When all is said and done…

You turn my mourning into dancing

You turn my mourning into dancing

A week ago, I lost one of the most precious gifts God gave to me — my daughter, Makenzie.  She was killed instantly in a car accident and my life will never be the same. 

The outpouring of love on our family has been indescribable.  Literally, hundreds of cards and texts have poured into the respective mailboxes and our home resembles a nursery.  1100 people took a last look at Makenzie at the visitation last Sunday and 1300 praised the Lord at her celebration service on Monday. 

Many people have asked me how I am managing to hold up; where my strength is coming from.  When all is said and done, it only comes from what I know about God.  God promises that whoever believes that Jesus is who he said he is and did what he said he did, doesn’t die, but lives forever with him in heaven (John 3:16). God promises that he sends comfort and is an ever present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46). He has operated these promises in incredible ways this past week and we are ok. 

When all is said and done, there is only one person on whom we cry; there is only one person to whom we turn and He is God.


7 thoughts on “When all is said and done…

  1. Taylor Rodriguez says:

    I attend SPCPA with Nathan, and have had the pleasure of meeting you Kellie. I have to say, that I have heard so such about Kenzie. Nathan loves to talk about her. It sounds like she was an amazing girl. I am glad you have to chance to come to Minnesota with a new start.
    I am sorry for your loss


  2. Karen Raboin says:

    Todd and Kellie,

    I have been at a loss for words since I heard of the tragic news the day after the accident. From the moment I met the two of you, I knew you were “special” or should I say “especially real people” who “really” had God and Jesus in their hearts – the strength you have shown (especially during the memorial service) is so uplifting. While you were a pastor at Gloria Dei, I was drawn to attend church on a regular basis and loved to hear Kellie speak as well – she can make the whole room light up when she speaks, just like Mekenzie. Both of you have that inner peace that is contagious! I was so sad when you decided to move on to Lutheran South, but now I see why you did. Your family is a tight knit family and I’m sure you were able to even be closer to your kids and the family that LSA acquires. I have three boys and the death of Makenzie has made me realize how precious life really is and that I need to be patient and hug and hold onto them even when I’m at my wits end (they are 10, 7, and 5). We (my boys and I) passed the intersection of Red Bluff and Bay Area today on our way to the swim meet in Deer Park and I began to cry once again as we looked for the memorial for Mekenzie. I can only pray that one day I’ll become as strong as you and believe that God sends comfort during signs of trouble. You have shown more strength than anyone I have ever met…..most people would find it impossible to speak in the position you are in….You and your family were truelly blessed with Mekenzies life and now have an angel watching over you from above. I have sent the link to Mekenzies celebration service on to all I know in hopes that it will touch their lives as it has mine. I pray that your strength continues and that Mekenzie continues to dance in your lives until you see her again.

    God bless you and your family,

    Karen Raboin

  3. Gracie Canales says:

    Todd and Kellie,

    Thank you for letting your daughter’s celebration of life be known to the people around you. My uncle is a member of your church and he sent this link to me. It is wonderful to see someone so young have such a great passion for God. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family, she is truly an awsome spirit. Isn’t it amazing even after life here on Earth she is still touching the hearts of people that did not even know her. In her celebration she has filled me with the Holy Spirit and my heart wants to burst with love for God. So once again thank you for raising such a blessing for all, and lucky the ones who were able to be a part of her life here on Earth.

    With my deepest simpathy and joy all at the same time,

  4. Ava English says:

    Pastor Tood,
    I am very sorry about Makenzie. She touched many hearts and influenced many people, including me. Thank you for everything. If you ever need anything my mom and I are always more than happy to help, and Maddie is always welcome here. We all loved Makenzie and miss her dearly.

    -Ava English

  5. Pat Condon says:

    Todd and Kellie,

    First, thank you. For Makenzie. She touched us and holds us yet. Your family and your faith inspires and motivates us beyond what we can express. The beauty and love of Maddie, the courage of Nathan, the strength of your and Kellie’s faith. Testaments to His glory, all.

    Pat and Valerie

  6. Elizabeth Barton says:

    Pastor Todd and Kellie,
    I wish I knew what to say, but, nothing that I can think of is adequate to show the amount of pain I feel for you. I never really knew Makenzie, but, just by what I have read about her, she was amazing. She had to be amazing she has amazing parents. She has inspired me, much the way you both did during your time and Woodbury Lutheran. Her passion for Jesus and compassion for others has radiated through the comments people have made and everything I have read. It is the same passion that you both possess that changed my world bu knowing both of you.

    I just want you to know that I am praying for you and those prayers will not stop.

    Much love,
    Elizabeth Barton

  7. Joy Hoffman says:

    Todd and Kelli,
    Words cannot express the shock I felt when I received Todd’s email regarding Makenzie. But more importantly, words cannot articulate the peace and absolute joy of God I experienced while watching the memorial service. The music, the testimonies, the dance (and some familiar faces) =)

    I am in awe of your amazing strength as you spoke of your beautiful daughter and encouraged those around you. I did not know her, but simply because she is your daughter, I found myself overwhelmed with grief for you – I cannot begin to imagine what it would be like to lose my Hanna tomorrow. And yet, you smiled. You shared a message of hope and salvation that can only come from hearts that are embraced by Christ.

    We grow up, move on, and lose track of people in our lives. We make new friends, try our best to remain connected to old ones, and through it all, we sometimes fail miserably in maintaining the relationships that were the most meaningful to us at another place in time.

    I know this sounds absolutely ridiculous, but I thank God for Facebook. I am blessed to have gotten reconnected with Todd – we have so many great college memories. And I still remember the day he told me about you, Kelli. The joy in his eyes, even after just meeting you through his parents (didn’t you go to Russia with them?). God brought you two together for such a time as this – that the love for your family and each other, and your deeply grounded faith in Christ would take you through this journey as life partners, best friends, and children of God.

    I imagine that the road ahead will be challenging at times, and I pray that in those times, God gives you the strength to endure, peace to rest, and faith to move forward.

    It is amazing to me that although I did not know Makenzie, she made an impact on me during the brief time I learned about her faith, friends, gifts and talents, and relationship with Christ. She gives me hope in knowing that our children can and do have a relationship with their Savior, one that they make no apology for. And you are right – it’s not about religion. It is about a relationship. Because that is the personal component – it is yours alone and no one can make it something that you won’t allow it to be.

    I love you and my prayers will be constant. Thank you for sharing your daughter with me. Thank you, after all these years, for still being in my life and sharing the message of Christ.

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