Is Heaven Real?

I was up late last night, weeping and praying, after I watched the video of Zach’s family reflecting on his life and death since a year after his passing. It was both heartbreaking and incredibly inspiring to say the least. I have shared his mom’s book “Fly A Little Higher” with you and it still lingers in the deepest parts of my heart. And after watching the powerful video, my heart is torn right back open again, but somehow it’s mended back together sewn by pieces of hope, as the story continues to have a deep and lasting impact on me.  Watch it here.

I have also been hit hard with the story of a precious faithful mom sharing her agonizing and yet inspiring account of the recent death of her precious little boy, Ben. After discovering he had a rare aggressive brain tumor, they have shared this horrific journey with hundreds of readers through her blog, And now?  Ben resides in Heaven…according to her passionate testimony.  My heart broken into pieces once again, as it cracked right open the floodgates of tears and gasping breaths… trying to wrap my head around the depths of her despair and the comfort of her faith.

Another faithful mom is suffering through the year anniversary of her precious baby girl’s death and just yesterday was sweet Peyton’s birthday. . She too, has a heartbreaking story filled with intense anguish as she clings to her deep abiding hope that her baby is now home in Heaven. I have been praying for her all month, as well as the other mothers who have had to endure such pain and suffering. I simply can’t fathom surviving such a loss.  Can you imagine?  Perhaps some of you can.  And for those who have experienced the loss of a child, I mourn so deeply with you.  I have no words for that kind of grief.

If it wasn’t enough to be grappling with these painful stories, I continue to be reminded of Heaven’s refuge for my dear soul sister Kim.  Every time she shares passionate pieces of her heart on my blog about her sister Kay, who was murdered by Kay’s husband, I imagine her precious sister dancing in the illumination of His Light in heaven.  Kim passionately believes that her beloved sister rests in God’s arms now, as she clings to this truth in order to survive this world without Kay.

I have another dear friend who recently asked for prayer as he is currently watching two out of four of his brothers slowly near the end of their lives.  One struck with Lung Cancer and the other with progressive MS.  Both too young to die.   Such sadness and pain engulfs this bond of brothers…  He passionately believes they will be called to Heaven’s Door when they pass.

I find it no coincidence that I have been listening to “90 Minutes In Heaven” these past few weeks. I have read the book before, but decided to get the audio book and soak it all in once again. Don Piper survived an unbelievable car crash, leaving him ‘deceased’ for 90 minutes… eventually brought back to life through the powerful prayers of a faithful man. His testimony is deeply moving as is his recollection of his experience in Heaven- both nothing short of extraordinary.

With all of this swirling in my heart, I keep reflecting on the powerful book, “Heaven Is For Real”. I read it to my sweet kids in Sunday school last summer. This too, is another riveting account of an experience a young boy had in Heaven while on the operating table in the hospital. This book is a must read for all who want to see Heaven through the eyes of an innocent child.

My friends, we are surrounded by the looming truth that conquers this world.  It will eventually take us all…


And although our lives are spent living and navigating this life with philosophical ideas and deep-introspective searches that form our values and principles in how to live, there comes a moment in each of our lives where we must wonder…

What happens when we die?

I am inviting you to share your thoughts and beliefs and ideas about this very thing. It is a discussion worthy of this blog, and most importantly worthy of our lives. We can continue to distract ourselves with this life, this world…

But in the end?

What happens next?

Most of you know that I am a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. I find my hope in Heaven and have grown a deep belief in this Truth. I can’t seem to find any other way to get past death. I cling to the Grace of God’s given Son who offers the gift to His children-  to be righteous and welcomed into God’s Kingdom. This makes sense to me.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6

Some people believe that if you are ‘good enough’ you will go to Heaven.
Who is good enough? How is that measured?

I’ve always wondered this. How would God choose the ones worthy of Heaven? If we work hard enough and do enough ‘good deeds’, does He calculate the cost? Would a parent put that kind of condition on their love for a child?  And if He sees into our thoughts and knows our heart- surely none of us would make it in.  Lord knows I would never make it through those pearly gates!

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesisans 2:8-9

I know there are countless philosophies about Heaven, God, and what exists beyond this life we hold in our fragile mortal hands.  I also know there are countless religions and faiths that believe differently than I.  I want to hear your theories and thoughts, because it is probably the most significant part of life we can explore.

