Changing Neighborhoods

If you follow many of the same folks I do in the blogosphere or Twitter, today, you’ll see some little memorials to a dear friend of ours– Kristi Fornshell.

I could tell dozens of stories about Kristi, though I never met her in person. I talked to her on the phone once and I’m pretty sure that memory will stay with me for a long, long time.

At first blush, Kristi was funny. Snarky and sassy. From the first time she saw our friend, Bridget Chumbley, call me “Sassy” that’s all she ever called me. And to her now, I would say, “takes one to know one, Kristi!” And she was sassyness personified!

But Kristi wasn’t JUST funny. She wasn’t just sassy. She was graceful and generous and compassionate and tender-hearted and loving. I don’t remember ever emailing her a prayer need that she didn’t respond from the heart and tell me that she would pray for the needs I’d shared. And many times, when it was least expected, I’d find something in my inbox from her– a funny e-card or a link to a news story that she knew would touch my heart.

When I decided to write this post, I promised myself that I wouldn’t ramble on and on with sappy words, but now that I’m writing, I can’t help it. Kristi is worth all the sappy words. She would get a little choked up and say, “Sarah, your friendship was such a surprise. I didn’t expect it at all. We’ve never even met!” And the reason I know she’d say that is because the time we talked on the phone, that’s what she said to me. Not just about me, but about all our little group of friends. She loved us all deeply and I hope she knew how loved she was by us. When I tried to tell her, she cried.

So, on Wednesday morning at 5:10 AM, Kristi was walking with God. And He turned and looked at her and said, “Kristi, we’re closer to My house than yours. Why don’t you come home with Me?” And she did.

Today, I’m sad that my friend is gone, but I know it’s only temporary. In my heart, I’m singing for her the same song I want sung at my funeral… Not a slow, sad song, but a happy one:

“You know, one day I will fly to my mansion in the sky. And I’ll have no regrets when I leave this place for good. When I say my last farewells, please don’t forget to tell them that I’m not really dead–I’m just changin’ neighborhoods.” (from Big Daddy Weave’s “Changing Neighborhoods”)

I’ll see you soon, Kristi!

About Sarah Salter


  1. SarahBee says:

    Soon, but not too soon.
    Sarah, thank you for sharing your memories of her.
    I miss you already, Kristi. <3

  2. Sarah Salter says:

    Sarah Bee, no, not too soon. But soon.

  3. She will be missed. She was so kind and thoughtful and full of joy. Prayers for the loved ones she leaves behind.

  4. This was beautifully written, Sarah.

    And you’re right, she deserves all those sappy words. 😉


  5. Sarah Salter says:

    Katdish, thanks. You’re exactly right.

  6. Sarah Salter says:

    DS, thanks. I just read yours and was touched by it, as well.

  7. You summed this up beautifully, Sara. Kristi & I exchanged tweets quite often. I was so sad to hear that she had passed away. You’ve made me look at it in a different light. Changing neighborhoods to exchange earth for heaven? Kind of eases the pain.

  8. Sarah Salter says:

    Melinda, it took me a while to cry when I heard about Kristi, because the first thing I thought was how happy and pain-free she is in Heaven. I had asked God to spare her if He still had a purpose for her on earth. But evidently, His purpose for her is in Heaven. I can’t wait to meet her there! Well, okay, I CAN wait. Because my purpose here isn’t done. But when I get to Heaven, it’ll be a better place because Kristi is there!

  9. Beautifully said, Sarah. Thank you for sharing these words. I know it isn’t easy to weep and type at the same time. It’s a good thing we can type without looking at the keyboard, isn’t it?

  10. Sarah Salter says:

    Helen, I keep a box of Kleenex next to my computer. It came in very handy last night.

  11. Great tribute, Sarah. Thank you. 🙂

  12. David Allen says:

    I never knew Kristi like the rest of you. I only knew her through Sarah, and Sarah thank you for the introduction. She always had something positive to say to me. While I never shared any private conversations with her, other than just a few DM’s on Twitter, she always made me smile in my darkest moments. She barely knew me, but she did it. I remember when I first saw when she called Sarah sassy, I smiled. We’ll miss you Kristi, but your impact on people and making them smile will never be forgotten

  13. Sarah Salter says:

    I enjoyed yours, too, Jason, thanks!

  14. Sarah Salter says:

    Thanks, David! Well said!

  15. beautiful memories.

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