Ellie’s life on earth was short, but she made a big impact, thanks to her amazing parents, especially her mother, Kristen, who opened her heart to the world and let us peek into heaven. Even though her life was short, her influence was strong and far-reaching.
“Ellie’s purpose on earth was to help other people.”
Kristen is a fun-loving, excited, happy human. She radiates love, optimism and happiness, even through her toughest times. While pregnant with her second child, she was going in for a routine checkup. On the way out the door, she felt impressed to stop and say a prayer. She prayed that she would have the strength and a clear understanding of God’s plan for her family.
At the appointment, her amazing doctor, who she loves, came into the room and told her that there were serious concerns with the baby. In that moment, she was overcome with what she can only describe as the love of her Father in Heaven. She knew instantly that this was a part of His plan, and that she would be able to bear this burden.
“When I should have been feeling my world fall around me as all the plans I had made and hopes I had vanished, I felt peace. I had the strength to continue through the exam and think clearly enough to ask all the questions I needed to process the situation.”
The baby was diagnosed with a severe neural tube defect called encephalocele, which only affects 1 in 10,000 babies, and only about 20% are born alive. With the odds against them, they knew without a doubt that terminating the pregnancy was not an option.
They knew that God had a special plan for this baby, and that they needed to do whatever they could to help this baby fulfill its purpose here on earth.
In the most loving, inspired way possible, Kristen turned the heartache of loving and losing a child into inspiration for thousands. She has dealt with the pain and sorrow of losing her sweet baby in an open, heartfelt way that has been able to help others find peace and comfort in their own trials.
Her social media has always been public, but only people that she knew followed her. When Ellie was born, she was surprised at the people that she didn’t know started following her. She felt very strongly that part of Ellie’s purpose was to help other people and that it was very important that she should share the feelings that she was having, because it resonated with people. During this part of her life, she would feel strongly what she needed to post, and she would definitely feel like the words that she was writing was something that someone else needed to hear, and that these words were blessing other people. She knew she may not ever meet them or know how she had helped, but she knew that God knew, and that was enough.
“I felt very strongly that part of her purpose was to help people, and my voice was the way that she was doing this.”
As unlikely as she thought it was, she did meet some of the people who needed her message. She met some of them in person. They would just walk up to her and tell her that they know her, that they follow her on social media and that her story made such a difference in their lives. During difficult times in their own lives, as they were discovering and learning to cope with similar life situations, they found Kristen. Reading her words brought peace, understanding, and love into a difficult situation. It helped them to turn heavenward, and made a big difference in their lives.
“I can’t shake the feeling that if I go private, no one else can hear what I have to say. Ellie’s story is still there for people to find.”
Sweet Ellie, through her mother’s words, has been an inspiration to so many. This inspired mother knew that she could be an instrument in God’s hands even in the hardest of times. What an amazing way to honor your child’s life!
Ellie is now watching over 3 sisters here on earth, and Kristen is just as passionate about motherhood with these three as she is about Ellie. She finds so much joy and excitement in being their mother! But the doubts in the meaning of her calling as a mother do come, at times. She tells of an experience when she was able to go to a brunch where Ann Romney was a keynote speaker. At this brunch, surrounded by women who are powerful and driven, she started to wonder if she was doing enough for the world. Most of the other people in the room were “influencers” with a large following, and had found a passion and purpose in their lives. She was wondering if her contribution was enough. Sitting at her table, the thought kept coming back to her that her passion is motherhood.
“I started to ask myself, what is my passion? It really just is motherhood. That is what I am passionate about right now. Ever since I was little, I just wanted to be a really good mom.”
While she was sitting there coming to this realization, Ann Romney started telling about her own time of doubt in the purpose of motherhood. She was a stay at home mom for many years. Her and Mitt, her husband were asked to speak at a panel at Harvard about career choices. The other women on the panel were lawyers, businesswomen, and PHD’s. She was worried about what she was going to say, because she was “just” a mom. Even though she prayed about it for a long time, she was still not sure about what she was going to say to this audience, even up to the time she got on the stage.
As Ann stood up to speak, the thought powerfully came to her “I am where I am supposed to be 100%. My job is more important than Mitt’s job right now. This is important. This is where I need to be.”
This resonated so much with Kristen. She thought, “I am not “just” a mom. This is super important work that I am doing. I will have my time after I have raised my kids to be passionate about something. I will have 25-30 years after my kids are out of the house to make a difference in the world. Right now, I am making a difference with my own family, and that is the most important work I can do. After that I can find out if there is something else I can be passionate about to give back.”
“Being a mom is not “just” being a mom. There is so much good you are doing.”
She doesn’t want any mom who has made different choices to feel mom guilt about the choices that they have made. God uses each of us in different ways to fulfill His purposes. Every one of us has our own unique, beautiful path where we get to see the Lord’s hand work through us to perform miracles. It is up to us to use this stage of our lives to the best of our abilities and Kristen does just that. She lives and loves with so much passion and joy. She doesn’t have regrets with the way she lived to the fullest with Ellie, and she does everything in her power to make sure she doesn’t have regrets with her other three daughters.
“Now, more than ever, I know that things can happen, and I am not immune to heartbreak. If heartbreak were to happen again, I would not want to have a lot of regret.”
Story about Kristin Jenson