I had drafted out a few blog posts...but this morning I knew I needed to write about something else today.
I read a book yesterday...well in truth I started it yesterday afternoon and then awoke at 4am and carried on reading. I have almose finished but It has touched me SO much I had to share it.
The book is called 'Heaven is for real'
I've read a few books on Heaven, its something which interests me not just because of my Christian Faith but because of my own personal experience.
I know I am taking a risk typing this up, its something I have only ever shared in part with a couple of people before...but you know, I have said I will always speak the truth in my blog...from the heart.
I was born into a non-Christian family,Im sure my parents believed in God but it wasnt something that was spoken about.I had an older sister..Catherine she was called.She had long dark hair and huge soulful eyes and was as fragile as a little bird. She couldnt run,she couldnt play ball.Why? because she had a very serious heart condition. It hadnt really been seen before and to be honest it was a wonder she had survived so long.But she needed a big surgery which would take place when she was 6 (I was 4 at the time). The surgery was to take place at a hospital which had a rell renowned surgeon working there at the time..the hospital was called Harefield.
I remember vividly the night before Cattherine was to leave for the hospital. I can still see her eyes earnestly loking into mine as she told me as a little 4 year old that she was going away. She said that she wouldnt be coming back and told me to look after Mummy and Daddy for her.
she knew she was going to die.
But...she also told me where she was going... 'Im going to be with Jesus Caro' she told me ' but I will see you again in a little while' Then she laughed and stuffed her foot in my face saying 'smell my stinky feet' and the serious part of the conversation was over.
When she didnt come back I felt desolate. The operation had been successful but...it was too much for her little body to stand and so she never regained consciousness.
I remember it was the Summer of 1976...we had both had pushchairs and I placed them side by side in the long stretch of scorched lawn and pushed first mine forwards a little and then my sisters a little trying to somehow will her back by my side. I rememer the aching, the confusion, the loneliness.
And then something happened..
A bright light, I looked up and immediately fell on my knees as the sky seemed to open and for a few moments I glimpsed what I knew even as an 'un-Churched 4 year old' be Heaven.
I believe God reached out to me in my sorrow then and showed me it 'was ok' and that Catherine was safe and happy and in the most beautiful place I could ever imagine.
In dark moments after then I would wish with all my heart I could die too to be with her but somehow I got through these times (I believe God held my hand through them) and that vision was something that I held onto as i was growing up until finally at University I gave my life to the Lord.
And now I find myself to some extent in my Mothers shoes..with a seriously ill child who is 'life limited'. In this journey with her and my Faith which after a bit of a blip is now stronger than ever.When my little girl leaves this place Idont just believe...I KNOW where she will be going,I know she will be safe and loved and will wait for me,I know her brother is alreadt there waiting there to meet her.
I walked into the Christian Bookshop..looking for a completely different book and suddenly this particular one seemed to jump off the shelf at me.I bought it actually thinking of a dear friend who had lost a daughter,knowing in my heart that God wanted her to read it and that it would offer some comfort. When i began reading it I just couldnt put it down...some of the things this little nearly 4 year old talks about are EXACTLY the same as what I saw in my vision. He doesnt mention specifically the beautiful rolling fields, the trees but he mentions the colours, the vibrancy and the rainbow coloured horse.
I realise that its a Christian book but...even if you dont believe...give it a try..read it with the simple innocence of a child and guarantee you will be touched by it too.