I am submerged in this place of wonder. Of realization. Of deep revelation as I find myself entrenched in the agonizing pain of loss and the beautiful hint of hope, through these inspiring souls who have walked their own children to the other side- whatever you claim it to be.

If you are a mother, what would you cling to for hope- if you had to bear the horrific burden of your child’s death? Perhaps this is too intense to even allow in our minds, our hearts, our souls. I know. But we have all experienced the pain of losing a loved one, and I wonder where you find your comfort? Your hope?

This is so stirring, and yet it’s something we must attend to…

And when I go ‘there’, I gasp with relief, knowing and believing in the hope of Heaven.

Whatever your beliefs, I pray you find your own comfort and peace to cling to when faced with the unimaginable and inevitable force of nature.

My friends, what lies beyond this world for you?

Is Heaven Real


Author Signature


  1. says

    My grandma died of Alzheimer’s. They said on her death certificate that it was pneumonia, but it was Alzheimer’s – she eventually just forgot how to breathe, we think. She was blotto at the end – didn’t recognise any of us any more. Just smiled vaguely in the days she was ‘with it’ enough to even focus. She was a shell of herself.

    My dad was with her the night she died. It was her birthday. She waited until my grandad had gone home for the night, possibly to protect him.

    My dad kept vigil by her side.

    He thought that she’d died – she didn’t appear to be breathing – when all of a sudden she heaved a massive sigh and turned over and looked at him. REALLY looked – she was BACK!

    She smiled at him “Oh, the singing’s lovely”, she said “but I’m not ready yet.” And she turned over and went back to sleep.

    He was astounded.

    Later that night, when she really did die, it was with a look of happy surprise on her face.

    There will be singing.

    There will be my grandma.

    There will be my babies, made whole and happy.

    There will be my nephews and my sister or brother, also Neverborns.

    There will be a load of people I never expected to see, and sadly there will not be some I did hope to see.

    There will be love.

    There will be water.

    There will be love.

    There will be beauty and happiness and everyone the unique, beautiful, eternal way they were created; as their very own self.

    There will be love.

    There will be all nature made new.

    There will be love.

    There will be peace and joy and friends and absolute, utter fulfilment.

    There will be love.
    There will be love.
    There will be love.

    • says

      Oh Lizzi… Oh my heart!

      I can picture your dear grandma looking STRAIGHT into your dad’s eyes… “Oh the singing’s lovely! But I’m not ready yet.” Oh. My. Heart.

      I’m so glad we will see each other there…

      What a vision of Heaven you hold, love. What a perfect vision of Heaven. <3

        • says

          I have truly LOVED Heaven Is For Real and 90 Minutes in Heaven. BUY THEM or go to the library and check them out! 🙂 I seriously think you would absolutely LOVE Heaven Is For Real especially. You’ll see why…

  2. says

    About 8 years ago I read a book by Thich Naht Hanh (teacher, Buddhist monk, Nobel peace prize winner, poet, activist) that I still keep on my bedside table. When I was suffering from so much anxiety, I realized most of it stemmed from feeling out of control. I had a paralyzing fear of death, too. This book changed everything for me. Whenever I find myself fixating on the thought of death to the point of anxiety, I remember this book. To quote him,
    “our greatest fear is that when we die we will become nothing. We believe that we were born from nothing and that when we die we become nothing. And so we are filled with the fear of annihilation. The Buddha has a very different understanding, that birth and death are notions. They are not real.”

    He gave an example of how when you snuff our a lit match, the energy of the fire doesn’t disappear, it transforms into smoke. Energy doesn’t ever die, it just transforms. It was something before it was fire, and it’ll be something after…..but it’s always there.

    I still fear death to an extent. I mean, who doesn’t? The unknown. But his words comforted me more than any other have. It’s an amazing book (as are all his books). I love him so much, I even named a character in my novel after him!

    • says

      It IS terrifying… the ‘unknown’ and I’m quite sure most everyone has some anxiety about letting go of this world and everything they know. I am so glad you found peace through the book. Do you think our souls (the energy you may speak of) continue on then? Or do you believe our energy transforms into something else…different than who we are?

      Intrigued my friend!

      • says

        I believe our energy moves on to whatever form it needs to. I don’t like to think too much beyond that…because no one knows so it can just be maddening.

