Yesterday I had what my friend, Bill, calls a "holy hunch." After I dropped Taylor off at school, I just felt compelled NOT to go home. I didn't really know where to go or what to do, but just started driving and ended up at Sunset (the congregation where we attend). I didn't know what I was doing there, but got out and went inside and thought maybe I would just find a quiet place to be still and just be. Bill's wife, Betty, is the Dean of Women for the Sunset International Bible Institute and her office is very close to the entrance I went in. I poked my head in her office just to say hi. I didn't plan to stay long or have a deep conversation. I just wanted to give her a hug. But we got to talking. We both shed some tears that we needed to shed and we both got some encouragement that we needed. Betty has been one of the most influential people in my life, along with Bill, and to be able to be a shoulder for her for just a little bit was the least I could do and I got so much back in return. Satan is working hard on some close friends of mine, but God is working, too! It was good to be reminded of that. We talked about love: love that we have for our kids, for our friends, for our God. We talked about struggles that we share and how we could help each other in this journey here on earth. We talked about heaven and how wonderful it will be when we leave all the strife and hurt and sin behind.
The preaching team at Sunset has been doing an incredible series on I Thessalonians. A couple of weeks ago, Monty preached about the excitement we should feel when we think about being called up to heaven. I don't know about how you view the "end of days" but I have always kind of been scared of the end of the world. I know that as a Christian I am supposed to be looking forward to Jesus' second coming. And part of me was. I want to go to heaven, but I wasn't sure I was ready to leave the earth. What about my kids? What about the lost? What about.... But Monty said two things that really clicked with me. 1) In heaven, Satan will not be there and all the things that he has done to me and done to my friends and family will not exist there. 2) We will be in eternal love.
Wow, what a concept! I have struggled with not feeling loved because of the lies that Satan tells me and the way he has used people in my life to manipulate me and hurt me. I can give you specific examples, but this is a public blog and I'm not willing to hurt those people by calling them out. But there are very specific times in my life when I have felt horribly unloved and alone. Heaven will be a place where I will be eternally loved. Oh what comfort and joy and HOPE that brings me! I can tell you that over the past 4 or 5 weeks my entire paradigm about going to heaven has changed. I am ready to go when the Lord is ready to come get me. I will live my life here on this earth as well as I can and to the glory of Him, but I long for Him to call me up. I will shed this mortal body and all its weaknesses and be with my Savior and my Father! Does it get anymore hopeful than that??!!! I don't think so!!