Monday, October 4, 2010

31 for 21: #4 Heaven

When I was little, I was afraid of choosing the wrong man for my husband and childbirth. I worried and worried. After church one day, when I was like 4 or 5, I concluded that I would wait until after I went to heaven, because I would be sure that I had chosen the right man, and childbirth would not hurt.

When I got to be about 15, I heard in church that there would be no marriage or childbirth in heaven, that we would only be praising God. I started telling God everyday that He would be returning "today" to assure that He would not be returning that day, because of the verse where it said, "no man knew the day or the hour" of His return. And I figured if I "knew" that he would be returning that day, then I could buy out time until I got married and had kids. And I really wanted to be married and to have kids, really my only goal of success...and I was afraid that I would miss out.

When I finally found the man I wanted to marry, I had matured to the point that I realized that if heaven had no tears, then there would also be no regrets. And I was okay, with reservations, about going to heaven with my "plans" uncompleted.

Then I had Elise. And I realized my plans were shaky at best. Then she had open heart surgery, and I realized that my plans were laughable. Then she got cancer and I had to send my son to live with his grandparents on rotation while Elise underwent treatment...and I realized that plans were utterly stupid...and that heaven would be lovely...

(Disclaimer: I am not suicidal. I love life. And more specifically, I love MY life.)

While Elise was on chemo, I realized how ugly and awful life really was. Over the last 6 years, many of the children who were on chemo at the same time as Elise have lost their battle. One very dear family lost not one, but two precious girls to a very aggressive hereditary cancer. I have met many people who fight all manner of nasty medical battles. I have many friends who struggle like myself with the day-to-day disabilities... Children who will be dependent forever. Children who will be babies forever. Children who will die slow and painful deaths because their bodies will gradually fail them.

Compared to heaven, this is such a dark place. It is not as it should be. God did not want this when He created us. He wanted us to stay in Eden. Even after our sinful choices, He gave his Son to restore us to Him in heaven. He loves us that much!

If I have learned anything from Elise in my life, it is that the beautiful moments are not rights, they are are daily gifts that God gives us to remind us that heaven will be wonderful...that He totally knows what's best! That the dust motes that frolic in the sunbeams are mini miracles...and are a glimpse of the beauty of the jewels and gold in heaven...

I have gotten to the place in my life where I crave heaven and what God has planned, where I truly look forward to it. I no longer fear that I will be bored and will be missing out if I don't get to do what I want here on Earth...I look forward to see the MORE in Elise, what she will be like without this life on her. I look forward to seeing heaven on my kids and my husband...I can hardly wait to feel the complete love and joy and perfection that He has in store for us! It fills my heart with joy and longer the desire to hold onto my stupid "plans"....because now I know better...and it's because of the path through "the valley of the shadow"...I'd take it again in a second for what it has shown me...because I now know that He is MORE...More EVERYTHING then we can comprehend...


  1. I had that exact same sort of panic when I was young. All I ever wanted to be was a wife and mom and I was really worried that I would fail at my one career goal and have to go with my backup plan. I didn't feel like I could plan my life at all because I couldn't take my husband's opinions into account until I met him, and for somenone who likes to plan everything that is really scary. Letting go of control and trusting that God's got it in hand has always been my biggest challenge.

  2. Such a poignant reminder of how puny & silly our earth-bound mindset truly is! I love the word picture of "dust motes that frolic in the sunbeams are mini miracles...and are a glimpse of the beauty of the jewels and gold in heaven..." Your words and reflections capture such a richness of what we eagerly await! I long with you for that heavenly overlay that transforms us all - and I love you for that longing!

  3. I've been catching up on your 31 for 21 posts, and each one has touched me heart. I've been negligent in my blog reading these last couple weeks, and I can't promise to read here each day, but I'll do my best to read all of your 31 for 21 posts, even if not in order.
    Love you and Miss you dear cousin! Thank you for these glimpses into your world. They have already altered my perspective of things.

  4. so very well written and thoughful..yes I believe we have heaven here too!

  5. Hi - I just found you today through a friend that's praying for my family. We just found out yesterday that there is a very strong chance that our baby has Downs. We won't know until delivery b/c we opted against an amnio. My husband and I are OK with this & I honestly feel like this baby could bring us joy beyond measure. Our big fear is that our baby may have an opening between its ventricles requiring surgery - and that's really scary to us. I read that you guys made it through that and even more heartache. They always say make a plan and God laughs. Please stop by my blog & say some prayers for my family and send me a note - I'd like to email you as I have questions which I know I'll have many come up in the future. God Bless


  6. Wow, kinda like the song "If you want to hear God laugh tell him your plans". Your blog post is so true. All you can do is take each day at a time. You may not have the life you planned but it's yours.

  7. Thank you for sharing this Tiffany! Definitely music to my ears :) I love this blog and the perspective you offer on life that has taken a major "detour" from the plans we thought we had made...

  8. If we really believed Heaven to be what we say it is...then it will be amazing. And yes, life is so ugly. But strangely beautiful at the same time. Maybe because we only get one of them, you know? Besides, I do trust that God knows what He's I'm going with that.