Sunday, September 11 was a day that many people in America were thinking about the tragic events of the terrorists attacks ten years ago. For the Lifeway Kids family, however, we were also mourning the loss of a beloved writer and friend.
Jill Goldner wrote for Lifeway Kids for many, many years. You probably recognize her name. Jill wrote for the following publications:
- Bible Teaching for Kids (1st and 2nd Grades; 3rd and 4th Grades)
- Vacation Bible School (too many themes to list!)
- More and Bible Express devotional magazines
- TeamKID (again … too many themes to list)
- ParentLife magazine
- Bible Skills Drills and Thrills (Red Cycle)
- Worship KidStyle
That’s not all, Jill was also an active writer for other publishers like the Women’s Missionary Union. Jill loved missions and she loved sharing the love of Christ.
In my own family, Jill will be sorely missed. Jill and my wife Abbey wrote together for several Lifeway publications. Abbey grew to love Jill as a mentor writer and as a friend. When Jill learned of our impending adoption, Jill an adoptive mother herself, sent us a huge package of gifts and told us it was full of things that we could do while we wait for our baby to come home.
Jill loved her family. Most who knew her could tell you her husband’s name and children’s names because she talked about them so much. They are Steve, Ryan, and Carolyn by the way.
Jill also loved to laugh. She made laughter a priority. One time at a writers conference, Jill and several other writers were walking down a flight of steps. During the walk down, Jill decided (unwillingly) that it would be more fun to fall. Jill tumbled down the steps, laughing and protecting her beloved glass of tea the entire way. Jill was shaken, but she didn’t lose a drop of tea.
More than anything else I can say about Jill was that she loved her Lord and she wanted kids to know him as well. Look at her portfolio of writing and you will find lessons on strength, courage, faith, obedience, and so forth. Jill believed in the lifechanging power of God’s word and she passed that on to kids through her writing. I imagine, on Sunday while we mourned her loss, Jill was welcomed into heaven by people who had been touched by her writing, her life, and her smile.
And then she came face to face with her Savior, the One whom she’d served so long. He looked at Jill, spread out His arms, and said "Well done, Jill, well done. You were faithful in all I gave you. Look around, this is your reward."
Lifeway Kids will miss Jill, we will pray for her family, will thank God for her ministry and service, but most of all we will rejoice that Jill is experience a fullness and healing in Christ that only He can bring.