Friday, May 8, 2009

A Peek Into Heaven

What I'm about to say is just an idea...I'm not saying this is fact because who really knows, but if heaven is truly how the bible describes then it helps me to live as a pilgrim in this world and let go of little things that really, in the scheme of eternity are not important (like painting my trailer before we move in). A dear woman in our church named Gloria Edwards went to heaven this past Saturday. This is the fact part. She was battling cancer and knew in the past month that her fight would soon be ending. Billy visited with her a few weeks ago. It seems the visit was encouraging for both of them. I just couldn't go. I kind of reasoned in my head that Billy was going for both of us. I wanted to say goodbye but just didn't want anything to do with death. Kind of ironic isn't it, because I wish deperately I could've said goodbye to Alaina. Anyway, Billy asked her questions like "Do you have any regrets looking back on your life? Are you scared?" etc. Then he asked her to do something....

"Could you find Alaina, this is what she looks like :) and hug her for me?" Gloria's response: "Nothing would thrill me more! He told Gloria about things that were special "Daddy things."

Gloria- "I'm going to find that little girl and we are going to have tea parties together!" She never met Alaina this side of heaven.

Again, I don't know if this is what it's like and it may sound corny to you, but I can dream, right? This is just not really something most people sit around and think about...unless you're longing for the place more everyday. I know it's wonderful.... and Billy and I said we wish we could "peek in" to see what she's see the brokeness of this fallen world made perfect and "right" again. Can she really be dancing with the King?

It's a beautiful thought isn't it...and to think it's even better than I imagine, now THAT gives me hope.

I had decided to go to Gloria's funeral but changed my mind at the last minute. I was in a "funk" that day...went to the strawberry patch with Elley and didn't want to make small talk with any of the other moms...didn't really want to talk to or even smile at anyone and I didn't care if I just stood there by myself. On the way home, I knew, I'm NOT going to a funeral today. Not today. I just can't. It's too familiar. It's OK not to go. Billy did go and he cried the whole time. It was REALLY hard. I don't have to tell you all the reasons why. You can imagine.

We've had some really great conversations about the purpose of life. It's a constant struggle thinking "Our life is just not going to be as good now that Alaina is gone." I mean, our life can still be good but not AS good. But I think this is a worldly way of thinking. If the purpose of life is to glorify God by knowing him and enjoying him forever, then he is fulfilling his GOOD purpose and plan for our lives. I can truly believe the verse that says "ALL things work togehter for the good of those who love him." I don't have to believe that all things are good, but he works it out FOR our good. There's a difference. Make sense? If life is about becoming like him, then He's using this in our life in a way we never imagined. Now yes, he could use anything to make us like Jesus, but it seems that he often uses the really painful, the heartbreaking, to accomplish his plan. It's a mystery that I don't understand and don't like but one that I will accept. I know I've said that before but it's something I preach to myself. And that's nothing of me, it's all a work of his grace. If it were up to me I think I would dwell in a state of hopelessness a lot of the time.

But I hope in his word- John 17:3 "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."

1 Thessalonians4:13-18

"Brothers, we do not want to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words."

One of my favorite worship songs, we sang it at Alaina's funeral. "There is a day, that all creations waiting for, a day of freedom and liberation from the earth. And on that day He will come to meet his bride, for we will see him and in an instant we'll be changed....We will meet him in the air, and we will be like him for we will see him as he is, oh yeah...then all hurt and pain will cease and we'll be with him forever and in his presence we will live, oh yeah, oh yeah!"

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