The Imprint Of Joan Feller

by | Aug 5, 2015 | Love Others, Personal memories

I can’t seem to wrap my head around this.

I remind myself God’s ways are not my ways, and His thoughts are not my thoughts.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8

And Romans 8:28 tells me:

 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

I can’t help but struggle.

A beautiful woman of God–a friend of ours–will be taken off life support soon.

She was in an accident Friday evening at our local racetrack.

My plans were to message her after the race to tell her what a wonderful job she had done. She continued to get better and better each week driving her bright blue number 12 Legend car.

Photo credit: Ed Siems

Photo credit: Ed Siems

But on the last lap, she and another car collided between turns 3 and 4.

We were expecting the drivers to emerge from their cars unharmed. That’s the norm in a wreck. But as the emergency crews remained at her car, we knew something wasn’t right. And when another friend–who races in a different class and is also a fireman–sprinted across the track to the scene, my heart sank.

The feeling of helplessness was overwhelming. Praying and asking others to do the same was what I could do from the stands. The ambulance took her to the local hospital, and I followed minutes later.

The extent of her spinal cord injury was life-threatening. My ears couldn’t comprehend the doctor’s words, “She will not recover.”

Joan has been one of my biggest encouragers of this blog, and of my writing. Time and time again she’s the one who has commented with uplifting and impacting words, encouraging me to keep writing. Encouraging me to continue to grow the gifts and talents God has given me.

Her imprint on me and my writing has been a treasured gift.

I found a message she sent me recently. I don’t think she’d mind me sharing it. It shows Joan’s heart, and I pray it encourages us all:

“I finish last every race at Hawkeye Downs. But on the car, where the rear license plate would go, I have Acts 20:24. Above the door, I have Romans 10:9. On the trunk of the car, I have checkered flags, a cross and “Team Jesus.” No, my car doesn’t look as fancy as the other ones, and no, my car never finishes up front. But, I’ve finished every race. Before going out on the track, I pray in my car. I don’t pray to catch up to the leaders. I pray [that] someone is blessed after the race by what they might read on my car. Yes. God has answered that prayer several times this summer. I am making connections with drivers who seemed stunned that I even walked over to talk with them… …If I’m doing what God wants me to do, it’s to show others Jesus through me, and I take that very seriously.”

She was sharing her faith and her love for Jesus, even past the moment of her accident. And I believe, through her words above and others, through the imprint she’s made on those who’ve journeyed with her, and the legacy she’s leaving, her faith and love for Jesus will continue to impact the lives of others.

God has opened my eyes to much since Friday night. He continues to be faithful in the midst of grief. Please keep Joan’s family in your prayers today, and in the days, weeks, and months to come.

Friend, how are you and I living our lives? What kind of imprint are we making on others? How are we sharing our faith, and our love for Jesus? May we make the most of each and every day, every moment.

We can’t begin to understand tragedy such as this. But we can take comfort in knowing Jesus is preparing a beautiful place for Joan in His Father’s house.

John 14:2-3



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  1. Janet

    Julie – I can’t even describe how I feel after reading your words. Sorry for your loss really isn’t adequate – although I truly am. You describe such a beautiful soul; I know she will be desperately missed. It’s not fair, how some lives are cut short midstride – it’s not. And I grieve with you. I came by your blog to offer words of thanks and encouragement to you – thank you for the lovely card that arrived in my mail yesterday – I wanted you to know how much those words mean. And instead, you offer comfort to me, to your readers, even in your loss. I will pray for Joan’s family, and for others who knew her, like you. I will pray comfort, and strength in the days ahead, and faith in our Sovereign God. Peace to you, Julie.

    • Julie Lefebure

      Janet, thank you so much for your prayers for Joan’s family and all who knew her. I’m thankful Jesus was her savior. She’s safe in His arms now. Your words offer much comfort and grace to me. Thank you.

  2. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    I am so sorry for the loss of your friend, and so impressed with the way you are rising above the sorrow!

  3. Lauren

    I’ve been following your blog for some time but have never commented.

    This post, however this post made my heart ache…

    Having never met you or Joan – your words have moved me…

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

    • Julie Lefebure

      Lauren, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your words have been comfort to be during this hard time. I appreciate them and you, more than I can say. God bless you.


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