        There’s this symbol called a Tomoe. It looks like three comets (or comma shapes) chasing each other in a circle. One for Earth, one for Man, and one Sky. It symbolizes the ever present, ever replenishing cycle of energy in the cosmos. That’s how I picture all life energy, whether you’re a lizard, or a wave, or a human. We’re all connected. We’re all continuing.

        I personally do not believe in a literal heaven or hell.

        • says

          Fascinating Beth! Have you ever written about it? Sounds like you have such a deep perspective on this, and I really appreciate you sharing it here, dear friend. You are always amazing to me. XOXOXO

          • says

            Aw, thank you sweet Chris. I appreciate you giving such an open space to discuss. I don’t talk about it that often because I think religion (or in my case, spirituality) is so incredible personal, and more often than not it turns into an argument which I absolutely can’t tolerate. I personally don’t care what people believe, as long as it gives them comfort. I would never, ever try to push my beliefs on someone else, nor have their pushed on me. (one reason I respect this particular open forum here).

            I haven’t written about it, yet I have. Abstractly. The same way I write about other things that are deeply rooted within me. In my fiction. Spirituality actually plays a role in my novel, but like I said, very abstractly. It’s more of an undercurrent.

            speaking of that novel….now back to our regularly scheduled programming: EDITING. So you can read it someday. 🙂

            MUAH! xoxoxo

            • says

              You are ALWAYS welcome to talk about anything that is important and worthy of YOU here, my friend. We could go on and on about this one for hours!!! But you have some WORK TO DO!!!

              GET TO IT!

              And? I cannot WAIT to get your book. I can only imagine how incredible the read will be, Beth.

              *MWUAH* back atcha!

  3. says

    I have to tell you that when my grandfather was very sick and it was pretty much near the end, I was there and stayed until the end with him. We were so very close and couldn’t be anywhere, but at that point. But as he took his last breath, he had two tears (one out of each eye) drip down his face. It was like he knew even though he had been in a coma that his life here was ending. I had no doubt we would miss him, but this confirmed he would miss us. I wouldn’t have believed it had I seen it with my own two eyes, but I did and will never forget. I have had dreams of him since and once such dream was after I had told my grandmother (his wife) that I wish I could give him one last hug. That night he came to me and told me he was ok and just wanted to hug me, too. I woke up shortly after, but I still felt as though his arms were wrapped around me. So, yes I do believe that there is a heaven and something after we die, just not sure exact where or to what extent, but in my heart of hearts, for this and so much more I do believe.

    • says

      OH Janine!! Ohmyheart that story made me tear up! That is such a beautiful precious dream. I’m sure your beloved grandfather truly did wrap his arms around you. And those tears that fell from each eye before he died? Oh, my. I bet you are right about his sadness in leaving you all. I’m so blessed by your gorgeous story, my friend. Thank you so much for sharing it with me and the rest of my readers!

  4. says

    I read a book about Jesus recently… of course, I’m blanking on the name. Sort of as an aside in this book, the author postulated that heaven and earth are intertwined, sharing the same space and time, but separated in that we can’t see heaven while we’re on earth. This is how the author accounts for Jesus just appearing out of thin air (and behind locked doors) on so many occasions after the resurrection. I found that a very comforting picture of heaven. Jesus and those that have gone before us walking along side us all of the time. We can’t see them, but surely we can feel their presence.

  5. says

    I totally believe in Heaven!!
    Sadly, according to my mom and her husband (they are very old school Church of Christ), very few of us are actually going to Heaven. Never mind that we grew up in a baptist church and I have been a Christian since I was 8. Both of my boys are Christians but my mom told them when they were very young (young enough to still be confused) that they weren’t going to heaven because there was much more to it. (We actually don’t even speak any more – too many issues but…)
    Sorry, didn’t mean to go off!

    • says

      WHA???? Oh dear LORD what are they thinking? This really fires me up. Children have an IMMEDIATE entryway to Heaven. What bible are they reading? And even if they did believe whatever messy theology they had, it sickens me that they would tell little precious children that they weren’t going to Heaven.

      I am so glad your boys are Christians, and I do hope they have a full and clear understanding of God’s Grace. Shame on your mom and step dad. It seems apparent just from this story- as to why you don’t speak any more, Kim. So sorry for that. Family. Can be our greatest hindrances to our faith. I know.

  6. says

    Such a huge thing to think about. I cling to the idea that heaven is real. That’s is a peaceful place where everyone is content and good and healthy. Where loved ones are reunited, even those furry loved ones, and conflict doesn’t exist. And those in heaven look down upon us and are with us always, just watching over and maybe even helping us out every now and then.

