"And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope." 1 Thessalonians 4:13
When you lose someone so close to you you will grieve at times throughout your life, but there is hope in it.
Seven years ago, our daughter Maggie went to heaven. She was two weeks shy of her 12th birthday. Since then she has never left our lives. She is still part of it. I say to my oldest son, "Maggie would have loved Anna!" And she would have. Anna is my future daughter-in-law. My oldest daughter says, "Maggie would have loved little Weston." Oh, she would have delighted in being Aunt Maggie! Weston is my genius grandson (he is six months old -- and I am so in love). As Pete, her adopted twin (both were the same age and were in the same grade -- Maggie was from Bulgaria, Pete is from Russia but they ended up being like twins in a way), will graduate this year from high school. We think what Maggie would have done. We imagine her reaction to things Pete does. We picture her in her cap and gown. We picture her at college (she wanted to be a special education teacher like her favorite teacher of all time, Mandi).
As I write this my cat Killer is on my lap. Maggie said to me once, "Mom, don't ever get rid of Killer." Why? Because Killer is a small cat and Maggie could pick her up (my stepson Tyler named Killer -- it was to be a prophecy and it sure is. She's a great mouser). Maggie was very thin and didn't have much physical strength.
She loved babies. I think of her taking care of a bunch of babies in heaven. And I picture her riding a horse. And I picture her sitting on Jesus' lap telling stories.
One thing I long for that just isn't going to happen, but that is okay (because in heaven all will be made right). I wish I could see Maggie as an 18 year old. She was beautiful. Big brown eyes. A sweet angel face. Thinking of that sweet sweet face makes me smile right now.
Memories and the hope of heaven and knowing she is with Jesus keeps her right here as a part of the family. When people ask me how many kids I have I always say, "Six." Maybe I should say five but that isn't right to my brain and heart. Three of my kids presently live with us. Three of my kids live elsewhere.
Jesus says in John 14:6, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me."
It doesn't matter what others say or argue about or don't want to believe. Jesus said the only way to the Father is through Him. This is why we gotta tell people this. It isn't about what to do or what not to do. It isn't about rules. Sure, the "Father" word makes some scared, but our Father is good, good, good. If you feel resistance in a person about accepting Jesus, maybe that person has a problem with authority. Maybe you can explain to them how good and loving our Father is.
Death is not the end. I talked about Maggie and then I went onto us here on earth because it is all connected. Heaven is much closer than we realize. I still grieve at times for Maggie, but more often than not, I smile and laugh when I think of her. The grieving times are precious to me because it means we shared a really deep love, a wonderful special love created by God for us to enjoy. I didn't even have to go through a pregnancy for her (I do regret at times that I didn't have more children, but I will say when I was pregnant I didn't enjoy it. I got too tired and felt like a whale at the end navigating through the world...though I would experience a labor and delivery again. Yes, it hurt BAD but you get a baby in the end)!
"Deal as sparingly as possible with the things the world thrusts on you. This world as you see it is fading away."
1 Corinthians 7:31
If we can get past the noise and the arguments and the weird notions of people, we can show them Jesus. We can show them the Father. We can tell them about the Spirit living in Believers -- we are no longer ever alone when we enter into relationship with God. All people want to belong somewhere to a group of people. When we accept Christ we finally have found our tribe.