I skipped church today.
I don’t do that very often. I was actaully IN the building, but I didn’t go into the service. Instead, in a separate meeting with my pastor earlier this week, he had casually mentioned a book he had been given, called “Heaven is for Real“. It’s the story of a 4-year-old boy who went to heaven briefly during an emergency surgery for his burst appendix. Over the next few months, he started revealing this in casual conversation about what heaven was like.
Instead of listening to a sermon, I decided I needed to read that book.
You see, fifteen years ago today my son died. He was just a month old, but the pain is still with me. Usually I’m fine, but this has just been a hard summer, and his birthday last month and this anniversary of his death have just hit me harder than usual. I didn’t think I was up to church. So I read the book.
It is a beautiful book. I gave it to my daughter; she’s reading it this afternoon.
I don’t want to give it away, but let me tell you just a few of the things that sometimes haunt me as a mom, and what this book said.
This little boy, Colton, had lost a sibling before he was born. His mom miscarried at just a few months along. And when Colton was in heaven, a girl came up to him, and hugged him, and spoke to him and told him that she was his sister. A few months after Colton “came back”, he casually mentioned meeting his other sister. His parents froze, because they had never told Colton about the baby. And they hadn’t known it was a girl. When they asked him how big she was, he said she was “a little smaller than Cassie”. Cassie was Colton’s older sister; the baby had been miscarried when Cassie was a year old.
I have always wondered if babies age in heaven, but it sounds like this little boy’s sister was just the same age as she would have been.
And as I was reading that, for the first time, it hit me. My son is 15. He’s 15! He’s not a perpetual baby; he’s enjoying his life and he’s a teenager. It just made me smile.
There’s so much more in the book, told through the innocent eyes of a small child, and it’s very beautiful. I’ve usually been skeptical about stories like this; I always feared that it was people looking for attention. But earlier this year I finally read 90 Minutes in Heaven, and then I read this, and both books completely match up to Scripture. They don’t contradict Scripture at all. And they’re very encouraging.
I have always said that when I think of heaven, I think of meeting Jesus, and I think of Christopher showing me around, being my tour guide. But it’s nice to know that my other baby–the one that I miscarried–will be there, too. He or she is 18 now. And they’re happy, and they’re safe, and they’re joyful, and they’re waiting.
I just needed that today. And if you need some more assurance of heaven, I urge you to read Heaven is for Real. It really is beautiful.