    • says

      I think your vision of Heaven sounds Divine, Jen. And apparently pretty accurate from the books I have read! Just add to that absolute beauty and peace beyond anything of this world… and angelic choirs. And vibrant colors that we never have seen before. And an endless stream of God’s glory magnified. I don’t know how to understand that- but we will when we get there. 🙂 Love to you, dear friend. LOVED talking to you last night.

      And have I told you lately that you are AMAZING? It’s been about 24 hours, so I figured I’d say it again. 🙂

  7. says

    Oh dear – I feel like I am responsible for part of this last night! About Zach! I’m sorry!
    And the story about Ben has been circulating and it’s just so sad and his mother writes beautifully.

    • says

      Yeah YOU!!! I was SO tired and ready to turn off the computer and then I realized I hadn’t seen your tweet, and then BAM. I was stuck in the video sobbing… and the night unraveled from there. But really? I truly believe God used you to push me over the ‘edge’ of this constant flooding of Heaven and I had some pretty intense talks with God after that. And I also had some passionate words for Zach as well. It had to happen, whether it was last night or any coming day… it was already looming. 😉

      So heavy. A bit too heavy, but something I really felt compelled to discuss here. You never answered my request? I truly wonder how you feel about Heaven or what happens after this life…? Perhaps you are ambiguous like many. If so, I get that. It’s a tough one.

  8. says

    I lost my brother in a car accident when he was 18 years old. I have had two “dreams” since that time, some 34 years ago. Both times I woke feeling as if I had been with him. He simply said, “I am okay”. I believe my brother is in heaven. I believe I will see him again one day because I believe the Bible is God’s promise to us, even when it takes ever ounce of who I am to hold on to that truth. I believe there has to be more than this life.

    • says

      Oh Laurie… My heart just aches for you having to endure such a tremendous loss. I love that it seems so many loved ones come to us in our dreams… I believe in that promise too. We must. We simply must. Eternity with your brother, my friend. It will happen.

  9. Amy-Lee says

    I opened this post today, May 17th and it is the 11th anniversary of our sons death. Deklan was 17 months old and a beautiful, loving soul who we are so blessed to have been able to love and care for during his time here.
    We believe that he is with Jesus and forever watching over his brothers, sister and us. We long for the day to embrace him in his healthy heavenly body…. Oh Lord, how we long for that day…. but for now we have to trust that God knows best for all circumstances and we are just SO VERY THANKFUL that we were chosen to be his family. Thank you Lord. With love and tears xxx

    • says

      Oh Amy-Lee… your commented gutted me! Thank you so very much for blessing me (and all my readers) with your heartbreaking story- and beautiful testimony. *Tears*

      God bless you, dear precious faithful mom. Deklan will run to you with open arms in God’s perfect time, and your family will be whole for eternity.

  10. says

    You know (because I wrote it on your blog) that there is not much talk of Heaven in Judaism. I’m not sure what I believe, but I imagine that when I need to believe, I will.

    That being said, the concept of Heaven is a sensitive subject for me because I know that many Christians, including some of my friends, believe with all of their hearts that the only way to Heaven is to accept Jesus Christ as your savior. That means I won’t get in, according to their beliefs. Yet a person who may have been evil in life will go to Heaven if he or she accepts Jesus in the seconds before he or she dies.

    That I don’t believe. I don’t believe that God (whether you believe that Jesus is God or not) would deny good people entrance to Heaven. I just can’t accept that.

    But that is the beauty of faith. Faith is belief in that which cannot be proven. I have mine, you have yours. And when faced with the loss of loved ones, faith in Heaven can and should be a comfort in the face of grief.

    • says

      OH Dana… I know. it KILLS me – this truth in Christianity. I struggle with it all the time. It’s so hard to fathom that such people who do HORRIBLE things are going to Heaven through Christ, and those who are BEAUTIFUL souls cannot because they don’t accept Christ? I grapple with this ALL. THE. TIME. And frankly? I simply can’t imagine a God that wouldn’t love ALL His children and want them home with Him.
      I have never been able to truly accept that part of this faith. I will struggle with it all my life.
      I love you for your honesty, and I admire your input and perspective more than you know. And yes- it KILLS me to even consider it.

