The worship artist from Bethel Music whose 2-year-old daughter was famously prayed for last year after she suddenly died is reflecting on Mother's Day, saying the heartache is all worth it.
In a Mother's Day Instagram post, Kalley Heiligenthal, who is perhaps best known for hit songs like "Ever Be," shared what her life was like since her daughter, Olive, died last year and the grief she continues to process along with her other daughter, Elsie.
"They say motherhood is having part of your heart walk around on the outside, in the elements, wild and open. In my case, part of me is out twirling here on this soil through Elsie and part of me is dancing in heaven through Olive," Heiligenthal said in her post.
"The day Olive left I sobbed, saying it was all worth it for the 2 years 1 month and 10 days I had her here. It’s worth every one of the million tears, worth the vulnerability, the pain.
"Loving her is worth it all. What I’d give for my freedoms to be limited again by her, for my body to stretch and swell carrying her, for my sleep to be stunted, another epic Olive breakfast hunger strike and a 'you guys have to share with each other or mommy’s gonna go crazy' chat. For another snuggle, another 'I yove you', a belly tickle mid-diaper change."
Olive was pronounced dead by doctors on Dec. 14 after she suddenly stopped breathing.
The artist noted on Sunday that she cannot let her life be governed by fear.
"I can’t give way to regret, I can’t control or manipulate and call it safety, I can’t measure my love or calculate my heart to avoid pain. I won’t, because that’s not love. That’s not living. It’s a slow death on earth. Love and fear refuse to coexist, so which one’s hand am I holding? Do it right and you’re at risk. What other choice do we have? That’s being a mother, that’s selflessness, that’s choosing to live fully alive, that’s giving our kids the example they deserve of how to do this life," she said.
"Being a mom is one of the bravest things that can be done, irrevocably putting your heart on the line. Love is worth that, always."
The artist received warm wishes on the post from other well-known Christian artists like Lindy Conant and Darlene Zschech.
Olive's death was followed by a prayer campaign some saw as controversial in that Bethel Church, an internationally known charismatic congregation in northern California, fasted and prayed for the young girl's resurrection for about one week before announcing it was planning a burial service.