Heaven’s Reunion ~ WWY

Thank you for joining us for this segment of Walking With You. We are talking this week about the hope of heaven and the glorious reunion that each of us long for with great hope. Most of this post was originally shared here in September of 2009 during a previous Walking With You, with a few additions to update. Next week will be our last week of this segment of WWY. We will talk about the comfort we can find in praise and thanksgiving.

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
~Hebrews 12:1-2

We are living in earthly vessels, but this life is not forever. We are mothers who have said goodbye to our sweet babies, but that goodbye is not forever. We who walk with Jesus, pick up our crosses daily to follow Him as we walk this earth. Why do we do it? For the joy set before us, of course…just like our great Teacher. His joy is our salvation…the promise of restoration…the promise of eternal life with Him…the promise of the sweetest reunion. That’s where I fix my eyes when they grow too weary from looking at what this world has to offer.

There are many verses that speak of the promise we have in heaven. Unfortunately, I do not have the time this evening to look all of them up. One verse speaks of knowing one another as we are known. We will know one another when we get to heaven, just like we know each other here. Faith and Grace will probably have their long piano-player fingers and button noses. They will probably have the same dainty little lips, and I’m sure brown eyes just like their daddy and brothers. Thomas will have the same nose shared by all of our children along with the same brown eyes. He will probably have the same auburn hair that made me smile so for the short time he spent in my arms. What they will not have is a sign of the brokenness that this earth held for them. They will be complete…perfect…knowing none of earth’s sorrows. What must that be like?

One of my favorite books is called Mommy, Please Don’t Cry. It is written from the perspective of a child in heaven to his/her mommy, as he shares all of the fun things happening in heaven. I know that we cannot imagine all that He has prepared for us. But, I know that He promises to prepare a place for each of us…and it is sure to be wonderful…better than anything we could imagine or dream of.

When I think of that day, Jesus is the first person on my mind. I suppose the experience of finally beholding and standing in the presence of my Savior will probably overshadow anything else for a time. But, beyond Him I imagine they are waiting for me. It means so much to me, I can barely type the words through my tears. Truly, no words can describe the picture of my mother standing there without the pain that this life held for her, without the disappointments of this life, without the effects of cancer etched on her beautiful face. And in her arms and dancing around her feet…my babies. My little girls and my sweet, sweet boy. Full of joy overflowing…shining on their faces. For some reason I can’t explain, I see Faith and Grace as little girls instead of babies. They have long brown, wavy hair with ribbons streaming down their backs and pink dresses. They are lively and precious and full of personality. Faith is a little more reserved than Grace, just as she was in my womb. Grace is full of energy and light. They both giggle and embrace me with delight shining in their eyes. Thomas is in the arms of my mother…still a baby in my mind. A roly-poly picture of health and baby-boy sweetness. Sometimes I picture him as a baby…and sometimes a very young boy. He is a little shy and full of wisdom for one so small. In an instant, these little ones I have longed for fill my waiting arms…arms that will never again know emptiness. Every tear I’ve cried for them is dried by the hand of my Beloved Savior…every ounce of sorrow gives way to unspeakable joy that I have never fully known.

Can I describe how it may feel to hold them in my arms on that day? Can I even allow myself to think of what that may feel like? I cannot. The ache is too deep to allow myself to fully visit that notion. Recently, our teen youth group at church did a breath-taking skit to a song about heaven’s reunion (the title slips my mind right now, of course…but I will see if I can find out the name of the song.). The skit was very powerful. In the beginning, it showed a mother who lost a child and various people at funerals grieving for loved ones…mothers, wives, fathers, babies. Then, it switched to show the families reunited with their loved ones in heaven. When the little child ran to the arms of the mother, I melted into sobs into my husband’s arms and couldn’t watch anymore. It means too much to me…that promise, that hope. It is a desperate hope I place in the Lord…so desperate I couldn’t even watch the re-enactment. You see, my hope isn’t just some words on a page. It really means something when you have something at stake. Believing and hoping is easy when there isn’t anything attached. It is a different belief when you’re asked to let go and trust that He will carry not only you, but the children you hold so dear.

