Monday, December 13, 2010

Where Is Joshua?

"Mama! Joshua is in Heaven right?!"

"That's right bud. He is in Heaven. He has a new body, he has a new heart. He isn't sick anymore."

"Mama? Can Joshua see us?"

"I think he can. He can pray for us too."

"Can he come here to our home?"

"No, sweetie, he can't come into our home. He is not a ghost. He isn't anywhere but Heaven."

"Is he an angel? Can he fly?"

"Nope. He's just Joshua. He's not an angel. He's not a spirit. He's a real being. With a tummy, with fingers. With toes. With a heart."

"How?"

"His spirit- that's what's in his heart and his body, left his body here on Earth. It went up to Heaven where God gave him a brand new body."

"Oh.......what does he look like now?"

"I'm not sure. But I know that when we get to Heaven, we will know who he is."

"Mom?"

"What?"

"I want some popcorn."

"Alright sweetie."

If you couldn't guess. That was a conversation Caleb and I had a few nights ago. He is fascinated with where Joshua is right now and what he's doing up there. Shane and I try to be direct and as factual as possible about where and what Joshua is. We want him to understand that Heaven is not a place to be afraid of or a place to dread going to.

Over the past few weeks, I've been reading a book called "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn. (I've blogged about it before right here. and no, i'm not compensated in any form to talk about it....it is a book that i have truly enjoyed reading and HIGHLY reccommend it to anyone who is interested in learning more about the topic.)

If you have ever lost someone close to you, or if you ever will lose someone close to you, or if you yourself may someday die, (that is pretty much everyone right? unless they have figured out where the tree of life is- which happens to be discussed in this book!) this book is such a comfort and is a must read.

It uses biblical knowledge and scripture to help us understand Heaven- it also encourages the reader to look up and search for the Biblical basis for his writings. He doesn't want the reader to take his word for it- he wants us to figure it out ourselves.

It explains that we go to Heaven as physical beings because Heaven is a physical place. (Revelation 10:9-10)

Often times, infant loss survivors are described as "Angel Parents." We often like to think of our little ones up in heaven flying around with silver wings as sweet heavenly beings. This could not be the furthest thing from the truth. (and quite honestly, the thought of my baby being an angel kind of depresses me)

Our babies are not up in Heaven as angels. They are up there as physical beings- perfected humans. They are growing, learning, praying, and enjoying the presence of God. They are exploring Heaven (which is just like Earth, but perfect in form- without sin, without disease, without worry or pain. Hebrews 8:5, Hebrews 12:22, Revelation 7:9, Revelation 8:6, Revelation 8:13, Revelation 19:14)

Our babies who have gone before us (or other family members or friends for that matter) are not spirits here on Earth. They can't whisper to us in the trees or the wind. They aren't angels flying around in the clouds. They are physical beings in a physical Heaven- experiencing pure joy, love, and peace.
I don't know about you, but that brings me so much comfort.

I love life here on Earth. I love creation, the outdoors, the seasons. I love watching people, traveling, meeting new people, and watching children learn and grow. I love everything that life has to offer.

The thought of going to heaven and doing nothing but singing worship songs and bowing down to the Great and Almighty God seems a bit redundant and boring to me- especially when I think about that as my eternal future. Quite honestly, that is not very appealing to me, and doesn't get me excited to go to Heaven.

But that isn't what Heaven will be like. Yes we will dwell with God. God will dwell among us. Yes, we will worship and praise and bring Glory to Him. Yes, our lives will be nothing but worship, but it's not going to be like we think. Just our existence will bring worship, honor, and glory. We can roam Heaven freely, we can explore, live, (eat....ICE CREAM ANYONE?!) and ask God questions. We will be able to see our loved ones on Earth, pray for them, and wait for them to join us. We will be able to see the "bigger picture" and understand and remember things more clearly than we can imagine.

So while I mourn that Joshua isn't here on Earth with our family, I rejoice that he is alive and well. I thank God for allowing Joshua full healing and a perfect life in Heaven. But my heart misses him here in this life.

I'm also thankful for authors like Randy Alcorn who share their knowledge to help bring peace, joy, and healing in the midst of our suffering.

I cannot wait for the day that I get to go where Joshua is!






16 comments:

Truthful Mommy said...

THis is a great piece and I am truly glad that you have this piece to lean on.It seems to make the whole thing more tolerable and that is important right now. I bet you can't wait to see your Joshua.Hugs!I love the way you explain it to your son.

