Heaven

Our church is in week two of a series called Pretty Little Lies. Exposing widely accepted lies about God and His church. Today the lie “Good People Go To Heaven” was not only thrown out, it was shattered.

The short version: Good people do not go to Heaven; SAVED people go to heaven.

After church, I was talking with Carson who wanted to stay for the second service as well. I said that Matty (our Pastor) talked about heaven.

Carson: Ya, that’s what we talked about too, Mom. Like when we get there, I get to see my great-great Uncle who was killed in that tank.

Me: Yes, and all our babies we will finally see.

C: Ya, Heaven is awesome.

M: Like when Mom goes to Heaven you know that I’ll be just having a blast waiting for you.

C: Ya, you’re lucky if you get to go first Mom.

*My grandmother’s brother James Martin Kelly was killed in World War II. He was killed by friendly fire on August 14, 1944.

…did you hear that…

“Ya, you’re lucky if you get to go first…”

He’s eight.

I don’t deserve heaven, I certainly am not worthy of the keys to God’s house. I have done nothing to gain access to the wi-fi password and the good towels once I’m there.

Great thing is…they are given to me anyway.

Because I believe that God sent Jesus to save all of mankind and that through the death and resurrection I am saved; God thinks I deserve those things.

A year ago at this time we lost a dear friend. She lived with cystic fibrosis her entire life and not once in the time I knew her (about a year and a half before her death) did she let it define her. She was and continues to be my inspiration when I was diagnosed with cancer to NOT let it own me.

The day she passed I will never forget hearing the news. She had been in a medically induced hypothermic coma for a couple days and they were going to warm her and wake her up. Although there was very little hope medically, we prayed.

That morning, several of us gathered at our church office to pray. As each person prayed for a complete healing and a complete miracle it hit me. This woman, for all intents and purposes, should not have lived beyond the age of seven; if we hadn’t seen the miracle yet, we never would.

When it came my turn to pray I thanked God for introducing me to Gretchen, for having the opportunity to learn so much from her, to see what His work looks like in real life.

I then asked for help. I asked that if it was her time to go, that instead of being overcome with grief and longing and hurt to be filled with understanding that every minute we spent with her had already been miracle enough.

I’ll admit, I’m sure it sounded nothing even close to this great as I spewed it in that meeting room…good thing God knows our thoughts.

There is a song Taylor Swift wrote called Ronan. After following the story of a young child with cancer, and befriending his mother, Taylor wrote a song to him after his passing.

The first time I heard that song was on a Stand Up to Cancer broadcast.

“…maybe the miracle was even getting one moment with you…”

^please take a moment to watch the link^

What if, just stick with me for a second. What if we understood that we have already witnessed the miracle?

One day , not long ago, I was talking to a great friend we were discussing Gretchen’s passing and how selfish we each felt asking for her to not be taken from this earth just yet. She said that there is no way, in good conscience, could she pray for her to stay on earth knowing she had already experienced heaven.

Before the coma, Gretchen had been without oxygen for (I believe) 14 minutes.

We both were confident that she had gotten a good glimpse of what was waiting for her and even if we did have the power to pray her back; there was no way she would choose to return to us.

The phone call came that she passed while I was in Bemidji with both boys and they knew we were waiting for the call. We had just visited my oncologist and were in the shopping mall killing time.

I got off the phone and Kevin looked at me with his eyes FULL of tears…just like on a cartoon…full yet not falling.

Kevin: She’s dead, isn’t she?

Me: I’m sorry Buddy, yes she died.

K: Well, we sure were lucky to get 25 extra years with her…

Then those tears fell as he collapsed into me. Although I was so excited for Gretchen my heart broke for my boy. On the way home we stopped to eat and he asked if he could call his dad.

Kevin: Ya, our friend died….we were so lucky that she got to live this long…ya, I’m fine…she’s in heaven Dad.

Although I could see the eyes start to fill, he never cried during that phone call. He was so glad he’d already had more than he deserved in regards to her time.

I can’t help but thank God even more for Gretchen as my days are counted down. My kids know that it is awesome to die. My kids are well aware how amazing heaven is and how lucky we are to be able to go there.

…you’re lucky if you get to go first…

Can your kids say that with confidence? Do they have that understanding?

When I’m gone I know my kids will hurt. It would suck not having mom around. I really don’t expect them to be overwhelmed with grief though. I truly think they will celebrate my passing with excitement.

Will they miss me; of course they will. I also think they will be the comforters of those around them. I envision them being the strength that people need. They will be the evangelists that scream from the rafters that God is good. They will be reason people come to God.

I’ll admit; I’m one heck of a selfish woman. I don’t want to go to heaven yet. I want to watch my boys grow into men, I want to watch my daughter become ten times the mother I could even imagine. I want to witness my grandchild(ren) do marvelous things.

I also know that for those things to happen, it may mean I have to leave.

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