You see, before my Mom went home to be with Jesus (for to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord), I believed in heaven, I rejoiced in heaven, and I had eternal hope that one day I would be there myself.
But after I lost Mom, my realization changed. Heaven changed from something I had hope in, to something I suddenly KNEW existed, without a shadow of a doubt, and a part of me even started longing for it. I don't mean in an unhealthy, mental kind of way....but after Mom left for there....it was almost like a teeny, tiny part of me was gone as well. NOW, now, I have reason to look forward to being there myself. Yes, I know, of course, Jesus is there too, and of course I always knew that---but He is ALSO here with me now, so.....the longing wasn't quite so bad. Everybody I loved was here with me on earth....the longing for Heaven wasn't the same. Does that make sense?
You know when you ask somebody who has lost a loved one 'How are you doing?' and they say something like "Well, it's been 8 months, and it still hurts"? Well, I always thought those people were talking figuratively. But I have now learned that they mean it LITERALLY hurts. I can have a dream about my mom, (almost every night, by the way), and wake up in a cold sweat, racing to catch my breath, and literal pains coursing through my body. I can think about that day in the hospital---the last 'I love you, Mom', giving her a last hug, watching that heart monitor plummet, knowing my Mom had just taken her last breath....and it HURTS. I get pains--I don't know what other word to use for it--from the tip of my head, right down to the tip of my toes. It literally hurts.
And I think that's why I see heaven in a whole different light now. It's where my Mama is. It's where we'll be reunited someday. It's where everything will finally be 'right' again. Remember the words of Paul? " For to depart and be with Christ is far better, but to be here with you is more necessary" (my paraphrase) That's how I feel. Torn in two. My heart is here---my husband, my kids, my family.....but part of me, a very small part of me--has already gone ahead. And so, heaven is that much more glorious.
I encourage you to look up this song by Phil Wickham and be blessed---it really spoke to me this morning. Here's my favorite verse.
Beautiful---by: Phil Wickham
When we arrive at eternity's shore
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more
We'll enter in as the wedding bells ring
Your bride will come together and we'll sing
You're beautiful, You're beautiful, You're beautiful
Someday, Mom......until then, missing you beyond words.....