I had a good long chat with my friend Rhea the other night. We talked a lot about Heaven, and how her mom is probably enjoying some quality time with my baby girl (she was so excited about Aaron and me getting married after watching us grow up together in the church). Talking about Heaven always helps me feel more at peace when I’m having a rough time, and some days are pretty rough. I miss my daughter.
Nothing will ever convince me that we didn’t touch Heaven the day our babies were born. It seems like no matter how much I try to explain that, I can’t really do it justice with words. What we felt that day was not of this world. We felt just a portion of the incredible peace that fills Heaven.
We talked a lot about faith, and read some from Hebrews 11 (the “Faith Hall of Fame”). “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (verse 1). It seems that many people confuse faith with believing God will heal anyone we ask Him to heal. I will admit, there was a time I hoped and asked… even begged for God to “heal” Carys. After her diagnosis, I even prayed that our story would be the miracle of God making Carys whole. Even at the time, though, I knew it might not be His will. At the next appointment, I wouldn’t have been surprised in the least if He had answered that prayer and allowed us to see a perfectly formed, round little skull for both babies- but He didn’t. That was the answer to my prayer. It wasn’t the answer I wanted, but I accepted it as the final answer He gave. I could picture Him, with sadness in His eyes (knowing our pain), telling me, “No, my daughter, I have something different planned for Carys. Something very special. I didn’t make a mistake in how I formed her, she’s perfect for my plan.”
I stopped asking Him to make her whole.
Every time I wanted to ask, it was as if I heard a gentle reminder, “She was formed very intentionally, just the way she is…” And so, the “theme” verse for my babies came about. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).
During the next few months, as they continued to grow and squirm, God frequently reminded me that He has plans for us. For ALL of us. Plans to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). THAT is where the faith came in. Believing He had the capability of making Carys whole was easy. After all, He’s the one who formed her in the first place. Believing that He would turn the indescribable pain we were experiencing into something beautiful was a little harder to grasp. I knew He would… but it’s not as easy.
Regardless, I began to see Carys’ impact from a very early point in the pregnancy. After her diagnosis, she got people’s attention. She made a way for me to share my faith with others. I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that God loves me. Carys opened the door for me to share that with others (and remember, her name means love). In such a short time here, she left a huge legacy. She gave us a platform to share about God’s amazing love.
As wonderful as all of that is, one of the most valuable gifts God gave us through Carys came the day she and Paxton were born. The peace (and remember that Paxton’s name means peace). That indescribable, unearthly, enveloping peace. Even when Carys left this world, the peace stayed. THAT is a gift from God. Without that peace, I wouldn’t have been capable of coping with that day, or enjoying the brief time we had with her. Without that peace, I wouldn’t have made it through the funeral arrangements, or selecting burial plots… or the funeral. But God knew that, so He allowed us to experience that Heavenly peace.
I’ve wondered many times if we’d be able to know what was going on from Heaven. I’d wonder how we could keep from being sad if we knew. My thinking on that topic has changed (as has my thinking on many topics). Regardless of what we are capable of seeing from Heaven, how could we possibly feel anything of pain or sadness when we are in the very presence of God Himself? The Source of Peace. I can imagine we’ll be so overwhelmed by peace and love (WHO God is) that we will not have the capability of experiencing any form of sadness or loneliness, or anger, or pain. We’ll be so wrapped in God’s incredible, selfless love, that it won’t be possible for us to experience anything else. I’ve never been a shouter… but that just about makes me want to shout! We’ve known such pain here, I very much look forward to having our hurts wiped away.
I look forward to soaking in the love, peace, and joy that emanates from our Heavenly Father. I look forward to seeing the light that radiates from Him reflecting off the jewels in the walls of the New Jerusalem… what a rainbow that will be!!! I look forward to seeing the loved ones I knew who have finished the race ahead of me. I look forward to meeting my ancestors. I look forward to an eternity of peace, love, and joy. I look forward to having my family reunited and wrapping my arms around my baby girl.
Heaven is so real, and so close. There are times in life that it is so close you can feel it. Trust me, I know from experience. I wouldn’t wish the pain we’ve experienced on anyone…. But the joy. Oh, the joy that comes with touching Heaven… THAT, I wish I could share with the world.
Have YOU ever touched Heaven? Is death scary for you? It doesn’t have to be! Have faith that God's word is true.
Jesus Comforts His Disciples
1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a
]; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”