There will be singing and rejoicing…a celebration the likes of which I’ve never seen. I cannot imagine the beauty of worshipping with the multitudes unknown…the choirs of angels singing. Some sweet day, I’ll sing up there…the song of victory…I’ll walk the streets of gold…I’ll keep telling that old redemption story…and I will dwell forever in the place that my Lord has prepared for me, surrounded by the ones I love…the treasures waiting for me, even now.

I won’t lie to you. I have faced moments when I questioned the certainty of those promises that I cling to so desperately. I was always so certain…until I watched my dear mother suffer greatly and die after a valiant battle with cancer. She suffered in a way I didn’t know was possible. I felt the Lord’s presence when He carried Thomas home…felt His comfort in the days after we said good-bye to Faith and Grace. But, I sat beside my mother’s bed, crying out to Him, longing to see…longing to feel Him….singing of His truth…searching His Word…praying tearful prayers. Even as I reassured her, I longed for Him to reassure me. Would He really come for her like He promised? Did He really prepare a place for her…for me? I can’t explain why I wondered this…why the questions even entered my heart. Perhaps it came from looking into the face of such suffering. Perhaps it was just the fact that it meant so much to me, to know His promises were true. I had never tasted the bitterness of death so closely.

Time and time again, He has reassured me with these words…the same words He spoke to my heart and hers as her earthly life waned and we felt surrounded by the darkness of death:

Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”

Jesus said to him, ” I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” ~ John 14:1-6

For now, I will daily pick up my cross to follow Him…fixing my eyes on the joy set before me…the glorious promise of a sweet reunion with the treasures that are already laid up for us in heaven’s glory.

For now, I dream my dreams of them…until we meet again.

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Books

Heaven – Randy Alcorn

Heaven is for Real – Todd Burpo

Mommy Please Don’t Cry- Linday DeyMaz

Someday Heaven – Larry Libby

Comments

  1. Kelly,

    Thank you for your sharing on the beautiful hope of heaven. I can really identify when you said, “Believing and hoping is easy when there isn’t anything attached. It is a different belief when you’re asked to let go and trust that He will carry not only you, but the children you hold so dear.” I have been overwhelmed by sorrow since I lost Joshua 3 months ago, and the hope of heaven is the one thing that I can look forward to and keeps me going everyday. I have always known and believed in heaven intellectually, but it took on a new meaning since I lost Joshua. Heaven has become so incredibly real and personal to me because someone whom I love so dearly is there. I’ve read many books about heaven because I want to know what the place is like where Joshua is right now. My heart is now there.

    On the other hand, as heaven becomes more real to me, so does the burden increase in my heart that most of my family members (outside of my immediate family) are not believers. It saddens me that we might not spend the eternity together and the urgency for them to come to know Jesus.

  2. I just love your post, Kelly! Imagining what it may be like brings me to tears. I know it’s so much more than I could ever dream of.

  3. Beautiful as always. You always have such great points and beauitful words to share. Thanks so much for all of our wisdom

  4. Such a beautiful picture you have painted of heaven Kelly. I can see your daughters and son through your writing.

    I have definately gotten excited about heaven after writing my post. It has showered me with some extra hope I’ve needed lately…….

  5. Kelly very beautiful post. I could feel your pain, over your mother So sad. We watched my father-in-law die of cancer last year it was agonizing to watch. We moved in with them for a month to help my MIL. Your so right that kind of suffering and death is so bitter –so difficult. I am sorry you had to go through that. I am so grateful for your mom I know she started comfort bears. I will be glad to see her in heaven and hug her neck. I will say thank you for caring for grieving mommies and thank you for raising a amazing daughter

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