Melissa said...

so beautiful ~ thank you Jill. I hope it gives you a moment or two of peace.

Hannah said...

I had my kids join me in prayer for Joshua and they still ask about him too.

His little life and your faith has provided a rich story filled with examples of loving and serving God.

Love you Jill!

The Porn Widow said...

I have always believed things very similar! I don't imagine heaven as a big fortress on white puffy clouds. It's always been a physical place to me as well. I'm thrilled that there's a book out there that talks about it. THanks!

BlessedMommy said...

Beautiful.

Nikki said...

The conversation brought tears to my eyes!

I love that you are so honest with Caleb and Hannah. It does them no good to have people lie to them to try to make them feel better in the moment. I'm sure they appreciate your honesty and feel very happy that you look to them as people, and not just "kids" as so many people do.

I still need to get to the post office, and I probably won't be able to before Christmas, but I have something for you that I think the kids will like. I can even send more if the kids want one of their own.

I deleted your facebook message with your address (remember, I'm the creepy stalker? :) ) so if you have a moment, will you email me at Nikki.Sjoblom@gmail.com and give me the address again? (if you're still OK with it)

Ausmerican Housewife said...

Ice cream? I'm down with that!

kirsten michelle said...

Interesting ... does Alcorn touch on any of the classical Christian doctrines of the resurrection of the body (e.g., Paul's teachings, esp. in 1 Corinthians 15)? The idea of having a physical body in heaven prior to the resurrection of the dead seems to run contrary to what I understand the Biblical teaching to be: that our bodies and spirits are separated at death, our spirits going to the Lord, and our bodies remaining on earth waiting for "the last day", that is, the resurrection of the dead. Does Alcorn talk about why/how those who die could have a physical body in heaven before that time?

I don't know if that question makes any sense, but since you're reading the book I thought I'd ask ... ;o)

The Real Life of a Red Head said...

Kirsten- let me reread a couple parts before I answer that question. He uses a lot of scripture in Revelation that seems to back up the idea that the we are physical beings in the present heaven, but our bodies won't reach complete perfection until after the resurrection of the dead and the present heaven descends onto earth.

He talks alot about Elijah, Elisha, and Moses and how they were taken up- whole body, to heaven. He also talks a lot about how Jesus is a physical being that sits at the right hand of God. He says that because scripture says he sits, that it means he has to have a body...

I'm getting ahead of myself...let me reread a few parts and I will come back and answer with a more clear answer and the scripture that he gives to back it up. :o) (I'm also not finished reading the entire book yet, so i may have more answers for you once i finish it as well!)

The Real Life of a Red Head said...

oops...i meant enoch, elijah and moses! not elisha! too many "e" names! :o)

Anya said...

John Eldridge's book "journey of desire" touches on a lot of the same topic, same conclusions about many present misconceptions of reality of Heaven. That was the first book that shook up the dust from my cultural 'heaven in a box' view of wings, harps, clouds, and such. Knowing the destination well, through biblical truth, also fires up the way we live today - because we're much clearer about where we are going, why, and why it's important that others go with us.
Now I'll have to check this one out as well.

Mommy E said...

you were asking about turning Joshua's things into a quilt, and I ran across this site on parents.com today.
willowcreekbaby.com
they will apparently take what you send, and mail the quilt back, I thought you'd like the link.

Christine the ArizonaIntactivist said...

It won't be too long before the Lord returns. If nothing unforeseen happens to you and you are still alive then Joshua WILL come to you!

Avery Tales said...

Thank you for sharing this Jill. I think we all need a reminder of the realities of Heaven. I'll have to find that book.

We talk openly and honestly with Jeffrey about Olivia, but yesterday he said something that nearly brought me to my knees. He asked if Santa could fly up to Heaven and bring Olivia to him for Christmas. Through the tears I just simply said "I'm sorry baby, but even Santa can't do that."

amig said...

I just wanted to send love your way. I found you through mompetetors. One of my good friends has a son with the same condition your son had. He is lucky and is doing well but it was a hard path. Lots of positive thoughts and prayers for you and your family. I'm so sorry other people have not been kind.

Mommy K said...

I ran into this on another blog and thought I would share. I do not know how they portray Heaven, but it's something to look into probably...

The Angel with the Golden Glow
A Family's journey through loss and healing
by Elissa Al-Chokhachy Illustrated by Ulrike Graf

 
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