Friday, February 28, 2014

So Much to Learn

{I hesitated writing this post as I feared many of you would think I had gone off the deep end.  Writing about dying?  Who wants to read that?  But then, as the days wore on and I wrestled with the decision, I heard two two songs in succession: "One Sweet Day" and "Safe and Sound."  The first song's theme is rooted in the passing of a beloved friend while the second cries out the lyrics, "You could be my luck. Even if we're six feet underground, I know that we'll be safe and sound. We're safe and sound."  I figured if that wasn't my answer on hammering this post out, I'm denser that I originally suspected!  So keep an open mind...and enjoy.}

This morning I was steaming Braden's clothes for school, and I wondered about finally dying and going to Heaven.

I can't wait.

Now, before any of you go calling the suicide hotline on my behalf, please hear me out.

For years and years I was terrified of dying.  More than just fear of pain and sickness itself, I was afraid to leave this Earth.  Fear of the unknown has forever been my Achilles heel. (Okay, okay, more accurately "lack of control" is my Achilles heel...potato, po-tah-to...) But ever since living through the pit of depression, awakening my heart to glory moments all around me each and every day, finding a grace in His love that I had never known, my feelings have changed.  Don't get me wrong.  If I got a terminal prognosis at my next doctor's appointment, I wouldn't be dancing in the street.  I would be devastated to leave my family. But I wouldn't be fearful of "the unknown" anymore because, you see, I no longer consider it "unknown."

I have known it, in little moments here and there.
And in those tiny glimpses of His glory, I can only imagine what the real deal is like...
How glorious and angelic and profound and overwhelming the blessing of it all.

Deacon Shane spoke recently in his homily about the Kingdom of Heaven.  Also known as the Kingdom of God or the Reign of God, this is not Heaven itself; nor is it earth.  He said it could be best considered Heaven on earth.  That realm where the presence of God is palpable, real, true you can almost taste it.  The place where He resides in us most fully as we bring that light to those around us.

The best example I can muster is the time preceding and just following my dear Daddy's death to new life: watching him see angels all around; finding sweet messages from him to us girls after his passing; miracles and love and healing and song all mixed together to make the perfect recipe of the Kingdom of Heaven.  Yes, we were devastated.  But it was all so sacred that, somehow, I've never felt closer to God's grace.

For a time after, though the grief was profound, I ached to get another taste of that precious fusion of Heaven and earth.  I guess it was there that I finally just threw up my hands, proclaiming, "I can't wait!"  I was no longer afraid of life

So, back to the steaming...

Directly after I thought of going to Heaven, saying to myself, yet again, "I can't wait!," I had a little girl moment of impatient awe, thinking, "I wonder when it will be?"

Then that voice...that still, small voice in my heart, whispered...

"You still have so much to learn."

Ah, yes.  
The learning.  
The growing.  
The trials which strengthen us.  
The joys which sustain us.
The sharing of wisdom.  
The love and the family and the music and the flowers and the ocean and the children and their children and the successes and the failures and...well, all of it.

I am learning.  Growing.  Yet I still have so much to accomplish in His name.  
But this thought, rather than making me wistful, suddenly brings utter delight to my heart. For He is doing a work in me...a great and powerful work that I am honored to share.  
So come to think of it, yes, I can wait.  
I can wait until I have learned all He wants me to know...
I can wait until I've shared all He needs me to share...
I can wait to finally see Him as I venture forward in life, actively watching for Him...
glimpsing moments of His grace all around me...
moments of Heaven on earth.

{Thanks for not calling the authorities.  
And for those of you with a fear of what's to come, 
I hope this post helps to ease your burden.  

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