      • says

        If people do horrible things have they really accepted Christ’s teachings? He’s not a vending machine, Chris – it’s not pay in once and you get redemption forever…you just have to KEEP repenting and KEEP seeking that saving grace because we all mess up EVERY DAY.

        That said, I absolutely do NOT believe for one moment that God, who is LOVE, after all, will bear to leave his creation to their own devices. I think he has given Jesus for those who go for that, and I think that he has ways and means and loopholes up the whazoo, because HE IS GOD. And after all, the POINT of being here and in relationship with Him is to do it forever from now onwards. Right?

        Judaisim is His covenant faith. I see places where He says that Jesus is the fulfillment of that covenant but I don’t see anywhere which says that the covenant no longer stands.

        He has more ways and means than we can ever, ever, ever, EVER imagine because we are small and in our boxes, and He cannot be kept in ANY box.

        In the end, Love wins. And Love wins. And Love wins.

        • says

          Well my sweet, the Christian belief is that the gift of accepting Christ is a one time deal. YES, we need to constantly repent!! Lord knows I do! BUT, the truth of our faith is that if we accept Christ as our savior- that is our only way to be ‘saved’ into God’s Kingdom. That alone redeems us. That one choice guarantees our eternal place in God’s Kingdom. The bible is pretty clear on that one. I still struggle with the idea that those who don’t will be separated from God for eternity. I think that is where I place my hope most- that God’s plan to be with ALL His children will somehow transpire…

          I agree- the chosen people have a sacred place in our Heavenly Father’s Heart- and I don’t claim to know anything more about the Jewish faith. I believe they have a personal piece of God’s Heart. What does that mean about Heaven? I don’t know enough to say. I can only pray that God’s redemption covers us all. Oh how I pray!

          I also agree that God’s Glory and Power and Grace and Plan is far greater than any of us can ever imagine.

          • says

            …well I’m sure I read somewhere in the Bible that if you accept it and then reject it, it’s even worse for you, but I don’t have a reference for ya.

            As far as I’m aware, the whole acceptance/state of saved-ness thing is flux. It’s based on our acceptance, our fluctuations, our choice to either move towards or away from God. It’s freedom FROM sin, not freedom TO sin, otherwise everyone would just say they believe it and carry on boozing and whoring. I do NOT think that’s the case…but again, no reference for that 😉

            In the end I’m just glad I’m not the one who has to judge this stuff. 🙂

            • says

              Great points lovey! I’m sure there is absolute truth in having someone stray or turn away and reject God- and there being eternal consequences from that.

              I think when Christ is in our hearts, we will grow IN Him and although we will ALWAYS be sinners in every single part of our lives, we will be constantly covered by Christ’s Grace as we seek redemption and forgiveness continually on our faithful walk of being a believer.

              I am also SO glad I am don’t have to judge this stuff either!! SO so so so so hard.

              I love that we are sifting through thoughts, ideas and beliefs about it though. Check out Yvonne’s response too!

              It’s all very stirring and fascinating to me…

              • says

                And when/if we stop seeking and turn our backs? That’s the point at which I believe it stops being covered, after all, God made us with free will, and I believe that in the end He will honour our choices.

      • says

        Yes, the whole judgment thing. That’s a big problem for me. Humans judge. Humans decide. Energy does not. Some “thing” deciding what I need to do to get into “heaven” sounds far too human for me to buy in to or agree with.

        If God is LOVE (literally), love would never make criteria for acceptance.

        Just saying my opinion. Not trying to argue a point that has no answer. 🙂

        • says

          I totally get what you’re saying Beth- this ‘criteria’ for Heaven thing is hard to accept. My first thought reading your response whas that there must be some kind of justice in love. No? Is ‘evil’ energy the same as ‘good’ energy? What deciphers the two? Is there any barrier or bridge or boundary within all this endless energy? I truly want to understand your philosophy! I really do find it fascinating. Also? I wonder about our souls- compared to that of the waves and lizards… is there something out there that causes the design in our energy to be deeper/intellectual/emotional/spiritual than the waves and lizards?

          • says

            Oh gosh, this could get complicated and l-o-n-g. My immediate answer to all your questions is simply, No. But to elaborate or explain would take me an essay. Would you mind me giving you a link that I feel best describes my belief? It’s a nutshell version that words it much more clearly than I could ever do. I picture the moving on from one stage to the next exactly like they explain here. Rather than picturing it like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, I picture it like a river. A constant flow of energy feeding the next. Not a soul. Just energy. (think of the lit match again). Again, this link explains it much better!

