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. I know the strength that will come as you lean on God’s promises each day.

    Chuck

    Chuck Mealy
    864.508.0555
    cmealy@swu.edu

  2. Ronnie Mcabee

    Chris, what a wonderful tribute to your precious Mom. I am so thankful to have know you and your brother Robert. You both have been such a blessing and inspiration to me and Earlene. We will forever be grateful to you both. May God give you both peace and comfort during this time of grief. We love you and will be praying for you and your family.

    Ronnie Mcabee and Earlene

  3. Judy Gibbs

    Chris, prayers for you & your family. It is so hard to lose your mother. What an awesome tribute to her. Blessings & love for you all.

  4. Kim Nobles

    A beautiful tribute to the mother of a brilliant theologist who not only teaches but leads by example. His love for God, family, friends, his respect, kindness and giving nature, are all an example from his mother. Thank you Mrs. E. Hefner for sharing your Godly gift with so many of us!

  5. Jhonda Miller

    Beautiful tribute, Chris. I am so very sorry and will keep you and your family in my prayers. My mother, Sarah, age 90, is my prayer warrior. She has taught me much, too. My sincerest condolences to you at this very difficult time, Jhonda Miller.

  6. Sheila Figgins

    Your Momma was a precious soul. I will miss her beautiful voice. Her children were her crowning jewels. We love your sister very much! So sorry for your earthly sorrow, Praise be to Jesus for another Heavenly soul!

  7. David Hefner

    No one could have expressed there mom any better she was all the above an even more,I have such a wonderful and Godly family I have been blessed to be included in that number.We are praying for you guys,we Love you all very much,we will ALL be together in Heaven one day in the SWEET BY and BY……..David Hefner

  8. Michael Pittman

    A wonderful tribute to your mom and encouraging as well.

  9. Lyn Newman

    Thank you, Chris for sharing this beautiful tribute to your Mom. After knowing her children, I can say her prayers were effective. Next to God’s love for us, a Mother’s constant prayers for her family is most effective. We are praying for all of you and love you.

  10. Kristin Hefner

    Dear Christopher,
    This is such a wonderful tribute to your mother. Aunt Elaine was a very special lady. She had a profound impact on my life. She shared so many words of wisdom and advice. But most of all, she pointed me and everyone around her, to Jesus. She was a wonderful Aunt. So full of kindness and grace! She prayed for me and my husband, Chris, in our ministry,. and for our family. She told me that her quiet times with Jesus were, “awesome”.
    When we cousins were little, she and Uncle Conrad invested so much time into our lives. I have many wonderful memories of hide-and-go-seek, camping, cookouts, bike riding, games (Scattergories, along with a good dictionary), family meals, swimming, and going to church.
    She said to us, when we were younger, that she hoped when she was in Heaven, that we would remember that through the stories she told, she shared of Jesus and how to live a Godly life. That is how I remember her.
    She will be deeply missed. But through her legacy – and what a legacy it is – her faith in Jesus, her prayers, her kindness, and her sweet spirit will live on! I am praying for Uncle Conrad, you, Robert, and Christina. Love you, Cousin!

  11. Donna Burge

    Chris I am sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my prayers. What a testimony to the teachings and example that you, jean and your mother are/were to your children for you child to have said that!
    PS, I would like to receive your blog…unless it is just on FB and I just need to subscribe? Give Jean a hug from me, one of her former SS teachers!

  12. O. W. Conrad, Jr

    God bless your family at this time. You all are in our prayers.

  13. Elizabeth Thornton

    Keeping your family in my prayers…

  14. Elaine Johnson

    Praying for you and your family. She’s home!!

  15. Pam Osborne

    Chris we were so sorry to hear about your mother. It sounds like she was a very special lady who loved her Lord. We will be praying for you and your family. Remember God is our refuge and strength. We hope you will be able to feel the Fathers loving arms around you giving you strength for the day ahead. We love you and will always be praying for for you. Ed and Pam

    “chrishefner.org” wrote: > a:hover { color: red; } a { text-decoration: none; color: #0088cc; } a.primaryactionlink:link, a.primaryactionlink:visited { background-color: #2585B2; color: #fff; } a.primaryactionlink:hover, a.primaryactionlink:active { background-color: #11729E !important; color: #fff !important; } /* @media only screen and (max-device-width: 480px) { .post { min-width: 700px !important; } } */ WordPress.com pastorchrischefner posted: “Earlier today my mom died of a heart attack. She would have been 70 years old later this month. She was a special lady. She loved deeply. She forgave. She taught. She encouraged. She believed in the importance of a biblical foundation and Christ-centered “

  16. Vivian Henderson

    What a beautiful tribute to your mother! My prayer is for your whole family to be at peace and just know she will be with you always 🙏🏻

  17. Mary Flo Brady

    Chris, Phil Stone, a very dear friend of mine, shared with me the tribute you wrote to your Mother. It was so beautifully written and reminds me so much of my Mother who was also a very special lady who loved the Lord. As you said, we rejoice knowing that one day we will all be together again. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  18. Jerry Mitchell

    Chris, just read the tribute to your Mom; how wonderful!! She had to have been not only a great Mom but so close to God. I know exactly what she meant when she said our children are God’s gifts; my Mom said the same thing and I pray for mine just as they did. Jerry and I will be praying for you and your family, for strength and comfort, but just rejoice in knowing your Mom is with Jesus and you will be reunited with her one day. You and your family are in our hearts and prayers – Elizabeth Mitchell

  19. Sandra Good

    Your Mother truly loved & followed Jesus. She lives on in your heart and in your writing. Amazing tribute. Sending prayers for comfort and peace to you and your family.

  20. Wilma Lovette

    Dear Chris, Jean, Will and Nathan. When Chris was installed as the Pastor of Wilkesboro Baptist Church, I recall something your Father said (when he was in the Pulpit). He said that your Mom was his Pastor. What a tribute to her. I am sorry that Pete and I did not get to know her better. The old saying that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree is a good example of her influence on you. You are a wonderful Pastor and Friend. Our hearts are heavy for you today in the loss of your Mom. Our love to all of you, Wilma and Pete Lovette

  21. Thinking of and praying for your family! We love all of you!
    -Bee

  22. Ruth Huntley

    That is beautiful, Chris. I am sorry I never had the privilege of meeting your Mom, but your and Robert’s lives speak much for the person she was! I am so sorry for your and your family’s loss. We will be praying for your hearts to sense hope and comfort from God, even as you grieve.

  23. Pam Davis

    Pastor Chris, your tribute to your Mom is beautiful. I didn’t know her, but I feel like I did. Both, through your words, and knowing you as her son. God gifted you with a remarkable mom. At the end of your “Christ Lives For Us – PEACE” sermon, you asked three questions. How will your family remember you? What legacy will you leave? Will you reflect peace? Your tribute to your mom, answers those questions about her eloquently. Yes, I will pray your requested prayers. I will continue to lift you, Jean, Will, and Nathan up in prayer. Pam

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