Bethel worship leader shares how she’ll move forward in 2020 after daughter’s death

Kalley Heiligenthal
Bethel Music's Kalley Heiligenthal leads worship. |

Bethel Music worship leader Kalley Heiligenthal publicly shared the anguish she's feeling after burying her 2-year-old daughter on Saturday despite praying fervently for her child to be resurrected.

Even though Heiligenthal is feeling the weight of her loss, she also expressed her overwhelming gratitude and ambition to push forward, knowing that Olive is with Jesus in Heaven and one day they will be reunited. 

“Last night around 11:55 I felt the tension. The resistance to move into a decade without Olive,” Heiligenthal wrote New Years Day in a post on Instagram.

“I can access the searing shock of the last couple weeks and stop there, but if I push one step further, 2019 is overwhelmingly saturated with treasured memories I would never trade and will fight to cherish,” she continued.

Olive was buried on Dec. 28 and a GoFundMe page for the family has since raised over $74,500. Although the determined mother’s prayers were not answered as she had hoped, Heiligenthal said she's walking into 2020 with gratitude. 

“I choose tender thankfulness. As for the future, as I feel the noble aching lack of her not with us for a lifetime, the better truth is I can look just beyond and know so vividly that this life is only a breath, and for all eternity we’ll be close again. Jesus bought that for us. So I choose triumphant thankfulness. And the more I do it the more I feel it,” she added. 

“There is a Heaven that is more real and vivid than what we have here and it’s pressing in on us. Jesus is alive, Olive is alive in Him, so we press back and live fully alive too,” she concluded.

Bethel Church in Redding, California, held a memorial service for Heiligenthal’s daughter, Olive, who was pronounced dead on Dec. 14 after she suddenly stopped breathing. The northern California church has linked arms with Heiligenthal every step of the way and also prayed to God for a resurrection miracle. Several other worship artists from all over the country also began to pray that the toddler would be revived.

It was in an Instagram post that the Bethel Music worship leader first asked all of their supporters to pray for Olive who had stopped breathing.

“We’re asking for prayer. We believe in a Jesus who died and conclusively defeated every grave, holding the keys to resurrection power,” Heiligenthal wrote.

“We are asking for bold, unified prayers from the global church to stand with us in belief that He will raise this little girl back to life,” she said, adding, “Her time here is not done, and it is our time to believe boldly, and with confidence wield what King Jesus paid for. It’s time for her to come to life.”

The "Ever Be” singer posted resurrection prayers every day for five days straight but later announced that after a week of supplication, she and her family were moving into a “new day” and declared Olive’s short life was a story of “victory.”

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