            Before I pass along this link, please know I’m not claiming the my way is right or better. This is just what gives me comfort. That’s all I wish for anyone in their personal beliefs.


  11. says

    My family was recently devastated by the death of my teenage sister-in-law. The experience has made me more certain than ever that heaven is for real. Because I know in my heart Hannah is there right now, dancing and singing and having a blast. I’ll never have science to back me up, but I just know it’s true.

    • says

      Oh Katie! What a horrible loss! Oh friend, I am so sorry. I am also so glad you believe and have confidence that this precious child is dancing in Heaven! Yes, sweet sister- YES!!

  12. says

    I could not possibly cover all I would want to say in a comment. Suffice to say: I look not to this world for my “reward”, for it lies in the eternal. I don’t not seek to make sense of this world; for understanding will come in the Eternal. I don’t not worry about mistakes I may make upon this journey; for I am forever imperfect – yet eternally Forgiven. I only know that He called my Name – etched it in my heart and then His Book: and one day, He will call me Home. And there will be no more weeping for this world I can’t understand. Just a day of rejoicing when I finally see.

    • says

      Oh my friend! How I just love your words!!! They flow like milk and honey!! Thank you for sharing your heart, your beautiful faith and please know how much reading them and soaking them in just blessed me so much! I want to re-read them over and over again…

  13. says

    I actually touch on this subject very briefly in my novel – what heaven is. I don’t really think it’s a place we go after we die, but a state of being that is accessible to us at any time – though mostly we fear it and turn away.
    I’ve long been interested in reading about NDEs too Chris, and so much of what you write about here is very interesting. I got to Beth’s comment and then went off to read and listen to Thich Naht Hanh! I’ve come across him before but haven’t read more than the occasional quote. Very enjoyable and illuminating to read and listen to him.
    My feeling is that yes there is something after this life – too many people report back after NDEs for them all to be wrong. I’ve read some scientists who say that all they are experiencing are biological activities in the brain – but I’ve also read scientists who are convinced otherwise. We probably won’t ever really know 100% until it happens to us. One book I really loved reading was “Dying to be Me” by Anita Moorjani. She had a NDE and afterwards was healed of cancer. Her perspective is very interesting and one I found very helpful in learning to have more self-compassion. It also helped me after my father died last year.
    Something that happened the day he died did seem to me to suggest that there is something more. It might have been total coincidence, but I silently asked for a sign that he was okay, and shortly after that we had 3 very strange phone calls – nobody was there. The last one had an automated voice that said it was returning my call. I can’t remember the entire call, but I argued with this automatic voice, and I remember it (she) said, “You called me.” I sat wondering why on earth we’d had such odd calls, on that day of all days. And then I remembered I’d asked for a sign. So yes, I’d called. Like I said, it might have been total coincidence, but the calls stopped then.

    • says

      Wow Yvonne! I am one to always believe there are no coincidences in life- and those calls? Your sweet sign my friend. Oh, how I love that.

      I am going to look at that book- “Dying to be me”- it sounds absolutely fascinating! I think all of this discussion is- and you are so right, we will never truly know until we pass to the other side. I’m curious- do you believe in a certain faith? I am always interested in what others believe…

      I’m so glad you came by to share your insight and your story Yvonne! So grateful you did. 🙂

      • says

        Chris, you ask if I believe in a certain faith. The short answer is no, not any particular faith. The longer answer – I grew up in a Christian environment, and absorbed the message that God was always watching and would notice every bad thing I did, and all the stuff about having to believe in Jesus as the only way to Heaven.
        I rebelled big-time for many years, and then eventually I let that go too, and I came to see God in a very different way. Though I am not a follower of any religion, in some ways my perspective is close to Buddhism in that I see God in everything and everyone, and overall I no longer think in terms of good and bad so much as in terms of love or lack of love. I see people who commit heinous crimes as requiring constraining and reeducating in this life, but after this life, that’s done. My mother (who is Christian) says that she doesn’t believe in hell as a place but that some people experience hell in this life, and I agree with her.
        A few years ago, to heal issues I felt remained from the childhood messages from church, I bought a book that contained new translations of Jesus’s teachings. The author had gone to the original writings in Aramaic (Jesus’s language – I think an ancient version of Hebrew.) It was very interesting to read how some words have more than one possible translation and how others had simply been mistranslated as they went through more several languages. For instances, the original meaning of “sin” in Aramaic is “mistake!”
        And regarding your conversation with Dana, as far as what is said about having to go through Christ to get to Heaven – either in that book or somewhere else – what I’ve read it that what Jesus actually meant was that you have to go through yourself – you don’t go to a priest and ask for absolution, but need to find the Christ-consciousness within yourself. People at the time didn’t understand this, and so there was a mistranslation.
        I suppose in some ways I have come full circle as far as faith goes, because I do find great comfort in reading the wisdom of Jesus’s teachings.

