Jewell: From Tragedy to Victory

by Katherine M. Pasour

Despair shrouded the bedroom in deep shadows. The hospital bed engulfed a tiny figure gasping for a breath that tortured lungs couldn’t provide. I crept in on silent feet, not knowing what to say or do. The emaciated woman bore little physical resemblance to the vibrant, active, cheerful Jewell that I knew.

Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel. Proverbs 20:15 NIV*

Jewell and her husband John were the first to welcome my family to church more than thirty years ago. After we joined, they became our mentors, guiding our journey spiritually and modeling how to be servants for our Lord. Jewell sang in the choir, served in a variety of leadership roles, visited the sick and home bound, and cooked for all occasions. With John, she worked tirelessly in numerous capacities including leading the youth group, organizing the “Lend a Hand” program, taking a major role in mission projects, cleaning and maintaining the church and more, more, more …

I never saw Jewell lose her temper. She didn’t gossip or slander—she lived by the Fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23). I couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful mentor and role model.

Jewell exemplified how to live out God’s purpose on earth.

One would expect that such an amazing person, a Christian example for all who knew her, would be blessed by God to live a joyful and happy life.

But, sometimes it doesn’t turn out that way. God may have a different plan.

Parkinson’s Disease attacked Jewell and showed no mercy on this humble servant of Jesus. She fought the good fight and maintained courage and dignity throughout her ordeal. Family and friends cared for and supported her through several years of serious illness. The disease stole her mobility, her ability to talk, and eventually, took away her capacity to breathe.

I visited Jewell one last time in 2001, just before she left us. I felt helpless. I told her I loved her. That seemed so small for what I wanted to say. She couldn’t respond verbally.

We both cried.

Later, in my car, I questioned why God was allowing her to suffer and die so painfully. Haven’t we asked similar questions since the beginning of life on earth?

Why do bad things happen to good people?

If you are really there, God, why are You allowing this painful suffering to happen to Your child?

Why don’t You heal our loved one?

Why aren’t You answering our prayers, God?

After all, Jesus tells us, If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer (Matthew 21:22).

We prayed for healing …

How do hurting families deal with the tragic storms of life, with devastating loss—not only the death of their loved one, but the feeling of God’s abandonment? Certainly there’s deep sorrow, anguish, grief, and pain. Often there is depression and anger. Those suffering grief may turn away from God.

But, Jesus doesn’t turn away from us.

Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29

Death is not the final victor. Heaven awaits us. Jesus welcomed Jewell with open arms and gathered her into His loving embrace. Her suffering ended, bringing some comfort for her family.

But, there is more.

I’m hopeful that Jewell’s family and all who mourn the passing of a loved one find hope in the legacy left behind.

Jesus said, Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But, if it dies, it produces many seeds.  John 12:24

Jewell produced many seeds. Her legacy extends through three sons, five grand children and great-grand children. But, her realm of influence goes so much further—to all the generations of youth she worked with over the years, her peers and their extended families that witnessed her missionary work. Numerous mentees—like me—learned at her feet, watching, internalizing, and following in her footsteps to produce lasting fruit.

Jewell lives on in all that we do—those of us blessed to know her. We are born, we live, and we die. That tiny dash between our year of birth and our year of death represents more than just the passing of the years. That dash represents all that we do in our lifetime.

Be a Jewell.


*All Scripture is from The Holy Bible, NIV.

© Copyright 2018 by Katherine Pasour


Katherine Pasour is an author, teacher, and speaker with a passion for our Lord Jesus and for wellness—her own and for others! Katherine blogs weekly on faith and wellness and enjoys writing and reading Christian fiction short stories and romantic suspense. Her Bible Study, “Honoring God with My Body,” focuses on developing a closer relationship with Jesus while working toward making choices that lead to a healthier lifestyle. Katherine and husband, Bob, parents of four adult children, share farming and gardening duties, and have come to the realization that retirement is a myth.

Connect with Katherine:


Author Page:

Twitter: @KatherinePasour


This is the third post in our Calming the Storms Within series. 

Can you relate to a storm swirling inside your soul? Check out the series' first post, Calming the Storms Within.

Is your faith being stretched through a storm? See Jennifer DeFrates' post, Building Faith through the Storms of Life

It's our prayer that these posts build grace and peace in your heart as you go through life's storms. 

Be sure to leave us a comment if something was meaninful to you, and subscribe to this blog to receive future posts in your inbox. 

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storms, adversity, Parkinson’s Disease, legacy, Jewell: From Tragedy to Triumph, Katherine M. Pasour, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Comments (3)

  • anon

    What a beautiful tribute to your mentor. I’m sorry she had to suffer in that way, and that you had to watch her suffer. The pain in this world is so hard. I’m thankful for the hope of a life to come with no tears or pain.

    Mar 22, 2018
  • anon

    Katy — Congratulations to everyone involved with Breaking the Chains! What a wonderful honor for a wonderful book!

    Mar 22, 2018
  • anon

    Thank you, Dorcas! I just saw this comment. It's a great book that has helped me, and I am grateful for this award. And I am happy for all of our authors!

    Mar 22, 2018

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Winning the Victory: A Blog by Katy Kauffman

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As co-founder of Lighthouse Bible Studies, Katy is a Bible study author and editor of Refresh Bible Study Magazine. Follow Katy's blog to receive posts sharing practical strategies for winning life's spiritual battles. 


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