        • says

          When my Grandad died, and my Mum and Aunty were devastated, we kept seeing fire-trucks on all sorts of auspicious days, or days when they were particularly sad. Not that the trucks were flashing their lights or on the way to emergencies, just…they were there.

          The biggest part of his career, my grandad was a London fireman.

          We felt it was more than coincidence, but regardless, we all found comfort in those fire trucks. And there truly are NOT so many these days, that we see; there was a true spate of them at the time.

          Also, I think Jesus and Buddha would have been great friends – so much of what they say is similar, or hearkens one of the other. The main difference I can see between the two is that the Buddhist perspective is very inward-looking and all about finding inner peace and spending time working on that, and the christian faith is (or should be) very outward looking and about showing love to others and helping them.

          • says

            Lizzi, I so agree with you regarding Jesus and the Buddha being friends. The funny thing is, I’d say finding inner peace and showing love to others and helping them are really one and the same. The more peaceful I am inside, the more I am able to effectively support others.

  14. says

    Death and what comes after is something my husband and I talk about very regularly because of his many health problems. Especially since he very nearly died 2 years ago, he has been quite worried about leaving us. Well, I have been worried about it too.

    Our base belief system is Christian (can’t remember if you read my Easter post) and so we believe in the Trinity, angels and heaven. We debate a lot about what we think probably happens when our souls leave our bodies, but we can’t actually know.

    For me, I believe God is not sitting around ticking off our good deeds and tallying them up to see if we deserve heaven. I believe that if there is a hell, it is reserved for the very most awful of us, only those who are truly evil. But it could also be that hell is just being alone, not with your loved ones or with God.

    I also believe that our loved ones are still around us. It’s not spooky or creepy, it’s beautiful and comforting.

    So, when my husband does pass on, I know he will still be around, trying to put in his 2 cents on everything, protecting our kids and rocking out with those who have gone before.

    • says

      I think your husband would really benefit from reading 90 Minutes in Heaven Jennifer! I have such a curiousity about Heaven and I love reading books about people that have had an actual experience- one that I can trust. I love your perspective, and I really do pray your husband (bless his heart) sticks around for years to come to keep putting his 2 cents in on everything!!!

      Thanks so much for sharing this part of your heart with me (and my readers!!). I am honored you did my friend.

      (Now I am going to make sure I read that Easter post!)

  15. says

    Oy! Such a loaded topic!

    I believe in Heaven. I believe that all my loved ones who have gone before me are there and that, someday, we will embrace each other again. I have to believe that. I refuse to believe that those I love are simply dead and gone.

    That being said, I will admit that I have doubts. I have seen families go through some very difficult things. Some have lost their faith and others have grown deeper and stronger. I haven’t been through anything so traumata and, honestly, I don’t know which road an experience like that would take me down. I know, though, that I believe in God and I believe that God gives us grace- grace that we don’t “earn,” grace that is there for all of us of any faith.

    My girls have asked before how I know there is Heaven and I answer them honestly – I don’t know for sure, but still I choose to believe. That’s why it’s called faith.

    • says

      It’s truly the hardest thing to wrap our heads and hearts around, isn’t it Lisa? Ugh. I have seen people go to both extremes of faith as well- amidst tragedy and loss. I simply can’t imagine letting go of God even then… because then what would I have to hold on to?

      In the end, God is really the only thing we have left to hold on to. And oh how I pray, His grace is sufficient for us all.

  16. says

    Lately this has been on my mind a lot. The end. And perhaps another beginning? We have someone very close and dear to our hearts who is terminal, and every time I think about it, I find myself in or near tears. It’s hard. I think it might be harder for those left behind in some ways but I struggle with the thought of saying goodbye too. I’m getting all choked up right now, because right now this subject is just too close to home. Hugs to you.

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